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Advancing the Three-Minute Walk-Through

Advancing the Three-Minute Walk-Through
Mastering Reflective Practice

Edited by:

July 2012 | 240 pages | Corwin
'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.

About the Authors
Considering the Ghosts in the Closet: Hegemony and Conflict Regarding Supervision and Evaluation in Schools

Examining the Classroom Walk-Through With Reflective Inquiry as a Discursive Practice

Understanding the Three Stages of Transformation With the Downey Approach

Examining the Text Analysis of the Three Transformational Stages

1. Building on the Philosophical Framework of the Three-Minute Walk-Through for Reflective Inquiry
Determining Your Values and Beliefs Regarding Human Behavior and Motivation and How These Influence Your Supervision Approach

Knowing How Your Beliefs Regarding the Human Nature of People Impacts Your Motivational Strategies

Using Various Types of Interactions Congruent With a Theory Y Philosophical Approach

Building Staff Capacity as a Way of Improving One's Practice

Posing Questions for Reflective Inquiry as the Way to Motivate Growth Rather Than Using Feedback

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

2. Considering the Various Approaches to Classroom Observations
Distinguishing Between Informal Walk-Throughs, Short Classroom Observations in Which Formal Data is Collected, and Principal-Supervisor Group Learning Walks

Identifying the Components Within the Classroom Observations to Determine Which Type of Observation to Use - Purpose, Primary Learner, Who Conducts the Observation, Observation Lens, Data Collected - if Such

Comparing the Various Approaches Using the Components

Clarifying the Meaning of "Walk-Through"

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

3. Clarifying the Misapplications in Using the Downey Walk-Through Five-Step Classroom Observation Structure
Clarifying the Five-Step Observation Structure Approach

Gathering Information on the Taught Objective: Content, Context, and Cognitive Type - Part I of Step Two

Analyzing the Curriculum Content - The First "C" of Step Two

Analyzing the Context of the Objective - The Second "C" of Step Two

Analyzing Cognition Type - The Third "C" of Step Two

Examining Congruence of the Teacher's Intended Objective With Actual Taught Objective - Part Two of Step Two

Calibrating the Taught Curriculum With the Expected Curriculum - Part Three of Step Two

Gathering Data on Instructional Practices - More on Step Three

Determingin When to and When Not to Interact With Others During the Observation

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

4. Creating a Culture of Reflection Through the Use of Walk-Throughs and Reflective Dialogue
Creating a Culture of Reflective Inquiry

Providing Opportunities for Reflective Dialogue

Using the Positive Presuppositional Phrases in the Downey Reflective Question

Expanding Teachers Outside Their Comfort Zone

Conducting a Reflective Dialogue to Lead to Collaborative Learning

Using the Reflective Conversation to Provide for Creativity and Challenging of the Status Quo

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

5. Moving People Toward Reflection
Providing a Foundation for Meaningful Reflective Practice

Promoting Reflective Thought and Transformative Learning

Moving Toward Interactive Conversations

Incorporating the Life Cycle Model

Using Direct Conversations: What the Principal Might Say

Using Indirect, Interdependent Invitation to Reflection

Using Collaborative-Interdependent Conversations

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

6. Adapting the Walk-Through and Reflective Conversation for Other Positions
Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With School Counselors

Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With Speech Language Pathologists

Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With School Nurses

Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With School Finance Officers

Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With Media Coordinators

Engaging in Reflective Inquiry With Chief Nutrition Directors

Thinking About All Positions for Reflective Inquiry

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

7. Adapting the Walk-Through and Reflective Conversation Approach for Peer Coaching and Mentoring
Valuing the Downey Model for Peer Coaching and Modeling

Listening to a Sample Dialogue Between Peers Using the Downey Approach

Implementing the Peer Walk-Through With Reflective Inquiry Approach

Using a Peer Protocol for the Walk-Through and Reflective Inquiry

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

8. Authenticating the Three-Minute Walk-Through and Reflective Inquiry and Practice With Recent and Legitimate Research
Providing Basic Foundational Research on Walk-Through Practices

Considering the Limitations of Using External Feedback

Valuing Supervisor Visibility and Instructional Improvement

Understanding the Power of Reflective Practice and Professional Growth

Considering Reflective Practice and Experience

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

9. Using the Walk-Through and Reflective Dialogue to Create Professional Learning Communities
Using the Downey Model of Reflective Practice in Professional Learning Communities

Understanding the Leadership Responsibilities and Requirements in the Professional Learning Community

Building Capacity for Professional Learning Communities to Develop Reflective Questions and Carry Out Reflective Conversations

Considering the Implications for School Leaders

Constructing a Learning Organization: A Summary

Being Reflective on Chapter Content

10. Institutionalizing the Three-Minute Walk-Through and Reflective Inquiry
Understanding the Prerequisites in Terms of Curriculum

Considering the Prerequisites in Terms of Culture

Considerations for Successful Full-Scale Implementation of the Model

Being Reflective on Chapter Content


"For the past decade, Carolyn Downey has paved the way for quality instructional leadership by framing the strategy of walk-throughs and follow-up conversations. Now Downey has taken the discussion one step further, taking a closer look at those reflective questions and conversations. In my school district of 70,000 students, walk-throughs and reflective questions are making a difference. School administrators are visible not only from a student behavior perspective, but also from a program/curriculum perspective. Reflective questions between the administrator and teacher set the stage for professional conversations. This is an important strategy for building professional learning communities in schools—and the students are the winners!"

Jennifer Adams, Superintendent of Curriculum
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Ottawa, Canada

"The implementation of Carolyn Downey’s walk-through observation techniques have been paramount to the success of administrators and students in the Shawnee Mission School District. The concept of administrators spending a portion of their day in classrooms and observing specific curriculum decisions along with instructional techniques and student behavior followed by reflective conversations has resulted in consistent, positive student achievement at all levels in the school district. Both teachers and administrators see the value of a cooperative effort to increase student achievement. I highly endorse Downey’s walk-through process. It’s a proven process that contributes to the positive relationship between teachers and administrators."

Gene Johnson, Superintendent of Schools
Shawnee Mission School District, KS

"This book provides the most informed and transformative blueprint known for building the capacity of teacher coaches and supervisors to enter into a relationship with teachers that is characterized by reflection, conversation, and collaboration. If you are ready to confront power and control issues on your campuses and embark on a journey of professionalizing the administrator/teacher connection for greater student success, then you have in this work a guide for enhanced respect, collegiality, and productivity all aimed at helping each of our students learn more and learn better. Districts across Texas are using the Downey walk-through approach 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

"This book builds upon the authors' earlier work , delving deeper into the follow-up of the walk through, reflective practice and collaboration. It is especially helpful for administrators who want to move their own professional development and that of their faculty from observation and evaluation to analysis and reflective inquiry."

Elaine Giugliano
The School Administrator Magazine, May 2011

Carolyn J. Downey

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... More About Author

Betty E. Steffy-English

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... More About Author

William K. Poston, Jr.

Learn more about William Poston's PD offeringsWilliam 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... More About Author

Fenwick W. English

Fenwick W. English (Ph.D.) is the R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a position he has held since 2001. As a scholar/practitioner he has held positions as a school principal and superintendent of schools in California and New York and as a department chair, dean, and vice-chancellor of academic affairs at universities in Ohio and Indiana. He is the former President of the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) and of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA). His research has... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412964579

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