Purpose/Background - Kentucky’s Guide to Reflective Classroom Practice was produced by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in an effort to assist teachers in reflecting on and guiding the growth of their own classroom practice.
This guide is framed around Kentucky’s Standards and Indicators for School Improvement (SISI) and with Kentucky’s Experienced Teacher Standards. The Classroom Practice Guide was developed by a representative group of experienced Kentucky educators, and was reviewed by classroom teachers, district staff, and university personnel from across the state.
Guidelines for Use - The Classroom Practice Guide is intended for use by classroom teachers. It is critical that guidelines for use be clearly understood by all those working in schools and districts in order for this guide to be effective in shaping changes in practice.
The guide should be used by teachers to
· Understand the qualities of transformational classroom practice
· Examine their own practice relative to the Experienced Teacher Standards
· Identify areas where they need support and opportunities for new learning
· Plan for their own professional learning
· Track their progress as they work to become transformational practitioners
The guide should not be used to
· Evaluate teacher practice
· Compare one teacher’s practice to another’s
· Draw conclusions about the overall performance of a school
· Compare one school to another
Performance Levels - The Classroom Practice Guide includes of four performance levels: Transformational, Accomplished, Transitional, and Basic/Teacher-Directed. Descriptions of these general performance levels follow.
Transformational – The transformational practitioner is a master teacher. He/she seeks out new understandings, approaches, and resources, and works to integrate them into daily practice. Planning and implementation are focused around clear understanding and application of student-centered practice, with ownership of the learning process resting in the hands of learners. Students are the primary decision-makers in this classroom. The transformational teacher is fundamentally a facilitator of learning, a critical resource for student learning, a gatherer of evidence, and a responder to needs.
Accomplished – The accomplished practitioner is highly skilled in all areas of classroom practice. Planning and implementation are focused around a clear understanding of current research and strategy. The focus of the classroom is on student learning and is student-centered in approach. However, the accomplished practitioner continues to maintain clear control over the structure, function, and content of the daily interaction. The teacher understands and acts upon the needs of individual learners, but retains clear responsibility for making decisions about what, when, and how students learn in the classroom.
Transitional – The transitional practitioner is a teacher who is learning and exploring new ideas and strategies. Planning and implementation regularly include current research and new strategies. The focus of the classroom is on content instruction, and employs a variety of strategies. The transitional teacher is working to apply new learning to his/her practice, and is refining instructional approaches. He/she involves students in active learning strategies on a regular basis, and looks at a variety of evidence to make decisions about next steps in instruction.
Foundational – The emerging practitioner is a teacher who relies on existing understandings about teaching and learning to guide his/her ongoing instructional practice. This teacher is an efficient manager of the classroom and maintains a clear focus on content acquisition. Procedures and requirements in the classroom are clear and understood by many students. He/she fulfills the responsibilities assigned to a teacher in the school, and works to make sure students who are engaged in learning have access to accurate and complete information.