Opening Doors to Equity

A Practical Guide to Observation-Based Professional Learning

How do we make educational equity a reality, lesson by lesson? This compelling book is a call to action, focused on using observation-based professional learning to elevate teaching practice.

Learn how to bring team observation into the classroom to test, refine and transform instruction so that students of all backgrounds achieve. Ideal for classroom teachers, grade- level team facilitators, department chairs, and all education leaders, this guide shows how to:

  • Create a culture of deep collaboration that closes opportunity gaps among students
  • Redesign instruction to reach culturally and linguistically diverse learners, using observation data and shared best practices
  • Center instructional conversations on developing students’ skills for college and career success, including hard-to-assess skills

Both powerful and practical, Tonya Ward Singer’s book promises to become a catalyst that will inspire educators as leaders of positive change.

$28.95, 240 pages, 978-1-4522-9223-6
Available November 2014



This exceptionally valuable book provides a clear process I can use to engage with my colleagues around learning. I appreciated the ideas and practical information that will ensure that my professional learning group focuses on student learning as evidenced in real lessons.

Douglas Fisher
Professor, San Diego State University, CA

Tonya Ward Singer skillfully provides educators with a powerful professional learning model that is based on the most recent work and relevant research in the field. This book is a practical guide for making the complexities of teaching diverse learners more visible—to others and to our selves—and for fostering rich professional conversations that are focused on improving the teaching of all students.

— Jeff Zwiers
Senior Researcher, Stanford University

The writing, the depth, the flow, examples are all exciting and well done. Very appropriate for teachers. I recommend the book because of the detailed information, clear step-by-step process.

— Margarita Calderón
Professor Emerita, Author
Johns Hopkins University

I recommend this book without hesitation . . . Gone are the days for teachers to be working “behind closed doors.” . . . Go forth and TEACH like the world works—collaboratively with teams!

— Harriet Gould
Retired Elementary Principal
Adjunct Professor
Concordia University
Lincon, NE

Tonya Ward Singer’s, Opening Doors to Equity—A Practical Guide to Observation- Based Professional Learning is a rich text for administrators and teacher leaders con- cerned with supporting the growth of others. It combines practical ideas to build a strong learning culture with ideas to take full advantage of ‘open doors’ to move a compelling equity agenda forward.

— Beate Planche
Educational Consultant/Researcher
Collaborative Learning Services

Opening Doors to Equity is extremely practical, clear, and easy to understand and implement. Most importantly, the practice supports sustainable professional learning of any content area or strategy, especially relevant now as we are transitioning to Common Core State Standards and in need of examining the effectiveness of the many new practices we are implementing.

— Katherine Strach
Language and Literacy Consultant
San Mateo, CA

This book is a must read for principals, instructional coaches, teacher leaders and others charged with the task of providing meaningful professional development for teachers. As a how-to guide, the practical suggestions within this book provide a relevant framework for implementing classroom-based inquiry.

— Judy Brunner
Clinical Faculty Missouri State University
Springfield, MO

Tonya Singer has compiled a cornucopia of best practices and top research under one roof in the learning community. The text directs and explains a culture where teachers assist each other in collaboration assisting students in growth and readiness for an ever changing world.

— Lyndon Oswald
Principal Sandcreek Middle School
Ammon, ID

With all the changes taking place in education, this process of teachers working collaboratively together can both improve our instructional practice and open doors for us to support each other in ways we have not in the past. Both the improvement and support are vital in education at this time.

— Leslie Standerfer
Principal/Academic Associate (Adjunct Faculty)
Estrella Foothills High School / ASU
Goodyear, AZ

Opening Doors to Equity is truly a facilitator’s dream. I could take it and use it well with teachers to engage in professional learning. The process is definitely tried and true— it speaks well of the author’s experiences in real schools with real educators. On the basis of the amount of yellow highlighting I did in each chapter, I would say this is an incredibly powerful book.

— Lois Brown Easton
Educational Consultant, Author