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Walkthroughs: A descriptive study of Nebraska high school principals' use of the walkthrough teacher observation process

John A Skretta, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to examine principals' perceptions of the use and feedback processes of walkthrough teacher observations in their schools. Walkthroughs were defined as unscheduled, informal classroom observations of 3 to 15 minutes in length followed by some form of feedback to the individual teacher. ^ This survey study gathered data on walkthroughs from public high school principals representing all sizes of high schools in Nebraska. 91 of 200 principals contacted completed the online survey, for a 45.5% response rate. ^ The results of this study suggest that conducting walkthroughs is common practice among principals in Nebraska public high schools. Of 91 respondents to the survey, 76 of the principals surveyed indicated they conduct walkthroughs. Respondents across all sizes of Nebraska high schools and with a variety of years of service as principals indicated they conduct walkthroughs. ^ The majority of respondents who conduct walkthroughs complete between five and ten walkthroughs each week. Nearly three-fourths of the principals who conduct walkthroughs indicated that fitting walkthroughs into their schedules was "somewhat difficult" or "extremely difficult." ^ The findings of this study showed that Nebraska high school principals who conduct walkthroughs incorporate these into teachers' appraisals. Despite this, over half of the respondents who conduct walkthroughs indicated their school or district has no formal checklist format or protocol for walkthroughs. ^ This study found that principals believe establishing visibility and creating positive relationships with teachers are important purposes in conducting walkthroughs, and that their own sense of job satisfaction is enhanced by conducting walkthroughs. ^ Analysis of the data revealed statistically significant differences between two subsets of respondents. Principals who document their walkthroughs perceive the walkthroughs' role in the appraisal process as more important than principals who conduct walkthroughs but do not document them. Principals who document their walkthroughs are also more likely to spend a longer amount of time in the classroom on a typical walkthrough than are principals who do not document their walkthroughs. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Skretta, John A, "Walkthroughs: A descriptive study of Nebraska high school principals' use of the walkthrough teacher observation process" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3297740.