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Dimensions of Classroom and School Practices: Planned Learning Opportunities Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Effective teachers are knowledgeable about their students, and can anticipate areas of weakness and alter instruction to suit individual needs (Porter & Brophy, 1998). In order to innovate and adapt resources, strategies, and classrooms, educators must have a high degree of flexibility (Hattie, 2009).

The Learning Bar’s Teacher Survey is a self-evaluation tool for teachers that is based on ‘effective schools’ research, consisting of eight of the most important variables associated with student outcomes, and coupled with the Outward Bound model of teaching and learning covered in John Hattie’s book, Visible Learning (Hattie, 2009).

Why is it important?

  • Teachers can influence students’ effort through the ways they structure learning opportunities for students (Miller & Meece, 1997).  
  • Students perform better in spaced practice conditions, which constitute more frequent learning opportunities, than in mass practice, which simply involves spending more time on a task (Donovan & Radosevich, 1998).  
  • Students have a greater motivation to study when they view classroom content as relevant (Frymier & Shulman, 1995).  
  • School leaders can provide teachers with feedback to improve instructional planning (Blase & Blase, 2000).  
  • Student learning is enhanced by school, family, and community partnerships (Epstein et al., 2002).

How do we measure it?

In Tell Them From Me, teachers respond to 16 items, which cut across the eight constructs pertaining to school climate. Each item is responded to on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Strongly Disagree), 1 (Disagree), 2 (Neither Agree nor Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for planned learning opportunities’. These 16 items are a combination of items used to construct the eight drivers of student learning: leadership, collaboration, learning culture, data informs practice, teaching strategies, technology, inclusive school and parent involvement.



Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2000). Effective instructional leadership: Teachers' perspectives on how principals promote teaching and learning in schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 130-141.

Donovan, J. J., & Radosevich, D. J. (1998). The moderating role of goal commitment on the goal difficulty–performance relationship: A meta-analytic review and critical reanalysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 308-315.

Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Frymier, A. B., & Shulman, G. M. (1995). “What’s in it for me?”: Increasing content relevance to enhance students’ motivation. Communication Education, 44(1), 40-50.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Miller, S. D., & Meece, J. L. (1997). Enhancing elementary students’ motivation to read and write: A classroom intervention study. The Journal of Educational Research, 90(5), 286–299.

Porter, A., & Brophy, J. E. (1988). Synthesis of research on good teaching: Insights from the work of the institute for research on teaching. Educational Leadership, 45(8), 74-85.