I often say that if the Nobel Prize Committee gave an award for education, Robert Marazano would certainly be a nominee. Over the last two decades, Marzano's dozens of books and hundreds of articles have condensed vast quantities of research literature on which educational strategies really make a difference in student achievement and made this knowledge accessible to school leaders and classroom teachers. Marzano's latest book, Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching, co-written with with Tony Frontier and David Livingston, is a welcome addition to the literature on how school principals can effectively support high-quality teaching.
In my experience, many principals struggle to provide meaningful, critical feedback on teachers' instructional practice. Effective Supervision addresses this need. Marzano's earlier book, The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction, summarizes the findings of several previous books and clearly describes the characteristics of research-proven teaching strategies. Effective Supervision is designed as a companion to The Art and Science of Teaching, giving school leaders a set of tools for communicating these characteristics to teachers and supporting the deepening development of these strategies in teachers' practice.
Besides the Art and Science of Teaching framework, Effective Supervision is premised on the belief that teachers need the chance to practice new instructional strategies in a collaborative context and receive frequent, constructive feedback from both principals and colleagues. Marzano and his co-authors describe various structures that help facilitate this collaborative learning, include professional learning communities, instructional rounds, and a variety of protocols for peer- and supervisor-observations and feedback. The authors go on to describe how principals can use these structures and frameworks to help teachers design meaningful, high-quality professional growth plans and use the teacher evaluation process in far more effective ways. In perhaps its most useful feature, the book provides over 50 pages worth of observational protocols and tools designed to facilitate rich principal-teacher and teacher-teacher discussion about instructional practice.
Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching is an outstanding resource and belongs in every practicing and aspiring school leader's library. I highly recommend it for principal study groups, leadership PLC's, and textbooks for courses in instructional leadership.