Tools and Resources

The e2 Instructional Practice Framework: Toward a Vision for High-Quality Instruction

Student Achievement Partners is excited to preview a new instructional practice framework. In this post, members of the design team behind the new e2 Instructional Practice Framework share why the framework was created, what it is designed to do, and how it can improve educational experiences and outcomes for K-12 students. The e2 Instructional Practice Framework pre-publication draft communicates an evidence-based definition of high-quality instruction that deepens and amplifies our commitment to Essential literacy and mathematics through the pursuit of Equitable instruction for all students.

Why did Student Achievement Partners set out to create this Framework? 

Historically, Student Achievement Partners has been deeply committed to ensuring that all students, no matter who they are or where they live, are supported to access and successfully engage with grade-level literacy and mathematics content in the classroom. Supporting educators in using evidence-informed practices to improve educational experiences and outcomes for all students has always been at the heart of our work. 

Our goal with the new e2 Instructional Practice Framework is to build on that foundation to address the reality that our public education system does not yet realize the potential of all students, an issue that is most acutely experienced by Black students and multilingual learners. Student Achievement Partners’ e2 Instructional Practice Framework helps educators design instruction that leverages the assets of and honors the brilliance of students who have been historically underserved and marginalized by our education system—a crucial step in supporting all students.

The e2 Instructional Practice Framework is rooted in a theory of action for supporting teachers and students to create high-quality instructional experiences that optimize learning. This theory of action emphasizes Essential grade-level mathematics and literacy content and includes an intentional focus on fostering instruction that creates belonging, agency, and strong learner-leader identities.

Student Achievement Partners remains focused on strengthening the instructional core—the interactions among students, teachers, and content in the classroom—while also deepening and amplifying our commitment to Essential literacy and mathematics through the pursuit of Equitable instruction for all students. This speaks to both the evolution of Student Achievement Partners’ work and the evolution of what practitioners and researchers understand all students need to feel and be academically successful. Essential instruction is equitable, and Equitable instruction is essential in our work to improve educational experiences and outcomes in K-12 classrooms.

What is Essential x Equitable instruction?

The e2 Instructional Practice Framework communicates an evidence-based, shared definition of high-quality instruction that guides Student Achievement Partners’ work. This framework brings together often disconnected strands of research on instructional practice and practitioner knowledge to support and guide change with a cohesive vision of student-centered, high-quality instruction. It is intended to serve as a resource for educators and organizations who share this vision of teaching and learning. 

Essential x Equitable instruction is defined by four categories of high-quality instruction: Grade-Level, Joyful, Linguistically Sustaining, and Culturally Responsive-Sustaining. Under each of these categories, there are three tenets that further define the focus of these areas of instruction. Though these four categories are presented separately, they are complementary and intertwined when translated into action in everyday classroom instruction. 

Taken together, these four categories of instruction form a culminating description of an educator’s overall practice rather than a checklist of what might be present in an individual lesson. e2 instruction is a cohesive, systemic approach to teaching and learning that requires the support of multiple stakeholders for it to be realized within any district or school. It focuses on what is possible within classroom instruction while acknowledging that students’ lives and educational outcomes are also shaped by their experiences outside of school. Students are part of broader families and communities, and educators must understand both the opportunities and limitations this reality provides in order to work toward the e2 vision of high-quality instruction. 

How can the e2 Instructional Practice Framework support educators in improving educational experiences and outcomes for students?

The e2 Instructional Practice Framework was inspired and informed by the work Student Achievement Partners has done over the past decade with schools and districts across the country, and it was refined through collaboration and partnership with an established Advisory Board, Educator Cohort, and a community of experts across the education field. With their guidance and thoughtful feedback, we designed this resource to demonstrate the possibilities and promise of a student-centered vision for instruction. Through this collaboration and our own experiences as practitioners, we delved into the barriers educators face as they try to meet the demands of designing and implementing instruction that is on or beyond grade level and centers racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse student populations in ways that honor and value our familial and community backgrounds. 

A key challenge educators identified is creating cohesion across multiple initiatives and models aimed at improving student classroom experiences and educational outcomes so that stakeholders at all levels of the education system can work toward a common goal through a shared approach. The e2 Instructional Practice Framework connects the dots across multiple areas of instructional design to get everyone on the path toward this shared vision and approach. As educators today work to support increasingly diverse student populations, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to building students’ academic knowledge and skills.

Additionally, the development of the e2 Instructional Practice Framework is part of a broader effort to offer support to educators and practitioners at all levels of the system. This effort involves developing and curating resources that provide actionable guidance to identify and understand what’s happening in classrooms across a school or district, deepen their knowledge about what should be happening and how, and respond with coherent, collective action. The e2 Instructional Practice Framework and related suite of tools will foster a shared understanding of, and progress toward, a vision of high-quality instruction in K-12 classrooms that centers students. 

We invite you to explore the e2 Instructional Practice Framework and consider taking the following action steps to work toward Essential x Equitable educational experiences for your students:

Ultimately, our design team created the e2 Instructional Practice Framework to honor the past, speak to the present, and commit to a new future for K-12 students and their experiences in classrooms. We are grateful to the community whose work has culminated in the creation of this resource and look forward to continuing to build a community that will actualize these intentions.

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About the Author: Silvestre Arcos is a Designer at Student Achievement Partners. Prior to joining Student Achievement Partners, he worked in schools for 20 years as a teacher, instructional leader, and administrator. He holds a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and completed graduate study in education from Columbia University, Relay GSE, and Harvard University.

About the Author: Jennie Beltramini is a designer at Student Achievement Partners. She co-designs tools and resources and professional learning with amazing colleagues and the inspiring educators who work in schools with students and families every day.

About the Author: Dr. Diana Cordova-Cobo is a Research Fellow at Student Achievement Partners. Prior to joining Students Achievement Partners in 2021, she worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Understanding Race and Education/The Public Good at Columbia University's Teachers College. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Education and an M.A. in Social Studies Education from Columbia University's Teachers College and a B.A. in Political Science with honors from the University of Florida.

About the Author: Carey Swanson is a Senior Designer at Student Achievement Partners. Before coming to Student Achievement Partners, Carey worked as an educational consultant, supporting leader and teacher coaching, professional development, and curricular implementation. Prior to this work, Carey was a school leader at a charter school network in Brooklyn. She has experience supporting kindergarten through eighth grade students as a teacher and school leader. Carey holds a bachelor's degree in film from Northwestern University, a master's degree in teaching from Pace University, and a master's of education degree in School Building Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.