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Teacher Induction: Supporting the supporters of novice teachers in Europe
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REFLECTION BY USING CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS

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Goal:Stimulate reflection on teacher quality by observing classroom situations  
Status:Pilot version 
Targetgroup: 
Groupsize:2+ 
Toolbox aims:Empower participation in debates, Collaborative learning 
Timescale:2 Hours 
Specific resources:Video/DVD materials or direct observation of classroom practice 
Summary:

Through observation of classroom activities, participants can discuss aspects of teacher quality that are shown by the teacher in action.
Observation can be either direct by observing classroom activities in real life, or indirect by using careful selected video materials showing classroom activities of teachers.

A variety of videos of classroom activities is made available on DVD and accompanied by activities to structure the reflection.

 
Materials:

DVDs with selected classroom situations.

At this moment DVDs are available for

  • Video tool 7: Outdoor learning
  • Video tool 8: Inclusive education

Other DVDs will become available in the near future.

DVDs can only be used for educational purposes. The images of children and teachers are limited to DVD transmission and may not be published through internet.

The DVDs can be ordered by sending an e-mail to Marco Snoek.

 
Methodology:

Starting point for the tool is a concrete classroom situation. Observing the situation can stimulate reflection and discussion on teacher qualities that are visible (or lacking) in the classroom situation. Both 'good practices' and 'bad practices' can be a starting point for reflection on alternative teaching strategies, the participants' own teacher qualities, etc.

Observation of classroom activities can be organized in different ways:

  • 1-to-1 peer-observation of colleagues after which the observer and the observed reflect on the observed classroom activity (this might be somewhat threatening, as the quality of the teaching of a colleague is discussed)
  • 2+-to-1 peer-observation of colleagues after which the observers reflect on the observed classroom activity (this might be somewhat threatening, as the quality of the teaching of a colleague is discussed)
  • 2+ colleagues observe a video of a classroom activity and reflect on the observed classroom activity .

In the last model, the participants are more free in discussing and criticizing the observed classroom activity. Also the video can short selected alternative approaches in teaching which can be compared and discussed.

For the project selected classroom activities are/will be made available on DVD accompanied with selected activties:

Video tool 7 and 8 can be ordered by sending an email to Marco Snoek.

 
Variations: 
Background & Resources: 
Conditions:

The activity should take place in an open and non-competitive atmosphere.

 
Strengths & Weaknesses:

Observation of real classroom situations is powerful as theoreical discussions on teacher quality will become much more concrete. The observation of classroom situations can also stimulate participants to bring their own real life experiences into the discussion.

Using videos showing children and teachers is problematic as one has to be careful with repect to privacy. Therefore materials can not be made available through internet and videos need to be treated with respect.

During the discussion, it should be avoided to focus on weaknesses in the teaching of the teacher. First question should be: 'what qualities can be seen?' This can be moderated by providing concrete activities and tasks following the observations.

 
Experiences: