The Continua of Practice for School Improvement assist principals and teachers to identify areas of practice that require attention in order to deliver improved student outcomes.
They assist principals and teachers to:
- self-assess their current practice on an improvement-focused continuum
- understand what improved practice looks like
- focus teacher observations by providing a common instrument to locate evidence
- develop a shared language for describing educational practice
- engage in conversations about improving professional practice.
Each continuum describes a range of proficiency levels (Emerging, Evolving, Embedding, Excelling). To self-assess and diagnose areas of practice that require improvement, see:
The Continuum for each dimension can also be viewed on each dimension page. Use the FISO Improvement Model below to navigate to your chosen dimension.
Benefits of using the continua of practice
Identifying current levels of proficiency and identifying the practices and behaviours of the next level, allows schools to strategically plan for improving student outcomes. Being able to see progress along a continuum also helps to support a change in teaching practice by articulating both the subtle and more significant differences required to make real change.
The Continua of Practice are useful for school self-evaluation at the six month and twelve month stages when monitoring the Annual Implementation Plan, and, through a deeper dive prior to a school review, provide significant opportunities for schools to identify and select the initiatives for their next School Strategic Plan.
There are areas of overlap between the dimensions and the evidence base behind them – this overlap is endemic to the nature of school improvement and apparent in the Continua of Practice – as the dimensions are not mutually exclusive. It is intended that schools will engage intensively with the continua relevant to their area/s of focus each year, while using the others to understand their practices more broadly, track status and progress, and avoid slippage across the set of dimensions that schools consider when planning and monitoring improvement.