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Faculty & Research

Katherine C. Boles

Senior Lecturer 1995 to 2018

Katherine C. Boles

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (1991)
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Katherine Boles was a senior lecturer on education and director of the Learning and Teaching Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). A classroom teacher for nearly 30 years, she wrote and taught about school reform, new forms of teacher leadership, and the development of more effective teacher teams to improve curriculum and instruction in schools. Her work advocated for public-policy changes to restructure the field of teaching, institute career ladders that offer opportunities for real promotions, and recognize that powerful teacher teams can and should have great control over their own professional development. With teaching colleague Vivian Troen, Boles has published two books: Who's Teaching Your Children: Why the Teaching Crisis Is Worse Than You Think and What Can Be Done About It and The Power of Teacher Teams With Cases, Analyses, and Strategies for Success; they have completed a third book published in April 2014 entitled: The Power of Teacher Rounds: A Guide for Rounds Facilitators, Principals and Department Chairs. Boles works regularly with schools and school system including the Bronx, New York, teaching teachers and administrators about Teacher Teams and Teacher Rounds.

Areas of Expertise

Spencer Foundation Teaching Learning, and Instructional Resources Grant(Aug. 2008- Dec. 2009) Principal InvestigatorProject Title: Instructional Talk on Teacher Teams
This research study examined the conditions that enable teachers in teacher teams to develop the sophisticated skills that will enable them to improve team meetings so that these meetings become places in which the conversation is focused on curriculum and instruction. The team of doctoral students and my co-investigator, Vivian Troen, studied whether this new mode of conceptualizing teams might produce substantive (and replicable) models that could be used by other teams to improve their own curriculum and instruction.

National Academy of Education, Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1993-1995)
Through a Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education, conducted research on three successful teacher-initiated school restructuring projects (Professional Development Schools) in the Boston area to examine how such projects function in different communities and to assess what can be learned from these projects about teachers' ability and willingness to be involved in long-term structural change in the schools in which they teach.

Spencer-MacArthur Research and Development Program(1996-2001) Principal Investigator
A Study to Analyze the Process, Conditions, and Policy Arrangements that Support Teacher Learning in a Successful Professional Development Site analyzed the effects of a teacher-led research seminar in a teacher-initiated professional development school.

Spencer Foundation – Practitioner Research Communication and Mentoring Grant (2001-2002) Principal Investigator
A Project to Design and Assess a Sustainable and Replicable Model of Teacher Research at City on a Hill Charter Public High School in Boston, Massachusetts, was a two-year research project that analyzed the effect of a whole-school initiative to instruct teachers in research methods and implement a teacher research component for faculty and intern teachers at the school.

Millennium Teams Research Project, 2008-2009

The Effects of Teacher-Led Research Seminars on the Improvement of Teachers' Instructional Practices


Practitioner Research Communication and Mentoring Grant, Spencer Foundation,(2000)


The Power of Teacher Rounds: A guide for facilitators, principals and department chairs. San Francisco, CA: Corwin Press (with Vivian Troen).,(2014)

"Rounds process puts teachers in charge of learning." The Journal of Staff Development (JSD) Volume 35, Number 2, (with Vivian Troen),(2014)

The Transformative Power of Teacher Teams 2013, 2014, 2015,(2013)

The Power of Teacher Teams with Cases, Analyses, and Strategies for Success. San Francisco, CA: Corwin Press (with Vivian Troen).,(2012)

"Rating your teacher team: Five conditions for effective teams." Harvard Education Letter Volume 27, Number 6, (Webarticle with Vivian Troen),(2011)

"Team Spirit: Teachers work together to establish and achieve goals." Journal of Staff Development, Vol.31, No. 1,(with Vivian Troen).,(2010)

"Teacher Learning: A Commentary by Reform-Minded Teaching Colleagues." In Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, ed. by Sharon Feiman-Nemser, London, England: Taylor & Francis (with Vivian Troen).,(2008)

"Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Teachers." In Recruiting, Retaining and Supporting Qualified Teachers, Edited by Caroline Chauncey. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press (with Vivian Troen).,(2004)

Who's Teaching Your Children: Why the Teaching Crisis Is Worse Than You Think and What Can Be Done About It (with V. Troen),(2002)

"To Upgrade Schools, Upgrade Teachers" (with V. Troen), Boston Globe,(1998)

"An Examination of Teacher Leadership in a Professional Development School," in Professional Development Schools (with V. Troen),(1997)


Beginning Teacher Standards Committee, Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium,(1998-present)

Professional Development School Standards Committee, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education,(1997-present)

American Educational Research Association Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,(1991-present)

Dennis C. Haley Public Elementary School - Working as a consultant to improve the work, using strategies developed and presented in our book. Conducted a 2 day workshop for all teams and meet monthly with each team to “tune-up” their work and add new strategies to meet each team’s particular goals.,(2011-2012)

ETS Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium Represented Harvard as a member of a consortium of national experts in the field of Teacher Leadership, and developed model Teacher Leadership Standards. The work was funded and facilitated by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ.,(2009-2011)

Richard J. Murphy School, Boston, MassachusettsWorked with the school principal and Vivian Troen to develop “Millennium Teams” at the school.,(2007-2009)

This year-long contract with 15 elementary and middle schools in District 9 – New York City Public Schools, Bronx, New York is introducing the schools to the concept and strategies of conducting Teacher Rounds. (with Vivian Troen),(2015-)

The New American Academy -- P.S. 274 Bronx, New York Work on a monthly basis as a consultant with Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grade 3 teacher teams to introduce the concept and strategies of conducting Teacher Rounds as a means of improving instruction (with Vivian Troen).,(2014-)

The New American Academy, New York, New York Presented two workshops on teacher teams for all new teachers at the New American Academy Network of schools -- P.S. 770, P.S. 274,and The New American Academy Charter School (with Vivian Troen).,(2014-)

Newton, MA Public Schools Presented one full-day workshop on Teacher Teams to all K-12 principals, the superintendent and other central office administrators (with Vivian Troen).,(2013-)

The New American Academy, New York, New York Presented two workshops on teacher teams for all new teachers at the New American Academy Network of schools -- P.S. 770, P.S. 274, and The New American Academy Charter School (with Vivian Troen).,(2013-)

Collegio Irabia-Izaga, Pamplona, Spain Presented two-day workshop on Teacher Teams and Instructional Rounds for Teachers to 80 teachers and school administrators from public and independent schools in Pamplona and Barcelona (with Vivian Troen).,(2012-)

Wichita Public Schools/WSU Wichita, KansasDelivered Keynote Address: Which was followed by consultation with the Super and dean, as well as with teachers and faculty at the university to help their School develop a plan that would support teachers and prof working as cross-institutional teams.,(2010-)

PPE Consulting with K-12 Costeas-Geitonas School, Athens, GreeceWorking with Kay Merseth and Pamela Mason, taught about Teacher Teams in a workshop at the Costeas-Geitonas School. Five follow-up Elluminate sessions from Harvard enabled the teachers to receive a Certificate of Completion from HGSE.,(2009-)

HGSE Principals Center Summer Institute Workshop on teacher leadership and new roles for teachers.,(2007-)

HGSE Programs in Professional Education Leading & Managing the Independent School of the Future “Teacher Leadership in a Successful Independent School”,(2006-)

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