Now 6.9 million lessons at Stockholm’s municipal schools can systematically become even better

More than 6.9 million lessons are carried out each academic year in Stockholm’s municipal schools. It is now possible for all Stockholm principals and teachers to focus even more systematically on developing the quality of teaching.
BRAVOLesson has signed an agreement with the City of Stockholm, which makes BRAVOLesson an optional service on the Stockholm Digital Learning Resources Software Bank.

A systematic approach – download our whitepaper

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Lesson observations for 7 out of 10 teachers per school during 2nd week of October

Part 1
Kunskapsgymnasiet’s systematic approach to improve teaching

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The principal and the deputy principal at each school will conduct observations during the second week in October and during the last week in April 2020. The aim is for at least 7 out of 10 teachers to be observed in each school during those weeks. The result from observation 1 will be analysed using BRAVOLesson. Strengths and areas for development will be defined and used in the work for systematic school improvement.

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Image. Graphs generated in BRAVOLesson for each dimension in an observation form – for analysis, reflection and improvement.

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The result of observation 2 in April will be used to see the progress in the quality of teaching identified in the areas for development in observation 1. In addition to these two observation sessions, continuous lesson observations will be conducted throughout the school year.

     – The overall aim of our school improvement work is always to increase the students’ learning and results. To achieve this, the aim is to develop our teaching together in a systematic and structured way, says Petter Enlund, Pedagogy and Development Manager at Kunskapsgymnasiet.

 

“… the aim is to develop our teaching together in a systematic and structured way.”

Petter Enlund, Kunskapsgymnasiet

 

This term the new way of working starts with:

  1. All principals and deputy principals receive their own accounts and an introduction to BRAVOLesson.
  2. Lessons have been recorded on video. The principals from all seven schools observe the videos together with the help of the BRAVOLesson tool to discuss and calibrate how they perceive what is the quality of the different dimensions of good teaching according to Kunskapsgymnasiet’s joint observation form.
  3. During second week of October lesson observations will be conducted at each school.

Already towards the end of Friday afternoon that week, all the principals and Petter Enlund have the opportunity to start analysing the statistics in BRAVOLesson. What does the teaching at each school look like and what does it look like overall?

     – The observations are intended to serve as a good basis for discussions about how to improve teaching at all our schools, but also between schools, between teachers and principals as well as between teachers and teachers, says Petter Enlund.

The next part about Kunskapsgymnasiet’s systematic approach to improve teaching will be about insights after October and their evidence-based observation form.

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The Lesson Calculator – 100 Million lessons are about to be taught. How many lessons will be taught at your school?

A new school year is starting
Teachers will be creating learning opportunities together with their pupils and students. Millions of lessons will be taught before the school year ends in the summer of 2020. In a country like Sweden with a population of 10 million this adds up to more than 100 million lessons.

 

“… 100 Million lessons. What if all lessons can be systematically improved based on evidence and research to become better and better. What an opportunity for increased job satisfaction and improved student results!”

 

The Lesson Calculator
Use The Lesson Calculator for free to see how many lessons that can be systematically improved per school year at your school?

 

8 key questions for discussion
When you use The Lesson Calculator you can also download our guide that includes amongst other things eight key questions for discussion while creating a plan to systematically improve teaching.

 

Good luck with the new school year!
From the BRAVOLesson Team

 

TRY THE LESSON CALCULATOR

 

 

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Part 6 of 10. The process from lesson observations through to the appraisal meetings with the teachers

Meet principal Sven-Erik Berg who has created a
systematic process from lesson observations
to the appraisal meetings

This is about how Sven-Erik Berg at Stenbackeskolan in Uddevalla, step by step since 2014, has created his structure to have both insight and overview of the entire learning process that he is responsible for leading. This is about how he has become more and more focused on, and how he can now personally follow, what really takes place in the students’ learning processes.

In 2014, Sven-Erik began to focus more on the entire teaching process. In 2015, he started to use the Swedish School Inspection’s form for lesson observations to analyse what is happening in the classroom, both from the pupils’ and teachers’ perspective. In 2018 he decided on using BRAVOLesson.

The process from classroom visits to appraisal meetings
    – I have chosen to put the form and documentation for the appraisal meetings into BRAVOLesson to ensure that I can make and analyse feedback from these meetings over time. It is also a very good compilation of the professional conversations along with the lesson observation and there is a portfolio for each teacher inside the system. In the conversation, we link it together with the teacher’s own view and outcome. We reflect together and decide on new individual focus areas for what to improve using the objectives module in BRAVOLesson. 

 

“. . .  it spread in the staff room when several explained that it felt like you were allowed to participate with your own reflections for real.”

Why did you choose BRAVOLesson?
     – When we learned about BRAVOLesson, it seemed obvious to try to create a core school improvement structure. It gives me, as a legally responsible principal, a tool where I can gather all documentation, objectives, planning and fulfillment for each individual teacher,  says Sven-Erik.
    – I myself choose the focus area for each period or term which is then the base for what observation points that we use. In BRAVOLesson I can also add video clips that we then use in the follow-up conversation with the individual teacher, for a team or for all staff..

How was it to get started with BRAVOLesson?
     – After some communication back and forth before the decision, all that was needed were email addresses for all staff and to choose observation forms from BRAVOLesson’s online library. The platform is easy to understand and easy to use. There is a help function inside BRAVOLesson which I sometimes use to understand how to use the different features.
     – During spring I used an observation form that is based mostly on the Swedish School Inspection’s observation form. All teachers have had at least one visit.

How have the teachers reacted to the system and your focus?
     – At first, some teachers were a bit uncertain, but it spread in the staff room when several explained that it felt like you were allowed to participate with your own reflections for real. All teachers have also been video-filmed to watch each other’s films together as part of collaborative learning.

What has BRAVOLesson led to so far – what effect has it had?
     – I myself have experienced my work more professionally. The structure that BRAVOLesson offers helps me to document, plan and follow up on all employees and their learning and development process. I have done lesson visits when I looked at the teachers’ lesson plan in advance and used an observation form that was mostly designed based on the School Inspectorate form. All teachers have had at least one visit. This has given us a more comprehensive pedagogical dialogue that has led to joint decisions on changes in our processes and classrooms.

“This summer I can go on vacation and feel that my pedagogical leadership is in place. It will be clear and easy to start the next school year in August. ”

Principal Sven-Erik at Stenbackeskolan has a single-user licens
He has been inspired by the BRAVOLesson library with observation templates. 

Related Stories

Part 5 of 10. Improve teaching in every classroom by thinking about the dimensions that make a difference

BRAVOLesson blog May 3rd 
All pupils and students deserve fantastic teaching
and all teachers deserve constructive feedback!
That is the core of school improvement.

 

 A systematic approach to improve teaching. Our ten part series continues – this is part 5.

Few other professionals get so little feedback as Western teachers according to an article in the magazine The Economist. Surveys in Sweden and our market research in other Nordic countries as well as in continental Europe point in the same direction. ***
Part 5 adresses two things, how schools use an observation template and alternative “thinking” that leads to improvements that affect the students’ learning in all classrooms as of the first semester.

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate’s observation template is the most commonly used observation template for lesson observations in Swedish schools. Their template is based on research on what are the dimensions of good teaching – general-didactic qualities.

Many think and work like this
Many people perceive The Swedish Schools Inspectorate’s observation template as very extensive. This means that those who use it often make notes in the observation template around certain parts individually for a teacher, around other parts individually for the next teacher and partly other parts individually for a third teacher. See the illustration below.

Alternative thinking – a more systematic approach

“Now, all teachers at our school / in our municipality will together become really skilled at some of the most important dimensions of good teaching to support the students’ learning. We will focus on one dimension at a time.”

