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ERIC Number: EJ830923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1359-6748
Can Inspectors Really Improve the Quality of Teaching in the PCE Sector? Classroom Observations under the Microscope
O'Leary, Matt
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v11 n2 p191-198 Jul 2006
For some years now, teachers in the post compulsory sector have been lambasted in educational circles for what some perceive as the poor quality of teaching and learning in classrooms. Such criticisms have tended to emanate from those responsible for inspecting the sector's provision. In fact, when Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and the ALI (Adult Learning Inspectorate) took over responsibility from the FEFC (Further Education Funding Council) for post compulsory inspections, it made it clear that as part of its remit, it would endeavour to bring about an overall improvement in the standards of teaching and learning in classrooms. This "improvement" was to be based significantly on the strengths and weaknesses identified by inspectors in classroom observations. This paper examines the role that classroom observation has to play as a tool for teacher assessment and development in external inspections and similar schemes within the post compulsory sector. It is argued throughout that current models of classroom observation, which typically involve some form of appraisal or assessment of the teacher's performance, run contrary to the principles of teacher development and as such do little to improve the overall quality of teacher performance. The position postulated in this paper is that such approaches to observation tend to induce a culture of negatively charged emotions and focus on the more trivial features of teaching. Furthermore, instead of providing teachers with the opportunity to develop their own ability to reflect on, and assess, their teaching, they tend to rely too heavily on the subjective judgements of inspectors/observers. In conclusion, this paper contests that if future classroom observation schemes are serious about improving the standards of teaching and learning in the post compulsory sector, then they must move towards a more equitable model in which both teachers and learners themselves are actively involved in the process of assessment. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom