We feel it's important to make this distinction (we are not trying to choose between layers, but instead that the real choices are within the layers), because of dozens of comments we've heard over the last year while conducting research projects across the state. We've heard over and over again about how teachers are confused because their district has recently chosen an instructional practices framework when they're already using Gradual Release of Responsibility, the STAR Protocol, or any number of instructional strategies. Using Thanksgiving dinner as an analogy, we're going to try and illustrate why there really isn't a conflict in the decision described above and how the different layers of instructional support are complementary.
Professional Practices Framework = Main Course
Instructional Framework = Starchy Side Course
Instructional Models = Beverages
Instructional Strategies = Desserts
Main Course: Professional Practices Framework
Starchy Side Course: Instructional Framework
You may have noticed that the side dish choice was between mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice. The choice was NOT between mashed potatoes and turkey. That choice would be silly. Imagine a Thanksgiving dinner where the conversation went like this: "Well, you know, we decided to have turkey this year, so we're not going to have mashed potatoes." That would be a disappointing and, above all, unnecessary choice. The choice between turkey, ham, or salmon as the main course was already made. This choice, for the side dish, was between mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or rice pilaf.
Over the last year, when we've heard people refer to the fact that they selected a professional practices framework (i.e. main course) to guide there evaluation process and therefore are no longer going to use their existing instructional framework (i.e. side dish), it's very much the same choice. What you actually ought to be paying attention to is not selecting one or the other, but that you have made a choice for each of these and that the two choices are aligned with each other.
Beverages: Instructional Models
Desserts: Instructional Strategies
Note also, the meal would not be complete if any one of the courses were missing. Mashed potatoes, some beverages, and desserts just doesn't seem like a complete Thanksgiving dinner, does it? No, we need a the turkey also.
Enjoy a Complete Dinner
Uses a graphic to provide some clarity around instructional terminology.
Part 1: Coming to Terms with the New State Teacher Evaluation System
Explore the differences between a professional practices framework and an instructional framework.