Knox teachers complete Harvard ‘Instructional Rounds’ course


Knox Teacher Mr Matt Stephens has completed a Harvard Graduate School of Education course on ‘Instructional Rounds’ through support of the Peter FitzSimons (snr) Scholarship.

Mr Glenn McLachlan (Director of Professional Enhancement) and Ms Mel Taylor (Instructional Rounds Co-ordinator) also attended the Harvard course as part of the team-based approach to learning.

One of the key outcomes from their visit is that all Prep and Senior School teachers at Knox will conduct ‘Instructional Rounds’ in 2015, observing and critically reviewing the lessons of other teachers, as part of the School’s Professional Learning program.

“We met teachers who faced some amazing challenges in their schools, who were attending the course because teaching and learning progress had become crucial, and instructional rounds is one of the most effective strategies to support whole school improvement,” said Matt.

“It was very affirming to hear people respond so positively after hearing what we are doing here at Knox. When we told them every teacher in our school worked with an Instructional Coach and attended professional development sessions with their peers once a fortnight, they were amazed.”

The Knox team also visited three like-minded but very different schools during their visit – Shady Hill School (Cambridge), The Harlem Children’s Zone and Promise Academy (New York) and The Avenues School (New York) – to meet with teaching and leadership staff and learn about their efforts to promote quality teaching and improved student outcomes.

2014 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey survey
The benefit for teachers to collaborate and observe each other’s practice is highlighted through the 2014 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey
  • 40% of Australian Teachers have NEVER observed a colleague in class. 
  • 30% of New Australian Teachers DO NOT participate in a formal induction program. 
  • 30% of Australian Teachers have NEVER received feedback on performance. 
  • 40% of New Australian Teachers will leave the profession within first five years
The survey concluded that the more frequently teachers engaged in professional learning activities together, the higher their levels of self-efficacy and performance in the classroom.

Thank you to the FitzSimons family
Matt’s participation in the course was generously funded by the FitzSimons family.