THE IMPACT OF FEEDBACK GAINED FROM CLASSROOM OBSERVATION ON TEACHERS’ TEACHING PRACTICE

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             Nowadays the quality in education is becoming one of the significant issues on policy agenda. However, according to Gleeson (as cited in O’Leary,2014) there is a hot contest about what and how it is achieved and understood in practice.  In addressing the questions raised above, classroom observation constitutes a controlling technology together with the tool that can be used to inform the teachers teaching practice and consequently raise the quality of education. It will be of high significance, if classroom observation is accompanied by constructive feedback, which is powerful tool in improving teaching and learning.

               There is a significant number of existing literature from various subject areas, which prove the importance of feedback gained from classroom observation on teachers teaching practice. For instance, one of the recent experimental studies found that giving secondary school teachers’ frequent observational feedback based on classroom observation boosted their students’ achievement by the equivalent of moving from the 50th to the 59th percentile on Virginia’s state tests on a 100-point scale (Jerald, 2012)

              Moreover, cognitive psychologists who study expert performance have found that feedback is the key resource for engaging in the kind of “deliberate practice” necessary to reach high levels of performance in any field. While athletes and musicians often receive regular doses of high-quality feedback, most professionals do not. According to a leading authority on expertise and expert performance Ericsson (2009), the greatest obstacle for deliberate practice during work is the lack of immediate objective feedback.

              However, from practice we understand that ensuring accurate and immediate objective feedback from observations brings a complex challenges for school. It means that schools must design a robust solution involving multiple strategies tailored to their own unique circumstances, since the practice shows that simply providing initial training for observers is not a sufficient solution. That was actually the reason for me to study this issue more deeply. Consequently, in this study I will be more concerned about the effective strategies for observation and constructing feedback from the acquired data on observations in order to help teachers meet the challenges they face and improve the quality of their teaching practice. I have taken Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Chemistry and Biology in Shymkent, since in the process of my work I mostly encounter that teachers have the sense of threat coming from classroom observation rather than  the expectation to improve. Therefore, in the process of conducting this study I will carry out an analysis of existing literature, identify the gap in the literature and collect data from teachers on the impact of feedback gained from classroom observation on their teaching practice with the use of questionnaires and interviews.

References

Ericsson, K.A. (2009). Enhancing the Development of Professional Performance: Implications from the  Study of Deliberate Practice. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press

Jerald, C. (2012).  Ensuring Accurate Feedback from Observations: Perspectives on Practice. Seattle, WA: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Retrieved September,06, 2015 from: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/college-ready-education/Documents/ensuring-accuracy-wp.pdf

O’Leary M (2013) Classroom observation: a guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning. London:    Routledge.

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