As an IU region we are working on developing a consistent and thoughtful instructional walkthrough process. An area of particular interest is student engagement. Based on Phil Schlechty’s work and Teachscape, we have agreed on these descriptors.
- Highly engaged – most students are authentically engaged
- Well managed – students are willingly compliant, ritually engaged (meaning they do it for the teacher/grade, but not for the learning)
- Dysfunctional – Many students actively reject the assigned task or substitute another activity.
We observe whether students are working and degree of enthusiasm. We also ask students what they are learning? Why they are learning it? Or where would they use this learning in the future?
To date, most classrooms are well managed. Students have been able to identify what they are learning, but rarely can they respond to why. Most indicate they are doing it for the test.
In the hands of teachers, this data combined with thoughtful consideration, can connect kids (and maybe even teachers) to content in relevant ways!
Other Suggestions: Schlechty gives numerous ways to collect data on student engagement primarily by asking the students themselves – surveys, interviews and then repeat them every few weeks to gauge engagement. He recommends posting the data in a teacher’s lounge.