Rounding out professional development: Professional Learning Community, Instructional Rounds and Quality Teaching

Year: 2010

Author: Bowe, Julie, Gore, Jennifer, Elsworth, Wendy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper provides the conceptual basis for the intervention used in the Effective Implementation of Pedagogical Reform (EIPR) study, designed to circumvent difficulties that have long been associated with teacher professional learning. The approach brings together three key vehicles that have been lauded for their potential in teacher professional development: professional learning community, instructional rounds, and Quality Teaching. Brought together, we argue that ‘Quality Teaching Rounds’ make effective and substantial teacher professional learning achievable. We argue that the potential of professional learning communities can be enhanced with an Instructional Rounds approach that provides the PLC with clear structure and purpose.  Furthermore, when combined with the Quality Teaching “protocol,” Rounds have the potential to develop teachers’ descriptive and analytical capacities to individually and collectively diagnose their teaching practice in order to enact continuous improvement in pedagogy. By providing both structure and specificity to professional conversations, this coalescence of professional development approaches provides teachers with the time, sustained relationships, conceptual lens and shared language necessary for professional learning.