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Real learning happens in real life

By Jim Knight
April 2021
When talking about instructional coaching, I find it helpful to divide professional learning into two different models: outside-in and inside-out. The outside-in model involves leaders identifying effective teaching practices for teachers, then providing learning experiences designed to help them learn those practices. The thinking behind this approach makes sense. These are research-based, proven strategies, so teachers should implement them. Unfortunately, the outside-in model frequently encounters problems. Teachers can find it difficult to fit the new strategy into their existing way of teaching, but they are expected to implement it even if they don’t like it. If teachers explain that they don’t think a strategy is appropriate for their students, or that it is a bad fit for their approach to teaching, they often are labeled

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Jim Knight (jim@instructionalcoaching.com) is a senior partner at the Instructional Coaching Group and a senior research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.


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