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ERIC Number: EJ1002221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
A Step in the Right Direction: Learning Walk Brings Districts Together to Examine Teacher Evaluation and Support Roles
Armstrong, Anthony
Journal of Staff Development, v33 n5 p50-54 Oct 2012
In a private room at the back of a busy restaurant just outside of Tampa, Florida, drinks and appetizers went unnoticed as 12 diners sat around one large table and engaged in multiple rapid-fire conversations about professional learning. On one side of each conversation were representatives of Memphis (Tennessee) City Schools. The district was in its fourth year of a reform effort called the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative, designed to close student achievement gaps by ensuring that every student has an effective teacher every day. On the other side of each conversation sat a representative of Hillsborough County (Florida) Public Schools, a district that has recently been recognized for its teacher evaluation and support reforms using a peer and mentor program. The conversations covered the spectrum of work for each office, from processes, data technology, and resources to creating buy-in, providing incentives, and developing culture. Representatives of central office staff from each district took notes any way they could, on napkins, to-go menus, or cell phones. Handwritten notes covered the meeting facilitator's handouts and filled the margins. The discussions were a mixture of casual conversations, serious analyses of professional learning philosophies, dining selections, and dessert choices. What had inspired such a productive learning experience with this kind of frantic pace? The meeting was part of a learning walk experience set up by Learning Forward's Center for Results to offer Memphis central office staff a rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with staff from a district that had successfully navigated challenges similar to the ones Memphis faced. To guide district participants through an inquiry process based on Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning, the Center for Results created the Site Visit Protocol. The process helps districts identify "the professional learning planned, promoted, and supported by central staff to ensure the learning of all teachers and their students." The Site Visit Protocol includes four key steps for the learning walk: (1) previsit planning; (2) a prewalk meeting; (3) the site visit; and (4) a reflective post-walk meeting for the team to debrief and determine next steps.
Learning Forward. 504 South Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Tennessee