The benefits of mutual observation

Ahead of Observing Learning Week, here are a some thoughts on the benefits of observing colleagues’ practice…

Why bother with observation? Some people panic at the thought of being ‘judged’ or feel they need to spend hours planning a dazzling lesson, whilst others relish the opportunity to show off their skills.

But why should we bother?

Ten good reasons why we should engage with mutual observation:

  1. Research says that observing others has a measurable positive impact on teachers’ professional development.
  2. It helps create a buzz about teaching and learning and reminds us all why we became teachers in the first place.
  3. Sharing good practice by watching each other is a powerful tool for disseminating what we do well.
  4. Mutual observation is not judgemental or evaluative so we can learn from each other in a non-threatening way.
  5. Conducted correctly it is a constructive process of mutual benefit.
  6. It helps create an atmosphere of trust between teachers and can encourage us to get to know other colleagues better.
  7. It gives us a legitimate reason to be nosey – fulfil your curiosity about what actually goes on in other parts of the school. Visit classrooms you have never seen before!
  8. MO helps generate a culture of openness and a willingness to address areas of our practice we are less confident with… and to improve them!
  9. Reflection – it makes us think about why we do what we do and helps us question habits that may not be benefiting our pupils.
  10. MO helps create an ongoing dialogue about T&L which we can all participate in.

 

Some links to interesting articles on the benefits of peer observation:

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/peer-observation

http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin297.shtml

https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/lli/developing-learning-and-teaching/enhance/peer-observation-of-teaching-1

http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1262&context=jutlp

 

JAS

31.10.17

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