EDCI 6245 School Self-Evaluation for School Leaders: Classroom Monitoring (updated)


Welcome to "School Self-Evaluation for School Leaders: Classroom Monitoring". This course aims to provide school leaders with the knowledge and understanding they require to carry out effective classroom monitoring in their areas of responsibility. For the purposes of this course, the term "classroom monitoring" covers watching and examining teaching and learning in action, and analyzing student performance.

The course is divided into four modules:

MODULE 1 Analyzing your current practice
MODULE 2 Successful observation of teaching and learning
MODULE 3 Scrutinizing students' work
MODULE 4 Using existing statistics and consulting stakeholders


As you work through the course, you will:

  • analyze the classroom monitoring carried out currently in your school
  • reflect on the effectiveness of your current policies and procedures for classroom monitoring, and consider how they might be developed
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of how you can lead
  • and manage classroom monitoring more effectively

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PREPARATION

You don't need to do any preparation work before starting this course.

COURSE STRUCTURE

This is an independent study program which means your individual starting date and due date are based on your date of registration. Your instructor will advise you of this due date.

This is an interactive online course. Although you will be able to complete some of it just by sitting in front of your screen working through the online material, we will regularly ask you to reflect on what you have learned, and put ideas into practice.

  • Activities - exercises or reflections for you to carry out in front of your computer screen. Unlike a Task, there is no specific end product, and you'll always be able to complete them on your own.
  • Tasks - similar to Activities, but requiring you to put your learning into practice in a specific situation in school.
  • Forms - use to collect the information learned.
  • Resources -

    a) RESOURCE FORMS: Has PDF forms to help you answer questions in the Student Books

    b) RESOURCE FURTHER READING: Includes clarifications about the module.

    c) REFERENCE LINKS: Has links to websites referred to in the module.

    d) DEFINITIONS: Has definitions of terms used in the module.

    e) BIBLIOGRAPHY: The bibliography is located at the bottom of this page that includes books you may check out at your local library.

  • Student Book- for you to record your reflections and send to your instructor.

At any time you may email your instructor with questions or problems you may be having with the material or the web site.

How do I get the Student Book to my instructor?

You will need to email it to your instructor. Download and save the document as described below and then you can enter your own text into the Student Book word document. Your instructor will expect a version of your Student Book as you complete each module. These can be saved by you in your files as well as being sent to your course instructor via email as an email attachment.

How do I save and name the Student Book?

You cannot type your answers on this web site. You must download your Student Book template which is a word document, by clicking on the download link below.

For your Student Book, please use a text document or a Microsoft Word document and type your text there. Title the document like this:

  • NAME OF CLASS
  • NAME OF TEACHER
  • YOUR NAME
  • DATE
  • MODULE1

[NAMEOFCLASS_TEACHERSNAME_YOURNAME_MODULENUMBER.doc ]

like this

6208_DRCLARK_JOHNDOE_MODULE1.doc

Save the Student Book on your computer and complete the assignments on the document and then email it to your teacher.

INDEX

STUDENTBOOKS Click here to download all student books

RESOURCES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCE LINKS

Module 1: Analyzing your current practice

MODULE 1A: Intended learning outcomes for MODULE 1

MODULE 1B: Activity 1: What is classroom monitoring?

MODULE 1C: Activity 2: Areas of classroom monitoring

MODULE 1D: Activity 3: Looking at teaching in action

MODULE 1E: Activity 4: Looking at students' work

MODULE 1F: Activity 5: Responses to Activities 3 and 4

MODULE 1G: Activity 6: What happens to the evidence gathered?

MODULE 1H: Activity 7: Reflection

MODULE 1I: What have you learned? Review of your learning from MODULE 1

MODULE 1J: Congratulations

Module 2: Successful observation of teaching and learning

MODULE 2A: Intended learning outcomes for MODULE 2

MODULE 2B: Activity 8: Sharing the purposes of observation of teaching and learning

MODULE 2C: Activity 9: Making the purpose of classroom observation explicit

MODULE 2D: Task 1: Colleagues’ opinions

MODULE 2E: Activity 10: Making the purpose explicit to school self-evaluation

MODULE 2F: Activity 11: Agreeing the process of observation

MODULE 2G: Activity 12: Understanding the context

MODULE 2H: Activity 13: Courtesies and protocols

MODULE 2I Activity 14: Recording lesson observations

MODULE 2J: Task 2: Lesson observation record

MODULE 2K: Activity 15: Giving lesson feedback

MODULE 2L: Activity 16: Policy and procedures for giving feedback

MODULE 2M: Task 3 (optional): Teachers’ opinions

MODULE 2N Activity 17: Making policy

MODULE 2O: Task 4: Drawing up a policy

MODULE 2P: What have you learned? Review of your learning from MODULE 2

MODULE 2Q: Congratulations

Module 3: Scrutinizing students' work

MODULE 3A: Intended learning outcomes for

MODULE 3B: Activity 18: Why scrutinize students’ work?

MODULE 3C: Activity 19: How systematically is students’ work scrutinized?

MODULE 3D: Activity 20: Consistency in the scrutiny of students’ work

MODULE 3E: Activity 21: The evidence

MODULE 3F Activity 22: Agreeing the aspects and evidence

MODULE 3G: Activity 23: Drawing up a policy

MODULE 3H: Task 5: Consulting colleagues

MODULE 3I: Activity 24: Analyzing students' homework diaries

MODULE 3J: Task 6: Colleagues' opinions

MODULE 3K: Activity 25: Making policy

MODULE 3L: Task 7: Drawing up a policy

MODULE 3M: What have you learned? Review of your learning from MODULE 3

MODULE 3N: Congratulations

Module 4: Using existing statistics and consulting stakeholders

MODULE 4A: Intended learning outcomes for MODULE 4

MODULE 4B: Activity 26: School-based statistics

MODULE 4C: Activity 27: State Statistics

MODULE 4D: Activity 28: National or externally provided statistical information

MODULE 4E: Activity 29: Statistics – making policy

MODULE 4F: Task 8: Statistics – implementing policy

MODULE 4G: Activity 30: Talking to people in school

MODULE 4H: Activity 31: Talking to students

MODULE 4I: Activity 32: Talking with parents

MODULE 4J: Activity 33: Using administration

MODULE 4K: Task 9: Classroom monitoring – making policy

MODULE 4L: What have you learned? Review of your learning from MODULE 4

MODULE 4M: Congratulations

Module 1: Analyzing your current practice

MODULE1A Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

By the end of this module you should:

  • be clear about what is an effective relationship between any governing boards and the leadership team
  • understand in some detail how this relationship works
  • understand how this relationship bears upon the school's policy of self-evaluation

This course is adapted from the British Educational Module intended for their system and those staff members associated with International Schools. While the process and reflections are valuable to all administrators in a global sense, the integrity of the terminology has been retained (particularly in the resources) which may give you pause to question the applications for your situation.

Be advised that "governing body" or "governor" may refer to all federal and state department of education administrators, but more often it means your local school board, the local school district superintendent, those district managers who operate out of the district office and other fellow members of your administration team.
"Head" generally refers to lead teachers who may assume responsibility when the building administrator is gone, unit leaders, curriculum department heads and building principals who may or may not also be teaching within the school.

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MODULE1B Activity 1: What is classroom monitoring?

Reflect on the idea of classroom monitoring. What is it? Why do education professionals regard it as so significant for schools? Do you agree that it's important for your school? To what extent is it undertaken in your school at the moment? Is it systematic? Does it have positive outcomes in terms of student achievement?

Record your answers to these questions in your Student book (1), as well as other initial thoughts you have about classroom monitoring.

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MODULE1C Activity 2: Areas of classroom monitoring

When considering classroom monitoring, evidence can be found in four broad areas:

  • by watching and examining teaching and learning in action
  • by looking at pupils' work
  • by talking to people
  • by analyzing student performance in tests and examinations

Which of these areas is examined systematically in your school? Are findings shared with staff through feedback to individuals and/or specific teams and/or the whole staff? What information is shared with School Board members?

Record your answers to these questions in your Student book (2). Comment on your school's classroom monitoring practice in the light of your answers

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MODULE1D Activity 3: Looking at teaching in action

Use Resource 1: Monitoring teaching to undertake an analysis of how systematically teaching and learning are evaluated in your school.

Once you've completed it, check it through with a colleague, to ensure you have not left out any important aspects.


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MODULE1E Activity 4: Looking at students' work

Use Resource 2: Looking at pupils' work to undertake a further analysis. This should show you how systematically students' work is looked over by subject staff other than the students' teacher.
(Note: the homework diaries field may not apply to all schools. Your school may use journals or daybooks rather than diaries, or may have no such system.)

Once you have completed it, check it through with a colleague, to ensure you haven't left out any important aspects.

Keep the completed document for future reference.


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MODULE1F Activity 5: Responses to Activities 3 and 4

What are your conclusions from the results of Activities 3 and 4?
Does the analysis you have made alter the opinion you expressed in your Student book (2)? Go back and make any changes if you wish.

Is there a systematic approach to evaluating teaching and learning in your school? In your judgment, is the amount of classroom observation and scrutiny of teachers' planning and recording sufficient to provide useful evidence for evaluating your school? What changes (if any) need to be made to your school's processes?

Think also about the scrutiny of students' written work, practical assignments and homework diaries. Is the scrutiny done systematically enough? Does it provide useful evidence for evaluating your school? What changes (if any) need to be made to your school's processes?

Comments in your Student book (3). Your comments will be used in later modules in the course.


