The government is in no doubt. Teachers, they suggest, learn best from observing other professionals.
The only problem is that for many teachers it can be a bit daunting to have one’s own lessons videoed for colleagues to see. And thus many teachers find that the best way to start this process is to have oneself videoed specifically for oneself to view.
In this way one begins with self-observation, and then moves on to being open to observation by one’s peers – although that does not mean that all or even the majority of one’s lessons should be seen by colleagues, at least in the early stages.
What should happen is that really effective lessons can be shared with colleagues. In this way the question, “why did this lesson work so well?” can be asked and teased out from the evidence.
Now we do have to admit that one reason why “observation by one’s peers” is favoured by inspectors is because it makes their life easy by giving them something to measure.
They can look and see if teacher observation is going on, and if it is they tick the box. If it is going on a lot, then they can tick a lot of boxes, and everyone is happy.
Recognising this, Classwatch has produced a video system whereby the lesson can be reviewed by the teacher who taught it and then, when desirable, shared and discussed with colleagues.
The system comprises two cameras (allowing excellent room coverage), a Classbox recorder and high definition audio. All images and audio are recorded to the Classbox and access is strictly password protected.
And there’s a bonus too. We are currently offering the next 50 schools who contact us a free lesson recording so you can see how Classwatch can work for your school.