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Presentation on Lesson Observation – for the Algerian Inspectorate

Appendix 4a - Lesson Observations (National College)
Lesson observation is a great way to release the potential of colleagues and raise the quality of learning and teaching throughout the school. Effective classroom observation and the dialogue that follows can contribute substantially to teachers’ professional development and the unlocking of every child’s potential. The leader for learning has a vital part to play in this process. It should not be something that is 'done to' a colleague but instead be part of a joint and collaborative approach to learning about 'Learning and Teaching'. There are a number of ways to run lesson observations. 1. Formal leader and colleague Leaders who go into classes and build up the trust of colleagues can help make a substantial difference to how children learn through the process. The experience of receiving effective feedback after lesson observation can lead to substantial changes and a feeling of empowerment from the observed teachers.

2. Peer observation Observing teaching in each other's classes helps break down the isolation often faced by teachers. It lets them see the practice of different colleagues and how children are learning in different situations. When properly structured, the conversations that follow can be powerful platforms for new learning and improved teaching.

3. Trios Trios watch each other teach and then come together for a discussion about their learning and next steps. This can be a particularly powerful approach when introducing a new piece of curriculum. Here, the individuals concerned split into pairs to watch each other's approach to delivering new material. Ongoing discussions following observations can then lead to changes to the content and teaching approaches. The observations can be repeated as required.

Group observations Group observations can be conducted in a variety of ways.

Group Observation. Groups of staff observe classes together and then discuss what they have seen. These observations are all about the learning of the observers, particularly in the discussion that follows.

Phil Silvester CBE – p.silvester@hotmail.co.uk

Presentation on Lesson Observation – for the Algerian Inspectorate
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Demonstration lessons. Regularly delivering demonstration lessons can provide hints and tips to teachers across the school and stimulate discussions around learning and teaching. The Learning Walkabout. This is where a group of staff goes for a walkabout in the school, visiting classes at random, looking at corridor displays and so on. This provides an overall impression of the learning environment for pupils and enables the group to reflect on next steps for the school.

Common to all of these practices is the rich professional discussion that follows.

Teachers Teaching Teachers The above examples fit with American researcher Judith Little’s analysis, that schools are successful when the following four things happen: [1] • • • • teachers talk about teaching teachers observe each other teach teachers plan, organise, monitor and evaluate their teaching together teachers teach each other

In schools where the leader contributes to the above process there is a real momentum to discover what it means to move from good to outstanding in terms of learning and teaching. [1] J W Little, 'Norms of collegiality and experimentation: Workplace conditions of school success'. American Educational Research Journal 19:3: 325-340 (1982)

Phil Silvester CBE – p.silvester@hotmail.co.uk