In-School Instructional Support
Aims, Actions, Adaptations:
The Strategy within the CMSI Theory of Action
The instructional support strategy aimed to contribute to the long-term goals of the CMSI. It was designed to build a common understanding about the CMSI approach to math and science teaching (coherent policy), increase teacher and school administrator capacity for high quality instruction (workforce capacity), and improve instructional quality (improved instruction).
By locating support roles at three different levels of the district—central office (OMS), area, and school—the instructional support strategy sought to create a common understanding about the CMSI reform effort. Working within each of their respective levels, and using a common language gained through OMS training, in-school instructional support staff promoted coherence by communicating the CMSI vision and policy messages.
Instructional supports at the central office, area, and school levels built internal workforce capacity by creating a network of experts. This network provided scaffolding for newer, less experienced participants in the reform effort and created a foundation for scale-up that did not dilute the vision. This is turn supported the institutionalization of the CMSI throughout the district.
The CMSI focused on instructional materials as a vehicle for improving content knowledge and pedagogy. This meant that the success of the CMSI depended heavily on effective professional development. To improve instructional quality, teachers needed to translate their professional development experiences into teaching practice. The in-school instructional support staff linked professional development learning and classroom practice.