Peer observation in teacher development

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  1. 1. Peer Observation in Teacher Development Peter Beech
  2. 2. What Does TP practise? Sensitivity to problems of language use for learners; Sensitivity to how learners learn, the skills they need, the strategies they employ and the problems they have; Classroom management skills; Teaching techniques. ~ Gower, R. et al. 1983, 1995 Teaching Practice Handbook Macmillan
  3. 3. Wednesday Week 1 Observe the teachers use of language. Does s/he grade her language appropriately to the students level? Does s/he talk too much? Note down any examples of language that could have been simplified or instances where the teacher was talking unnecessarily.
  4. 4. Thursday Week 1 Observe the teachers instructions. Were they understood by the students? Were they clear and simple? Were they staged? Were there enough pauses? Were they checked? Did the teacher demonstrate where possible?
  5. 5. Monday Week 2 Observe how the teacher deals with showing and checking meaning of either grammar or vocabulary.
  6. 6. Tuesday Week 2 Observe what adaptations the teacher has made to the coursebook materials. Has s/he added or rejected anything? Are there any further changes you think s/he usefully could have made?
  7. 7. Wednesday Week 2 Observe what use the teacher makes of eliciting and using questions to involve the students. How successful is s/he at keeping the students engaged? Are all students encouraged to participate equally?
  8. 8. Thursday Week 2 Observe how the teacher makes use of monitoring and gives feedback. What does s/he give feedback on? Is the feedback varied in style? Was s/he able to make use of things noticed during monitoring in feedback?
  9. 9. Monday Week 3 Observe how the teacher responds to student errors. What techniques are employed to encourage self- or peer-correction? Were any errors ignored? Was it better to ignore them or not?
  10. 10. Tuesday Week 3 Observe the stages in the teachers lesson. Were they coherent? What was the apparent stage aim of each stage?
  11. 11. Wednesday Week 3 Observe the different types of interaction that take place between teacher and students during various sections of the lesson. How many different types of interaction do you see? Were the teachers responses usually appropriate or useful?
  12. 12. Thursday Week 3 Observe the different techniques the teacher uses for showing and checking understanding of meaning and form during the lesson. Also, does the teacher deal with pronunciation? How successful is s/he in these things?
  13. 13. Week 4 In the last week, tell your fellow trainees what your personal aims are in each of your lessons and ask them to observe how far you are able to meet them.
  14. 14. These Observation Tasks are taken from Jim Scrivener's Learning Teaching. 1. Options and Decisions 2. Options and Decisions part 2 3. Classroom Interaction 4. Staging 5. Objectives 6. The Learners 7. Feedback to Learners 8. Errors and Correction 9. Thoughts and Questions 10. Stolen Goods
  15. 15. Corrective feedback and teacher change For assessment purposes, to ensure that each T has fulfilled the aims and objectives of an initial teacher training course, certain behaviours are expected, and therefore feedback is often likely to be corrective. Corrective feedback requires a period of time for the T to process, digest, reflect upon and come to terms with the criticism involved. Change as a result of this type of feedback is likely to be convergent, that is to say, the T is required to move closer to some agreed norm or form of practice. N K-H
  16. 16. Preconceptions Learning is an input-output system. Learning has specific and uniform goals. Learning stops at the acquisition of a certificate of some description. There are specific ingredients that a good lesson absolutely must have. There are specific models for good lessons. Mistakes make you lose face and must be avoided. Anything new is either suspect, or an improvement on the old. Authority should be accommodated and appeased at all costs. Discerning Reality Lesson observation as research Costas Gabrielatos IATEFL Teacher Trainers and Educators SIG Newsletter, November 2004
  17. 17. If confirmatory feedback is detailed in the same way corrective feedback often tends to be, and if it is supported with specific examples from the Ts lesson, there is every reason that this type of feedback, too, would facilitate teacher change. Teacher learning and change do not have to be problem-oriented all the time. Post-observation feedback as an instigator of teacher learning and change Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton IATEFL Teacher Trainers and Educators SIG Newsletter, July 2004
  18. 18. Clearly we would all agree on encouraging self-criticism and self- awareness in the trainee and that our conduct as teacher trainers in the feedback session is inextricably linked to our inter-personal skills of counselling and personal supervision. The case for delayed feedback after teaching practice (tp) and observation by Richard Denman 'The Teacher Trainer' Vol 3 No 3
  19. 19. Trainer Trainee Peer Peer Training - Development
  20. 20. What are the objectives of TP? To provide an arena for assessment To have your teaching evaluated and criticized To encourage self-awareness To enable you to make decisions about how you teach
  21. 21. 1. a tool to provide constructive and formative feedback. 2. a way to obtain information on student's performance. 3. an instrument to indicate a student's progress in teaching. 4. a means to develop your own expertise and your own role as a teacher and manner of teaching. 5. an assessment instrument. 6. a tool to control pupils' behaviour by the physical presence of the mentor 7. an instrument for monitoring and influencing the student teacher's performance. Mentor Development and Evaluation of Languages Student-Teachers Observation is:
  22. 22. What is peer observation? Peer observation is the observation of teachers by teachers, usually, though not always, on a reciprocal basis. Pairings may be mentor/novice or experienced teacher/experienced teacher. In the first case the focus will be more clearly on helping the novice to develop their teaching skills both by observing and being observed by an experienced colleague. In the second case, the objective is to provide opportunities for experienced teachers to reflect on their teaching in a calm and private environment. GW
  23. 23. Agreeing the format of the observations Both parties should agree on a focus for the observation in advance. The observed teacher may request feedback on a specific area of their teaching which they are finding particularly challenging or which they would value input on from a trusted colleague. GW
  24. 24. Follow-up The observer and the observed should meet soon after the observation. The focus should be on identifying the strengths of the teaching observed as well as the sharing of practical ideas as to how the teaching might be improved. Care needs to be taken to focus only on areas agreed in advance. Where two experienced teachers are involved they should take the opportunity to reflect on the underlying rationale of their teaching, rather than more superficial issues of procedure or technique. Peer observation Graham White
  25. 25. How can teachers move beyond the level of automatic or routinised responses to classroom situations and achieve a higher level of awareness of how they teach, of the kinds of decisions they make as they teach, and of the value and consequences of particular instructional decisions? JR
  26. 26. One way of doing this is through observing and reflecting on ones own teaching, and using observation and reflection as a way of bringing about change. JR
  27. 27. Peer observation can provide opportunities for teachers to view each others teaching in order to expose them to different teaching styles and to provide opportunities for critical reflection on their own teaching. JR
  28. 28. The teachers who participated in the project reported that they gained a number of insights about their own teaching from their colleagues observations and that they would like to use peer observation on a regular basis. They obtained new insights into aspects of their teaching. Towards Reflective Teaching by Jack C. Richards
  29. 29. Observation Feedback & Reflection Practice Development Cycle
  30. 30. Once the virtuous circle of establishing a climate of non- judgmental professional interest is established, then teachers will begin to regard themselves as researchers with a professional stake in their own theory generation and a stronger chance of reflection on practice. Mind the Gap: Thoughts on Self Help and Non-judgmental Observation in the Classroom John Norrish
  31. 31. So how do you feel it went?