Learn the principles and practices of instructional rounds, a collaborative process for observing, analyzing, and improving teaching and learning.
Instructional rounds – a practice adapted to education from the field of medicine – offers a structure for educators to work together to identify and solve common problems related to learning and teaching. The model has been used within schools, across schools, and across districts to raise the quality of instruction for all students. The instructional rounds process provides a disciplined, collaborative way for schools and districts to:
- diagnose learning needs for students and educators
- focus on and improve learning tasks
- develop a shared vision of high-quality teaching and learning
- foster a collaborative culture that supports learning
This intensive course is led by members of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) faculty who created the methodology and authored Instructional Rounds in Education. It includes opportunities to observe real-world classrooms where participant teams apply protocols, cultivate their observational skills, and consider how to integrate such practices in their own schools and districts.
Recently updated to include lessons learned from educators in the field, this five-day program moves beyond topics covered in Instructional Rounds in Education to feature interactive discussions, experiential learning, protocols that you will use and take home for your colleagues, and in-depth collaborative planning. Participants will delve deeply into the concepts of the instructional core, task, and problem of practice.
Participants should read Instructional Rounds in Education (included in program tuition) prior to arriving at HGSE and prepare responses to the study guide questions provided. Team members also will need to complete a classroom observation and hold one team meeting where participants will craft a group essay and plan for program projects. Detailed instructions for pre-program work will be supplied to all accepted teams, and individuals should expect to spend about 20 hours on these assignments.
During the on-campus program, teams will experience rounds simulations and conduct classroom observations at local schools. In addition, participants will interact with educators from these schools to understand their approach in using instructional rounds as a tool to support strategic, integrated improvement efforts.
Time is dedicated each day for team meetings, where participants will determine a theory of action for improving student learning, as well as define, develop, and hone specific plans for how instructional rounds can support this work. Upon completion of the program, teams will have the skills, protocols, and tools needed to implement instructional rounds in their learning environment.
- Understand the instructional core and practice identifying and analyzing learning tasks in order to foster student improvement
- Understand and identify ways that educators engage in four key activities to support improvement in the instructional core:
- Building a collaborative learning community
- Focusing on learning tasks
- Diagnosing stuck points and learning needs
- Developing a shared vision of high-quality learning and teaching
- Learn to use a structured process to observe classroom instruction and analyze these observations in a collaborative and strategic manner
- Gain perspective into the ways in which schools and districts design and integrate the instructional rounds practice into ongoing, multi-faceted professional learning opportunities
- Better understand the power of identifying problems of practice and learn specific approaches to engage the larger school community in identifying these student and educator struggles
- Generate a specific theory of action and draft an initial action plan that customizes instructional rounds to participating teams’ existing organizational landscape, professional learning structures, and instructional improvement efforts