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The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through

Changing School Supervisory Practice One Teacher at a Time
Change to a supervision method that impacts student achievement by cultivating self-reliant teachers who are continuously improving their practice.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9780761929673
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2004
  • Page Count: 224
  • Publication date: May 12, 2004

Price: $44.95

Price: $44.95
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Change the entire school culture with this collaborative method of supervision!

For years, the classic supervision model has frustrated both principals and teachers by fostering superior-subordinate relationships, focusing on teacher conformity rather than growth, or producing checklist data that is irrelevant to the curriculum. The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through offers a practical, time-saving alternative that impacts student achievement by cultivating self-reliant teachers who are continuously improving their practice.

Easy to understand and adopt, this method will answer the questions most important to principals:

  • Is the work of my teachers aligned with the district curriculum?
  • Are my teachers using research-based "best practices"?
  • Are they choosing the instructional strategies that will promote student achievement?

Also known as the Downey Walk-through, the method presented in The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through has been developed over a 40-year period, tested and refined in actual teaching environments, and taught internationally.

Also see:
The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through (Multimedia Kit)

Key features

  • Very strong authorship team
  • Emphasize time management, increased feedback for teachers, and a truly collaborative process
  • The book is a very practical approach to the process, proscriptive and applied to make the process easy to understand and adopt.
  • Workshops for the Downey model are currently being offered through Phi Delta Kappa, ACSA, and the Texas Association of School Administrators. The model has also been presented at NSDC.


Carolyn J. Downey photo

Carolyn J. Downey

Carolyn J. Downey is professor emeritus of educational leadership in the College of Education at San Diego State University. She formerly was the superintendent for the Kyrene School District, Phoenix-Tempe, Arizona. Downey has written several books and numerous articles. She is the author of the training program "The Three-Minute Walk-Through and Reflective Feedback for Higher Student Achievement." Her most recent book with Betty E. Steffy, William K. Poston Jr., and Fenwick W. English is 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap. She was the major architect of the CMSI Individual School Audit using the 50 Characteristics for Higher Student Achievement. She is the author of several of the Principal-Teacher Series for Higher Student Achievement training materials. She received her MS from the University of Southern California and her PhD from Arizona State University.
Betty E. Steffy photo

Betty E. Steffy

Betty E. Steffy is a retired professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University. She formerly was a dean of a School of Education at a regional campus of Purdue University and served as deputy superintendent of instruction in the Kentucky Department of Education. She served as a superintendent of schools in New Jersey and as a director of curriculum for a regional educational agency in Pennsylvania. She created the professional development model entitled Life Cycle of the Career Teacher. She is the author/coauthor of ten books in education and numerous articles and symposium papers at UCEA and AERA. She earned her BA, MAT, and EdD from the University of Pittsburgh.
Fenwick W. English photo

Fenwick W. English

Fenwick W. English (Ph.D.) is the R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a position he has held since 2001. As a scholar/practitioner he has held positions as a school principal and superintendent of schools in California and New York and as a department chair, dean, and vice-chancellor of academic affairs at universities in Ohio and Indiana. He is the former President of the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) and of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA). His research has been reported in national and international academic forums. He edited the 2006 SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership and Administration, the 2009 SAGE Library of Educational Thought and Practice: Educational Leadership and Administration; and the 2011 SAGE Handbook of Educational Leadership (2nd Ed.). In 2013, he received the Living Legend Award from NCPEA for his lifetime contribution to the field of educational leadership.

Larry E. Frase photo

Larry E. Frase

Larry E. Frase was professor and department chair of educational leadership in the College of Education at San Diego State University. He was a former superintendent of schools of the Catalina Foothills District in Tucson, Arizona, and is the author, coauthor, or editor of 23 books and 80 professional journal articles. His books include Top Ten Myths in Education; School Management by Wandering Around; and Teacher Compensation and Motivation. He is also coauthor of Walk-Throughs and Reflective Feedback for Higher Student Achievement. He has presented papers at AERA and UCEA. He is a senior lead auditor, having led curriculum audits of 32 school systems, including Oakland, California, and Baltimore, Maryland. Frase earned his EdD at Arizona State University.
William K. Poston, Jr. photo

William K. Poston, Jr.

