Quality Teaching Rounds Project
Quality Teaching Rounds, developed by Julie Bowe and Jenny Gore of Newcastle University, offer a research-based tool for deep collaboration about teaching and learning within and between schools.
Many of our Alliance project Principals were interested in the concept of ‘Instructional Rounds’, a process developed by a team from Harvard University. A number of schools in South Western Sydney had trialled Instructional Rounds and reported genuine benefits in terms of collecting objective data on teaching practice.
As a result of discussions at our residential planning conference and further investigation conducted by one of our Alliance team Principals, it was decided to pursue the Newcastle University model of Quality Teaching Rounds as an Alliance project. QT Rounds align more closely with the NSW DEC Quality Teaching Framework than Instructional Rounds.
In fact, the coding scale questions in the Quality Teaching Framework Classroom Practice Guide create an even more objective data set than Instructional Rounds as the IR process is dependent upon a team devised question to guide observation and discussion.
Our Alliance team project progressed rapidly as we used project funds to engage Julie Bowe (Newcastle University) to lead an QT Rounds information and orientation day followed by an intensive two day training workshop on the implementation of QT Rounds.
Schools from the KSP partnership are progressing with a plan to run a series of QT Rounds within each school and follow this with a series of QT Rounds between schools in the partnership. NS5 schools are discussing a similar plan.
This tool is incredibly powerful in building strong collaborative teams and indeed, in changing school culture. It provides a valid and objective method of focusing teacher professional learning on improving classroom practice.