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MODULE1G Activity 6: What happens to the evidence gathered?

It would be an unusual school where there was no observation of lessons, and no scrutiny of pupils' work by someone with administrative responsibility for the teacher or the subject.

Assuming that some of these activities take place – perhaps systematically, perhaps not in some cases – what happens to the evidence gathered?

How in your school is the evidence recorded? Is it gathered to a standard format? Are those gathering the evidence sure about what they are looking for?

Who is the evidence and information passed to? How is feedback given?

How is the evidence from lesson observation and scrutiny of students' work fed into the school's cycle of planning for improvement?

Note your answers to these questions in your Student book (4). Your answers will be useful in later modules of this course.

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MODULE1H Activity 7: Reflection

Reflect on the analyses you have completed so far.

Do you agree that observations of teaching and learning and scrutiny of students' work have a significant role to play in evaluating the work of your school? Are they currently being undertaken systematically? What are your initial thoughts about your systems? Will they need to be developed further? What needs to be done at this stage?

Record your views in your Student book (5), to refer to later in the course

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MODULE1I What have you learned? Review of your learning from Module 1

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 1.

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the necessity and purpose of classroom monitoring
  • be able to define the broad aspects of classroom monitoring
  • know how to examine the current level of classroom monitoring in your school, in the areas of lesson observation and the scrutiny of students' work

How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (6) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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MODULE1J Congratulations


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Module 2: Successful observation of teaching and learning

MODULE2A Intended learning outcomes for Module 2

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the issues in creating the climate for successful
  • observation of teaching and learning
  • know how to develop effective recording procedures
  • be able to develop a policy for the observation of teaching and learning, to support whole-school self-evaluation
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MODULE2B Activity 8: Sharing the purposes of observation of teaching and learning

All available evidence – and perhaps your own experience as a teacher – indicates that being observed in the classroom is a stressful experience for most teachers.

Administrators are more likely to secure the understanding of teachers if they are clear about the reasons for any observation, monitoring and evaluation that are carried out.

The key features of successful lesson observation are:

  • clarity about the purposes
  • agreement about the process
  • understanding of the context

In terms of school self-evaluation, how would you explain the purposes of observation to your staff?
Make notes in your Student book (7).


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MODULE2C Activity 9: Making the purpose of classroom observation explicit

Click on Resource (3): Reasons for classroom observation to see a list of potential reasons for classroom observation.
Which of these currently occur in your school? Use Resource 4: Reasons for classroom observation to list them. Keep your findings for reference .

Do you believe that your subject staff are always clear as to the purpose of a lesson observation? What procedures do you have in place to make the purpose explicit? Record your opinions in your Student book (8). (Note: you will refer back to these opinions a bit later in the module.)


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MODULE2D Task 1: Colleagues’ opinions

This Task allows you to test the opinion you expressed in your Student book (8) against the views of other members of staff.

Canvass four or five colleagues, whose lessons you know have been observed in recent months.

Using Resource 5: Colleagues' opinions to log their responses, ask them the following questions:

  • When did you last have a lesson observed?
  • Who observed it?
  • Why did the observation take place?
  • Did you receive feedback?
  • What form did this take?

Record your findings from Task 1 in your Student book (9). Did the staff survey alter your opinion as to whether or not staff are clear about the purposes of lesson observation?


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MODULE2E: Activity 10: Making the purpose explicit to school self-evaluation

How are the lesson observations that are undertaken in your school used in terms of whole-school self-evaluation? Is the evidence gathered from various observations recorded systematically? Does it need to be made clear to staff that observation for any defined purpose could also be used to evaluate the school as a whole? How could you best do this in your school?

Record your thoughts, ideas and opinions in your Student book (10).


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MODULE2F Activity 11: Agreeing the process of observation

Clearly, the purpose of a class observation determines the process. Once again, however, to get the best return from an observation, the teacher and observer need to have a common understanding of the process that is to occur.
Click on Resource 6: The lesson observation process to see a list of the issues that need to be considered when deciding the process.

In terms of class observation for school evaluation, rather than for any other specific reason, how do you believe the process should operate?

Record your views in your Student book (11).


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MODULE2G Activity 12: Understanding the context

For the observer to 'get inside' the lesson as quickly as possible, good quality information about the context of the lesson is important.

Think about what you would need or like to know before a lesson observation. In your Student book (12) below, list what contextual information you believe would be necessary and/or useful for you to conduct a successful lesson observation.
Compare your list with the list provided in Resource 7: Contextual information.

Now add to your Student book (12) any further ideas about contextual information that ideally should be available before a lesson observation.


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MODULE2H Activity 13: Courtesies and protocols

Having and maintaining courtesies and protocols helps to ensure that lesson observations are successful. The following protocols are useful:

  • prepare for the observation by studying the contextual information
  • allocate quality time to the observation
  • undertake the observation according to the processes agreed
  • allocate quality time to feed back to the teacher observed
  • don't cancel at the last moment


Which of these protocols currently exist in your school? Which need to be adopted or made explicit?

