ERIC Number: ED205487
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Friendly Strangers: Reducing Teacher Isolation Through Ethnographic Observation.
Gardner, Cynthia H.
Ethnography as a classroom observation method addresses itself to the situations, events, patterns, and contexts that exist in a classroom at a given time. A priori categorical observation and evaluation systems measure what the system is designed to "see," and may fail to record anomolies and salient events that affect teaching and learning in this one classroom. Through an ethnographic method, "clinical descriptions" of a classroom can be obtained and used for feedback. The intelligent, trained observer, in collaboration with the teacher committed to self-evaluation, can put ethnographic materials to immediate use in dealing with specific and unique situations. The clinical use of the ethnographic method, in conjunction with observers who have knowledge of the roles of supervisor, researcher, and teacher-colleague, seems to be effective in the objective observation of classrooms, in determining the needs of individual teachers, and in providing feedback for teacher improvement. (Author/JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Research and Development Center for Teacher Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (New Orleans, LA, 1981).