How Can We Improve Teaching and Learning in Schools?

March 15, 2018

Source: AVI CHAI Foundation 


The AVI CHAI Foundation has, since 2012, been making a wide variety of grants in the area of blended learning, what-blended-learning-is-and-isnt/which you can learn more about here. Our focus is on helping teachers use technology to promote personalized learning in their classrooms and assisting teachers in using systematically collected student data to drive their instruction. But this post isn’t about the advantages and risks associated with blended personalized learning. Instead, it’s about the changes we are seeing (and not seeing) in classrooms.

The point is this: our interventions do exactly what they are designed to do. If they only focus on structures and routines, they aren’t likely to influence teaching practice much. In the cases where teachers’ practice is refined and reflective, this may not matter. But in cases where teachers need opportunities to develop and improve, most interventions will still leave them wanting and needing more.

So, how can we maximize the possibility that classroom or school interventions will lead to better teaching?
Here’s a start:

• Keep instructional improvement as the central goal, and make sure the goal is clearly understood

• Help teachers collect and analyze student data of all kinds

• Give teachers time to collaborate and work together to implement the new intervention

• Use teacher professional development time carefully and effectively

• Offer teachers access to ongoing support

• Provide ample and sustained opportunities for peer, mentor, or supervisor observation and feedback

While it’s true, that over-emphasis on “innovation” can undermine good teaching, it is also true that teachers and schools should always be exercising their innovation muscles. But they should be innovating—in both large and small ways—with the central, deliberate purpose of improving teaching and learning.

Read the entire post at the AVI CHAI Blog.

Updated: Mar. 21, 2018