Teaching Ideas To Bin: Graded Lesson Observations

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John Dabell

I trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project...
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Is your school still grading lesson observations?

This is old news, but it’s something we shouldn’t stop talking about because 40-45% of headteachers STILL IGNORE the evidence which I find abhorrent.

The research is clear on this – if your school is grading teachers (or the teaching – same thing) in one-off lessons or over time, you are simply choosing to beat teachers over the head with a stick.

If a lesson is judged ‘Outstanding’ by one mentor/observer, research suggests that the probability that a second person would give a different judgement is between 51% and 78% (Measures of Effective Teaching Project).

In other words, as Professor Robert Coe writes from CEM, “if your lesson is judged ‘Outstanding’, do whatever you can to avoid getting a second opinion: three times out of four you would be downgraded. If your lesson is judged ‘Inadequate’ there is a 90% chance that a second observer would give a different rating”.

Jury: If your school still grades lessons, it’s not a school I’d like to teach in.

Read the rest of the Teaching Ideas that TT thinks we should Bin in 2018!

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