Classroom observation is one of a repertoire of strategies which help staff gather information about the core work of Learning and Teaching. It should be carried out sensitively and professionally, and should involve teachers in consultation about the purposes and format of the exercise so that everyone involved is clear about their role in the activity
The Nature of Observation
Observation is a systematic eye on what happens in the classroom. It can be recorded by narrative writing, videoing, sound recording or full written transcripts. It is no so much a part of our tradition in teaching, as it has been in the medical field, for example.
Observation is the foundation of reflection.
Purposes of classroom observation
1. To improve learning and teaching as part of individual staff member, subject department, whole school and authority self-evaluation procedures.
2. To give teachers the opportunity to reflect on and discuss their practice with each other and with school or authority management
3. To share success and good practice.
4. To promote a collegiate approach to developing learning and teaching
5. To allow everyone to have a better understanding of the work and professional practice of teachers.
6. To contribute to standards and quality reporting, including reports to HMIE.
7. To contribute to the process of professional review and development, as appropriate.
8. To contribute to the process of professional development.
9. To be used for curriculum development and evaluation.
Principles of classroom observation
1. It will be strictly within the context of learning and teaching.
2. The purpose, method and timing of the visit will be subject to prior consultation, and may be linked to the school or department improvement plan, to issues raised in an HMIE report, to exploring alternative ways to deliver a topic, to supporting a colleague, to diagnosing or working out a solution to a problem.
3. It will take... [continues]
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