The Role of Dialogue and Inquiry in District Implementation of Classroom Walkthroughs at Four Elementary Schools
AuthorScott, Margaret Anne
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractClassroom walkthroughs as a means of providing data for inquiry between principals and teachers and between teachers show promise for improving classroom instruction. Using data collected from classroom walkthroughs and through the development of a community of practice where administrators and teachers utilize dialogue and inquiry around these data collected, educators can design and improve instruction. Inquiry, involving both dialogue and reflection, is key to the effective use of these data. A case study of one elementary school embedded in a suburban district is used to investigate this district's implementation of the classroom walkthrough process to inquire through reflection and dialogue. Interviews with a district administrator and all four elementary principals in the district led to the identification of one elementary school with the highest level of implementation. In the third year of the initiative, intensive interviews with the four elementary principals and six teachers were conducted to gain understanding of the scope of the initiative, to determine the process by which the district administrator and school principals supported and implemented classroom walkthroughs, to understand how the principals used the walkthrough data, and to identify how the data informed dialogue and inquiry with teachers. Although the district administrators spent a great deal of attention to the process of collecting data, the initiative seemed to stall at this point. Little evidence of dialogue and inquiry about the classroom walkthrough data was found at the study school. Possible explanations for the stagnated implementation process include: a lack of movement from a focus on the collection of data for documenting the use of teaching strategies to dialogue and inquiry about the data in order to change instruction; an inconsistent purpose and vision for the initiative and communication of that vision; educational policy interference; and lack of agreement on the number of walkthroughs needed prior to engaging in dialogue and inquiry about the data.
Degree ProgramGraduate College