Relationships, instruction, understandings: One district’s implementation of rounds

Rachel Roegman, Thomas Hatch, Kathryn Hill, Victoria S. Kniewel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show how instructional rounds contributes to shared understandings and facilitates the development of relationships among administrators. Design/methodology/approach – This mixed methods study draws on three years of data in a district engaged in rounds. Administrators annually completed a social network survey, which focussed on how often they interacted around instructional issues. Additionally, the authors conducted semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of administrators. Findings – Administrators have increased their participation in and understanding of instructional rounds, as well as their understanding of district initiatives. However, results are mixed when looking at the quantitative data. While the theory of rounds suggests that the process would lead to increased interactions, the authors found a statistically significant decrease. Research limitations/implications – Implications include examining rounds as part of a district’s set of formal and informal structures. Also, results suggest further examination of how turnover impacts networks. Finally, expanding the number of interviews may present a more mixed qualitative experience of rounds. Practical implications – As districts adopt initiatives based on observations, rounds can be used to support administrators’ growth in understanding these initiatives. Simultaneously, districts need to consider the purpose for both central office and building administrators and how those purposes align with protocols, norms, and practices they use. Originality/value – This paper advances the empirical knowledge on instructional rounds, which has been gaining popularity, though little empirical analysis exists of the process, how its theory of action is enacted, and how administrators experience rounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-641
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrator relationships
  • Administrators
  • Communities of practice
  • Educational administration
  • Instruction
  • Instructional rounds
  • Shared understandings of instruction
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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