Today the observation of classrooms continues to remain the primary methodological tool to assess the competence of teachers as well as evaluate the efficacy of their learning processes in general. The evaluation technique’s theoretical basis stems from the notion that when evaluating the performance of teachers, one should never stop adhering to the principle of impartiality and impartiality, regardless of how the teacher is tackling the job.
These concepts are in line with the social-cultural discourse of modernity, which is reflected in the belief that rationality is the key to solving various problems in the public realm. Teaching observation can give important information on helpful techniques and models but it is vital to employ an organized plan to support institutions and make use of technology, as well as an appreciation of the process of thinking for the effective creation of expertise.
This process is an integral part of the process of learning that helps to improve the quality of teaching. Two aspects to it that one must be aware of. First educators must be attentive to their students and their learning processes as well as they should be subjected to evaluation to enhance their methods and strategies using feedback. But, the issue of what qualifies as an excellent observation is not resolved because it is, on the other hand, this evaluation process is extremely subjective.
However one should note that evaluating the performance of students isn’t always the most appropriate method of assessment because every student may have different views of the subject matter and abilities. The following research will give insight into methods and theories of observation that can assist in determining the best methods.
Issues in Coherent Assessments and the Provision of Coherent Assessments
There is no doubt that the goal of making a solid evaluation of one’s effectiveness as a teacher in the classroom environment is not without its issues. One of the main reasons for this is to do with the clear and precise transformative nature of teachers’ professional duties. In the words of Wragg (1999) observed, “During any one day teachers could be in a variety of roles when they perform their responsibilities. These could be “the transmitter of information, counselor social worker as well as assessor, manager and even a jailer” (p. 5).).
This, naturally, asks: what is the main assessment focus for assessors when it comes to the way they approach observing an individual’s performance as a certain teacher? Additionally, there seems to be no consistency in the spatial distribution of the current educational model in the West generally as well as in the UK specifically and also. It is not in the way of the present that the methods of providing students with knowledge are becoming more student-centered with the emphasis put on the process of guiding students through the process of learning, instead of considering the students to be passive learners of knowledge.
Because of these concerns, There is some ambiguity regarding what is the fundamental basis for the construction of the evaluation criteria in this respect. Another factor that adds complexity to the matter is the high level of interaction and systemic character of the teaching process as a system in itself. In the words of Westrick as well as Morris (2016) noted, “the complexity of teaching requires that teachers continually process information at the moment and react immediately, without time to consider the effects of their behavior and its underlying causes” (p. 160).
The rationale behind this is clear that to give an independent evaluation of a teacher’s performance in the classroom requires you to look at all external and internal factor which has played a part in its impact and is an extremely difficult task.
However, despite the plethora of totally objective issues when it comes to defining the traits of an observation that is truly useful there is one universal rule of thumb for understanding the latter – an effective or good observation should be contextually relevant, “the methods of classroom observation should suit its purposes” (Wragg 1998, page. 3.). This is the principle which will be explored throughout the whole paper. The author will also attempt to assess the credibility of the notion that the conditions of living in a postindustrial society require the use of a specific ethical method (Wragg 1998) for evaluating the performance of teachers and getting an understanding of the ontological basis of learning.
Purpose of Observation
Based on the studies that are relevant to the topic there is a lot of variance in the way different authors view the significance of observation in classrooms. This could be due to the fact that they are fundamentally speculative, many educational and pedagogical ideas do not have axiomatic validity. It is possible to prove the validity of this argument can be best demonstrated through the lack of any conditions that would allow the outcomes of any particular observation to be replicated “One of the most difficult problems occurred with teachers who were generally incompetent, but who were able to stage a satisfactory lesson when they were observed” (Wragg, 1998, p. 100).
Yet, many authors agree that this process serves three primary goals: to analyze the performance of the teacher being observed and to gather the relevant information about the characteristics of transition in the process, and also to get an understanding of the factors that contribute to the teaching process’s components that are systemic.
The process of gathering the necessary data for this purpose it is fairly simple. It’s focused on observers taking notes on the visible aspects of how teachers interact with students, while also trying to ensure that students are able to cope emotionally and intellectually with the information they are exposed to the primary responsibility of observers is to ensure that the system continues to observe the system’s principles and objectiveness.