Note your conclusions in your Student book (13).


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MODULE2I Activity 14: Recording lesson observations

It's vitally important that lesson observations are recorded consistently, so that the evaluation can be equally consistent.
Click on Resource 8: Lesson observation to read some comments on the recording of lesson observations.

Reflect on the points made in the Resource . Think about how lesson observations can be recorded consistently. Make notes in your Student book (14).


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MODULE2J Task 2: Lesson observation record

Using the notes you made in your Student book (14) as a starting point, discuss with other senior colleagues how best to record a lesson observation.

During your discussion, agree to draw up a draft for a lesson observation form, and outline a timeline for its production.

Make a record of your decisions in your Student book (15).


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MODULE2K Activity 15: Giving lesson feedback

The success of lesson observation also depends on how teachers receive and value the feedback they're given. It's important to have recognized protocols for giving feedback to ensure that any constructive criticism is received in a positive way.
In your Student book (16), list the issues that, in your opinion, need to be considered in order to ensure feedback to teachers will have the most positive effect.

Then compare your list with the issues listed in Resource 9: Giving feedback.


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MODULE2L Activity 16: Policy and procedures for giving feedback

Combine the list you made in your Student book (16) and the suggestions in Resource 9: Giving feedback. This should give you the basis for an outline policy and procedure for giving feedback.
Make a note of your merged list in your Student book (17).

Consider doing the next Task, to refine your policy before finalizing it.


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MODULE2M Task 3 (optional): Teachers’ opinions

When you've given responses to a teacher who has been observed, ask them for "feedback on your feedback". Were the timing and conditions right? How helpful has it been? How will it affect their future work? What effect has it had on their morale? Make a note of their responses in your Student book (18).


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MODULE2N Activity 17: Making policy

Review your responses and analyses to the following Activities from Module 1:
Activity 3 – Resource 1: Monitoring teaching
Activity 5 – Student book (3)
Activity 6 – Student book (4)
Activity 7 – Student book(5)

By reflecting on your observations and analyses to date, you will be fully equipped to undertake Task 4 (which follows).
Task 4 needs to be completed over a limited timeline – say four school weeks. (Note: there is a similar Task at the end of Module 3 – you might prefer to continue with the course and carry out both Tasks together after you have completed Module 3.)


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MODULE2O Task 4: Drawing up a policy

Arrange with other senior colleagues to draw up a school policy for the effective and systematic observation of teaching and learning, building on:

  • your analysis of your current practice
  • the need to share purpose, process and context
  • a decision as to who will conduct observation for specific purposes
  • the need to have consistency in the recording of observation
  • the need to place any observation in context
  • the need to give proper and professional feedback
  • the need to observe agreed protocols
  • the need to have procedures in place to use the information obtained through a variety of observations to evaluate your school's standards of teaching and learning
  • how to introduce this to the school

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MODULE2P What have you learned? Review of your learning from Module 2

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 2.

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the issues in creating the climate for successful observation of teaching and learning
  • know how to develop effective recording procedures
  • be able to develop a policy for the observation of teaching and learning, to support whole-school self-evaluation


How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (19) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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MODULE2Q Congratulations

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Module 3: Scrutinizing students' work

MODULE3A Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

By the end of this module you should:

  • have the skills to successfully scrutinize students' work
  • be able to develop a school policy for the scrutiny of students' work

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MODULE3B Activity 18: Why scrutinize students’ work?

In the course of their evaluation of teaching and learning, most schools arrange for students' work to be scrutinized (carefully studied and analyzed) by a member of staff other than their regular teacher.

In your Student book (20), outline the reasons why you think this is done.


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MODULE3C Activity 19: How systematically is students’ work scrutinized?

Revisit your responses to Activities 4 and 5 in Module 1. (Consult your completed Resource 2: Looking at pupils' work and Student book (3).

Given the points you made in response to these activities, and given the reasons why you think students' work is scrutinized, what are the procedures that you need to introduce to make the scrutiny more systematic?

Note your ideas and opinions in your Student book (21).


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MODULE3D Activity 20: Consistency in the scrutiny of students’ work

Currently, when students' work is scrutinized in your school, is there a general understanding as to what is being looked at? Is there consistency in the approach?

What are the various aspects of the students' work that you are expecting to see?

Note your responses to these questions in your Student book (22).

Then compare your list with Resource 10: Aspects of students' work, and add to or amend your own Student book entry.


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MODULE3E Activity 21: The evidence

Of course, it's impossible to judge the standards reached in any of the aspects mentioned in Resource 10 without agreeing what evidence you'd need to make such a judgment.

Using Resource 11: The evidence, make notes about the evidence you would seek to judge the standards reached in each of the various aspects of students' work.

