Medical Rounds are an accepted practice in medical care, and
representatives from 14 school districts recently learned about their
educational equivalent, “Instructional Rounds,” which are the topic of a
new book published by Harvard Education Press.
Instructional Rounds are intended to describe and identify effective
teaching and learning. These classroom observations focus on providing
evidence about a site-identified “problem of practice” that is
identified by the school in advance of the Rounds.
Lee Teitel, faculty senior associate of the Executive Leadership Program
for Educators at Harvard University and co-author of the new book,
spent two days in San Diego recently, introducing local educators to the
The first day was spent ensuring all participants understood how to
collect evidence versus making judgment about instruction.
The second day was spent at Correia Middle School in San Diego Unified
School District, where participants conducted Rounds. Teams of
four-to-five visitors spent 20 minutes in four different classrooms and a
total of 20 classroom, followed by an extensive debriefing and
discussion. The teams were given three questions to consider while in
the classrooms, and to note specifically what they saw and heard that
connected to the questions.
“Rounds are a way to get feedback and improve coherence,” Teitel said,
explaining that “coherence” referred to the connection between district
and site instructional initiatives and what’s observed in classrooms.
“Those things will boost achievement inherently. Rounds are not about
fixing an individual teacher. They’re about looking for patterns in
classrooms and identifying how we can do better.”
A team from the County Office of Education’s Learning Resources and
Educational Technology Division was joined by representatives from
Grossmont Union High School District; Cajon Valley, South Bay and
Encinitas Union School Districts; Poway, San Marcos and Carlsbad Unified
School Districts; both Escondido districts; and the Del Mar, Solana
Beach and Rancho Santa Fe districts.
Teitel stressed the importance of having teachers on the team that
conducts Rounds. “Without teachers, it would be like conducting medical
rounds without doctors,” Teitel explained. “This is not adversarial,
it’s not something done to teachers. It’s something done with teachers.”
For more information on Instructional Rounds, click here.