This has brought into question the notion of “observation protocol”, which can be defined as a collection of informal checklists to determine (and in turn, measure) various aspects of the strategy used to teach as well as the evaluation person’s part. According to Bell Dobbelaer and Bell Klette as well as Visscher (2019) stated, “observation protocols (feature )… categories or rubrics that the rater utilizes to evaluate the quality of instruction in an instructional session. The aspects of teaching that are assessed are evaluated, and the scores are compiled into scores” (p. 6.). The most widely used methods of observing classrooms reflect the qualitative and quantitative paradigms of establishing an inquiry into science.
It is first necessary to establish whether the current examples of observation techniques provide an acceptable model to determine best practices. Pounder and Hung-lam as well as Groves (2016) conducted a study in an effort to discover the purpose of observation in teaching and the implications of the quality of observation. The authors assert it is important to improve education quality is the most important issue for researchers and policymakers in the present day. Pounder et al. (2016) employed students’ assessment in the context of a university, using a variety of tools to assess the strategies used by faculty members. Although this method is often criticized by many because of the possibility of bias from students, it is possible that observation by students can give valuable insights into the process of teaching.
The principle idea that is presented within the paper is the notion that the students who would benefit from a proper education could be those who are evaluating the teaching method. It is vital to ensure that students have been “trained in observation and feedback techniques” (Pounder and colleagues. 2016, p. 1194). This is a crucial aspect of the research since often, an incorrect evaluation could lead to negative results, such as a decrease in motivation.
The conclusion provides a clear understanding of the outcomes of improving professional competence by looking at feedback from the evaluation of students are positive. Pounder et al. (2016) claim that their method helps improve the comprehension of learning and the pedagogical objectives as well as improve the motivation of students and their engagement. Based on the research, it could be said that good observation can be achieved through the use of techniques that aid in analyzing the techniques and demands students’ involvement which helps to comprehend the context and significance of the method.
It is possible to argue that a uniform method for teacher observation is essential because it allows cohesion in the implementation of various concepts. Ofsted (2018) has an outline of six practices for the observation that are able to be utilized by teachers to enhance the effectiveness of their teaching methods. The methodological approach employed to design these systems makes sure that they’re efficient. Furthermore, they all provide data in a quantitative format that allows evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching efficiently.
Each model has the following characteristics that are common to all models – managing the class’s environment as well as instructing students and monitoring the behavior and attitudes of students towards the material (Ofsted 2018). The practice of observation has proven an essential instrument for assessing and improving control. In describing the importance of observation for the improvement of the professional skills of teachers, Ofsted (2018) states that “at one time, it was expected that 60% of inspection time in schools should be used to observe lessons” (p. 4.).
The model previously used to conduct school inspections included the assessment of planning and academic discipline within the class, the degree of difficulties that teachers present to students regarding learning outcomes, as well as the use of time and the application of homework in a way to enhance knowledge.
In certain situations, videos can be used to enhance the comprehension of the behavior of the teacher. But, Ofsted (2018) argues that there isn’t any quantitative measure that helps to define the results of teaching, such as the student’s knowledge or an increase in their ability to comprehend information. This will allow for precise evidence. Therefore, the researchers need to concentrate on evaluating those qualitative aspects of the method used by the teacher which help them transmit information.
The most recent ideas of new concepts that Ofsted (2018) suggests include – Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), Framework for Teaching (FfT), International Comparative, Analysis of Learning and Teaching (ICALT) international System of Teacher, Observation as well as Feedback (ISTOF) Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) generic dimensions of Teacher Quality. Learning is not part of the criteria of these strategies since, as previously stated, it does not provide the data objectively.
In the work, Hattie (2012) describes the meta-analysis of techniques for teaching that can have positive effects on students. The essence of this study is a review of multiple observations which can be utilized to increase professional skills. The author claims that learning visibly is a way of evaluating the learning process from the eyes of students (Hattie 2012). In addition, students should consider teachers as an essential component of their learning process.