This approach is based on the following conditions and ambitions

  • Collaborative learning is the objective, but at the same time, the principal is legally responsible for ensuring that the teaching is of high quality throughout the school.
  • If feedback to teachers is a neglected area then let us start with what can make a big difference in a short time.
  • To take the first step in a way where we use reasonable amount of time to make sure that it will happen. 

To carry this out you can develop a plan and use different observation templates for how to take one dimension at a time during a couple of academic years. All observations during one semester have a specific focus and another focus during the following semester. Along this route you also move more and more towards individual teacher feedback.

Possible steps – one dimension at a time

  • The structure of teaching – the beginning and the end of the lesson.
  • Teachers’ leadership in the classroom. Without the leadership and strategies for a learning environment “teaching” and learning does not take place.
  • Teachers’ skills around asking student questions.
  • Teachers’ formative approach in the classroom.

You will find examples for all these four areas in our open library with different templates for lesson observations. Templates that all can be selected and used in BRAVOLesson.

It is, among other things, about how you can write a plan for this thinking that you can read about in our Guide to implement a systematic approach to improve teaching. Download it via the button below.
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* The Economist (June 11th – 17th). How to make a good teacher.  : 13, 21-24. 2016.
**    Skolledaren/Lärarnas Riksförbunds lärarpanel. Den osynlige rektorn. 2017
**  Successful Schools Swedens/BRAVOLessons undersökning via  Novus. Konstruktiv feedback kring undervisning. 2016 
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We hope you will follow our series! It will continue until the summer of 2019 with one new part every two weeks.

Greetings from the BRAVOLesson Team

Download our free white paper

 

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

+46 (0)10 - 516 40 90

Part 4 of 10. This is how schools and school districts handle the first and biggest challenge

BRAVOLesson blog April 5th 
All pupils and students deserve fantastic teaching 
and all teachers deserve constructive feedback! 
That is the core of school improvement.

 

 A systematic approach to improve teaching. Our ten part series continues – this is part 4.

Some schools and municipalities/school districts get going with a systematic approach and others do not. We have previously described that feedback to teachers is not only about systematics but also about collaborating and improving together – to be recognised as a teacher and experience increased work satisfaction. To get to that, we have recognised a pattern; It is about systematics and a concrete plan.
Those who get going start by creating a plan and then being transparent about What to do and How. They hand out responsibilities, set goals, work collaboratively and follow up. Nothing is new under the sun.

In our previous blog we adressed the 4 + 2 challenges to achieve systematic focus on how to improve teaching. The first challenge is to prioritise – to prioritise, organise and to use time for working with one of the key characteristics of successful school. ***  

“All schools work with school improvement, but very few schools have a concrete plan for how to improve teaching systematically.”

Download our example
In our guide there is an example of a plan that helps you tackle the 4 + 2 challenges for systematic feedback to teachers – for their own reflection on teaching. The plan is based on the principal’s legal responsibility for the quality of the teaching. It also has the objective of achieving collaborative learning – that, it step by step, becomes natural for teachers to give and receive feedback in order to systematically develop the teaching together. Download our example via the link below.

PS. We know that we have used the word “systematically” seven times in this blog. Sorry!… however, that’s just the right word.

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*** Sources:
Hargreaves, A. & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Leithwood, Jantz & Steinbach (2002) Changing Leadership for Changing Times. Buckingham: Open University Press

_______________________________

We hope you will follow our series! It will continue until the summer of 2019 with one new part every two weeks.

Greetings from the BRAVOLesson Team

Download our free white paper

 

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

+46 (0)10 - 516 40 90

Part 3 of 10. The four + two key challenges for a systematic approach to improve teaching

BRAVOLesson blog March 14th 
All pupils and students deserve fantastic teaching 
and all teachers deserve constructive feedback! 
That is the core of school improvement.

 

 A systematic approach to improve teaching. Our ten part series continues – this is part 3.

Our survey, carried out in Sweden, included questions to 
primary, secondary and upper secondary school teachers. The survey showed that teaching is a lonely profession, with teachers receiving little support or guidance. 
Only every tenth teacher gets feedback on their teaching from a school leader, a colleague or a coach. OECD Statistics indicate that only every fourth teacher gets perspective on their own and their colleagues teaching. ***

 

This means:

  • A fantastic opportunity for education and schools!
  • There are schools already successfully working with a systematic approach already.


