Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.



Opening Doors to Equity

A Practical Guide to Observation-Based Professional Learning

This compelling book is a call to action, focused on team observation-based professional learning to elevate teaching practice and support student educational attainment.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452292236
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: November 21, 2014

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


The transformative professional learning design that advances equity in your school!

How do we make educational equity a reality, lesson by lesson? This compelling book is a call to action, focused on observation-based professional learning to elevate teaching practice.

Learn how to bring team observation into the classroom to test, refine and transform instruction so that students of all backgrounds achieve. Ideal for classroom teachers, grade-level team facilitators, department chairs, and all education leaders, this guide shows how to:

  • Create a culture of deep collaboration that closes opportunity gaps among students
  • Effectively redesign instruction to reach culturally and linguistically diverse learners, using observation data and shared best practices
  • Center instructional conversations on developing students’ skills for college and career success, including hard-to-assess skills

Including video clips of actual teams, Tonya Ward Singer’s powerful and practical book promises to become a catalyst that will inspire educators as leaders of positive change.

"This exceptionally valuable book provides a clear process I can use to engage with my colleagues around learning. I appreciated the ideas and practical information that will ensure that my professional learning group focuses on student learning as evidenced in real lessons. The tools that Tonya Singer provides are useful and relevant, not to mention tried and true.”
Douglas Fisher, Professor
San Diego State University, CA

“I recommend this book without hesitation. . . Gone are the days for teachers to be working ‘behind closed doors’ . . . Go forth and TEACH like the world works––collaboratively with teams!”
Harriet Gould, Adjunct Professor
Concordia University, Lincoln, NE

Key features

(1) Provides a step-by-step guide to moving collaborative inquiry from the staff room to the classroom by engaging teachers in a peer observation process.

(2) Includes a number of ready-to-use activities to help teachers develop trust, observe and debrief live lessons, transfer their learning to practice, and measure the outcomes of their inquiry work.

(3) Includes tools and handouts for faciliators and teachers including writing a high-leverage challenge area, scheduling time for inquiry, leading the Pre-Lesson meeting, individual goal setting and team agreements.

(4) Includes video clips of actual teams to illustrate and practice essentials of the process.

(5) Emphasizes the use of classroom-based instruction to support language and literacy goals for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

(6) Approach lends itself to Common Core State Standards implementation efforts.

(7) Honors and respects teachers as professionals with a deep motivation for improving their instructional practices.



Tonya Ward Singer photo

Tonya Ward Singer

Tonya Ward Singer, M.F.A., is a professional learning leader with a deep commitment to ensuring diverse learners excel with rigorous expectations. She consults nationally helping K-12 educators realize new possibilities in language and literacy learning to close opportunity gaps for ELs and students in poverty.

Tonya has taught at multiple grade levels as a classroom teacher, reading teacher, and EL specialist, and has extensive experience helping school leaders transform learning at scale. Her choice work is supporting educators in launching and sustaining site-based, continuous inquiry around live lessons. She has been collaborating extensively with multiple districts developing, testing, and refining observation inquiry, the focus of this book.

An expert in pedagogy for linguistically diverse learners, Tonya has co-authored curriculum for international publishers including Scholastic, Longman and Oxford University Press. She thrives on leveraging research and innovation to solve educational challenges, and inspiring others to do the same.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Author

Chapter 1 A Call to Action

Reaching Every Child in 21st-Century Schools

A Rationale for Observing Together

Professional Learning for Equity

Beyond the Elephant

Chapter 2 Observation Inquiry

Observation Inquiry Overview

Collaborative Inquiry in Classrooms Together

Multiple Cycles to Plan-Teach-Observe-Reflect-Plan

Protocols to Foster Deep Collaboration

Getting Started

Chapter 3 Opening Doors: Building Buy-In and Trust

Inspire Action

Honor Fears

Establish Safety

Foster a Growth Mindset

Address Individual Needs

Chapter 4 Asking Questions That Matter

Identifying a Problem to Solve

Aligning With Local Initiatives

Writing a Problem of Practice

Asking Questions to Drive Inquiry

Facilitation Challenges and Solutions

Chapter 5 Planning for Inquiry

Goals for Student Learning

Assessment and Success Criteria

Planning Instruction

Facilitation Tips for Efficient, Effective Team Planning

Chapter 6 Observing Together

Focusing the Observation: The Prelesson Meeting

Taking Notes in a Lesson

Formative Evidence Examples

Using Video

Chapter 7 Describing and Analyzing What We Observed

Step 1: Describe Without Judgment

Step 2: Organize Data

Step 3: Make Generalizations

Teach and Practice the Protocol

Chapter 8 From Observation to Action

Step 4: Link Cause and Effect

Step 5: Apply Learning to Plan

Step 6: Set Individual and Team Goals

Chapter 9 Deepening Learning Across Multiple Lessons

Building From Lesson to Lesson

Kindergarten: Advancing Collaborative Conversations About Texts

Second Grade: Deepening Insights About Language

Middle School: Elevating Thinking Across the Content Areas

Strategies for Facilitating Deep Learning

Chapter 10 Evaluating and Expanding Our Impact

What Have Students Learned?

What Have Teachers Learned?

How Do We Expand Learning Beyond the Team?

How Do We Sustain Continuous Learning?


Appendix A Launching Observation Inquiry

Appendix B Easy Protocol Reference





Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.

Related Resources

  • Access to companion resources is available with the purchase of this book.