The main concept is that teachers should be aware of their role and impact on the lives of individuals. Hattie (2012) advocates dialogue between the two main players both educators and students, which allows for a better understanding of the results. From the point of view of the author cooperating is an important component of good observation along with a good connection with students that allows students to acquire more information. In this sense, good observation is an essential element that allows you to assess the current teaching methods and modify them to better meet the needs of students more effectively.
World Bank Perspective
The World Bank is an international institution that is present in a variety of countries and offers assistance across a range of social areas. The institution provides two different models: CLASS as well as Stallings as the most effective methods to observe quality within an educational setting. The World Bank (2017) states that “by observing teachers in the classroom, it is possible to measure the impact of training programs and other interventions on teachers and, in turn, on student learning” which allows the creation of more effective policies (para. 2). The principal goal of the procedure is to establish an outline that school administrators and government officials can utilize in the development of programs.
The most important elements of the curriculum that The World Bank (2017) emphasizes include the use of additional materials, use of instruction time, and the use of the best methods. When an observation shows that the teacher makes use of each of these components it is possible to draw the conclusion that the outcome of these lessons will be effective. Based on these factors, it is possible to argue that a successful observation needs to take into account the four elements which were discussed.
Effective observation techniques are not limited to schools, but also other educational institutions. Bell Thomson and Thomson (2016) performed research that examined the ways that universities encourage observation among their students to improve performance. In general, the researchers observed that observation isn’t commonplace in schools of higher education, nevertheless, it does have obvious advantages. Bell Thomson and Thomson (2016) have concluded that presenting the benefits of observation and making sure that there is cooperation among staff members, and encouraging autonomy are the most effective methods for schools to follow. Additionally, “disciplinary differences, personal experiences, and institutional pressures” are listed as major obstacles to the development of professionals (Bell Thomson and Bell, 2016, p. 276).
The study offers an understanding of how teachers can utilize observation to benefit. In this paper the procedure in which “‘a university teacher watching another colleague’s teaching, without necessarily judging their practice or being required to give feedback” is examined through the eyes of the researchers (Bell Thomson and Bell, 2016 276). 276). The results show that these techniques increase the confidence of educators as well as enhance their knowledge of the process of learning, which is crucial for developing stimulating educational plans. Furthermore, the general awareness of teaching of those who participated in the peer observation program increased and included their
It is worth noting that this article focuses on the importance of support from institutions to facilitate the effective implementation of this model. Bell Thomson and Thomson (2016) assert that in many instances, negative consequences like the perception of the model as being highly personal and lengthy as well as being invasive could be present. Thus, both teachers and policymakers should be aware of the implications and appropriate methods to implement the observation practices.
Measures of Effective Teaching
A good observation requires an understanding of best practices that teachers can employ to facilitate learning. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2013) created an approach that can be used to assess the effectiveness of teaching. This is a measure that includes observations of classroom activities and evaluation of student surveys as well as their performance. This method can be utilized by schools looking to increase their efficiency and train their teachers about ways to improve. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2013) states the teaching profession is an complex subject, which is why it needs an elaborate model that aid in assessing the effects and the impact of a individual’s work.
Thinking About Patterns
As the literature suggests the need to design a proper teacher observation model, it is essential to follow a structured method. One aspect that plays a role in this is a deep understanding of the mind and its thinking processes which can aid in understanding the perspective of learners and teachers. Gladwell (2015) asserts that individuals can draw conclusions from small amounts of information they are given. Furthermore, these decisions could yield better results when contrasted with well-planned ones. Concerning teaching, these factors mean that teachers need to change their methods after studying the involvement of the students and drawing an assessment of the effectiveness of the method currently used.
The idea that “thin-slicing” refers to the process of drawing conclusions on the limited information that the human brain is able to gather within a certain time frame (Gladwell 2005, page. 50). The idea is that individuals recognize patterns of behavior and anticipate the outcome of certain situations. For example, a seasoned teacher will know the models that apply to a specific set of students. These models can aid them in learning from previous experiences.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The publication Thinking both fast and Slow gives a deeper understanding of cognition, which could be useful in developing strategies for effective teacher observation. Similar to Gladwell (2005), Kahneman (2011) seeks to identify the patterns of thinking, which will help teachers gain an understanding of how they learn and gain more knowledge. From the perspective of observation, the majority of people are able to comprehend information using the first model which is a description of a fast-thinking procedure.
