The OFSTED Teaching Style R.I.P. (Part One) Lesson observations for ‘Genuine improvement’ | @mrocallaghan_edu. If learning is invisible. If learning occurs over long periods of time. If teaching is led by an individuals’ beliefs and values. If effective teaching is hard to agree on and to a large extent determined by outcomes (but not entirely). Is it right to persist with inferring judgments on teachers and lessons? Image by Tony Gurr It seems we’re trying desperately to measure something that is very difficult to quantify (if not impossible). The problems with grading lessons. The main problem with trying to judge a lesson is that it’s hard to agree on exactly what great teaching is and in the moment of an observation it’s impossible to know what the learning gains for the students will be as a result of that lesson.
Content by @ProfCoe – Image by @LearningSpy Slide by @LearningSpy Questions around the reliability of lesson observations are further explored here… Leadership matters. The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. People. Image by @GapingVoid. Secret Teacher: from outstanding to inadequate in just six weeks | Teacher Network | The Guardian.
Just before Christmas, I had a lesson observation by an external consultant. My lesson was graded outstanding and, as a teacher fresh out of induction, I was pretty proud of myself. During my newly qualified teacher (NQT) year, I had never been graded less than good. But to get that outstanding as a fully qualified teacher felt like something special; at the very least, it validated how hard I was working and justified the sacrifices I was continually making in my work-life balance.
Roll on six weeks, and I was observed again by a different consultant – and this time my lesson was graded inadequate. To say this was a shock is a huge understatement. The demotivating effect was instantaneous. I had received no written feedback from the observation. As it happens, I am lucky. I keep reminding myself that, at the end of the day, I'm only in my second year of teaching. But what happens to all those other young teachers who don't have such support and self-belief? Lesson Observations: True Stress for a False Snapshot? | Richard the Teacher. It’s that time of the year again. Your line manager has asked you to choose a suitable class for her to observe, and a preferred time. You have about a week’s notice, in which you prepare every possible resource under the sun, ask for lesson suggestions from colleagues or online forums and basically get stressed like mad until it’s all over. And the outcome of it all: In some cases, your observer evaluates you on the basis of an overly-prepared lesson in which you were probably very nervous and apprehensive.
Those who do well under these conditions are praised as positive deviants that we can all learn from, and those that don’t are asked to constructively reflect on ways in which they can improve. There are pro’s and cons to this approach to ‘performance management’, much of which centre around the school’s culture. Surely, as professionals working in a people-centred industry, shouldn’t we be approaching our personal growth in a much more adult and sophisticated way? Like this: Lesson observation | RCCS Teaching and Learning. We really do need to start getting this right in schools. For a long time now I have used the analogy of the medical profession. No doctor watches another to give him a score, a mark out of ten, or an assessment based on a framework which, with the best will in the world, will always be subjective. But the practice of observing- and helping- is widespread. If I were to tackle a complicated knee operation for example it would be quite normal for me to ask a colleague for advice, to ask if I could watch him do a similar op, or to invite him into theatre to assist.
If I wanted to try something a little different I would almost certainly ensure I shared my planning with a colleague and request her presence when I carried out the procedure. I would only be appreciative of the help offered, it would be non-threatening, it would improve my practice and benefit my patients. Why is it often so different for teachers?
So the four of us learned a huge amount in that hour. I’d welcome your thoughts. To grade or not to grade lesson observations? Some interesting reads | joannemilesconsulting. Joannemilesconsulting Just another WordPress.com site Skip to content ← Checklist for Colleges on Embedding English and Maths from Catherine Langstreth The Learning Revolution: National Conference for the FE Sector, March 26th 2015 → To grade or not to grade lesson observations? Posted on February 18, 2015 by joannemilesconsulting 1. 2. Dr Matt O’Leary on the largest research study in the UK on lesson observation: 3. 4. About these ads Share this: Like this: Related Enhancing your observation cycle: joint event with Dr Matt O'Leary and Joanne MilesIn "Advanced Practitioners" Leave a Reply.
