Advancing the Three-Minute Walk-Through: Mastering Reflective Practice

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Carolyn J. Downey, Betty E. Steffy, William K. Poston, Jr., Fenwick W. English
Corwin Press, Oct 28, 2009 - Education - 213 pages
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'This book provides the most informed and transformative blueprint known for building the capacity of teacher coaches and supervisors. Districts across Texas are using the Downey Walk-Through to break through the barrier of the isolated classroom and provide a platform for improved dialogue about teaching and learning' - Susan P. Holley, Associate Executive Director, Texas Association of School Administrators

In 2004, The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through introduced educators to the Downey Walk-Through, a practical approach to coaching and supervision that is now widely accepted and used. Offering an expanded examination of the Downey Walk-Through, this sequel to the bestseller focuses on the second part of the walk-through--the reflective follow-up conversation--and clarifies many of the common misconceptions and misapplications of the approach.

The authors illustrate how leaders can use observations from the walk-through to engage in professional conversations and encourage teachers to reflect on and improve their practice. Offering extended examples, activities, and guidelines for changing schools one teacher at a time, this resource shows school leaders how to:

- Provide effective follow-up discourse without criticizing or demoralizing teachers

- Build collegial and respectful relationships with faculty members

- Help teachers see their power to become continuously improving professionals

- Foster a collaborative process between headteachers, teachers, and other instructional leaders.


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1 Building on the Philosophical Framework of the ThreeMinute WalkThrough for Reflective Inquiry
2 Considering the Various Approaches to Classroom Observations
3 Clarifying the Misapplications in Using the Downey WalkThrough FiveStep Classroom Observation Structure
4 Creating a Culture of Reflection Through the Use of WalkThroughs and Reflective Dialogue
5 Moving People Toward Reflection
6 Adapting the WalkThrough and Reflective Conversation for Other Positions
7 Adapting the WalkThrough and Reflective Conversation Approach for Peer Coaching and Mentoring
8 Authenticating the ThreeMinute WalkThrough and Reflective Inquiry and Practice With Recent and Legitimate Research
9 Using the WalkThrough and Reflective Dialogue to Create Professional Learning Communities
10 Institutionalizing the ThreeMinute WalkThrough and Reflective Inquiry

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About the author (2009)

Carolyn J. Downey is professor emeritus of educational leadership in the College of Education at San Diego State University. She formerly was the superintendent for the Kyrene School District, Phoenix-Tempe, Arizona. Downey has written several books and numerous articles. She is the author of the training program "The Three-Minute Walk-Through and Reflective Feedback for Higher Student Achievement." Her most recent book with Betty E. Steffy, William K. Poston Jr., and Fenwick W. English is 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap. She was the major architect of the CMSI Individual School Audit using the 50 Characteristics for Higher Student Achievement. She is the author of several of the Principal-Teacher Series for Higher Student Achievement training materials. She received her MS from the University of Southern California and her PhD from Arizona State University.

Betty E. Steffy is a retired professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University. She formerly was a dean of a School of Education at a regional campus of Purdue University and served as deputy superintendent of instruction in the Kentucky Department of Education. She served as a superintendent of schools in New Jersey and as a director of curriculum for a regional educational agency in Pennsylvania. She created the professional development model entitled Life Cycle of the Career Teacher. She is the author/coauthor of ten books in education and numerous articles and symposium papers at UCEA and AERA. She earned her BA, MAT, and EdD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about William Poston's PD offerings

William K. Poston Jr. is an Emeritus Professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he served for 17 years. A former math and physics teacher, he accumulated 25 years of experience in educational administration including 15 years as a superintendent in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and in Billings, Montana. His experience includes serving as executive director of the Iowa School Business Management Academy—the licensure program for school business managers in Iowa—for 15 years. He is the originator of curriculum-driven budgeting, and he has led over 75 curriculum audits. Poston has written 13 books and over 40 journal articles and continues to provide extensive service to schools in the areas of evaluation, curriculum management auditing, performance-based budgeting, and organizational quality improvement.

Fenwick W. English is currently the R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Formerly he served as a program coordinator, department chair, dean, and vice-chancellor of academic affairs, the latter two positions in the Purdue University system at Fort Wayne, Indiana. As a K-12 practitioner, he has been twice a superintendent of schools in New York, an assistant superintendent of schools in Florida, and a middle school principal in California. He also served as an associate executive director of AASA, and as a curriculum consultant to NASSP. He also served on the UCEA Executive Committee and was president of UCEA 2006-07. He is the author or co-author of over 25 books in education.

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