• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What are the benefits to be derived from the observation of lessons? What approaches might you use and why? What methodological issues might you encounter?

Extracts from this document...


Wragg (2002:132) argues that, "new teachers' professional development can be informed by regular and discerning observation of lessons". What are the benefits to be derived from the observation of lessons? What approaches might you use and why? What methodological issues might you encounter? It has been argued over the last two decades that observations are vital to professional educators, as they can help teachers: "understand and act upon all the complexities in the classroom" (Macintyre, 2000). As observations are believed to be valuable; it is important that educators are aware of the different observation approaches and how they can use them. Observation is a vital skill for all professional educators to master as it can help them to develop as teachers and it can ensure that their students are getting the best possible education in their learning environment. As Linda Hargreaves says: "classroom observation is becoming an essential profession skill in the teacher's repertoire." (Hargreaves, 2002). There are two means of observation: qualitative and quantitative. They are both extremely useful in certain situations of monitoring the lessons, and to ensure that the teacher keeps developing; however it is to be believed that using both methods of observation together can be of the most use as it gives a full picture of the learning environment in lessons. ...read more.


On the other hand, no matter what quantitative method is used to observe the learning and teaching in classrooms; the overall focus should be on how educators can use it to help them "take increased responsibility for their actions and create a more...dynamic environment in which teaching and learning can occur." (Hopkins, 1993). Another method of observation which works well in the classroom is that of qualitative observation. Alternatively the qualitative method is the opposite of the quantitative method. Qualitative data is descriptive and involves characteristics that can't usually be counted. This method of observation is more detailed and tells us more about the actual interactions in the classroom between pupils. Examples of the qualitative method are, long hand continuous accounts within the classroom, open ended questionnaires, unstructured interviews, structured interviews and categorical recording. The advantage of using this method is that, it takes account for the complexity of group behaviours. Also it provides context for pupils' behaviour. Qualitative research expands the range of knowledge and understanding of the world beyond the researchers themselves. It often helps educators see why something is the way it is, rather than just presenting a fact. For instance, a quantitative study may find that students who are taught composition using a process method receive higher grades on papers than students taught using a qualitative method. ...read more.


Classroom observation focus on the teaching strategies being used, the role played by pupils in the lessons and any relationships there appears to be between what pupils write under examination conditions and what happens in class. It allows the opportunity for self-improvement and therefore benefits the children as the more beneficial methods of teaching will be identified. It is also useful for the teacher to be able to monitor the progress of individuals and notice things that would normally be overlooked. Referencing: Hargreaves, L. (2002), Seeing Clearly: Observation in the Primary Classroom in Moyles, J. and Robinson, G., (2002), Beginning Teaching: Beginning Learning in Primary Education, 2nd edition, Buckingham: Open University Press. Hopkins, D (1993) A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Research (2nd Edition) Buckingham: Open University Press. Kumar, R (1996) Research Methodology: SAGE publications LTD, London. Macintyre, C (2000) The Art if Action Research in the Classroom. UK: David Fulton Publishers. Montgomery, D. (2002) Helping teachers Develop through Classroom Observation (2nd Edition, London: David Fulton Publishers. MUIJS, D (2004) Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. SCOTTISH_EXECUTIVE (2004) a Curriculum for Excellence - The Curriculum Review Group: Purposes and Principles for the Curriculum 3-18. IN DEPARTMENT, S. E. E. (Ed.) Edinburgh, The Scottish Executive. Simpson, M and Tuson, J (1995) Using Observations in Small-Scale Research: A Beginner's Guide. UK: SCRE (The Scottish Council for Research in Education. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Teaching essays

  1. This portfolio will help to illustrate and address how the current influences of play ...

    is appropriate to their needs and abilities and will be working alongside students of similar ability - this may avoid the stigma of being seen as 'bottom of the class'. "Tracking (also called streaming) is separating pupils by academic ability into groups for all subjects within a school in a

  2. Child Initiated Play Observation. My observation of Child M took place in play ...

    The type of play observed here is creative play. By examine the marks it begin to show some control in use of tools ,equipment and movements on paper. 9:45am Child 'M' is at the play dough table playing with other children. She is making cakes for everyone at the table, using baking tray and cutters.

  1. Approach, Design, and Technique Defined in Relation to Second Language Teaching Methodology Comparative Analysis ...

    Next is the 'Birth Stage', when the client speaks independently, though imperfectly. It is now that s/he is most likely to resent what s/he feels is unnecessary assistance from the knower. Fourth comes the 'Reversal Stage' when s/he is secure enough to take correction ~ In the final or "Independent

  2. Identify a key issue in the 14-19 curriculum for my specialist subject (mathematics) and ...

    Confirmation that the reform has not worked will infuriate exam boards who struggled to produce the new two-tier qualification in less than 18 months after it was rushed in by David Blunkett, the then education secretary. Teachers complained that the sixth form had been turned into an exam factory because

  1. Understanding Children(TM)s Behaviour

    Evaluation of the behavioural perspective This perspective sees unwanted behaviour to be the result of past and present learning experiences. It is thought that unwanted behaviour can be adapted and unlearned. It is believed that current learning experiences are more important and influential that past experiences.


    The work of other researchers (e.g., Ornstein and Levine 1981) has also revealed that it is beneficial for teachers to use humor to hold student interest and reduce classroom tensions and to remove distracting materials, such as athletic equipment or art materials, that encourage inattention or disruption.

  1. The purpose of this collaborative study is to compare and contrast teaching methods and ...

    teachers, there is also no training therefore peer two only finds out how to do things properly after doing it wrong first. I work for a power culture organisation. There is one central source which influences all employees. This power source sets in place new rules, policies and procedures without any thought for the employees.

  2. Write an essay assessing the advantages and disadvantages of structured observation as a method ...

    Human nature with its âcomplexityâ; and âelusive and intangible quality;â while contrasting with the order of the natural world (Cohen et al,2001, p9), would yield up its concepts and generalisations through the Positivistsâ approach[a]. Pursuing this line of investigation, Positivists, in believing that the âscienceâ of human social life was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work