Graded Lesson Observations: Alive and Kicking? Mention the phrase ‘graded lesson observations’ in any staffroom in the country and what would be the response? In many staffrooms they are derided as an ugly feature of a particular strain of virulent OFSTED-itus. Only three or four years ago ‘graded lesson observations’ were the norms in pretty much every school in the nation. Since then, with repeated confirmation from OFSTED, the practice is on the wane. Still, however, many staffrooms will speak of still being subjected to this discredited and discouraging practice. So why are we hanging onto this zombie of supposed-school-improvement? I would be intrigued if we could pin some exact statistics onto the ongoing use of graded lesson observations. Perhaps a reminder of some statistics about lesson observations would prove helpful here… Professor Rob Coe made what was for me a defining speech on the unreliability of graded lesson observation data at ResearchEd, back in 2013 (the detail is written up in this superb blog – here).
Like this: Lesson observation | RCCS Teaching and Learning. If not now, when? Making the move from graded to ungraded developmental lesson observations in the FE sector | joannemilesconsulting. What an exciting, horizon-widening time it is in the FE sector, if we consider the debates around lesson observation models! There are plenty of principled, thoughtful and practical people thinking about what needs to change, to make our lesson observation models more engaging, respectful and truly developmental.
On the research front, Matt O’Leary should be thanked for his enormous contribution to this debate, with his thorough, thought-provoking and stimulating book, entitled Classroom Observation. There are also many research summaries and articles online by his hand plus a comprehensive UCU report. In the world of blogging, I have found several bloggers well worth a read, raising as they do many practical points and making some helpful suggestions for moving this area forward: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Collection of posts on lesson observations | NET BLOG. Here is our growing collection of posts on the subject of lesson observations from our leading thinkers. 1.
The surgeon and the scalpel 2. Fanning the glowing embers. 3. The clearing fog 4. 5. 6. Feel free to share your opinion of lesson observations in the comments section below. Like this: Like Loading... Lesson Observations Unchained. A New Dawn. This is a short reflection on the massive difference it makes when you stop grading lessons. I’ve embarked on the process of observing all of my teachers in my new school.
Wow – what a privilege that is. So far I’ve seen 20 lessons – I saw 9 English lessons last week. I’ve got some joyous weeks ahead of me as I work through each department in alphabetical order. 97 teachers to see; a big undertaking but an absolute joy. This is all taking place in the context where, until this year, the school accountability systems and OfSTED gave grades for lessons. So, what difference does it make? The lessons are more normal. The process encourages a stronger focus on learning than teaching. The discussions are entirely different.
It’s motivating. I’ve had superb feedback from my staff about the discussions they are now having after lesson observations by me and our review team. Just like Truman – we have found the wall. Like this: Like Loading... Related. 'Lesson observations can ruin teachers’ careers' | TES. Teaching is a complex professional practice, drawing upon layers of knowledge and skill deployed in the constantly changing context of the classroom.
Teachers explain, direct, listen, assess, differentiate, empathise and energise the pupils in their classes. Much of what they do is instinctive: responding to signs of frustration in one pupil; asking a particular question to another to reinforce understanding; using a wrong answer to illustrate a common misunderstanding. Teachers’ instincts are based upon their knowledge of their subjects and their experience of teaching and learning. The Sutton Trust’s 2014 report What Makes Great Teaching? Concludes that there is no framework for effective teaching that is not open to interpretation. This is very good advice. Why are so many teachers demotivated by the lack of professional respect they receive from more senior colleagues?
These judgements can ruin teachers’ careers, deny them pay progression and constrain their professional autonomy. This much I know about…helping OFSTED improve lesson observations. I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about helping OFSTED improve lesson observations. Members of the Headteachers’ Roundtable met with Sean Harford today, one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and Ofsted’s National Director for Schools.
