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Seeing in 5D: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Adaptive Expertise in Observing, Analyzing, and Improving Teaching and Learning

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Abstract:

Efforts to engage leaders in improving the “core technology” of teaching and learning run through most of the recent education reform accounts. School districts are investing heavily in instructional improvement initiatives, driven in part by accountability pressures and an optimism that school and district leaders can make a difference in the quality of teaching and learning. This optimism has some basis in actual evidence (e.g., Darling-Hammond, Hightower, Husbands, LaFors, Young, & Christopher, 2005), particularly in the prominent cases of Community School District 2 in New York City (Elmore & Burney, 1997) and the related reform efforts in the San Diego City Schools (Darling-Hammond et al., 2005).
Undergirding systematic work on instructional improvement is an assumption about the nature of leadership that influences teaching and learning practice. Many districts design professional learning experiences that involve leaders in classroom “walkthroughs” to observe and discuss instructional practices collectively and help them develop models and common vocabulary for what constitutes “high quality” instructional practice. Implicit in the theory of action behind this approach is that members of these leadership communities will develop adaptive expertise useful for working with teachers to improve teaching and learning. Adaptive experts possess knowledge of their work that “furnishes a context within which a particular situation is perceived, interpreted, and judged” and that goes beyond declarative and procedural knowledge (Broudy, 1977).
This paper reports on a study designed to understand what adaptive expert classroom observers pay attention to when observing teaching and learning in schools, how they think about what they see, and how this translates into what they discuss with teachers regarding instructional practice. Researchers identified a group of expert leadership and instructional coaches across the U.S. who work with school and district administrators to examine teaching and learning practices and develop those leaders’ “lenses” on instructional practice. We mined the expertise of these coaches to identify both the content of what and how they “see” in classrooms. From this exploration a conceptual framework emerged that outlines the nature of this adaptive expertise. The framework includes five broad dimensions of instructional practice, made up of thirteen sub-dimensions. Furthermore, the framework elaborates a novice-expert continuum for each of the thirteen sub-dimensions that differentiates four levels of adaptive expertise with processes of observing teaching and learning. We conclude the paper with a discussion of potential applications for this framework.
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Name: UCEA Annual Convention
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378359_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Copland, Michael. and Blum, Dina. "Seeing in 5D: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Adaptive Expertise in Observing, Analyzing, and Improving Teaching and Learning" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378359_index.html>

APA Citation:

Copland, M. A. and Blum, D. "Seeing in 5D: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Adaptive Expertise in Observing, Analyzing, and Improving Teaching and Learning" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p378359_index.html

Publication Type: Symposium Paper
Abstract: Efforts to engage leaders in improving the “core technology” of teaching and learning run through most of the recent education reform accounts. School districts are investing heavily in instructional improvement initiatives, driven in part by accountability pressures and an optimism that school and district leaders can make a difference in the quality of teaching and learning. This optimism has some basis in actual evidence (e.g., Darling-Hammond, Hightower, Husbands, LaFors, Young, & Christopher, 2005), particularly in the prominent cases of Community School District 2 in New York City (Elmore & Burney, 1997) and the related reform efforts in the San Diego City Schools (Darling-Hammond et al., 2005).
Undergirding systematic work on instructional improvement is an assumption about the nature of leadership that influences teaching and learning practice. Many districts design professional learning experiences that involve leaders in classroom “walkthroughs” to observe and discuss instructional practices collectively and help them develop models and common vocabulary for what constitutes “high quality” instructional practice. Implicit in the theory of action behind this approach is that members of these leadership communities will develop adaptive expertise useful for working with teachers to improve teaching and learning. Adaptive experts possess knowledge of their work that “furnishes a context within which a particular situation is perceived, interpreted, and judged” and that goes beyond declarative and procedural knowledge (Broudy, 1977).
This paper reports on a study designed to understand what adaptive expert classroom observers pay attention to when observing teaching and learning in schools, how they think about what they see, and how this translates into what they discuss with teachers regarding instructional practice. Researchers identified a group of expert leadership and instructional coaches across the U.S. who work with school and district administrators to examine teaching and learning practices and develop those leaders’ “lenses” on instructional practice. We mined the expertise of these coaches to identify both the content of what and how they “see” in classrooms. From this exploration a conceptual framework emerged that outlines the nature of this adaptive expertise. The framework includes five broad dimensions of instructional practice, made up of thirteen sub-dimensions. Furthermore, the framework elaborates a novice-expert continuum for each of the thirteen sub-dimensions that differentiates four levels of adaptive expertise with processes of observing teaching and learning. We conclude the paper with a discussion of potential applications for this framework.


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