The Strategic Teacher: Better Instruction, Deeper Learning, Higher Achievement Instruction

One of the greatest challenges facing today’s school leaders is the challenge of raising the expertise of their teachers. We hear more calls for teacher effectiveness than ever before, and we are seeing that teacher effectiveness is becoming a significant part of the national discussion on education. Everybody agrees that what teachers do in the classroom matters deeply. A recent investigation into the practices of the world’s top 25 school systems put it this way: “The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers” (Barber & Mourshed, 2007). In fact, a wide body of research shows that the single greatest factor affecting student achievement is classroom instruction. In one study, Mortimore & Sammons (1987) found that classroom instruction has more impact on student learning than any other factor—more important than the next six factors they studied combined. As McKinsey & Company concluded in their study of the world’s best schools, “The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction.” (Download pdf)


Thoughtful Classroom Professional Learning Portfolios: A Model for Strategic Planning and Strategic Instruction

Linda Lippit, Ph.D
Research Consultant

This Research Report outlines the progress of teachers and administrators working together in Hardin County, Kentucky to establish effective Professional Learning Communities and improve strategic instruction at the elementary school level. Building-level teams adopted The Thoughtful Classroom Professional Learning Portfolio process to collaboratively select and implement key instructional strategies, review student work to determine effectiveness, and refine classroom instruction. This “strategic team” approach has increased the rigor of content, as well as improved student achievement in reading, both in terms of classroom engagement and standardized test scores. (Download pdf)