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

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In

+ posts

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

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Just released!
    Order Today
  • Recent Issues

    April 2021

    The early years of school matter for all of us, because they lay the...

    February 2021

    Amid crisis, there is opportunity that can galvanize change. This issue...

    December 2020

    Excellent educators are made, not born, and it takes a system-wide...

    October 2020

    What does it mean to support learning in challenging times? It means...