Exploring Alternative Instructional Models

Denver Far Northeast
Denver, CO

2012 - 2014


Can alterations and adjustments to classroom configuration allow us to determine whether there is an optimal delivery model for instruction?


Teachers typically play a dual role in a classroom, serving both as a classroom manager and as an instructional leader. However, there are several successful tutoring models used in high-performing charter schools that reduce the need for teachers to perform the former role, leaving more time to devote to the latter.

Starting with the 2012-13 school year, we will monitor and gather data on an effort that is currently being used to instruct nearly 250 middle schools students in Denver’s Far Northeast region. This groundbreaking model of schooling relies on teaching fellows working in small-group settings —rather than single teachers overseeing large classrooms. Fellows deliver instruction in all core subjects, thereby mitigating some of the challenges and distractions plaguing the traditional classroom structure.


This project is ongoing and analysis has not yet started. When complete, this study will evaluate an innovative model of schooling and provide causal evidence for the impact of small-group instruction on student achievement.