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About Jim Knight
Jim Knight is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and the president of the Instructional Coaching Group. He has spent more than a decade studying instructional coaching and has written several books on the topic including Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction published by Corwin Press & NSDC (2007). Knight co-authored Coaching Classroom Management. He also edited Coaching: Approaches and Perspectives. His newest book, Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach to Dramatically Improving Instruction.
Jim has authored articles on instructional coaching and school improvement in publications such as “The Journal of Staff Development,” “Principal Leadership,” “The School Administrator,” “Kappan,” and “Teachers Teaching Teachers.”
Several research projects directed by Knight include an I.E.S.-funded qualitative and quantitative assessment of coaching, and Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, district-wide school reform project for the Topeka Kansas School District. Knight also leads the coaching institutes and the Annual Instructional Coaching Conference offered by the University of Kansas.
Frequently asked to guide professional learning for instructional coaches, Knight has presented and consulted in most states, most Canadian provinces, India, the United Kingdom, and Japan. He has a Ph.D. in Education and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. Jim is also author of the popular radical learners blog. You can contact Jim at email@example.com.
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Books By Jim Knight
Small changes can lead to big results!
The key to improving student achievement isn′t more teacher time—it′s more teacher impact. But how do you decide which instructional practices will deliver the most bang for your buck? In this handbook, written for teachers but suitable for use by principals and instructional coaches, best-selling author Jim Knight presents the high-leverage strategies that make the biggest difference in student learning.
This is no one-size-fits-all to-do list for the classroom—it′s a simple and flexible framework you can customize to fit your working style and students′ needs. Grounded in more than a decade of work with instructional coaches, this revolutionary book focuses on the three areas of high-impact instruction:
- Content planning, including using guiding questions, learning maps, and formative assessment
- Instructional practices such as the use of thinking prompts, effective questions, challenging assignments, and experiential learning
- Community building, in which you shape a classroom culture that promotes well-being, creativity, learning, and high expectations
This accessible road map for professional learning empowers and supports you in making changes to your practice with practical tools, including:
- Checklists, numerous observation tools, and recommended resources for further reading
- Online videos that focus on implementation of high-leverage instructional practices
- Ways that students, teachers, instructional coaches, and principals can support implementation of the practices
- Suggestions for using the book and videos in coaching and school improvement efforts
When it comes to teaching, little changes can make a big difference. With High-Impact Instruction, you have a rich toolkit for improving your own practice and promoting great teaching every day in every class.
"This book absolutely delivers on the promise of its subtitle, ′A Framework for Great Teaching.′ It is breathtaking in its comprehensiveness and heartening in its practicality and detail."
—Robert J. Marzano, CEO
Marzano Research Laboratory
"Jim Knight has the capacity to be crystal clear at both the micro and the macro levels—a rare talent. High-Impact Instruction goes deep and it goes comprehensive. Planning, instruction, and community building become interwoven in a powerful manifesto for fundamental instructional and system change."
—Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
OISE/University of Toronto
"Jim Knight′s High-Impact Instruction honors teachers as intelligent, complex, and dedicated people. While many have attempted to identify the attributes of effective instruction, Knight′s work singularly acknowledges the basic human need to be our best selves."
—Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director
Check out The Better Conversations trailer: https://youtu.be/y3FrWTXC8Uw
"I thought I knew how to have a conversation; I’ve had millions of them. Some were good, others not so much so. But I want to have GREAT conversations, and Jim Knight has taught me how. The proof is in: better conversations are possible and the results are worth the investment."
Coauthor of Rigorous Reading and Unstoppable Learning
Because conversation is the lifeblood of any school
You don’t want this book—you need this book. Why this confident claim? Think about how many times you’ve walked away from school conversations, sensing they could be more productive, but at a loss for how to improve them.
Enter instructional coaching expert Jim Knight, who in Better Conversations honors our capacity for improving our schools by improving our communication. Asserting that our schools are only as good as the conversations within them, Jim shows us how to adopt the habits essential to transforming the quality of our dialogues.
As coaches, as administrators, as teachers, it’s time to thrive. Learn how to:
- Coach ourselves and each other to become better communicators
- Listen with empathy
- Find common ground
- Build Trust
Our students’ academic, social, and emotional growth depends upon our doing this hard work. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, open our minds, and dare to change for the better of the students we serve. You can get started now with Better Conversations and the accompanying Reflection Guide to Better Conversations.
"Teachers helping teachers is a great way to create a powerful instructional staff. Knight has included very practical and useful tools to help teachers achieve excellence."
—Dale E. Moxley, Principal, Round Lake Elementary School, Mount Dora, FL
"Provides valuable insight for mentors who are in the field working daily with novice teachers."
J. Helen Perkins, Assistant Professor, The University of Memphis
An innovative professional development strategy that facilitates change, improves instruction, and transforms school culture!
Instructional coaching, a research-based, job-embedded approach to instructional intervention, provides the assistance and encouragement necessary to implement new programs that improve student learning. The product of more than eight years of study, this approach to professional development has been proven to help schools respond to the pressures of accountability and reform.
Experienced trainer, developer, and researcher Jim Knight describes the "nuts and bolts" of instructional coaching and explains the essential skills that instructional coaches need, including getting teachers on board, providing model lessons, observing teachers, and engaging in reflective conversations. Each user-friendly chapter includes:
- First-person stories from successful coaches
- Sidebars highlighting important information
- A "Going Deeper" section of suggested resources
- Forms, worksheets, checklists, logs, reports, and other ready-to-use tools
- A short summary of the main chapter points
This book is perfect for coaches, aspiring coaches, as well as the staff developers, trainers, teacher leaders, principals, and other educators who work with coaches and oversee coaching programs.
Now, Jim Knight is offering his expertise in an online professional development opportunity!
Even under ideal conditions, teaching is tough work. Facing unrelenting pressure from administrators and parents and caught in a race against time to improve student outcomes, educators can easily become discouraged (or worse, burn out completely) without a robust coaching system in place to support them.
For more than 20 years, perfecting such a system has been the paramount objective of best-selling author and coaching guru Jim Knight and his team of researchers at the Instructional Coaching Group (ICG). In The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching, Knight offers a blueprint for establishing, administering, and assessing an instructional coaching program laser-focused on every educator's ultimate goal: the academic success of students.
Organized around ICG's seven "Success Factors" for great instructional coaching, this book offers
* An in-depth guide to the Impact Cycle, ICG's research-based and field-tested model for coaching teachers through issues that matter most to them;
* Detailed guidance on how to create a "playbook" of instructional strategies to share with collaborating teachers—and how to model those strategies under different conditions;
* Practical advice on preparing for and engaging in substantive, reflective, and teacher-centered coaching conversations;
* Best practices for gathering, analyzing, and responding to data for improved teaching and learning; and
* Real-life anecdotes and testimonies from educators and coaches who have reaped the benefits of the Impact Cycle in a diverse array of schools.
In addition, each chapter of the book contains a learning map to help orient you and a list of valuable additional resources to complement the text. Whether you're new to coaching or well versed in the practice, The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching will no doubt prove a cornerstone of your coaching library for years to come.
"Jim Knight is one of the wise men of coaching. His well is deep; he draws from it the best tools from practitioners, the wisdom of experience, and research-based insights. And he never loses sight of the bigger picture: the point of all this is to have more impact in this life we′re lucky enough to live."
—MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER, Author of The Coaching Habit
Identify . . . Learn . . . Improve
When it comes to improving practice, few professional texts can rival the impact felt by Jim Knight’s Instructional Coaching. For hundreds of thousands of educators, Jim bridged the long-standing divide between staff room and classroom offering up a much a more collaborative, respectful, and efficient PD model for achieving instructional excellence.
Now, one decade of research and hundreds of in-services later, Jim takes that work a significant step further with The Impact Cycle: an all-new instructional coaching cycle to help teachers and, in turn, their students improve in clear, measurable ways.
Quintessential Jim, The Impact Cycle comes loaded with every possible tool to help you reach your coaching goals, starting with a comprehensive video program, robust checklists, and a model Instructional Playbook. Quickly, you’ll learn how to
- Interact and dialogue with teachers as partners
- Guide teachers to identify emotionally compelling, measurable, and student-focused goals
- Set coaching goals, plan strategies, and monitor progress for optimal impact
- Use documentary-style video and text-based case studies as models to promote maximum teacher clarity and proactive problem solving
- Streamline teacher enrollment, data collection, and deep listening
Jim writes, "When we grow, improve, and learn, when we strive to become a better version of ourselves, we tap into something deep in ourselves that craves that kind of growth." Read The Impact Cycle and soon you’ll discover how you can continually refine your practice to help teachers and students realize their fullest potential.
In schools, every day is "game day." Every day, teachers need the best resources and forms of support because students deserve the best we as educators can offer. An instructional playbook aims to serve as that kind of support: a tool that coaches can use to help teachers match specific learning goals with the right research-based instructional strategies.
Coaches have enormous potential to help teachers learn and implement new teaching practices, but coaches will be effective only if they deeply understand the strategies they describe and their explanations are clear. The Instructional Playbook: The Missing Link for Translating Research into Practice addresses both issues head on and offers a simple and clear explanation of how to create a playbook uniquely designed to meet teachers' instructional needs.
The idea of an instructional playbook has caught fire since Jim Knight described it in The Impact Cycle (2017). This book helps instructional coaches create playbooks that produce a common language about high-impact teaching strategies, deepen everyone's understanding of what instructional coaches do, and, most important, support teachers and students in classrooms.
<A joint publication of ASCD and One Fine Bird Press.
Every worthwhile book has a deeply held belief, and for Jim Knight’s Better Conversations and this worktext, The Reflection Guide to Better Conversations, here it is:
"Effective communication is an essential skill for a fulfilled life, and we can’t teach it to students if we don’t know how to do it ourselves."