Gladwell (2005) claims that this may provide people with important conclusions about the particular methods teachers employ because longer-term analysis may lead to false conclusions. Gladwell (2005) presents the notion of system thinking, which helps one make sense of information more effectively. But, another thinking model is available that requires the careful examination of facts and the formulation of conclusions based on them.
Regarding the observation of teachers, one could argue that the policies and papers related to this topic must be viewed in this manner. In order to understand what is the essence of observation, it is essential to identify the particular methods used to evaluate the teaching abilities. Knowing the intricate psychological concepts that define the functions of the human brain can assist educators to improve their observation skills. The book also discusses the particular issues in perception that you should be aware of. For instance, tiny samples may not provide an accurate representation of the nature of the phenomenon. Thus, effective observation techniques should be considered in light of the changing nature of methods that teachers use.
Examples from a variety of Countries
Martinez, Taut, and Schaaf (2016) analyze sixteen observation methods in both developed and developing nations to find the most effective model. While in all of the countries where the study has conducted the intention of observation of teachers was similar, the actual concepts, methods, and methods of appraisal varied significantly. According to Martinez et al. (2016) Martinez et al. (2016), the main goals are reflected in “concerns about shortcomings in educational quality and equity, reflected in the state, national, or international student achievement testing results, either in absolute terms or concerning peer districts, states, or countries” (p. 19). The objective is to give teachers feedback that they can use to improve their professional improvement.
For example, for instance, it is the case that the US system is shifting the value of highly educated teachers to highly efficient individuals who assist learners to achieve outcomes that alter the method of classroom observation, too.
The value-added model (VAM) assists in determining the progress students make in their academic studies. They should be included as part of the top practice of observation. According to Martinez et al. (2016), The traditional observation model is based on factors such as the quality of the instruction provided by the teacher as well as the practice in the classroom. Another method involves monitoring the learning outcomes of students, by assessing their results.
Martinez et al. (2016) propose the inclusion of formal practices that help teachers to enhance their skills as professionals on the national level. This is in line with conclusions drawn by +, since the authors refer to the support of the education institution or the government as the main element which allows proper monitoring of the teaching.
In general, researchers have provided enough evidence to support the idea that teacher observation is vital. The conclusion is that observation plays an essential function in improving the quality of teaching and also in the policies and practices that are applied to it. Teachers can employ different methods however, the institutions must assist in these initiatives. Classroom observation can provide valuable insight to the understanding of teaching in a real-world context that is beneficial to educators and policymakers. A good observation technique can employ a variety of methods and approaches. But, the most important thing is that the student’s accomplishments shouldn’t be taken as part of the assessment.
Case Study and Discussion
The research presented here will help you understand the necessity to create an established standard for the use of methods for teacher observation that can be used in schools across the UK. The case study to be examined in this paper is written by Cuthrell, Steadman, Stapleton as well as Hodge (2016) with the title developing expertise through the Use of video to Develop the observation skills of teacher candidates’ classroom abilities and examines the Video-based observation process that employs an entirely different way of thinking. This implies an integrated analysis and provides an improved understanding of the methods of observation and the models.
The most current methods for teacher education should incorporate the latest technology in information. Cuthrell et al. (2016) declare the fact that “over the last several years, however, teacher-education programs and professional development efforts have begun turning to video” since it helps to share classroom activities and reduce the difficulties of conducting in-person assessments (p. 5.). Previous research findings that the researchers mention indicate that video observation aids in understanding the teaching process and enhances the outcome of the observations.
Thus, Cuthrell et al. (2016) recommend they believe that using the Video Grand Rounds (VGR) model can be employed by schools to boost the professional growth of their instructors. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2013), Teaching is a complicated subject that encompasses multiple areas. Thus, good observation requires an exhaustive examination of the classroom’s interactions, which is not possible on-site.