Then compare your responses with the list in Resource 12: The evidence.


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MODULE3F Activity 22: Agreeing the aspects and evidence

Using the opinions and ideas you expressed in Resource 11: The evidence, and the list you were given in Resource 12: The evidence, draw up your own list (in your Student book (23) of aspects and evidence that will apply to the circumstances of your school.

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MODULE3G Activity 23: Drawing up a policy

Reflect on the work you have undertaken so far in this module.
Begin to consider how, in your school, students' work can be scrutinized in a consistent and regular way, and the results of the scrutiny can be recorded effectively and usefully.

Note your conclusions in your Student book (24).


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MODULE3H Task 5: Consulting colleagues


Discuss with relevant colleagues the most appropriate way of recording the scrutiny of pupils' work. Remember that work can be practical and oral as well as written.

During your discussion, agree to draft a form for recording the scrutiny of students' work, and outline a timeline for its production.

Make a record of your decisions in your Student book (25).


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MODULE3I Activity 24: Analyzing students' homework diaries

Most secondary and some elementary schools have homework diaries or notebooks, student journals, day books, or something similar.
In many schools, these diaries or journals are checked by the teacher, classroom aide, special services teacher or equivalent.

  • Think about the practice in your school.
  • Why is it done in this way?
  • What does the information obtained show you?
  • What happens to the information gleaned?
  • Is it systematically recorded?
  • Is it conveyed in some way to subject leaders (such as curriculum
  • coordinators, unit leaders, department chairs)?

Note your answers in your Student book (26).
If no such system exists in your school, what are the arguments for and against such checking arrangements?
Record your observations in your Student book (26).


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MODULE3J Task 6: Colleagues' opinions

Discuss with other senior colleagues in school the current situation about examining students' homework diaries/journals.
Discuss the value of the current practice and procedure, and whether the information from this scrutiny could be of use to the school.

Discuss how such practice and procedure – if they are to continue – might be revised to assist more systematically in the overall evaluation of students' work in the school.

Discuss whether the diaries/journals could be used more positively to enhance teaching and learning.

Make a note of the conclusions from discussions in your Student book (27).


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MODULE3K Activity 25: Making policy

Review your responses and analyses to the following Activities from Module 1.
Activity 4 – Resource: Looking at pupils' work
Activity 5 – Student book (3)
Activity 6 – Student book (4)
Activity 7 – Student book (5)

By reflecting on your responses, you will be better able to complete Task 7, which follows.

Task 7 should be done over a limited timescale – we suggest four school weeks. (You might have decided to undertake this task at the same time as Task 4 in Module 2.)

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MODULE3L Task 7: Drawing up a policy

Arrange with colleagues to draw up a policy for the effective scrutiny of students' work in your subject area, building on:

  • school policy and procedure in this area
  • your analysis of current practice
  • the need to be systematic and consistent
  • the need for those scrutinizing the work to have an agreed
  • understanding of what they are looking for
  • the need to have procedures in place to use the information
  • obtained through scrutiny of work, to evaluate the standards
  • reached by your students in class and in their homework

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MODULE3M What have you learned? Review of your learning from Module 3

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 3.

By the end of this module you should:

  • have the skills to successfully scrutinize students' work
  • be able to develop a school policy for the scrutiny of students' work

How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (28) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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MODULE3N Congratulations

Module 4: Using existing statistics and consulting stakeholders

MODULE4A Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand how to use existing statistical information and
  • national frameworks regarding student performance
  • know how to disseminate such information
  • know how to consult stakeholders in the school (teachers,
  • students and parents) to support effective classroom monitoring

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MODULE4B Activity 26: School-based statistics

Consider the statistical analyses of student performance that you currently hold in school. For the purposes of this activity, include statistics derived from in-school analyses, and also any commercial analysis (such as computer assessments, locally determined benchmarks, district curriculum assessments, etc.) the school undertakes. List as many as you can in your Student book (29).

What purpose do they serve? How widely is the information disseminated? How is it used in your school?

Again, record your opinions in your Student book (29).


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MODULE4C Activity 27: State Statistics

Most school districts are required to administer and submit the tests/testing data on at least a portion of their students. In turn, schools receive statistics from their state as well as from the standardized testing companies used by their district.

How much overlap is there with your own school-initiated statistical information? If there is overlap, which is the better set of statistics for evaluating the work of your school?

Again, record your opinions in your Student book (30).


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MODULE4D Activity 28: National or externally provided statistical information

Make a list in your Student book (31) of all the statistical information that's available directly or indirectly from national or international sources (e.g., standardized tests, subscribed computer assessments, college entrance exams, etc.) regarding pupil performance.

How systematically is this information analyzed in your school? What follow-up is there with departments, subject areas, and individual teachers in response to these various pieces of data? What is shared with School Board members?

