From Good to Outstanding-PD on Steroids

Picture 2

From Good to Outstanding

Follow teachers as they work to improve their practice with a team of experts. Each teacher delivers an initial lesson, observed by school inspector Clare Gillies, then using her and other expert feedback, they fine-tune their skills and try deliver an outstanding second lesson a few weeks later.

This is one of those things that makes me want to move to the UK. If you have anything to do with professional development at your school this should really get you thinking.

So basically-

  • the lesson is filmed and observed by a master teacher
  • they post the raw class footage
  • people can then offer suggestions etc. online
  • the input from the master teacher and online suggestions is analyzed
  • expert feedback is given
  • the lesson is retaught
  • a compiled version showing before, expert mentoring and the after lesson is posted

I’m looking at it like this.

  • Classroom visits– You want teachers seeing other teachers teach. The way they capture the raw footage and put it up on the site is awesome. If you’re doing this you’re building a library of visits for people to use whenever and wherever without the additional overhead of providing subs etc.
  • Modeling classroom skills– Perfect, real-world demonstrations of skills teachers want to learn done with your population. The video may need additional aspects to make it a complete package for this but you’ve can show the skill happening in the classroom and that’s invaluable1.
  • Modeling coaching– You’ve got the chance to show adminstrators, department heads, grade level chairs exactly how to help teachers improve practice- how to have those conversations and it’s in a real-world, authentic situation. How do you give useful feedback? What types of questions do you ask?
  • Set standards– I forget the book right now but the author talks about how varied people’s ideas are regarding good practice and the problems this causes. This gives you a chance to discuss that and build a very concrete set of examples.
  • Professional Development– You’re giving people all sorts of ways to improve their own practice. They see things they like/don’t like and start thinking about how to incorporate or remove those things from their own classroom. They also have the ability to comment on ways to improve the lesson when it’s initially posted in raw format. That conversation, done correctly, could mimic some of the things Dan’s WCYDWT series that I find so interesting2 It also brings in elements of the Iron Teacher concept that I like. And there’s no reason you couldn’t have both those options working alongside the Good to Outstanding videos.

There are a million other advantages and ways I would use this. There are a bunch of videos up there now. Go check them out and then figure out what it’d take to make your own. Even without the after part, the raw video footage would be incredibly useful.


1 and almost always missing or done with models or simulated etc.

2 Despite the fact that I’m totally out of my element with math instruction.

Comments on this post

  1. Jackie Ballarini said on July 3, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    This is exactly the type of feedback I’d love to get when being observed.

    Thank you for sharing these. I think they could be useful to discuss as a department as way to begin dissecting a lesson without anyone feeling threatened.

Leave a Reply

Trackbacks and Pingbacks on this post

No trackbacks.

TrackBack URL