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Peer observation of teaching: A decoupled process / Marty, Chamberlain

Active Learning in Higher Education, Volume: 12, Issue: 3, Pages: 189 - 201

Swansea University Author: Marty, Chamberlain

DOI (Published version): 10.1177/1469787411415083

Abstract

This article details the findings of research into the academic teaching staff experience of peer observation of their teaching practice. Peer observation is commonly used as a tool to enhance a teacher’s continuing professional development. Research participants acknowledged its ability to help dev...

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Published in: Active Learning in Higher Education
Published: 2011
Online Access: http://alh.sagepub.com/
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa29710
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Abstract: This article details the findings of research into the academic teaching staff experience of peer observation of their teaching practice. Peer observation is commonly used as a tool to enhance a teacher’s continuing professional development. Research participants acknowledged its ability to help develop their teaching practice, but they also reported that it could operate superficially as a tick box exercise, that its outcomes were frequently decoupled from formal staff development processes, and that its purpose and usefulness therefore seemed unclear. This article argues that the presence of decoupling reinforces the need to account for structural factors that can interact with peer observation of teaching to ensure it is a meaningful exercise for all teaching staff. It concludes that the published academic literature is perhaps guilty of overplaying the role of personal choice and individual tutor characteristics when addressing the complex issue that is staff disengagement with peer observation of teaching.
Keywords: Continuing professional development, higher education, peer observation, staff appraisal, teaching practice, teacher evaluation
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
Issue: 3
Start Page: 189
End Page: 201