Adjuvant Whole-Brain Radiotherapy Versus Observation …
Of course we can devise systems that take the problems into account, and I would expect nothing less from Huntingdon School. But this isn’t really my point. Maybe just stopping grading lessons isn’t enough. If Prof Coe is right and classroom observation is the new brain gym, maybe we need to get rid of it as an accountability measure. And maybe we also need to start thinking about whether there are more effective ways to drive improvement.
Human brain on white background - The Observation Deck
No system will ever be perfect so whichever one you take you will be able to hold up anecdotes of particularly good and bad practice. The question is how typical are they? We once did an exercise for OFSTED with two inspectors observing the same lessons and independently grading them sealing the findings in an envelope and sending to OFSTED. I wonder what happened to that data? It would at least tell us something more about consistency. In the end schools can decide whatever system they think best but it is likely to reflect what OFSTED does as school assessment for kids tends to reflect public exams and national assessment. The Gods of HMI devised lesson observation and there is no political imperative to do anything that would look like weakening teacher accountability. The change things needs more than teachers constantly debating how bad the system is for the same reasons journalists are now not trusted to police themselves.
Coe even goes so far as to suggest that classroom observation might be the new Brain Gym. He questions both the validity and impact and points out that there isn’t even one single, solitary study that provides real evidence that observations lead to improvement in teachers’ practice. Who knew?