John Edwards Admiral Lord Nelson School – Portsmouth City of Portsmouth Girls' School –...
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John EdwardsAdmiral Lord Nelson School PortsmouthCity of Portsmouth Girls' School PortsmouthSpringfield School PortsmouthMembers of Portsmouth University Initial Teacher Training Partnership
The evaluation of Trainee Teachers with specific reference to students observationsHow might students evaluations of trainee teachers in the classroom assist trainees in meeting the standards for newly qualified teacher status?
The National Curriculum for England -CitizenshipUse their imagination to consider other peoples experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own.
Negotiate, decide and take part responsibility in both school and community based activities.
Reflect on the process of participating.Developing skills of participation and responsible actionPupils should be taught to:
Action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants, e.g. teachers, students or principles, in social (including educational) situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of:Action Research Their own social or educational practices Their understanding of these practices The situations and institutions in which these practices are carried out (Carr & Kemmis, 1986)Case Study The Portsmouth ITT PartnershipThe case need not be a person or enterprise. It can be whatever bounded system that is of interest. An institution, programme, responsibility, collection or population can be the case (Stake, 1980).
A number of initial comments produced the following consensual views:Objective data on individual classroom performance would not always be possible to produce.
Constructive comments by students should be welcomed and encouraged and adverse judgements should not be taken personally.
Students who are participating in the project would be assumed to be honest and positive in their motivations and judgements.
The advantage to trainees would be that they would gain a clearer insight of students' expectations and what teaching strategies in the classroom worked effectively.
Some Initial concerns raised included:The possibility that student-trainee teacher relationships might be adversely affected by the change in role and balance of power in the classroom.
Students might be unrealistic in their expectation of trainee teachers abilities possibly expecting them to exhibit the same levels of confidence and competence as their regular class teachers.
Students might not fully understand the criteria which they were using to evaluate trainees classroom practice.
These initial responses from Trainee Teachers were supported by some rich reflective comments which included:I think a student is going to see it as they have a say in their education more than the relationship with the teacher being badly affected.
I dont see it as a student having an advantage over you. If anything I think theyll see it as an advantage to themselves to gain an insight and input into how theyre being educated.
Their feedback to us is vital well know what students expect in a teacher which is like a golden nugget of information to find out what kids actually want and what will motivate them to work is ideal.
Responses ContinuedHaving feedback from students I think, is going to do nothing but aid how you pitch and approach a lesson.
Because students (observing) know other students very well, what we think is disinterest due to boredom may be a significant difficulty or refusal to work for other reasons which we might not know about, so they might observe their peers very differently from an adult, either the teacher sitting at the front of the class or at the back It would be interesting to gauge what they felt the rest of the classs engagement with the lesson was because obviously were going to misjudge that sometimes.
Personal features include:Being friendly but formal in manner
Being smartly but casually dressed
Being consistent in manner and approachable
Being able to deal with difficult situations
Being patient and willing to listen
Being able to identify (and possibly solve) problems
Being fair and firm
Professional features include:Being able to explain instructions clearly
Being able to support individual learning needs
Being able to control the whole class
Being able to structure lesson activities clearly
Being able to explain tasks in a variety of ways
Being able to offer praise and sanctions in a calm and positive manner
Being able to mark and comment on work in reasonable time
Being able to respond to the mood of the class
Outline of the process of recording that students undertookBeginning of lesson:
Capturing the attention of the class
Stating aims of lesson
Revision of previous work
Organisation of lesson
Explanations and clarifications
Use of board and resources
Timing of activities
Class management/trouble shooting
Seeking out, helping and showing concern for students encountering difficulties
Assessment and Monitoring:
Revision of previous work
Checking that lesson aims were met by the students
Checking that lesson aims were met by teachers
Admiral Lord Nelson SchoolAt first when I was asked to observe the student teachers I was nervous about sitting at the back of the classroom and making notes, but once it started I found it was easy. I was also unsure about giving them feedback in case they took bad things the wrong way but I found that if I told them something they needed to improve on then told them something they did well it was OK.Claire WigginsHearing ITT .. from the children
When I was asked to do this project at first I was excited, but as it went on I realised that doing this would include me beginning to analyse the student teachers, so I was very unsure. When we sat in the classroom and began to write I felt a bit nervous in case I wrote down the wrong things.
After the first part of the programme we had to give feedback. This was the part I had been dreading but when I arrived I found that the student teachers were really willing to listen to my points and ideas. It helped that we were in partners as this made me feel a bit more relaxed.Vicky Boulain
From participation in this project I have learned that being a trainee teacher is a lot harder that I thought. They have to plan a lesson, control a class they dont know, work in a school with teachers they have to get to know quickly, all the time being watched and assessed by students younger than them.
