Equity Walks™

The Equity Walk™ Protocol is a specifically designed process for classroom observation focusing on student engagement, data collection and debriefing dialogues with the teacher with the intent to eliminate the achievement gap.

The four steps in the protocol are:
Pre Protocol Decision – 6 to 8 min.
Protocol Orientation – 6 to 8 min.
Classroom Equity Walk (observation) -15 min.
Equity Walk Debrief – 20 min.

Prior to engaging this process, the principal should provide an overview of the goals of the Equity Walk Protocol to the entire staff. The principal should emphasize that the protocol is a coaching model for helping teachers with student engage the teaching and learning process and is not an evaluation tool. Clear communication will promote trust and an understanding of the process.

Student Observation Model

Pre-protocol Decision:

In this stage of the protocol, the principal and/or coach meet with the teacher to establish a trusting relationship and to determine the focus of the observation. The teacher determines what behaviors are to be observed and recorded. Both the principal and teacher agree on the procedures of the observation, date and time for the observation, and the time for the post-conference schedule.

Protocol Orientation:

In the orientation stage, the coach and teacher determine which data collection tool to use for the identified behavior. Once the tool is identified, they review how the data will be recorded. The teacher selects the student(s) to be observed and a seating chart is provided so that the identified student can be easily located in the class.

Classroom Equity Walk

The coach observes the identified student(s) in the classroom, using the appropriate observation tool and records the information.

The observation tools that may be used in this protocol are:

At Task: This tool was developed by Frank McGaw at Stanford University. With this tool, the coach observes the student and uses a specific code to collect the data to determine if the student is on or off task for a specific period of time.

Verbal Flow: This tool records the verbal interactions between the teacher and the student(s). Very specific verbal interactions are recorded to determine levels of instructional rigor and student responses to questioning.

Physical Movement/Proximity: This tool helps determine the nature of the proximity and teacher movement patterns as it relates to student attentiveness or engagement.

Selective Verbatim:Unlike verbal flow, this tool records the actual content of the communication, especially teacher questions.

Data Analysis of the Observation:

The coach analyzes the collected and recorded data to determine the results. The coach looks for patterns in the data and generates a data display to showcase the pattern. Summary statements can also be generated about the recorded data.

Equity Walk De-brief

During this stage of the protocol the coach and teacher discuss the results of the observation, study the data, and determine the next step strategies. The coach uses a variety of “cueing” strategies or questions to promote the teacher reflection and to solicit teacher empowerment to find solutions to the concern. The strategies should be teacher generated.