This leads to questions like: How do they think and what do they do?  
We wanted to get answers to the these questions and we subsequently organised a conference, ”Öppna klassrumsdörrarna” (”Open the classroom doors”), in Stockholm in April 2018. Researchers, experts, experienced school leaders and teachers met to share their experiences. When we reviewed the experiences together with other things that research has shown to be important dimensions of good teaching, we could conclude the following:                                                                                                                             

 

Their are four + two key challenges for successful implementation of systematic approach:                     

  1. Trust

  2. Time and priorities
  3. Evidence-based systematics 

  4. The quality of the feedback                                                                                         
    You also need to:    
  1. Be sure that agreed work will be completed     
  2. Be able to measure progress – the dimensions that have been successful and which still need to be developed                 


Our white paper helps you to tackle these four + two key challenges.

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*** Sources:
– Successful Schools Swedens/BRAVOLessons survey via Novus. Konstruktiv feedback kring undervisning. 2016
– How to make a good teacher.  The Economist (June 11th – 17th): 13, 21-24. 2016.

_____________________________

We hope you will follow our series! It will continue until the summer of 2019 with one new part every two weeks. 

Greetings from the BRAVOLesson Team

Download our free white paper

 

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

+46 (0)10 - 516 40 90

BRAVOLesson white paper – A guide on how to implement a systematic approach to improve teaching

Leads to concrete improvements in teaching already during the first term

This guide is for schools, school districts and municipalities. It is about the core of school improvement: focus on improving teaching through lesson observations, collaborative learning and effective feedback to teachers.

It contains a plan that leads to concrete improvements in teaching already during the first term. A plan for how to implement systematics during two academic years with the goal of developing both teaching, student results and job satisfaction.

The guide deals with the key challenges for systematic ways of providing feedback to teachers:

  • Trust
  • Time & Priorities
  • Evidence-based systematics
  • The quality of the feedback

Download the white paper here

 

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Teacher leadership in the classroom – New BRAVOLesson partnership with Professor Marcus Samuelsson

Successful teachers manage to both teach their students to learn and to develop both knowledgeably and socially. Research shows that this success is the result of these teachers’ carefully planning, implementing and reviewing their teaching –classroom leadership.
Marcus Samuelson, leg. teacher in craft and professor at Högskolan i Väst, has researched successful leadership in the classroom. He has recently published a book with practical guidance for classroom leaders. He states there is always a leader in the classroom, if it´s not the teacher, then students take over that role.

New evidence-based observation form
Marcus and BRAVOLesson have now released a new evidence-based form for lesson observations and feedback to teachers. A tool that helps to develop teaching by focusing on the key characteristics of successful classroom leadership.

Package of three copies of the book and
the observation form inside BRAVOLesson
BRAVOLesson is now starting a collaboration with Marcus Samuelsson and together with him we offer a package with the new observation form in combination with three copies of the book Lärandets ordning och reda.
The observation form can then be used inside BRAVOLesson.

Check out parts of the observation form

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Hallstahammar municipality introduces digital support for lesson observations for all teachers and principals

Since 2016, the principals in Hallstahammar have worked with systematic lesson observations and coaching together with their teachers. Teachers feel encouraged and get support in developing their leadership and teaching.

The municipality is now building on this work. All teachers and principals are given access to a web-based solution for lesson observations and collaborative learning. By digitising their work and further systematising it through simple tools they expect further school development.

The principals can develop and execute their pedagogical leadership more systematically. “We see that BRAVOLesson can streamline our work and involve teachers more in the conversation around lesson observations.” Anna Landehag, primary school director at Hallstahammar.

Other new customers include:

Kunskapsskolan i Tumba. Within Kunskapsskolan, they have two different observation templates: one for lessons and one for the mentor meetings between a teacher and their students. These observation templates will now be used by all teachers when they continue to work on systematically developing their teaching.

