Making lesson observations work (Part 1): Problems with traditional approaches to lesson observation.
A central concern for any school is how to support and enhance the performance and development of its classroom teachers. It is for this reason that observations of classroom practice have become such a prominent feature of the landscape in education settings, with observations now taking place many times during the academic year for each individual teaching practitioner. Observation processes are linked to and inform, among other things, performance management appraisals, school inspections, and continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers. Being observed at work can be, in my view, a good thing, in that it can bring strengths to one’s attention, inform consideration about areas for development, and raise awareness about blind spots one might have about one’s practice. It stimulates learning and reflection, guards against complacency, and is a helpful vehicle for challenge. Observation is thus a key tool for supporting practitioner learning and development, which in turn supports the ongoing process of school improvement. It is also a potentially valuable component of coaching engagements in schools if the aim is to support the development of classroom practice. However, there are a number of factors associated with observation procedures that, in my view and experience, can either confound the process or interfere with the aim of supporting practitioner learning and development. This blog post outlines some of these factors.
Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets (Dweck, 2006) has very much permeated the modern educational landscape, and is a good example of how findings from psychology research can influence people’s thinking and practices. A related but equally informative area of exploration from Dweck and her colleagues’ research, in my opinion, is their work on performance goals and learning goals. My decision to make this topic the focus of a blog post was inspired by a conversation with my 10-year-old daughter that took place earlier this year.
Have you ever listened to someone else talk through a problem or situation and felt the urge to offer them advice or solutions? That’s the righting reflex, which is the subject of this blog post. In this instalment we’ll explore further what the righting reflex is, and why it can be a problem. We’ll also look at how we can manage it, and ways in which we can respond other than ‘fixing’.
Welcome to the second instalment of Psychology for Positive Change, a new blog which focuses on constructive applications of psychology to everyday living. This post focuses on the RULER model of Emotional Intelligence (EI), and how concepts and language from the film Inside Out can be used in everyday interactions to help children develop their EI.
Welcome to Psychology for Positive Change, a new blog which focuses on constructive applications of psychology to everyday living.
Why read this blog?
You may want to read this blog if you are interested in the following:
Psychology for Positive Change is a blog about constructive applications of psychology to everyday living.
Mark Adams is a Chartered Psychologist who is passionate about how psychology can be applied to make a positive difference to lives and society. He is the author of Coaching Psychology in Schools, published by Routledge in November 2015.
For other psychology-related resources, please visit the resources section of the APS website.