by Nick Morrison
Teachers teach, so it seems natural to assume that watching them teach is the best way to find out how good they are. But while it may be taken for granted, a growing body of evidence suggests that observing lessons is no way to grade a teacher.
Research on both sides of the Atlantic has highlighted discrepancies between judgements made by observers and empirical measures of how much progress students make. In fact, a more accurate correlation between the two could be achieved by flipping a coin.
These findings cast doubt on the role of lesson observation in passing judgement both on individual teachers and on schools. But it does not mean observations themselves are pointless. Instead we should rethink the way they are used so they become an effective tool of school improvement.
The case against lesson observation…
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