"You don't change performance without changing the instructional core," states Professor Richard Elmore.
"The relationship of the teacher and the student in the presence of content must be at the centre of efforts to improve performance."


Richard Elmore believes there are basically only three ways professional learning teams and triads can increase learning and performance. They are:

· To increase the knowledge and skill of teachers
· To change the content; and
· To alter the relationship of the student to the teacher and the content

Elmore describes these three factors as the ‘Instructional Core’. He believes that the teacher, the student, the content are inter-related and that if you change one, you have to change them all. He elaborates on this by saying that you can't alter the skill and knowledge of the teacher when you stay in a low-level curriculum.

If you alter the content without changing the skill and knowledge of teachers, you are asking teachers to teach to a level that they don't have the skill and knowledge to teach to. If you do either one of those things without changing the role of the student in the instructional process, the likelihood that students will ever take control of their own learning is pretty remote.

By focusing on the instructional core – the teacher and the student in the presence of content - as Elmore advocates, professional learning teams and teacher triads will bring about significant school improvement.