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What Are Impact Teams?

Impact Teams create the culture and conditions for every teacher every day to answer the question: "What is my impact?" The Impact Teams model is a strengths-based approach that helps teacher teams:

  • Operationalize the highest influences on student learning by focusing on critical learning goals, analyzing evidence, and taking collective action

  • Partner with students to strengthen student ownership of learning and develop assessment-capable learners

  • Engage students in self and peer assessment by embedding formative assessment into the classroom

  • Build a culture of efficacy based on strengths, trust, collaboration, and the use of practical, easy-to-implement protocols


What is the Model Teams Approach?

Impact Teams - Model Team Approach

The Model Team Approach strengthens teacher leadership by developing peer facilitators. Schools will focus first on developing 2-3 Impact Teams that will serve as models for other teams. This approach builds the expertise of teams to:

  • Facilitate an effective team meeting
  • Use protocols to guide Impact Teams Inquiry Cycles
  • Determine quality evidence to understand impact
  • Analyze quality evidence
  • Agree upon collective actions that have the highest impact connected to the Visible Learning influences
  • Expand student ownership of learning

On-Site Training

This model starts with 1-2 customized foundation days, followed by four job-embedded coaching sessions using a gradual release of responsibility from the Impact Team coach to the trained peer facilitator. Team members will gain the skills and expertise to train peers in using the team and classroom protocols, ensuring sustainable growth from within.

By starting small, with two Impact Teams, and developing leadership and facilitation skills in the process, abundant support is provided, missteps are welcomed, feedback flows, and collaborative practices are enhanced. Model Teams serve as a viable resource to move the practice out to other teams in the school.

Step 1: Impact Teams Foundation Days

Step 2: Gradual Release of Responsibility

Step 3: Content Coaching



Why is the Model Teams Approach an effective change model?

If we have learned anything from the past two decades of school reform, it is that trying to do all-school change in one fell swoop is risky business. Most changes fail to stick because of the following reasons:

  • Not enough time to learn and practice
  • Not enough coaching to improve the practice
  • Not enough expertise to use the practice effectively
  • Lack understanding of the research or value of the practice
  • Lack of opportunity to differentiate the learning process
  • Lack of administrative support


Learn more about the research behind the Impact Teams model and how it aligns with your other school initiatives.

Corwin Impact Teams - Research       Corwin Impact Teams - Program Alignment