Summit 2013

Eighth Annual Summit on Evidence-based Education

Leverage Points for Improving Teacher Effectiveness

April 25-26, 2013



  Teacher Professional Development
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  Randy Keyworth, The Wing Institute
Keyworth reviewed the changing demographics of the teacher workforce, including the influx of new teachers and the need for even greater numbers of new teachers as a result of teacher retirements, turnover, and projected student enrollment growth over the next twenty years.  He examined the current model for teacher development, including resources, models, and outcomes.  Data suggests that, despite an enormous investment in time, energy and resources, the current system for training new teachers and supporting existing teachers is failing to improve student outcomes, provide teachers effective teaching skills, or increase teacher satisfaction and retention.
  Teaching Skills That Make a Difference
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  Jack States, The Wing Institute
States provided an analysis of empirical evidence highlighting the skills effective teachers use in a classroom that facilitates learning.  He focused on four critical areas of teacher performance: classroom management, instruction delivery, assessment, and personal competencies.  The ultimate goal is the establishment of a comprehensive checklist of effective teaching skills that would be the foundation of every teacher preparation program and be used as a yardstick for measuring teacher effectiveness on the job.
  Activity: Critical Teaching Practice Elements
Participants worked in groups to review the list of teaching practice elements generated in pre-Summit activities.  The purpose of the activity was to discuss possible additions to the list, ways to organize the items for best clarity, potential audiences, and ways to operationalize skills regarding teacher social skills and personal competencies.
  Effective Teaching Practices:  Narrowing the Field

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  View William Heward's paper
  William Heward, The Ohio State University
Heward further distilled down the research on effective teaching practices to basic assumptions and core practices.  He presented a impact-cost paradigm for rating and prioritizing such practices.  On the impact side, practices can be evaluated by scope, size, speed and sustainability.  Cost variables included money, time, equipment/materials, difficulty to learn/apply, cultural fit, acceptability by students, sustainability and caveats/limitations.  He then applied the model to one of the most critical teaching practices: active student responding.
  Activity: Impact-Cost Analysis of Teaching Practice Elements
Participants discussed the impact-cost model presented by Heward, and applied it to selected teaching practice elements.  The purpose was to field test the tool, analyze practice elements in the context of broader impact-cost issues, and and begin prioritizing practice elements in terms of the biggest impact for the last cost.
  Assessing Teacher Performance
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  Ronnie Detrich, The Wing Institute
Detrich presented the context and goals for assessing teacher performance, highlighting the importance of using assessment to drive teacher professional development.  He reviewed the key features of assessment strategies, including reliability, validity, low inference, focus on alterable variables, and scalability.  Finally, he shared a model for decision making when selecting assessment strategies, including a heuristic that showed the relationship between effort and precision.  In general, higher precision requires a higher effort strategy.  The key is be as precise as is needed, but not more so.
  Activity: Impact-Cost Analysis of Teacher Assessment Strategies
Participants examined the possibilities of creating a comparable impact-cost analysis tool for determining which teacher assessment strategies to use.  The purpose was to identify the tradeoffs between effort and precision, translate those into impact-cost metrics, and practice using the tool on a selected teacher assessment strategy.
  Professional Learning That Makes An Impact

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  View Jim Knight's paper
  Jim Knight, University of Kansas Center for Research and Learning
Knight discussed the critical elements of effective teacher coaching, including: (1) establishing a partnership based on equality, choice, voice, dialogue, reflection, praxis, and reciprocity; (2) high impact instruction (content planning, assessment for learning, instruction, and community building), (3) instructional coaching (enroll, identify, explain & mediate, model, observe, explore, support & refine), and (4) impact schools (understanding, agreement, commitment).


Friday, APRIL 26, 2013

  Teacher Professional Development: Redux
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  Randy Keyworth, The Wing Institute
Keyworth reviewed the current research on effective teacher training, identifying nine critical components.  Teacher training should address immediate classroom needs, involve the teachers in active engagement, provide instruction on both the curriculum content and how to teach the specific curriculum, focus on teaching skills, utilize modeling and observation (in-class), provide frequent feedback on real-life practice, have skilled trainers, and provide ongoing-feedback and support.  He noted that the existing infra-structure for teacher preparation and professional development have few of these components.
  Project AIM:  Assess, Improve & Maintain Effective Teaching Practices
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  Teri Lewis, Oregon State University
Lewis shared a model for teacher assessment and professional development called Project AIM.  The project addresses the challenge of implementing teacher feedback, monitoring, and training in such large education systems with so many teachers.  The AIM program uses a public health model to briefly and quickly screen teacher performance, identify teachers that don't need ongoing feedback and training, those who need a moderate amount of feedback and training, and those that need intensive support.  In this way, limited resources can be directed where they are needed most.
  ROKs: Remote Observation Kits
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  Karen Hager, New Mexico Highlands University
Hager presented a teacher coaching model using high quality audio and video technology to address the needs of teacher training in remote areas.  The equipment included a camera that could be remotely controlled by the instructor, microphones that could pick up intentional and ambient sounds, and a Bluetooth ear piece that the teacher wore to receive feedback while teaching.  The technology package had to be unobtrusive, inexpensive, simple to use, and portable.  The resulting system proved to be amazingly effective as it allowed instructors to provide teachers with live feedback in real time, while not having to be physically present in the classroom.
  Real-Time Teacher Coaching
  David Forbush, Cache County School District
Forbush presented a comparable remote, real time teacher coaching model based on a new product called SWIVL.  This product holds any Apple electronic filming device (IPhone, IPad, etc.) and captures audio and video in either real time, or permanent storage.  The teacher clips on a microphone which captures the audio, and is a tracking device for the camera.  The camera automatically follows the teacher anywhere they go in the room.  Forbush reported similar results in terms of this model's benefits.
  U.S. Department of Education Priorities and Initiatives
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  Sam Redding, Center on Innovation & Improvement
Redding provided updates on various initiatives initiated by the federal department of education.  Specifically he provided updates on Race to the Top, School Improvement Grants, and Investment in Innovation Grants.  He reported that the problem still seems to be the shortage of qualified human capital.  Many of the initiatives require the replacement of ineffective personnel with effective personnel.  However, there is an inadequate number of effective personnel.
  Thirty years of Getting Teachers to be More Effective
  Vew presentation
  View Suzanne Fitch's paper
  Suzanne Fitch, The Institute for Effective Education
Fitch shared her experience developing and implementing an organizational culture at The Institute of Effective Education (TIEE) that embodies all of the critical components for teaching and sustaining effective teaching.  She reviewed TIEE's strategies for selection and hiring, establishing a culture of training, coaching the coaches, and staff reinforcement and retention. 

Commentaries by participants