Introduction: As principals, we need to find ways to extend the concept of cognitive engagement to teachers. How can we ensure that our teachers are cognitively engaged in their own professional growth, reflection, and learning? This spotlight highlights resources and helpful strategies that principals can use in their buildings in meaningful and sustainable ways.
Focus: Cognitive Engagement for Teachers
Target Audience: Principals, Instructional Coaches
Strategy: Accountable Talk for Faculty Meetings
Accountable Talk®, developed by the Institute of Learning at the university of Pittsburgh, is a strategy to engage individuals (administrators, teachers, students, etc.) in meaningful discussion that construct or deepen learning. As an administrator, this strategy can help frame discussions during faculty meetings to focus on professional learning and to dig deeper into new strategies. This strategy supports individuals sharing ideas, listening to others’ ideas, deepening understanding of a topic, and/or establishing a productive discussion environment. Using the protocol and the graphic organizer, teachers first reflect on their own ideas, engage in discussion in small groups and take note on what other members of the group shared, and then reflect on their initial ideas and on the ideas that were shared by the other small group members. The conclusion to the discussion is a whole-group share out of ideas and reflection on the process.
Resources: The resources include a discussion graphic organizer, example of discussion protocol, and the link to the Institute for Learning’s Accountable Talk® Sourcebook for additional strategies. The discussion graphic organizer can be used to discuss a text or video or share perspectives of pre-existing knowledge or understanding. If the discussion were based on the close reading of a text for example, the administrator/teacher leader would need to modify the protocol for extended time at the introduction. As is the case with all things related to education, adapt and revise these tools based on your school’s context and needs.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Associate Education Consultant
Educator Effectiveness & Professional Learning
Connecticut State Department of Education
165 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) email@example.com