Filipstad municipality. Filipstad is one of the few municipalities that has improved student results in recent years. A significant reason for this is systematic lesson observations since 2010. Now they take the next step as all the principals will start using BRAVOLesson to develop teaching together with their teachers.

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

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Now we open the classroom doors! Stockholm 26/4

Welcome to our national conference on the most untapped opportunity for Swedish schools…to increase job satisfaction and improve student results via feedback to teachers.

The conference’s main focus is on how teachers, school leaders and principals work systematically to develop teaching. This is to help students achieve their goals. It will also cover how to work with collaborative learning and lesson observations. Furthermore, additional focus will be paid to practical research and how national initiatives support for systematic career development in schools.

You are not born to a good teacher. Good teachers develop over time on their own and together with collaboration. The teaching profession is an art that becomes better and better over time. It is about having a degree as a base and then: experience, feedback, training, observing other skilled teachers, absorbing new insights from research, experimenting, developing personal experience, further feedback and training.

In other words, systematic observations, documentation and shared reflection are building structures for developing learning which is one of the most important assignments for leadership.

But only 11 percent of teachers in primary and secondary schools receive feedback on their teaching according to a Novus 2016/2017 study. An OECD survey TALIS (by 2013), found that 32 percent of teachers in Sweden have never received any feedback on their teaching.

Target audience: teachers, principals, decision makers, researchers and authorities.

Location: Musical, Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, i.e. the premises of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music where the Nobel Prize award ceremony took place in the early 1900’s.

Date: 26/4 kl. 08.30 – 17.00.

Panel participants: Johanna Jaara Åstrand, Lärarförbundet (Teacher Union), Åsa Fahlén, Lärarnas Riksförbund (Teacher Union) and Matz Nilsson, Skolledarförbundet (School Leadership Union) will all be participating in the conference.

Organisers: Foundation DIU, Future Learning and BravoLesson/Successful Schools

Contact persons: Peter Becker, DIU, contact number: 070-710 4453 and Mats Rosenkvist, Successful Schools, contact number: 070-957 4780

Fee: 3,950 kr including coffee, lunch and documentation (excluding VAT). Register two or more participants at the same time from the same school/organisation and the fee is reduced SEK 3,450 kr. Price from 180403 is SEK 4,950 and 4,450.

Limited number of seats available.

Read more about the conference and sign up your team here.

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

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Another three school districts have chosen BRAVOLesson for all schools

We are happy to welcome many new customers during the autumn and along the start of a new term. We are pleased that more and more individual schools choose to focus on better and better teaching.

Schools that previously had licenses for the principals choose to connect with individual accounts for all teachers. With BRAVOLesson, they have ambitions to improve collaborative learning and improve teaching together.

In addition, three school districts/municipalities in Sweden – Filipstad, Perstorp and Säffle – BRAVOLesson will be used by all principals as part of their focus on systematic school improvement.

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

+46 (0)10 - 516 40 90

Meet us at BETT – 24-27 Januari 2018

Do you want to discuss how to improve teaching – lesson observations and collaborative learning? Meet BRAVOLesson at BETT in London. You will find us together with our partner Derventio Education at stand G:390.

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

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Flow chart for focus on better and better teaching

It is possible to improve both the teaching and the students’ results! Teaching can be improved… Focusing on what really happens in the classrooms is, among other things, what research has shown to be one of the characteristics of successful schools.

40 percent of all teachers in the OECD countries have never given or received any feedback (Source: OECD)

A systematic approach to lesson observations, collaborative learning and feedback to teachers is an almost untapped opportunity to improve student outcome in Sweden where only 11 percent of teachers in primary and secondary schools get feedback according to a survey carried out by Novus.

There is no reason to wait. Start NOW and harvest soon. Other schools, school districts and local authorities have already done so.

Download our flowchart to focus on better and better teaching. Share it with others and discuss.

Easy to use online tools to improve teaching 

 

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