Partnerships in Prac-ce: Working with Schools and Districts to Improve Instruc-onal Prac-ce Richard F. Elmore Harvard University Exemplary Prac-ces Conference Clovis, CA January 2013 WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THE GENERAL ABSENCE OF NORMS OF CLINICAL PRACTICE IN EDUCATION? • TradiFon of Low-­‐Skill PracFFoners in Classrooms • Distrust of Expert Knowledge and Rigorous Causal Analysis Among PracFFoners • Strong, Low-­‐level ExpectaFons About the Knowledge and Skill Requirements of the Work of InstrucFon and Leadership– Public, Policy Makers • Enduring Conﬂict Around Teacher-­‐Proof versus Teacher-­‐Driven InstrucFonal PracFce • Recently, Accountability Regime That Focuses on Short-­‐Term, Cross-­‐SecFonal Results SOME BASIC PARAMETERS OF SUCCESSFUL CLINICAL PRACTICE • PracFce, PracFce, PracFce: RouFnizaFon, ReﬂecFon, Redesign • Language is Culture, Culture is Language • The Discipline of Causal Inference • ConFnuous Improvement • RecepFvity to Surprise; Openness to the Unexpected, the Counter-­‐IntuiFve • DisposiFon to Make and Accept Binding Commitments to Modify PracFce • Transfer of Agency from the Provider to the User InstrucFonal Rounds • Develop capacity of pracFFoners to describe, analyze, and predict student learning based on observaFon of instrucFonal pracFce • Connect this capacity to the organizaFonal structures and rouFnes of schools and systems to support improvement of pracFce • Model what it means to build and parFcipate in a professional culture The Internal Coherence Project • Develop, Demonstrate, and Transfer “PracFces of Improvement” • Focus on the Basic Elements of Professional Culture § § § § Language PracFces Norms Beliefs • Build Out from ExisFng Research on OrganizaFon and PracFce • Integrate Ideas of Development and Mastery into InstrucFonal and Leadership PracFce • Model What it Means to Work in a Professional OrganizaFon Graphical Overview of Rounds Process OBSERVATION/DESCRIPTION PROBLEM OF PRACTICE NEXT LEVEL OF WORK THEORY OF ACTION ANALYSIS: THEMES/ PATTERNS IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY PREDICTION: “IF YOU WERE A STUDENT. . .WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW & BE ABLE TO DO. . ?” CondiFons SupporFng Strong Developmental Improvement Culture FuncFonal Team Structure Clear Roles, DiﬀerenFated ResponsibiliFes Transparency of PracFce Emphasis on Mastery and Growth over Performance Access to Knowledge and Skill, Keyed to Roles and ResponsibiliFes • Explicit Norms of Lateral Accountability • Problem-­‐Seeking, Rather than Problem-­‐Avoiding RouFnes • • • • • CondiFons SupporFng Strong Clinical PracFce • Strong, Empirically-­‐Based, Falsiﬁable Theory • DescripFve, PredicFve Stance Toward InstrucFonal PracFce and the CondiFons that Support It • DiﬀerenFated Roles, Based on Knowledge, Skill, Demonstrated PracFce • Clear Protocols for Inquiry, Analysis, AcFon • Growth/Developmental Mindset • Clear, Empirically-­‐Based Rubrics to Guide Improvement THE GOOD NEWS • PracFFoners Love Doing the Work. . . – Even (Especially?) When It Gives Them Bad News About the EﬀecFveness of Their PracFce • PracFFoners Become Fluent at the PracFce RelaFvely Quickly • ParFcipants Report TransformaFonal Experiences Doing the Work. . . – In the Way They See and Understand InstrucFonal PracFce – In the Way They See The OrganizaFon and FuncFoning of Their Schools • Strong Demand for Professional Development in These PracFces THE BAD NEWS • PracFFoners Find It Diﬃcult-­‐To-­‐Impossible to Sustain the PracFce In Their Daily Work • The Clinical PracFce is Seen by People in Supervisory PosiFons as Being Marginal to the Main Business of Producing Test Scores • The PracFce Becomes Almost Immediately Marginalized in the Broader System-­‐Level OrganizaFonal Structure • ParFcipants Become Demoralized, and Express Guilt, at Being Unable to Sustain and Develop the PracFce, But Don’t Act on Their Guilt Tailoring PracFce to Your Context • What challenges do you perceive in your work environment to embedding pracFces of improvement in the work? • What is your experience developing a culture of conFnuous improvement through professional pracFce? • What lessons do you have to oﬀer your colleagues?