May 2012

Implementing Observation Protocols: Lessons for K-12 Education from the Field of Early Childhood

Increasingly, classroom observations are becoming a prevalent approach to data-driven improvement: observations are used to better understand classroom interactions, teacher effectiveness, time use in classrooms, and more. This paper examines lessons learned from observation in early childhood education that may be helpful as K-12 systems begin implementing more rigorous observation protocols in PreK-3rd grade classrooms. These lessons focus on the importance of standardization, trained observers, methods for ensuring the validity and reliability of the instruments, and the use of observational measures as a lever to produce effective teaching.

Author(s): Robert C. Pianta Organization: Center for American Progress
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