The headline in the June 23 issue of eSchoolNews reads: ” ‘Instructional rounds’ approach flips classroom evaluations: New method from Harvard researchers analyzes school-wide trends by looking at how instruction is being received”. WOW – that a great idea!!! I wish I’d thought of it….(smile)!The story explains that “a new way of evaluating instruction—one that shifts the focus from the teacher to the students—is emerging. Called “instructional rounds,” the practice is based on the way doctors make their rounds in a teaching hospital, using facts rather than value judgments to determine the effectiveness of instruction.” This approach “looks at how well kids are learning rather than how well the teacher is teaching”, and it focuses on how teaching is received. Teachers like this approach. Turns out that this approach has actually been used but not systematically or on a wide-scale basis. But more to the point, we should all be asking why these kinds of obvious improvements aren’t more commonplace. Why is this story news? As I continue to ask, why aren’t we doing what works and what makes sense? What are the barriers to real school improvement? Why do we keep foisting silly and unworkable new fads year after year onto our education system?
One way to find out is to visit a classroom and ask a teacher? The answers might surprise you.