Professional Education

Instructional Rounds

Contact Us

What You Will Learn

Instructional Rounds introduces educational leaders to the key principles and practices of an effective, classroom-oriented approach to observing, analyzing and improving teaching and learning.

Program Overview

Instructional rounds—a practice adapted to education from the field of medicine—embodies a specific set of ideas about how practitioners can work together to solve common problems and improve their practice. In the education context, it is designed to help schools, districts and state systems support high-quality teaching and learning for all students. Instructional Rounds strategically connects school, district and state efforts with improvements at the instructional core and builds collaborative networks of educators who learn from one another about improving teaching and learning.

In addition to sessions where you will work closely with Harvard faculty, you will also visit multiple real-world classrooms where you can apply effective protocols and build your skills around the practice of instructional rounds. As a participant, you also will consider how to integrate these elements into your own improvement process.

Program Objectives

  • Understand the elements of the instructional core
  • Develop skills in using protocols essential to the improvement of teaching and learning
  • Identify what good teaching and learning looks like in practice
  • Learn key elements to developing a culture that supports improving classroom instruction
  • Identify professional development needs at the school or district level that will contribute to improved instructional practices
  • Understand the role of an explicit theory of action in the school improvement process
  • Generate a first-draft action plan that connects the work of instructional rounds with other instructional improvement efforts at the school, district and state levels

Program Experience


Prior to arriving in Cambridge, each member of your team will be expected to read Instructional Rounds in Education and prepare responses to study guide questions that you will use during your work on campus. 

You will also need to hold one team meeting and complete one classroom observation prior to attending the program.

  • The book will be supplied to all accepted teams
  • Your team should plan two hours for your pre-program meeting, during which you will craft a group essay as well as plan for your on-campus work
  • Detailed instructions for pre-program work will be supplied to all accepted teams, including a study guide to frame your reading of the book
  • Overall, there is roughly 10 hours of pre-program work that you and your team will be required to complete

During the program, the creators of the methodology will guide you through the rounds process. You will experience rounds simulations and conduct actual classroom observations at local schools. 

Throughout the program you will have dedicated, daily team-time where you will come together as a group to define and refine your rounds practice in preparation for returning home. 


After the program, your team will begin implementing the skills and protocols learned while on campus. To support your work, we will host a post-program online community. The Instructional Rounds Learning Community will provide resources for each stage and element of your IR implementation. There will be a discussion forum and drop box to share work, and to get support and feedback from your new network of IR colleagues.

Who Should Attend

  • Schools, districts and state agencies are encouraged to send teams that will collaborate to improve instructional practice
  • Teams should include a cross-section of key stakeholders, including principals, teachers, directors, coordinators and specialists in curriculum and instruction, chief academic officers, superintendents, union leadership and instructional coaches
  • Teams are encouraged to include classroom teachers

Testimonials: What People Are Saying

Excellent content and facilitation—I have been challenged and affirmed.” —Alida Privett, Principal, Shannon Lake Elementary, Kelowna, Canada

Best professional learning I have ever done; skillfully constructed and facilitated.” 

Exhausting, exhilarating and energizing all at the same time.” 

Read more testimonials here.

Faculty Chair

Lee Teitel is Lecturer on Education and Director of the School Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Associate for the Executive Education Leadership Program (ExEl) at Harvard University. Teitel was the founding director of ExEl, a program that focuses on bringing high-quality teaching and learning to scale in urban and high-need districts and works with state commissioners of education and school superintendents, along with their leadership teams and key stakeholders. Teitel has also worked extensively on leadership development with principals and school superintendents, collaborating to set up superintendent networks in Massachusetts and Ohio, and co-facilitating instructional rounds networks with superintendents and other school leaders in Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.

Enrollment Instructions

Instructional Rounds is a team-based program. Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.

The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program. The coordinator does not need to attend the program and will have the opportunity to indicate if they will be attending during the application process.

There are two parts to the application process: The first is a team application, to be completed by the coordinator. During the team application, you will be asked to upload a response to several application questions. View application questions here. The second is an individual member application to be completed by each member of your team.


The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order is due 30 days after acceptance. If acceptance into the program falls less than 30 days prior to program start date, payment is due upon acceptance. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses.


Hotel accommodations are made available to participants at a reduced rate. Detailed program information and accommodation options will be provided to all admitted participants. The Harvard Graduate School of Education is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred. We recommend that you not make lodging and travel arrangements until you are admitted to the program.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted via fax or email. Full refunds will be given up to 30 days prior to the start of the program. Due to program demand and pre-program preparations, cancellations received 29–14 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of 10% of the program tuition. Cancellations received within 13 days prior to the start of the program and no-shows are subject to the full program tuition. Please note: cancellation fees are based upon the date the written request is received.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The Harvard Graduate School of Education affirms the right of all individuals to equal treatment in education without regard to age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, handicap, national origin, or any other factors that are extraneous to effective performance. The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accommodate anyone with disabilities.