Improving Student Achievement with Power Walkthrough

Improving student achievement is an ongoing focus for consortium principals and faculty. Consortium schools were among the first in the Archdiocese to use McREL’s Power Walkthrough, a research based program designed to improve instructional quality and student outcomes. Power Walkthrough uses technology to improve how teachers meet the needs of individual learners by identifying and promoting various forms of teaching methods and interactions.

Power Walkthrough involves principals and peers of the teacher making frequent visits to the classroom. Visit frequency is high to ensure enough data is collected for accurate and meaningful results, however the visits are brief lasting only 3-5 minutes. During the visits, the observer uses a template on a mobile device to document what is happening in the classroom. Examples of observable classroom interactions might include whole group instruction through lecture and note taking, cooperative activities in small groups, using technology in the classroom, and student individual activities. The observers take notes and share this information with the teacher for immediate feedback. A more thorough aggregate assessment of all the classrooms is shared with the entire staff.

The short observations focus on the teacher’s use of instructional strategies, how students interact, and other teacher practices that research has shown influence student learning. The data collected then helps the principals discover patterns in classroom practice at their particular school and helps them to effectively plan professional development sessions in order to make pedagogical improvements.