Note your responses in your Student book (31)


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MODULE4E Activity 29: Statistics – making policy

Consider the range of statistical information that is available to you. Tease out what, in your opinion, is truly useful. Make a list in your Student book (32) of what you can sensibly use in terms of evaluating your school. Indicate to whom the information should be passed, and indicate what use others in school should make of the information passed on to them.

Do this with the following in mind:

  • your current practice
  • the need to be systematic and consistent
  • the need to use only those statistics that are going to be useful
  • the sensible use of existing national and local frameworks

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MODULE4F Task 8: Statistics – implementing policy

Arrange with other senior colleagues to draw up a policy for the provision, analysis and use of statistics in the school.

Decide on a timescale to draw up the policy, and a timescale for its implementation.


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MODULE4G Activity 30: Talking to people in school

Administrators in school regularly talk to curriculum leaders, guidance counselors and classroom teachers about the work of the school. Such scheduled and unscheduled meetings inform the administrator about school standards in teaching and learning. It would be an unusual school these days where there were no formal discussions that covered these issues.

  • Who else might it be sensible to talk to, in order to glean further information?
  • Teaching assistants?
  • Lunch supervisors?
  • Secretarial and administrative staff?
  • Caretaking and cleaning staff?


Do you believe there is useful information to be gained from talking to these staff? How might they be approached? What information would you seek from them? How should this be recorded?

Place your ideas in your Student book (33).


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MODULE4H Activity 31: Talking to students

Traditionally, there's been a reluctance to discuss issues of standards of teaching and learning with pupils in any whole-school structured way. That tradition is now declining, and many schools have formal structures to consult pupils over a very wide range of school activities.
Look at Resource 14: Talking to students, to see some ideas on questions to ask pupils about their teaching and learning.

Reflect on the situation in your school. How are pupils' views currently collected? How are their opinions built in to classroom monitoring practices? Is there a need for this sort of activity? How can it be developed further, if you believe it will be a useful tool?

Record your answers in your Student book (34).


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MODULE4I Activity 32: Talking with parents

Reflect on the value of obtaining views of parents on the school. If you believe it could be a useful part of classroom monitoring, how could it be organized? Record your views in your Student book (35).

Click on Resource 15: Talking with parents to see some more ideas on gaining parental feedback, and add to or amend your Student book entry as you wish.


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MODULE4J Activity 33: Using administration

Another important source of information for classroom monitoring can, of course, come from School Board members as well as administrative/managerial staff (district superintendent, business manager, district office staff) .
We offer a separate course that deals with this in depth, but it's also an area to consider in this course. Do School Board members and/or managerial staff regularly see the work of the school? How do they report back on what they have seen? How valuable are their views and opinions?

Again, record your thoughts in your Student book (36).


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MODULE4K Task 9: Classroom monitoring – making policy

Reflect on the work you have undertaken in Activities 30, 31, 32 and 33 in this module.

Schools are at different stages in the consultation of stakeholders. If your school currently has no clear policy on this issue, then discuss with senior staff plans to draw up a school policy to support effective classroom monitoring.
Consider:

  • your current practice
  • the need to be systematic and consistent
  • the need to consult only those you believe are going to be useful
  • in supporting classroom monitoring

Alternatively, if you already have a policy in place, you could suggest a review of it.
Draw up your policy to an agreed timeline, and agree to implement it to an agreed timeline.


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MODULE4L What have you learned? Review of your learning from Module 4

When you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 4.
By the end of this module you should:

  • understand how to use existing statistical information and
  • national frameworks regarding student performance
  • know how to disseminate such information
  • know how to consult stakeholders in the school to support
  • effective classroom monitoring

How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (37) - save your responses and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

MODULE4M Congratulations


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RESOURCES

Resource 1: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Resources 2 CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Resources 3: Reasons for classroom observation
The reasons why classroom observation occurs include:

  • part of the performance review cycle by the teacher's supervisor
  • part of the professional support given to a new teacher by the appointed mentor
  • monitoring for quality by a subject leader or supervisor
  • modeling of good practice for another colleague
  • part of a staff development program
  • part of a curriculum review
  • studying the learning and/or behavior of a pupil or group of students
  • part of a capability procedure
  • school-based research
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Resources 4: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF

Resource 5: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF

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Resource 6: The lesson observation process

Deciding the process of the lesson observation requires answers to these questions:

  • Will the observer or the teacher decide which lesson is to be observed?
  • How much notice, if any, is to be given?
  • What criteria will be used?
  • What form will the record of observation take?
  • What will happen to the record afterwards?
  • What will the class be told about the purpose of the visit?
  • What role will the observer take during the lesson? Team teacher? Passive onlooker? "Student"? Any other role?
  • How and when will the teacher receive feedback?

