Do subject specialists produce more useful feedback than non-specialists when observing mathematics lessons?
Evans, Sheila and Jones, Ian and Dawson, Clare (2014) Do subject specialists produce more useful feedback than non-specialists when observing mathematics lessons? In: 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 15 - 20 July 2014, Vancouver, Canada.
Official URL: http://www.pmena.org/pmenaproceedings/PMENA%2036%20PME%2038%202014%20Proceedings%20Vol%203.pdf
Schools, districts and inspectorates routinely use non-specialists to observe lessons for accountability and professional development purposes. However, there is little empirical research on how well non-specialists observe lessons. We describe two pilot studies in which education professionals made judgements about mathematics lesson observation reports, written by both specialists and non-specialists. In terms of providing feedback to the observed teachers, the professionals considered the specialists’ reports to be significantly more useful than the non-specialists’ reports. Written advice about a teacher’s practice influenced these judgements. The paper considers theoretical and practical implications, as well as limitations of our findings.
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