Leading Instructional Rounds in Education

Leading Instructional Rounds in Education A Facilitator’s Guide

Thomas Fowler-Finn, foreword by Lee Teitel
Pub. Date: May 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-528-2
paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-526-8
Price: $33.00

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Instructional rounds is a powerful form of professional learning aimed at helping schools and systems develop the capacity to educate all children to high levels. In this practical book, Thomas Fowler-Finn, an experienced consultant who has worked closely with the Harvard team that pioneered instructional rounds, discusses how facilitators can skillfully guide a network of educators through the rounds process.


Taking a close look at the original instructional rounds model, Tom has drawn on his own background and carefully documented learning processes, added his own improvements, and codified the process in concise and direct language. Tom minces no words as he outlines what facilitators should do and not do, how to predict the places the rounds practice may go off the rails and become unproductive, and what to do about it. If you are looking for a clear how-to guide to facilitate a tight and well-thought out version of instructional rounds, this is it. — From the foreword by Lee Teitel, lecturer on education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and coauthor, Instructional Rounds in Education

Effective instructional rounds is the first step in building collective understanding and responsibility for the success of all students. Thomas Fowler-Finn provides outstanding tools and resources for leveraging the power of instructional rounds to support continuous improvement for all. — Stephanie Hirsh, executive director, Learning Forward

In 2008, Western Metropolitan Region students in grade five were the lowest performers in literacy and numeracy in Victoria. Four years later, those students ranked third in all measures, despite being the lowest SES cohort in the state. Principals identified participation in instructional rounds, facilitated by Thomas Fowler-Finn, as a key element of the region’s success. In rich, challenging, and increasingly trusting collegial discussions, we learned to focus on student learning and how to improve instruction. Leading Instructional Rounds in Education provides a precise, practical, and very usable guide for people facilitating (and doing) instructional rounds. — Katherine Henderson, former regional director, Western Metropolitan Region Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, Australia

[Leading Instructional Rounds in Education] is clearly written and rich with examples and sample materials designed to guide the facilitator through the various stages of conducting rounds. This book will be an invaluable resource for those serving as facilitators of instructional rounds in education. — Joe Terantino & Kristin Hoyt, International Review of Education

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About the Author

Thomas Fowler-Finn, founder of Instructional Rounds Plus, works as a consultant nationally and internationally to improve leadership practices in education through instructional rounds. He has dedicated his professional life as a teacher, principal, and superintendent to the belief that all students deserve better. In this pursuit, he has turned around urban and suburban school districts, receiving multiple honors and awards.  

During his tenure as superintendent of the Cambridge Public Schools, the district was honored as one of the most improved school systems in the state by the Educational Quality and Accountability agency of the governor’s office. As superintendent of the 32,000-student Fort Wayne urban school district, Tom was honored by Governor Frank O’Bannon with the highest citizen leadership honor awarded by the state of Indiana. Other distinctions include twice being honored by the Massachusetts State Department of Education for exceptional leadership and vision, selection as a model of school corporation success by the International Centre for Leadership in Education and by the National School Board Association, and identification by the Wallace Foundation as being among the top school superintendents in the nation.  

Additional open-source resources for facilitators are available at www.instructionalrounds.com or by contacting the author at tfowlerfin@gmail.com.

"Five Top Challenges for New Leaders of Instructional Rounds" by Thomas Fowler-Finn

Instructional Rounds: Professional Development Through Observation (Education Week)

E-book available through online booksellers

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