The Learning Accelerator Blog/Centering Instructional Look Fors: A new implementation tool for personalized learning

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Centering Instructional Look Fors: A new implementation tool for personalized learning

by Stephen Pham & Amalia Lopez on November 5 2020

2020 brought immense uncertainties to schools, so it is critical to center the design of any school model on student experiences. That’s why Lindsay Unified School District (LUSD), a small, rural district in central California, is doubling down on their Instructional Look Fors, a set of 26 observable, research-based indicators that depict how educators can create and support desired behaviors and outcomes for their learners in personalized learning environments. Developed as part of a collaborative project with LUSD, Summit Public Schools, and Transcend, the Look Fors provide aligned educator actions and sample strategies to inform instructional design.

In the past three years, Lindsay Unified has implemented these Look Fors across various professional learning and instructional leadership contexts, including classroom observation tools, professional goal-setting, and coaching. The Look Fors have become the core of the district’s Adult Learning Curriculum, which offers educators a learner-centered, competency-based approach to professional growth and practice. In addition to the implementation of the Look Fors, LUSD partnered with TLA to study their construct validity and reliability as well as their implementation during last spring’s remote instruction during school closure.

Knowing that effective implementation requires comprehensive resources and professional learning supports, LUSD also partnered with TLA to develop the Instructional Look Fors Guide, an open micro-site that layers in guidance, additional resources, and connected research for each Look For. Designed as a learning tool, the guide supports teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders in planning learner-centered instruction – whether in-person or remote – to facilitate effective personalized learning.

When exploring the guide for the first time, dive into the overview of the Instructional Look Fors first, which points to the six principles that organize all 26 Look Fors.

Check out the Instructional Look Fors Guide here.

How to use the Look Fors guide in any setting:

This micro-site is primarily focused on the Look Fors, organized within six principles: rigor, customization, purposefulness, relevance, collaboration, and community. Each Look For page covers connected research, mindsets, educator actions, and videos to support educators in developing their understanding and planning for the implementation of each Look For. Particularly at this moment in time, educators might use the tool to:

Although the language across the site is specific to LUSD, be sure to check out the glossary if you come across an unfamiliar term. As LUSD develops more resources for the Look Fors, such as the Learner Driven Look For overview and educator actions within a virtual learning environment, we plan to add them to the site. In the meantime, reach out to Stephen Pham with any comments or questions.

For more, see:

About the Author

Stephen Pham is a Director, Organizational Learning at The Learning Accelerator, an experienced educator, and a proponent of blended and personalized learning.

Amalia Lopez is the Director of Special Projects in Lindsay Unified School District. She began her career as an educator in Lindsay as a high school English learning facilitator and has served in many roles, including the TSL federal grant manager, a curriculum and instruction specialist, English department chair, and literacy specialist.