Learn more about William Poston's PD offerings

William K. Poston Jr. is an Emeritus Professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he served for 17 years. A former math and physics teacher, he accumulated 25 years of experience in educational administration including 15 years as a superintendent in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and in Billings, Montana. His experience includes serving as executive director of the Iowa School Business Management Academy—the licensure program for school business managers in Iowa—for 15 years. He is the originator of curriculum-driven budgeting, and he has led over 75 curriculum audits. Poston has written 13 books and over 40 journal articles and continues to provide extensive service to schools in the areas of evaluation, curriculum management auditing, performance-based budgeting, and organizational quality improvement.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors


1. Understanding the Rationale Underlying the Walk-Through and Reflective Practice Approach

What is the Downey Walk-Through?

Why Walk-Throughs?

The Evolution of the Downey Walk-Through Process

2. Conducting the Walk-Through Observation: A Five-Step Process

The Five-Step Observation Structure

Step 1: Student Orientation to Work

Step 2: Curricular Decision Points

Step 3: Instructional Decision Points

Step 4: "Walk the Walls" - Curricular and Instructional Decisions

Step 5: Safety and Health Issues

3. Moving Staff to Reflective Inquiry: Focusing on the Reflective Question and Conversation

How Do We Provide Direct Feedback?

The Note

A Better Approach-Discussion

Direct Feedback Statement and Conversation

How Do We Provide Indirect Opportunities for Reflective Inquiry?

How Do We Ask Reflective Questions and Carry On the Conversation?

How Do We Ask Reflective Questions and Carry On the Conversation?

The Reflective Conversation

4. Constructing a Taxonomy of Reflective Questions and Their Use in the Classroom Walk-


The Novice/Apprentice

The Professional Teacher

The Expert Teacher

Limitations of the Taxonomy

5. Establishing Logistical Procedures for Implementing the Walk-Through Process

Finding the Time

Preparing Staff, Students, and Parents

Record Keeping

Board Policy to Support Walk-Throughs

6. Cultivating the Culture: Effectuating Change that Works

Lessons Learned About Change in Educational Cultures

Challenges and Barriers to Change

Deciding When to Intervene: The Marginal Teacher

Examples of Successful Implementation: Making the Walk-Through Process Work

Salinas Union High School District, California

Norman Public Schools, Norman, Oklahoma

Durham and Simco County School Boards, Ontario, Canada

Napa Valley Schools, Napa Valley, California

Shawnee Mission School District, Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District, Texas

San Leandro Unified School District, California

San Benito County, California, County Office of Education

Cultivating the Culture: A Final Word

7. Using the Walk-Through Process to Promote a Collaborative, Reflective Culture

Early History

Developmental Supervision and Mentoring

The Teacher as an Adult Learner

Promoting Development

8. Determining Whether Walk-Throughs Are the Right Stuff

Background and History of Management by Wandering Around

Why Are Both a Research and a Theory Base Needed Before Adopting An Innovation?

The MBWA Research Results

The Walk-Through with Reflective Question Research

9. Understanding the Walk-Through as a Discursive Practice

Examining the Dimensions of the Walk-Through

Changing the Discursive Practice of "Corrective" Supervision

Some Issues With the Model

A Pause to Consider Your Specific Situation

Troubleshooting Problems with the Downey Walk-Through

10. Linking the Walk-Through Process to a Model of Teacher Growth

Walk-Throughs and the Teacher Growth Model

The Model

Transformative Learning as it Relates to the Model

Organizational Learning and Transformation

Providing Feedback Conversation for Growth




Price: $44.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.