Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Anthony Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Barbara Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Walter Campbell, Ed.D.

Keywords

Walkthroughs, Walk-throughs, Learning Walks, Teacher Evaluation, Instructional Practice, Superintendent

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perceptions and reflections of former and current superintendents of suburban public school districts throughout the state of New Jersey regarding their districts’ use of classroom walkthroughs as a means to improve instructional practice. Comprehensive, in-person, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight superintendents. The participants were purposefully selected based on their qualifications, their willingness to participate in the study, and their experience using the walkthrough protocol.

Utilizing interview questions that were steered by the study’s three overarching research questions, the researcher was able to delve deeply into the perceptions and reflections of the eight participants pertaining to the value of walkthrough implementation. Through the process of qualitative data analysis, congruent categories and themes were constructed. These categories and themes allowed the researcher to take an exorbitant amount of qualitative data and convert it into a narrative that ultimately addressed each of this study’s three research questions.

This study identified fundamental categories and themes that are associated with classroom walkthroughs. Key walkthrough components include length and frequency, data collection, non-evaluative intent, look-fors, and feedback. Possible obstacles to walkthrough implementation include time, prioritization, and trust. Instructional leadership practices associated with walkthroughs include coaching, professional development, data-driven decision-making, visibility, and culture building. Overwhelmingly, all eight superintendents supported the notion that when used correctly, walkthrough implementation is an effective strategy to improve instructional practice.

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