Innovation/Instruction Matrix

//Innovation/Instruction Matrix

Innovation/Instruction Matrix

Gary Waddell (from the San Mateo County Office of Education) has prepared a matrix of sorts to help teachers figure out where they fall in the intersection of innovation and instruction. His matrix (taken from here) is below.  Where do you think you fall?

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The X axis maps teachers’ instructional skills and their depth of understanding of standards and capacity with a broad range of teaching strategies. Those who excel know their students well, understand them as individuals and are skillful at designing culturally relevant, engaging instruction for diverse learners.

The Y axis maps teachers’ skills at innovating through technology. The savviest of teachers will have a flexible and evolving knowledge of powerful tools, are comfortable in deploying them with students, and have a keen sense of when technology will deepen student learning.

Quadrant One: Innovator/Master Teacher

High Instructional Skill

High Innovation Skill/Mindset

Achieving Innovator/Master Teacher status is the goal for every teacher. These teachers are remarkable in their instructional skill and repertoire, content mastery, knowledge of their students and their needs, and are adept at personalizing learning and expanding the walls of the classroom through innovative application of technology.

Professional development and support for these teachers is critical. But too often, these teachers are left to their own devices (pun intended) by administrators who have to address more pressing needs from teachers in the other three quadrants. This is a mistake, as the nurturing and support of Master Teachers not only enhances their growth, but also signals something important systemically about where instructional priorities lie and what matters in a school.

Quadrant Two: Traditionalist

High Instructional Skill

Low Innovation Skill/Mindset

Traditionalists know their academic content and are effective in delivering traditional instruction, but are not comfortable or skilled with using instructional technology. Some of these teachers may simply not be convinced that it is the most useful means of moving students forward. Supporting this teacher is key as we want to build on their strengths.

The professional development opportunity with these teachers is centered around increasing their knowledge of powerful, proven innovations and tools. This also means providing peer coaching and modeling technologies that can be implemented in the broader context of instruction to personalize and deepen learning.

Quadrant Three: Technologist

Low Instructional Skill

High Innovation Skill/Mindset

Technologists are quite comfortable with a wide range of instructional technology tools and resources and deploy them consistently. What differentiates this teacher from the Innovator/Master Teacher is that their work is not grounded in mastery of content standards or impactful instructional strategies. Students may be engaged, but learning is hit-or-miss as the instruction occurs without a broader instructional framework.

Technologists needs support in building a strong curricular framework for their practice. They need to build knowledge of standards and a wide range of instructional methods into which they can thoughtfully weave technology-based solutions. This can happen though professional development, peer coaching, and supportive supervision.

Quadrant Four: Emergent

Low Instructional Skill

Low Innovation Skill/Mindset

The Emergent Teacher lacks facility along either axis. This teacher may be new to the profession or may simply experience challenges related to both axes and is often the focus of traditional improvement efforts.

The challenge is to provide the right intensive support, training and supervision that this teacher needs with allowing them to consume all of the support and development “oxygen” in the environment. It is too common to allow emergent teachers to be the sole focus of supervision and support, leaving those who are in the other quadrants (particularly master teachers) to their own devices, and this is a mistake. Providing just-in-time support while also assessing growth over time and providing appropriate supervision and evaluation are key to ensure that continual growth is underway.

By | 2017-09-12T11:23:48+00:00 January 7th, 2016|ePortal|0 Comments

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