It was also hard watching them. You had to write down where they went right and wrong and later tell this to their face. I learned that confidence plays a big part in teaching.Matt Cope
From this experience I now know how the student teachers feel when teaching the class. I understand that if pupils are behaving inappropriately the student teacher may feel under pressure and nervous. I know how hard it is for the trainees to manage the class. They dont just have to teach, but need to prepare for the lesson too. I found it useful to learn how trainee teachers can be helped to develop their skills and how giving them advice can help me. I have enjoyed my experience and hope it will be useful in later life.Danielle Darby
City of Portsmouth Girls SchoolThe last part in the Teacher-Training project was the most important part, for us to give feedback to an actual trainee teacher. We were nervous, Kelly and I sat at the back of the classroom with 3 sheets: the teachers lesson plan, a sheet to write down our observations and a sheet to write down feedback. I did not find it as hard as I thought it would be. After the lesson we had to sit down with the trainee teacher, Mr Edwards and our tutor Ms.Cosh to discuss the teachers way of teaching. We gave both positive and negative feedback. I learnt that when giving negative feedback, to also give ways of improving too.Laura Adshead
Overall it has boosted my confidence in giving my opinions to others without being too shy to speak.Kelly BrownI think this course really helps out students who are becoming new teachers. It helps them to know how to control the children and see how they can make everyone listen to them.Foujia Awwal
We took part in a classroom observation. I observed the student teacher that was currently in my English class. I did the observation with another pupil who was participating in the project and we sat at the back of the classroom. We did our class work as well as writing our observations. We wrote our notes about different parts of the lesson. Afterwards we gave feedback to the student teacher.
This course is a great help to trainee teachers as it allows them to not only hear feedback from official observers but to hear the opinions of the ones who benefit most from their methods the children. They get advice from those who have had previous experiences in teaching but not from those who have previous experiences of being taught.Lucy Wood
Springfield SchoolOur first preparation for the project was a trip to the University. We met the project co-ordinator, Mr Edwards, and six other pupils from the City of Portsmouth Girls School. We began with a task to identify our Ideal Teacher and then swapped our ideas. Mr Edwards recorded our ideas. We then watched a video of a trainee teacher working in London. We made notes on what she did well and what she didnt do well. We learnt about many of the skills we would need to observe in our student teacher.Kate Borland
During the summer term we each observed our teacher once. To do this we worked in pairs so that we could share ideas and our observations. We had been given a lesson plan and we used this to think about whether she went too fast or too slow for the class. This was something our teacher was keen to discuss with us. We also looked at how well the teacher controlled the class. As we observed we wrote suggestions and ideas on record sheets provided by Mr Edwards.Holly Courtneidge
After we had all completed the observations, we collected the information from the lessons and met with our student teacher. We never said that we thought she had done this wrong or that right. Instead, we talked about the lesson from OUR POINT OF VIEW. As she was nearing the end of her training our student teacher was now quite confident and knew us well. She said that she found our comments very useful and that having a lesson reviewed from the pupils point of view was a valuable opportunity.Faye Hodges
What the Trainee Teachers Said.Generally I found it really helpful they were really honest. The girls were a lot more gushy in what they wrote the boys tended to focus more on behaviour management.It is a bit daunting in that it puts you in a defensive position if anything should go wrong its justifying yourself to the people that you teach ...What I was worried about was that the classroom relationships would deteriorate some respect might be lost the children were a lot more forgiving than I had anticipated.
Youve got the professional view from an adult which is obviously incredibly important to meet the standards but having the people you are trying to teach come back and say this worked well is very powerful.The benefit of it was being able to see the perception of me as a teacher from a pupils point of view as opposed to another teacher.I felt that their comments were very rational and supportive.
I think that actually considering the process of being taught helps to value a little more of what goes on in a school.The pupils see teachers as human beings who can improve in what they do and be praised I think its the integration of pupils into adult life that helps to bring them on a little bit.
Quote 1Engaging in pupil consultation presents, for teachers, some potentially uncomfortable prospects: in particular concern about being on the receiving end of personal criticism and concerns about what happens if the familiar hierarchical structure of the classroom is challenged by the principle of partnership.
(Ruddock and Flutter, 2004, p.147)
Quote 2For many teachers, student voice is seen as either peripheral, irrelevant or corrosive of the already diminishing legitimacy of teacher professionalism.
(Fielding, 2001, p.105)
Quote 3Student perceptions are valuable to our practice because they are authentic sources; they personally experience our classrooms first hand. As teachers, we need to find ways to continually seek out these silent voices because they can teach us so much about learning and learners.
( Soo Hoo, 1993, p.390)
Quote 4Are we witnessing the emergence of something genuinely new, exciting and emancipatory that builds on rich traditions of democratic renewal and transformation? . . . Or are we presiding over the further entrenchment of existing assumptions and intentions using student or pupil voice as an additional mechanism of control?
(Fielding, 2001, p.100)
Quote 5In most schools transformation will be about re-casting teachers and pupils in a more participatory and collaborative relationship, reviewing perceptions of pupils capacities to contribute actively to a range of school activities and allowing them to move outside their assigned cells as learners of the statutory curriculum into learning associated with a wider range of roles and purposes
(Ruddock and Flutter, 2004, p.139/40)