Lesson Observations – improving teaching practices

Lesson Observations – improving teaching practices

It’s not a difficult concept – teaching watching others teach with the view of improving one another’s teaching practices.  There is ample research verifying that it is a powerful catalyst for improving teaching practices, it can be delivered internally, and it is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of PD.

Yet, Lesson observations are not common everyday practice in schools, particularly during COVID. , particularly during COVID. Recently, however, more schools seem to be considering implementing such a program. If you one, here are a few tips:

  1. Begin with Focused Observations: Consider focused observations as opposed to other types of lesson observations, such as open observations. Focused observations have the advantage of detailing exactly what is being observed through a Data Observation Sheet. Ideally, the data collected should be agreed on by all parties.


  1. What data do I collect? The data sheets should be looking for practices that have a high likelihood of improving student outcomes. A good starting point are the High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS). ITC has integrated many of these items in our Data Observation sheets – click here to view:



  1. Practise beforehand: There is a real art to collecting lesson data, so before proceeding with actual lesson observations, practise on a video beforehand. ITC has developed 3 x lesson observation videos. Try this one https://itcthinkdrive.com.au/lesson-observations


  1. Feedback: We recommend an Assertive Conversation model, where, after discussing the data collected, the observer recommends 5 things for the lesson:
    1. What should be kept in
    2. What might be inserted
    3. What could be eliminated
    4. What there might be less of
    5. What there might be more of
  2. Setting Goals and PD: After the lesson observations and feedback session has concluded, there should be 3-5 goals set on improving one’s teaching and any PD required identified.

Lesson Observations should not be used for appraisal purposes. Rather, it should be a forward orientated program trying to improve teaching practices. It is a powerful way of improving teaching practices.

ITC has a full range of Lesson Observation resources at https://itcthinkdrive.com.au/

Alternatively, contact us if we can assist. https://www.itcpublications.com.au/contact-us

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