The purpose of the study is a comparative study that integrates the results of variables that are different in the various groups of people being observed. Thus, Cuthrell et al. (2016) studied the effects of video observations, an in-class method, and observation with an organized protocol on teachers’ students. As only 17 participants were involved in the research It is possible to argue that further investigation into the subject is necessary. However, Cuthrell et al. (2016) declare the following “Though the small sample size could be misleading, Cohen’s d can suggest a large practical significance in which the large effect size is controlled in regards to variance in standard deviation” (p. 12). So, it can be conclusively concluded that the data presented in this paper are dependable.
The analysis of the results was based on reflection essays each participant completed at the conclusion of the research. Additionally, the quantitative data was gathered by using exam protocols and observation protocols to assess the development of knowledge within the participants. So, since the authors utilized various methods of assessing the outcomes, it can be said that the results are measured and not a sign of overconfidence. Cutler et al. (2016) affirm that the use of video increased appreciation of “salient features of classroom interactions, the ability to identify the complexity of classroom interactions, and the ability to readily transfer observation skills from a video platform to an in-school platform” (p. 20). It is important to note that the authors do not provide other explanations for their findings.
The theory is that video-based sessions can have a profound impact on the overall outcomes of teacher observation within the context of enhancing professional competencies. Based on the models of thinking that were outlined in the work of Kahneman (2011) and Kahneman (2011), it could be said that the findings are in line with other research. An evaluation that is more thorough of course through the use of critical thinking could help students gain an understanding that is more complete of the learning process. The methodology proposed by Hattie (2012) also aligns with the findings as the author believes that visual methods can be beneficial in improving abilities to teach. The author also says that cooperation is crucial to this. So, it can be suggested that further analysis of a video and on-sight observations is needed.
It is possible to argue that the design of the study should be improved with the addition of more factors that affect the quality of observation. One problem that is raised by the research conducted by Cuthrell and Co. (2016) is the studies of Bell Thomson and Thomson (2016), Pounder, and colleagues. (2016) and Ofsted (2018) suggest the evaluation of feedback from different sources, such as peers and students to improve the comprehension of the teaching abilities.
This is essential to ensure that teachers are competent in understanding how students perceive the information that is presented to them. Even though Cuthrell and co. (2016) do not go into detail on the reasons for the inconsistencies above, they recommend conducting a longitudinal study that examines the different aspects of their theory. The study will also include the comparison of their model with other approaches that provide valid findings about the specific model that educators can employ.
The results suggest that good observations of teachers incorporate principles of information analysis. They also let educators reflect on the methods and engagement in the classroom that other teachers employ. The review of the literature also suggests that different strategies should be utilized to enhance the positive impact of observation since the idea of teaching is a complex one. Martinez et al. (2016) assert that the classroom observation process is undergoing substantial policy changes in a variety of countries around the world due to the fact that current practices are under scrutiny.
The report offers an evaluation of the educational system in 16 states, along with an analysis of the outcomes in a quantitative manner. However, none employs video in assessing the abilities and knowledge of teachers. The difference is evident in the ideas outlined by Martinez and colleagues. (2016) use the technique which employs thin-slicing, as which is described by Gladwell (2015) who describes it as a model of thinking that assists in drawing instantaneous conclusions, but is susceptible to biases and possibly misperceptions. This is why changes are needed to the present strategy of improving observation abilities because the notion of good observation covers a range of disciplines and techniques. Table 1 presents a picture of the validity, reliability, and generalisability results.
Overall, observation plays an important role to play in the development of teachers’ skills and abilities and also in the development of suitable policies. This study analyzed the literature which examines specific frameworks as well as models that help to create an extensive assessment of the correct observation methods. There are a variety of models that are available, however, they all emphasize the importance of examining the students’ involvement and the use of tools.
A few studies suggest that observations carried out by students may provide useful insight into how students perceive methods used by teachers. Additionally, peer observation which is supported by institutions is a fantastic method of developing personal methods. In this paper, the case and the literature reviewed in this paper provide an explanation for the concept of the term “good observation” as a method that encompasses a range of aspects, such as the assessment of feedback from students and colleagues and the use of video to allow for unified analysis.