by Donald S. Kachur, Judith A. Stout and Claudia L. Edwards, Eye on Education, Larchmont, N.Y., 2010, 169 pp. with index, $39.95 softcover
Classroom Walkthroughs to Improve Teaching and Learning is the book for school administrators interested in adopting a method of classroom observation aligned with coaching. Based on collaboration and focused on student engagement, this book serves as a useful guide in developing a walk-through model personalized to individual school culture and instructional needs.
The text contains a detailed comparison of 18 walk-through models, known by a variety of names -- learning walks, instructional walks, focus walks and walkabouts. The comparison is organized around themes including student performance, teacher involvement, data collection and record keeping and follow-up. For each method described, the authors include information pertaining to its associated research base, citing both quantitative and qualitative data.
The walkthroughs featured in the text are linked to technology use. Excellent resources regarding record keeping, summarizing and analyzing, and providing feedback are provided. These resources include links to websites with descriptions of software and hardware applications. Those who purchase the text are given free access to a classroom walk-through model matrix on the publisherÕs website.
Because of the thorough examination of walk-throughs, this book could be a useful work for administrators who desire faculty involvement in decision making relevant to classroom observation practices, while realizing successful decision making is predicated on an understanding of relevant literature and data.
Reviewed by Ronald A. Styron Jr., director, Gulf Coast Instructional Leadership Center, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, Miss.