Are Schools Making the Most of Classroom Observations?

Are Schools Making the Most of Classroom Observations? Teacher observations play a key part in teacher evaluations, often counting for a significant portion of final scores.

However, some recent research suggests that classroom observations are more effective when they are used as part of a formative process to generate reflection (versus high-stakes evaluations). And while classroom observations in the United States tend to be conducted by principals and external evaluators, other countries have moved to incorporate teacher-to-teacher feedback loops.

What role should peer observation and feedback play in professional development and evaluation? How might current evaluation structures be modified (if necessary) to allow these kinds of changes?

Peer evaluation is just one of the components missing from collaborative environments, Precious Crabtree writes.

Maura N. Henry, a teacher from New York City, wants to bring back peer observation into the teacher evaluation process.

One teacher learning alone without support is not an ideal condition for professional learning, Cheryl Redfield says.

Schools need to consider structures that provide teachers with opportunities to observe one another more frequently, Ali Wright argues.

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