Instructional coaches, administrators, teachers . . . really everyone: the royal we is you. In this Reflection Guide, Jim delivers a framework for improving professional dialogue that is so clearly signposted, you might as well call it a day planner.
Here’s how The Reflection Guide to Better Conversations works:
- In Part One, you and your peers engage in surveys, take stock, and record video in order to get real about your current beliefs and abilities. How do you measure up when it comes to empathy, asking better questions? Finding common ground?
- In Part Two, learn about the 10 habits of being an effective communicator, and put them into practice. Are your conversations focused on others 50 percent of the time? What things typically distract you from being fully present?
In Better Conversations, Jim Knight reveals why true dialogue improves professional performance, job satisfaction, and classroom instruction. Together with this Reflection Guide, the two books provide a brilliant, scaffolded professional learning experience on a topic central to learning, central to life.
This is the district-wide solution you need—are you ready?
"Unmistakable Impact takes us deeper into the realm of grounded school improvement—a great contribution to the field."
—Michael Fullan, Professor and Author
University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Centre for Teacher Development
"This book exemplifies everything Jim Knight advocates: a clear focus, respect for educators’ significant contributions, and the value that well-designed professional learning contributes to school improvement efforts."
—Dennis Sparks, Former Executive Director
A focused approach to school improvement that hits the mark
A staggering amount of evidence shows that our schools are not as effective as they should be, and they are working toward improvement. This book simplifies the process for becoming an Impact School through targeted, consistent professional learning that is done with teachers, not to teachers. Award-winning author Jim Knight describes how to translate staff members’ joy of learning into high-leverage practices that achieve dramatic student outcomes. Characteristics of Impact Schools include
- A focused, clearly defined improvement plan that takes into account the complexity of teaching and learning relationships
- A school culture that encourages enrollment in ongoing professional development
- Alignment of purpose and actions among all staff members
Helpful resources include tangible tools and reproducibles for use by principals, workshop leaders, professional learning communities, and instructional coaches. When everyone learns, every student receives excellent instruction every day in every class. Unmistakable Impact provides the roadmap to remarkable results.
"Video will completely change the way we do professional learning."
To improve our teaching methods, we must understand what our current teaching methods are. And this is impossible to do this based only on our own perceptions or even feedback from observers. A classroom is a dynamic environment and there is always a lot going on that can be missed in the moment.
The solution, according to renowned professional development expert Jim Knight, is video. In Focus on Teaching, Knight turns to the vast and disruptive potential of video recording to reach new levels of excellence in schools. This book builds on Knight’s prior bestsellers to show how every classroom can easily benefit from setting up a camera and hitting "record". The book includes
- Strategies that teachers, instructional coaches, teams, and administrators can use to get the most out of using video
- Tips for ensuring that video recordings are used in accordance with ethical standards and teacher/student comfort levels
- Protocols, data gathering forms, and many other tools to get the most out of watching video
With Jim Knight’s expertise and the latest in video technology, positive change in your classroom will be immediate and long-lasting.
"This book provides a blueprint for any school or district to continuously enhance the instructional prowess of teachers. Concepts like ‘video-enhanced professional development’ are revolutionary in their intent, yet consummately simple, clear, and practical."
—Robert J. Marzano, CEO
Marzano Research Laboratory
"While many advocate for using video to improve teaching and learning, Jim Knight combines the rationale and strategies that compel us to take action."
—Stephanie Hirsch, Executive Director
Join Jim Knight and other experts at the 2014 Instructional Coaching Conference to explore how whole school reform is enhanced when principals, teachers, and coaches use collaborative planning and effective Instructional Coaching techniques to improve student learning.
"It is imperative that districts make meaningful choices about the coaching model they invest their money and time in implementing. Without a broad base of knowledge, it is unlikely that coaching can have the greatest impact upon the teachers and students who need it the most."
—Tiffany Wiencken, Instructional Coach Facilitator
Beaverton School District, OR
"A must-read for any administrator who employs coaches on their campus and for anyone who acts as a coach, teacher leader, facilitator, or mentor."
—Candace Bixler, Educational Specialist
Education Service Center, Region XIII, Austin, TX
Practical guidelines for selecting the right type of coaching for your teachers and students!
Coaching supports teacher development and puts teachers′ needs at the heart of professional learning by individualizing their learning and by positioning them as professionals. With many different models available, administrators may find it challenging to determine the kind of coaching that best fits the needs of schools, teachers, and students.
This fresh new resource brings together the voices of recognized experts in the field—including Joellen Killion, Cathy Toll, Jane Ellison, Randy Sprick, Jane Kise, Karla Reiss, Lucy West, and Jim Knight—to present unique approaches for coaching teachers and leaders. Comprehensive chapters review the roles of coaches in schools, examine the research base on coaching, and provide in-depth discussions of specific approaches to coaching, including:
- Literacy coaching
- Cognitive coaching
- Instructional coaching
- Content-focused coaching
- Classroom management coaching
- Leadership coaching
Coaching helps readers make more informed choices about a range of coaching approaches to best serve the unique needs of their teachers and schools.