ERIC Number: EJ925280
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Reference Count: 0
360 Degrees of Reflection
Waters, John K.
T.H.E. Journal, v38 n5 p33-36 May 2011
Classroom observation is--at best--an inexact science, historically plagued by the limitations of the human being doing the observation: There's only so much that eyes can see, ears can pick up, or pens can record in a given moment. And then there's the subjectivity problem: What looks like "exceeds expectations" to one observer may look like "needs improvement" to another. Pioneers in "systematic" classroom observation tried to address these limitations by creating "objective" instruments that would enable administrators to easily and quickly record observable, measurable, instructional data--such as how frequently a teacher checks understanding--and that would limit reliance on human judgment or inference. Unquestionably, such systematic approaches have made classroom observation a much more useful and impartial method for understanding teachers' strengths and weaknesses. Applied well, these techniques can be powerful aids to professional growth. But the truth is, systematic instruments, as good as they are, are still plagued by the limitations of the person using them. This article discusses how some cutting-edge technologies are trying to take teacher evaluation to the next level--but their real potential may be as tools for self-reflection.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Classroom Observation Techniques, Administrators, Technology Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Teacher Student Relationship, Reflection
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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