Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The use of classroom walk-through observations as a strategy to improve teaching and learning: An administrative perspective
by Weller, Mark J., Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2010, 153; 3389732
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to identify the possible use of structured classroom walk-through observations as a strategy to improve teaching and learning. A wide variety of programs and initiatives have recently been implemented across the country to improve student achievement. One such initiative is classroom walk-through observations. Classroom walk-through observations are briefly performed by school administrators to gauge the effectiveness of instruction in each classroom. The walk-through observation gives teachers and administrators a snapshot of teaching and learning aspects throughout the school over time. This research was done collaboratively with Leslie McEntire and Tom Sorensen. The research team investigated three middle schools from one district in the Midwestern United States.

Over a two-year period of time, administrators from these schools performed 1,052 classroom walk-through observations. The data from these observations were collected and analyzed to determine potential relationships between the independent and dependent variables. The dependent variables were MAP scores in Communication Arts and Math, discipline referrals, summer school placement, and student retention at grade level. The independent variable was the ABC School District classroom observation data and results.

The findings of the study revealed a potential correlation in all areas analyzed. MAP scores in the area of Communication Arts and Math increased across the board, while discipline referrals, summer school placement, and retention decreased at all three middle schools during the time studied. However, these correlations were not statistically significant. Additional programs and practices that were implemented over the period of time studied were not factored into the study.

My differentiation to the study was to analyze the research and data from an administrative perspective. As an assistant principal, I have performed the classroom walk-through observations and used them as an instructional tool for teacher improvement. I attempted to determine the potential relationship between the independent variable and each dependent variable while also providing an improved and systematic approach to performing classroom walk-through observations. My research concluded that while classroom walk-through observations can help improve teaching practices and learner outcomes, there exists a limitation which is that many more factors than classroom walk-through observations may have contributed to significant academic gains.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bice, Cynthia J.
Commitee: Burse, Velma, Coffey, Monica, Oldani, John
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Educational evaluation, School administration
Keywords: Classroom observations, Missouri Assessment Program
Publication Number: 3389732
ISBN: 978-1-109-56597-3
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