Tennessee | Shanghai Leadership Collaborative

What is TPEG (The Conceptual Model)?

This site provides information about the model of shared leadership and teacher collaboration that grew out of a partnership among Vanderbilt University, East China Normal University, and committed school leaders and teachers in Tennessee and Shanghai, China.

The TPEG Learning Cycle is designed to support educators to build a professional knowledgebase in teaching that achieves the following three non-negotiable objectives:

  • Public: The practice of teaching is deprivatized through collaborative lesson planning, peer observations, and feedback.
  • Storable & Shareable: Professional knowledge is accumulated over time, shared, and accessible by other teachers in the form of model lessons, and lesson artifacts.
  • Validated for Instructional Improvement: Through collaborative refinement and ongoing practice of lesson plans and pedagogy, TPEG members develop improved practice.

What is a TPEG Cycle?

TPEG Teams work through a TPEG Learning cycle (Lesson Planning, Observation, Peer Feedback, & Lesson Refinement) by establishing a work plan that covers meeting dates, observation schedule, class coverage, etc. A TPEG Learning Cycle can occur in one day or over a 2 or 3-week period. The length and timing of cycle depends on the TPEG team's needs, time and focus. For example, Cycle Planning and Lesson Planning can take place on one day and Observation and Feedback can happen a few days later.

  • Lesson Planning: Collaborative lesson planning, addressing specific content standards (e.g., based on Common Core) and pedagogical goals (e.g., selected from the TN TEAM rubric) based on ongoing data analyses.
  • Observation: TPEG team members observe a collaboratively planned lesson (in person or video-tape) and use the observation form for recording their notes and feedback specific to the selected content and pedagogy discussed in the Lesson Planning phase.
  • Feedback: The TPEG team meets to provide specific, actionable feedback leading to the refinement of the lesson, instructional materials, as well as pedagogical practices.
  • Lesson Refinement: The TPEG team identifies ways to verify that the refined lesson and teacher practice leads to improved classroom teaching.

What is the Theory of Action?

As educators navigate a TPEG Learning Cycle, it is important to keep the theory of action in mind so student learning increases and educators build a collective professional knowledgebase for teaching.

Why TPEGs?

  • Shanghai’s strong commitment to raising educational standards has succeeded in raising student performance across the board. The share of disadvantaged students who excel at school despite their background is twice as high as in the United States. In 2009, Shanghai’s 15-year-old students achieved by far the best results in the PISA tests, scoring 556 in reading, 600 in mathematics and 575 in science. By comparison, the best- performing OECD country, Korea, scored 539 in reading, 546 in mathematics and 538 in science. Expert point the Teacher Study Groups (TSG’s) in schools as the key to the high achievement levels. Therefore, the TPEGs have adapted the best practices from the TSG’s to fix into Tennessee schools.

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education

A video series profiling policies and practices of education systems that demonstrate high or improving performance in the PISA tests

© A Collaborative Partnership of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, The Institute of Schooling Reform & Development at East China Normal University, Districts & Schools across Tennessee,
and Minghang School District in Shanghai. Funded by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.