Robert W

Facilitating Peer Observation with Video

One of the biggest challenges in professionally developing teachers is the high amount of time teachers spend teaching in isolation in their classrooms. Peer observation is a potentially powerful lever in facilitating greater collegial and collaborative learning, but is difficult to implement logistically. If teachers were to take video of their practice, and upload and share these videos with colleagues for feedback, the logistical hurdle of peer observation could be overcome.

Potential Impact

Using video to facilitate consistent peer observation would have the following benefits: 1. Teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge would grow from watching their peers' videos, as well as receiving feedback from their peers on the videos they post 2. The growing library of teachers' videos would present artifacts that reflect how teachers' practice has grown, and illuminate new areas for growth. This library could also be used to instruct teachers who are new or unfamiliar with the content and pedagogical practices being worked on in the videos. 3. This form of professional development would be primarily "ground-up", with teachers given responsibility for choosing areas of practice to improve, giving and receiving feedback, and analyzing and presenting the impact of their efforts.

Possible Implementation

The design and schedule of peer observations would largely follow the process of Japanese lesson study. Teachers in a similar grade level or content cluster would identify an overarching goal and related research question to explore. They would then collaborate in designing a strategy or lesson that they will implement and videotape in their classrooms. After uploading their videos to a shared space such as a Google Drive folder, teachers can watch each other implementing the strategy/lesson they planned together, and come together at their next cluster meeting ready to discuss strengths, challenges, and next steps. After several cycles of this process, teachers would be ready to synthesize their key learning and present to the whole school.

Discussion (2)

5 Years Ago

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Christopher B Community Guide

Downers Grove North High School

Robert, I like this idea. As I mentioned in the opening blog I wrote for the site, that is exactly what we are doing in the department I lead. One issue we have, though, is that sound quality (especially if trying to capture student voices) is not very good. Have you thought about possibilities to overcome this barrier?

5 Years Ago

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Lisa H Community Guide

Palmyra Area School District

Hi Robert! I agree with Chris - this is a great idea. Is this something that you believe is happening in districts already without video or is it less common due to time barriers? If this isn't a common practice, how would you propose we scale this model to schools that have not yet experimented?

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