Last week I wrote about some of the reasons why lesson observations can lack utility. In this piece, I want to do two things: define the two contradictory aims of lesson observations, and ways in which these aims can be teased apart in order to focus on observations that catalyse professional development.
Here’s the main obstacle: most observations aren’t really about improving the practice of the teacher; most observations are collating data about the quality of teaching. Those are separate enterprises. Schools are required to evidence the quality of their teaching to external agencies; for most institutions, this means