What if we used teacher-drive observation as a tool to improve teaching and student learning?

The current model of PD isn't working for most teachers--can we use job-embedded observations to improve teacher learning?

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Much of current teacher PD does not seem relevant to teachers and doesn't translate into student learning. What if the focus shifts to job-embedded learning? 

According to the article Rethinking Classroom Observation, "Teacher-driven observation addresses these problems by empowering teachers with a classroom-embedded process to refine their instruction. Through teacher-driven observation, teachers engage peers in gathering and analyzing classroom data—data that speak to the unique context of their own classrooms. This approach has demonstrated potential to meaningfully improve instruction and student achievement.

Existing approaches to observation generally serve the observer. Teacher-driven observation flips this approach, placing the observed teacher as leader and primary learner in the observation process.

The observed teacher identifies the focus of the observation, developing a question that reflects an area about which he or she wants to learn more, and that connects to the relationship between the teachers' instructional methods and students' learning. An educator may want to explore how to develop his students' ability to solve multistep word problems or how to increase student engagement in class discussions. She may hope to improve instruction related to a curricular standard. With a clear focus in mind, the observed teacher invites colleagues to collect classroom data related to that focus.

Three components are essential to teacher-driven observation. At an initial focus meeting, the observed teacher shares his or her focus question and gives background for the lesson to be observed. Theobservation enables the collection of classroom data. During the post-observation debriefing, the teacher and observer team collaboratively examine the data collected and discuss what the data indicate about the relationship between teaching and student learning in terms of the teacher's focus."

What do you think? Would this type of learning be more meaningful? 


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