School IPI Team

From our analyses of more than a decade of IPI data, it is evident that the IPI Process has the most positive impact in a school when a team of teacher leaders step up and provide the leadership for the process.  The "IPI TEAM" members serve as the data collectors, as the organizers of the IPI data for faculty study of the data, and as the facilitators of the faculty collaborative study of the data.  It is evident to those who have studied the IPI Process that a school without a team to champion the collection and study of cognitive engagement will not make the same level of progress as a school with a team of teacher leaders.  From the early days of the IPI Process to the mid-2000s, I consistently advised principals and teacher leaders that the best way to implement the process was through the leadership of a team of teachers, not through the leadership of a principal.  Regardless of the advice, during those first several years many school principals decided they could lead the process in their respective school and proceeded to do so.  By 2007 I had longitudinal data about data procedures followed and subsequent outcomes in hundreds of schools.  As my graduate assistants and I studied those data, looking particularly at the percentages of each IPI Category, the degree to which the faculties positively embraced the study of the data, and the nature of the outcomes from the study of the data, it was evident that the IPI Process is best led by teachers, not principals.  Teachers find it difficult to relax and not "Jazz-Up" their lessons when the principal is the data collector or when principals will view/study the IPI data, even though the data are collected anonymously.  And simply put, most principals cannot objectively lead the study of data such as the IPI without setting demands or expectations or linking the data back to assumed practices by teachers and thus causing teachers to believe the IPI data are somehow being used for supervisory and/or evaluative purposes.  The trust level in most schools today is not positive enough for that to occur.  Therefore, the IPI SHOULD NOT be a principal-led should be a teacher-led process---the teachers who lead the process are the school's IPI Team.   They are responsible for investing some time in obtaining IPI certification as data collectors, for participating in the collection of the data, for organizing the data for faculty study, and for leading the collaborative study.  Those are not highly time-consuming tasks, but they are highly valuable tasks in most schools. 

Most schools begin the IPI Process by preparing a team of three or four teachers to implement the process.  Many schools that successfully implement the IPI Process add other teachers to their school's IPI Team of data collectors over time.  Some schools even send all of their teachers through the IPI Level I Workshop, claiming the workshop is a highly valuable learning experience for all teachers.  Currently, one of my doctoral students and I are studying the schools that have sent all teachers through the IPI Process to see those schools show greater levels of changes in engagement than schools with only several teachers who have participated in the workshop.  When completed, we will report the findings of that study in our "Research Findings and Implications" section of this website.   But even the schools that send most or all of their faculty members through the IPI Workshop, they typically have a nuclear team of five to eight teacher-leaders who are the true IPI Team in their schools...they collect the data, lead the discussions, and champion the process.