How Reformed is Your Teaching?

NOTE: This is an update to my Grading the Teacher post where I introduced the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) rubric.

How often in your teaching do you:

  • show respect for student’s prior knowledge and misconceptions?
  • engage students in exploration before your presentation?
  • allow student questions to guide your lessons?
  • engage students as members of a learning community?
  • promote strong conceptual understanding?
  • make connections to other disciplines and the real world?
  • represent phenomena in multiple ways?
  • have a significant amount of student-to-student talk?
  • play the role of “teacher as listener?”

According to the original RTOP rubric, those are just a few of the many characteristics of a reformed, inquiry-based classroom. But why are these characteristics important? And what are some examples?

Thankfully, I just discovered that physics teacher Drew Isola has edited the original RTOP rubric to create a more self-reflective guide to reformed teaching. In his version, he includes a description of what each criterion means, why it is important, and asks the teacher to give examples from his/her own teaching.

As we start a new year, think about the ways in which you can incorporate more of these teaching strategies into your classroom. (The PDF version above is posted on Scribd. You can access the MS Word version here. More information about the original RTOP rubric here.)

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3 responses to “How Reformed is Your Teaching?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention How Reformed is Your Teaching? « Action-Reaction -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Daily Favorites in Education 08/17/2010 « Teaching Miss Cheska

  3. Thanks for this Frank, I’m going to share this with some colleagues. I like the RTOP is so much better as a self-assessment tool, and even as a tool for a mentor or coach to engage with a teacher in a process of self/peer assessment.

    The truth is that we all use our professional judgment to make sense of and score these categories. I know that using my own professional judgment I disagree strongly with many colleagues about what it means to:

    show respect for student’s prior knowledge and misconceptions?
    allow student questions to guide your lessons?
    engage students as members of a learning community?
    promote strong conceptual understanding?
    play the role of “teacher as listener?”

    More fuel for the fire.

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