QUINT Observation System Seminar: November 2022

Lisbeth Brevik and Nora Mathé present work from their research in several projects using the PLATO instrument to study seven different school subjects in lower secondary school.

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Welcome to the QUINT Observation Systems Seminars (OBS seminars).  This series discuss classroom observation systems as a tool for understanding and improving teaching quality.

This and upcoming OBS seminars are open for all interested parties.  We want it to become a meeting arena for scholars genuinely interested in observation systems and related issues. Therefore we recommend that you join our network by subscribing to the network mailing list. You must confirm your email address in the confirmation email you receive to complete signing up to the mailing list. 

If you are interested in presenting your research or have questions, please contact the organizer, QUINT Postdoctoral Fellow Mark White.


In this seminar, taking place on November 9th at 9am ET/ 15.00 CET,

Lisbeth M Brevik and Nora Mathé present work from their research in several projects using the PLATO instrument to study seven different school subjects in lower secondary school: English as an additional language, Norwegian language arts, modern foreign languages (French, German, Spanish), social studies, science, mathematics, and religion.

PLATO has been originally developed as a language arts protocol, but has now been used across these subjects to measure direct instruction. Using the same protocol across subjects provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary comparison, which offers a common language with which to understand and discuss instruction within and across subjects. In the presentation we will provide specific examples of similarities and differences between subjects identified through the use of PLATO.

In this seminar, Brevik and Mathe describe their work with PLATO as an analytic tool and give examples of the affordances of a common instrument as well as important considerations when using PLATO in this way.



The Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observation (PLATO)

PLATO is primarily designed as a research tool rather than a diagnostic or evaluative tool for schools or districts. The training allows the research team to review in detail each element and its components.

The PLATO protocol covers 4 instructional domains- Disciplinary Demand of Classroom Talk & Activity, Contextualizing and Representing Content, Instructional Scaffolding, and Classroom Environment- and 13 elements of instruction identified by research on adolescent literacy and effective instruction in ELA. Each element is scored separately on a 1-4 scale. Because the elements are designed to capture different aspects of ELA instruction, teachers are not expected to score high on every element for every 15-minute segment. In addition, PLATO captures the content of instruction (writing, reading, literature, grammar, etc.) and activity structures (whole group, small group, independent work, etc.) for each 15 minute segment.

Video Recording



Published Sep. 6, 2022 11:06 AM - Last modified Nov. 9, 2022 5:10 PM