National Writing Project

Demonstrating Teaching in a Lab Classroom

Date: July 15, 2010

Summary: Lisa Houk, a teacher-consultant with the Oakland (MI) Writing Project, details a structure in which "host" teachers provide opportunities for observation by "guest" teachers in a format that allows for preparation, facilitation, and debriefing.



The lab classroom is an in-house professional development model that takes place in a host teacher's room during the normal school day, framed by a preobservation meeting and a debriefing session. Like surgical theaters where doctors observe actual operations in progress to hone their techniques, the lab classroom provides an authentic opportunity for colleagues to see ideas in practice. Because the model provides for several sessions throughout the year, teachers have the opportunity to share and discuss the successes and challenges of their independent practice with their colleagues, continually improving.

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For more, read Demonstrating Teaching in a Lab Classroom in ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine.

About the Author Lisa M. Houk is the K-12 supervisor for English language arts and social studies at Lapper (MI) Community Schools.

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