Tool 1: Using the TACTICS framework: six weeks to change your classroom

The TACTICS framework provides a process for educators to use in applying and evaluating new pedagogical approaches in the classroom. See example below.

Professor James O’Meara, National Louis University, Chicago, USA has developed the TACTICS framework with educators as a strategy supporting educators in exercising their professional judgement while meeting professional and or ‘official ‘curriculum standards. He expects MESHGuides to serve as a resource for teachers using the TACTICS framework to translate a research informed best practice, generated by members of the MESH Community, to improve the quality of learning outcomes achieved in his or her classroom. The approach is also being used in UK settings. Reports will be published in due course.

Teacher Leader TACTICS framework

Current discussions on transforming teacher education include creating leadership opportunities for teachers to lead innovation (CTQ Teacher Ed 3.0) and grow their roles and responsibilities without leaving the classroom (Project RESPECT).

The TACTICS Teacher Leader framework represents a seven step process to prompt Teacher Leaders to use experience and professional judgment when translating research informed best practice to improve the quality of ‘common’ learning outcomes within and beyond the local context of their classroom.

This translation process involves
Targeting relevant outcomes
Analyzing best practice
Clarifying environmental considerations
Translating best practice
Interpreting resulting outcomes
Commenting on transformations, and
Selecting next steps.

Users of the TACTICS Teacher Leader framework are expected to draw on their experience and exercise their professional judgment while translating ‘concepts’ of best practices to improve the quality of ‘common’ learning outcomes within the ‘contexts’ of their classrooms.

The benefits of sharing Teacher Leaders’ efforts in resolving tensions between external influences (e.g. ‘common’ standards, ‘defined’ best practice) and competing internal professional dispositions, include the potential for a virtual PLN for sharing ‘contextualized best practices’ to enhance the effectiveness of Novice and Resident teachers working to improve the quality of ‘expected’ learning within the ‘contexts’ of their classrooms.

Applying the TACTICS framework – an example of a Teacher Effectiveness Map (TEM)

developed by Professor James O’Meara, President of ICET( and National Louis University Chicago, USA.


The contribution of graphics based organizers to improving levels of achievement in classifying numbers as either odd or even (Year 3 Mathematics) among 3rd grade learners in a rural school in Australia

Key Words: Australia, National Standard, Numeracy, Mathematics, Year 3

Targeting Relevant Outcomes

Mathematics Achievement Standard (Year Three). By the end of Year 3, students can classify numbers as either odd or even

Analyzing Best Practice

Three options were considered
* Graphic organizers (Karpicke & Roediger, 2008): good for organizing existing knowledge
* Pictures (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012): good for representing knowledge in a personal way
* Graphic Advance Organizers (Ausbel, 1960): good for introducing new knowledge
Decided on Graphic Advance Organizer strategy as the knowledge was new i.e. the principle of odd and even numbers

Clarifying the environmental context

My context is:
* Students: 20 students, 12 boys, 8 girls. 90% Caucasian (European heritage), 10% Asian (south east Asian heritage). All native speakers of English/ No learners with additional needs, 85% of students can count from 1-10,000 prior to lesson
* My strengths: Strong computer skills, 3 years’ experience in teaching the principle of odd and even to 3rd graders
* School Expectations: 100 % of students must meet the criteria by December, currently 40% have tested at standard
* National Expectations : 100 % at standard by December

Translating evidence-informed Best Practice

* Provided students with a Graphic Advance Organizer that included examples of odd and even numbers between 1-100
* Explained that I would be looking for how well they can use a chart like this to sort odd and even numbers
* Modelled how to make an entry on the chart
* Used a computer to make flash cards (examples odd and even numbers) to give students practice with using the chart
* Used questioning to check for understanding and misconceptions
* Used a modified chart (no examples provided) and a different set of flash card to test students at the end of the lesson and again the following day
* Used a simple 4 point happy face Likert scale to measure how helpful students found the advanced graphic organizer

Interpreting resulting outcomes

* 90% met the standard at the end of the lesson. This 50% gain supported the use of Graphic Advanced Organizers
* 85 % met the standard the next day. This drop may be explained by the impact of time and/or insufficient practice
* 90 % of students circled the very helpful face , 10% circled the helpful face which supported the choice of strategy

Commenting on transformations

* Teacher: Based on this pilot I plan to increase my use of Graphic Advance Organizers to introduce new knowledge
* Student: Most students met the standard and could integrate counting to 10,000 with classifying odd/even numbers

Selecting Next Steps

Retest in one month and explore the use of Graphic Advance Organizers to introduce metric units for length, mass and capacity

Research Cited

Ausbel, D. (1960). The use of advanced organizers in the learning and retention of meaningful verbal material. Journal of Edcuational Psychology, 51,267-272.
Dean, C., Hubbell, E., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (2nd Edition). Alexandria , VA: ASCD.
Karpicke, J., & Roediger, H. (2008). The critical importance of retreival for learning. Science, 319,966-968.