What is PLATO?
What makes a good teacher?As new research suggests that teacher practices are integral to student success, there is a push to discover exactly which practices correlate most highly to achievement. The Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observations (PLATO) is a classroom observation protocol focused on middle and high school English/Language arts instruction that was developed as part of a research study on classroom practices. The study specifically aims to discover more effective teacher practices as measured by their impact on student achievement. The PLATO instrument is based on existing literature on effective instruction in secondary level English Language Arts and (v. 3.0) includes thirteen elements that encompass a number of key areas of ELA classroom instruction. The team that developed PLATO was headed by Pam Grossman, Professor of English Education at Stanford University.
Sharon Greenberg, Julie Cohen, and Sinead Mullen worked extensively on the earliest versions of PLATO.
Courtney Bell and Drew Gitomer have provided extensive feedback on our instrument.
We owe a debt to the developers of CLASS -- Robert Pianta, Bridge Hamre, and Nancy Haynes, Susan Mintz, and Karen La Paro -- who have influenced our thinking about classroom observations.
Susanna Loeb, Julie Cohen, Michelle Brown, Dan Mindich, Lindsay Brown, Tom Lascher and Rita Simpson-Vlach, all of Stanford University, have contributed tirelessly to the development of this instrument.