Here is a Twitter conversation I had with Sean a week ago: And here is my letter to Sean… Hi Sean Now that we do not grade lesson observations, when it comes to performance management observations we can ask colleagues, ‘How would you like to be observed to help you best develop your teaching?’ That question alone changes the dynamic of the observation process. The consequences of that decision are outlined in my book. Here is one thing, however, which we are trialling which is improving the observation process and is not in my book! It goes without saying that you can ‘smell’ whether learning could be going on in a lesson. Sincerely John Like this: Like Loading... Headteacher in York. Observations – is the boot on the wrong foot? | FurtherEdagogy. I consider myself rather blessed. I have a beautiful 22 month old daughter who is healthy, happy and seems to learn new things extremely quickly. She likes to watch other children playing a lot.
She takes in everything that is going on around her and before you know it, is doing the thing she just observed. She must do a lot of this at nursery, but they’re not always positive things she copies, for instance the way she has started to snatch, or the way she has started to shout ‘no’ at the same time as frowning at me. Let’s face it, observation in any institution is usually undertaken by individuals that aren’t practicing teachers. So let us go back to my above point about learning from observing others. I appreciate that there are a lot of things that could be copied that may be deemed ineffective, but for me, the importance is getting teachers to be inquirers in their own classroom and finding what works best in their context.
Like this: Like Loading... Session 20: Lesson Observations: How do we get the best from them? Session Title Lesson Observations: How do we get the best from them? Summary of Session The discussion this week was fast and furious; everyone has something to say about lesson observations! Inevitably, Ofsted observations were discussed, but more time was spent discussing the observation as a CPD tool. There were some excellent tips for observers: giving constructive but fair feedback, recognising the fact that nerves do play a part and suggestions that peer observations and team-teaching are better ways of supportive development.
The topic of pupil observers was raised. A spot of light-hearted humour was injected by the recounting of people’s worst lesson observations, and wow, have there been some corkers! We ended with reasons to embrace the lesson objective process and, for me, @Ariellah’s reminder that lesson obs are simply a process of lifelong learning for us teacher-types summed things up nicely! Eye-Catching Tweets @leeandrewdunn: should observations be bi directional? Why? Passion, professionalism and pioneer spirit: Reflections on the “Lesson Observations: new approaches, new possibilities” conference at University of Wolverhampton, June 17th 2015 #obsconf2015 | joannemilesconsulting. Still reeling, in a good way, from Lesson Observations: new approaches, new possibilities conference last week.
I attend and present at plenty of FE conferences and they rarely create this level of buzz beforehand or deliver such excitement on the day. This was clearly a topic that people felt strongly about and were hungry to discuss, but what marked this event out for me was the tone. In workshops, keynote speeches and in the coffee queue, people were engaged in lively, constructive discussions about how they have been developing their observation cycles and what else is possible to enhance them further. There was an energy, a forward-looking feel to the day that was refreshing, reinvigorating and exciting to experience. Listening to the speakers and meeting colleagues from the wider sector, I realised that the tide has turned on lesson observations.
So, where do the passion, professionalism and pioneer spirit of my title fit into this picture? 2. Lesson study stages: 1. Like this: The Observational Scalpel by @TeacherToolkit@TeacherToolkit. This is a blog about observations. My thoughts on teaching and learning have shifted. It is common to read a book and have your thoughts struck by a bolt of lightning, but it’s even more rare to read a blog and have your pedagogy shifted. This short blog takes inspiration from Roy Blatchford and @ScrtInspector.
Would You Intervene? Have you ever been the observer in a lesson observation and intervened with students (and not with the teacher)? Of course, the purpose of the observation can also be significant, particularly because we have all been working within a one-off performance culture of observations over the past two decades. But how often has this happened to you as a teacher? The Surgeon and The Scalpel: If you saw any lesson developing down a path you thought was not part of the plan, or that ‘learning’ appeared to be lost, would you intervene? Consider this. Reading Thoughts on Lesson Observations #1 | The Surgeon and The Scalpel, former HMI Roy Blatchford writes; Image: CNN Related.
O Brave New School!: O is for observations. Bookmark-for-lesson-observations-2-to-a-page. Re-shaping Teaching & Learning | Gary King. Life without lesson observation grades. Lesson observation is broken – can we fix it. I was observed today…. and I loved it!: Teaching outside the box | Gary King.