Instructional Rounds

For more information contact:  Melissa Biggerstaff, GRREC Associate Executive Director 

Instructional Rounds, a process centered around the work of Dr. Richard Elmore and his Harvard University based team, is patterned after the common approach of Medical Rounds used in hospitals, especially teaching hospitals. 

With Instructional Rounds, a learning network of peers, including the school superintendent, principal, and teachers, move from one classroom to another looking for and focused on one specific problem (the “Problem of Practice”) that has been identified by teachers and other staff in the school.  Members of the team outline Harvard’s specific process to debrief and analyze the evidence that has been collected.  Then they develop a set of recommendations, known as the “next level of work”.  These recommendations are left with the school leadership team and teachers for their consideration.

This is a significant shift from the traditional teacher-focused walk-through to an honest, professional, learner-centered observation of the instructional core that points to where instruction, content, and students meet.  In Instructional Rounds, the observers are the key learners, and they learn by looking at the work or tasks, not at the teachers.