An Introduction to Classroom Observation by Ted Wragg

By Ted Wragg

This up to date and revised moment variation now contains assurance of the hot instructor appraisal and faculty inspection methods. utilizing a mix of case experiences, pictures and illustrations, foreign schooling specialist Ted Wragg exhibits how numerous humans examine classes for various reasons and in several contexts. He offers examples of profitable equipment which were hired via academics, pupil lecturers, researchers and students.

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Separate ‘episodes’, such as ‘setting up’, ‘monitoring pupil work’ or ‘summary’, can be identified in the margin, so that it is clear later what kind of interaction occurred during various kinds of activities. A stopwatch, the second hand of a wristwatch, or even a specially designed pocket timer which gives a bleep to an earpiece, can be used to remind the observer to record a category every three seconds. Let us take a simple exchange which will show how the system works in practice: Teacher: Look at the list of cities on the blackboard.

Teacher: Pupil 1: Pupil 2: Teacher: Teacher: Pupil 3: 42 So can anyone give me an example of an insect? Richard? (4) I know, a spider. (8) A spider’s not an insect. (9) Good, that’s quite right Jacky. Er… (2) (Teacher distracted) (10) It’s not an insect, because it’s got the wrong number of legs. (5) It should have six legs, not eight. (5) And it’s got three parts to its body. (9) T H E U S E O F Q U A N T I TAT I V E M E T H O D S Teacher: That’s right, Andrew, its body is in three parts, and the middle bit has quite a hard name—the thorax.

It is often the context which determines the desirability or otherwise of a certain piece of behaviour. Rating scales, therefore, can be useful in classroom observation, but they are best employed by experienced observers seeing numerous teachers, and they should never be used automatically, only when the context seems appropriate, and then with considerable caution. Category systems Rating schedules that require the observer to exercise considerable subjective judgement are often referred to as high inference measures.

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