Resource 7: Contextual information

Contextual information to include:

  • school guidelines on effective teaching
  • the scheme (scope and sequence) of work
  • the place of the lesson within the scheme of work
  • the lesson plan, with intended learning outcomes
  • information about the students:
      • ability range
      • students with special needs
      • students with English language considerations
      • students on the gifted and talented register
    1. books to be used
    2. handouts to be used
    3. technology to be used
    4. practical resources required
    5. use of teaching assistants/learning support assistants


    Resource 8: Lesson observation

    Across the United States, almost every state has observation forms on their department of education websites. Take a few moments and do a web search to see what is available in your area. Using your search engine, type "Teacher Observation form (your state name)" to see the standards, factors and forms for your state. Furthermore, most individual school districts adopt or adapt these guidelines in an effort to tailor their observation process. These forms should be made available within your district's website or teacher/administrator handbooks, and you are advised to examine them. While there are differences, the structure and elements included are similar in form and function.

    You might like to see what a federal handbook looks like, so in an effort to provide you with an example - along with a more global viewpoint, we offer you this information and opportunity:

    When Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education in England) inspectors observe a lesson, they have notes about the context, including the lesson plan and intended learning outcomes. The remainder of the evidence form is a blank space in which they "tell the story" of the lesson and note the significant evidence about:

    • the quality of teaching and learning
    • the progress made during the lesson and over time
    • the attitude and responses of the students
    • the standards of students' skills, knowledge and understanding

    Wherever possible, teaching is judged for its impact on learning. Clear explanations and good organization enable pupils to tackle learning tasks with confidence. Good planning provides them with a sequence of activities in which they can build on previous learning and make progress. It is a useful best-practice model.

    Another approach you might consider is a focused record, with a checklist built up through discussion with the teacher before the lesson. The focused record might deal with subjects such as:

    • balance of teacher/student activity
    • use of questioning
    • boys'/girls' engagement in the lesson
    • use of groups
    • use of technology
    • classroom management

    Remember that every lesson has a history. The quality of the teacher's relationship with the class and their enthusiasm for the subject - the climate for learning - will have been developed during all the previous lessons.

    Don't rush into judgments. Because many teachers find observation stressful, they may not be on top form during the early part of the lesson, so bear this in mind when you comment on how students enter the room, how they are greeted and how quickly they settle into the classroom.

    Resource 9: Giving feedback

    • Arrange to give feedback as soon as possible after the lesson. It should be private and unrushed, so the choice of time and place is important.
    • Don't start your feedback with all the negatives! If the lesson really has been a disaster, it may be wise to open the discussion with, "How did you feel that went?"
    • The feedback should always start with the positive features of the lesson before moving to any areas of weakness or where good teaching could still be improved.
    • The observer's record should be sufficiently detailed for concrete examples to be given. (For example: "When you had been talking for fifteen minutes, I noticed some of the students in the back row stopped listening and started a game Tic-tac-toe.)
    • If the observation had an agreed focus, e.g. the management of resources in a practical science lesson, then most of the feedback should be about that. Other important issues should not be ignored, however, if they had an important part to play in the success or otherwise of the lesson.

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    Resource 10: Aspects of students' work

    • Breadth and balance
    • Progress made by different groups of students
    • Ongoing assessment and feedback
    • Standards: are they high enough?
    • Students' knowledge "Students' understanding"
    • Students' skills
    • Students' attitudes to the subject
    • The climate for learning
    • Students' knowledge of their own learning
    • Effective and appropriate teaching methods

    Resources 11: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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    Concern for proving one’s competence

    Belief that effort leads to success

    Belief in one's ability to improve and learn

    Preference for challenging tasks

    Derives satisfaction from personal success at difficult tasks

    Uses self-instruction when engaged in task

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    Belief that ability leads to success

    Concern to be judged as able, concern to perform

    Satisfaction from doing better than others

    Emphasis on normative standards, competition and public evaluation

    Helplessness: evaluates self negatively when task is difficult

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    Resources 12: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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    Resource 13: - pulled

    Resource 14: Talking to students

    From Middle Management in Action: Practical Approaches to School Improvement 2000, by E Ruding)

    Evaluating learning and teaching: The perceptions of those involved

    A method of monitoring or evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching is the use of questionnaires to test the perceptions of those involved. This is particularly helpful if a new approach, syllabus or scheme of work is about to be, or has just been, introduced. A questionnaire before and after the event should give an indication of the changes, and possibly the improvements, that have been perceived by the key stakeholders in the process.

    The Students' Perceptions

    The questions, language and methods (e.g., oral approaches with certain pupils) should be varied according to the ages and abilities of the students and it is important that all students have some understanding of why it is being done. However, whatever their age or ability, students need guidance and help in answering the questions or completing the questionnaires in order to avoid the danger of their giving the "expected" answer.
    This approach can be used at subject level or as a part of the tutorial program in school. It would also provide a valuable link between the "academic" and the "behavioral/emotional" elements of the students' development, which many students, and some teachers, still see as separate and quite unconnected entities.


    Primary Level Students

    • I find learning most enjoyable when...
    • The type of teaching I learn best from is...
    • When I do well in lessons I feel...
    • The things I have found hard to learn are...
    • One particular thing/topic I would like to learn and understand is...
    • I can learn by myself if...
    • I do best in group work when...
    • In all subjects, I feel I am particularly good at doing...
    • I sometimes avoid learning because...
    • The most recent thing I have learned is...
    • What I should most like to learn about myself is...

    Older Students
    Some of the above questions, suitably modified, could be used in addition to the following:

    • Which lessons do you enjoy most, and why (subject, topic, type of lesson, etc.)?
    • What was your favorite topic, and why?
    • Which was the easiest topic, and were any too easy?
    • If you had to give a talk on any topic which would you choose and why?
    • Which topic did you find most difficult?
    • Are there any topics which you feel you need to go over again?
    • Which was the most difficult homework topic you have done?
    • Were any homework topics too easy?
    • My course work would be easier if…
    • I feel I need extra help with/time for…
    • The aspect of my school work which worries me most at present is...

    Resource 15: Talking with parents
    (From E. Ruding, Middle Management in Action, Practical Approaches to School Improvement, 2000)

    The Parents' Perceptions

    Although it is often difficult to obtain constructive responses from some parents, any responses can be a valuable source of feedback from these important stakeholders. It would be valuable if there were a tradition in the school of seeking parental views. This approach can be used only if parents feel that their views are important and useful and if they understand why their views are being sought.

    Questions which might be used include:
    • I have/have not noticed any changes in my son's/daughter's work.
    • He/she seems happier with his/her work.
    • He/she seems to be doing better at...
    • He/she seems to be getting less/the same/more homework.
    • He/she talks more/less about the work in school.
    • The most positive aspects of school work mentioned are...
    • The issues about which he/she seems most unhappy/uncertain are...
    • Of the work in school and at home, I would like to see more of...
    • Other things that I think would help improve my son's/daughter's learning are...
    Because of the reluctance of some parents to complete and return this type of questionnaire, their views might be sought through a questionnaire using "tick-boxes" or "ringing of answers". The latter could use questions with a 1 to 7 scale (Excellent to Very Poor). In all cases the language used should be clear and straightforward without being patronizing. For those parents whose English is insufficient to cope with the questions, suitably translated versions should be made available.

    REFERENCES


    Name: Edutopia
    Description: This is the George Lucas Educational Foundation website for the benefit of educators.
    URL: http://www.edutopia.org/

    Name: U.S. Department of Education
    Description: This site offers links on all subjects and topics in Education.
    URL: http://www.ed.gov/

    Name: National Education Association
    Description: Explore this site for current issues and research.
    URL: http://www.nea.org/

    Do an Internet Search for federal and your respective state, county and local regulations, along with research and workshops. Expore your state education agency for evaluation and licensing issues. They are updated frequently, so bookmark your sites and check back regularly.

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    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Author: DfES
    Title: Auditing a subject in Key Stage 3 (2001)
    Publisher: DfES
    ISBN: DfES 0083/2001

    Author: Drakeford, B and Cooling, J
    Title: The Secondary Whole-school Audit (1998)
    Publisher: David Fulton
    ISBN: 1853465585

    Author: Fleming, P
    Title: The Art of Middle Management in Secondary Schools (2000)
    Publisher: David Fulton
    ISBN: 1853466239

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    Author: Sallis, J
    Title: Effective School Governors: A Step-by-step Guide (2001)
    Publisher: Pearson Education
    ISBN: 0273654969

    Author: Hedger, K and Jesson, D
    Title: The Numbers Game (2001)
    Publisher: University of York
    ISBN: 0953629910

    Author: MacBeath, J
    Title: Schools Must Speak for Themselves: The Case for School Self-evaluation (1999)
    Publisher: RoutledgeFalmer
    ISBN: 0415205808

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    Author: MacBeath, J and Mortimore, P eds
    Title: Improving School Effectiveness (2001)
    Publisher: Open University Press
    ISBN: 0335206875

    Author: McCall, C and Lawlor, H
    Title: School Leadership: Leadership Examined (2000)
    Publisher: TSO
    ISBN: 0117026123

    Author: Ruding, E
    Title: Middle Management in Action: Practical Approaches to School Improvement (2000)
    Publisher: RoutledgeFalmer
    ISBN: 0415231558

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    DEFINITIONS


    Discretionary effort
    - The amount of effort that co-workers working in an organization are willing to give over and above the minimum necessary.

    Distributive leadership - A shift from the belief in the power of one to belief in the power of everyone; a shift from domination and charisma to empowerment and teams.

    Capacity - School improvement literature defines capacity as the ability of all in the school to manage the complex demands of the 21st century. Change is now a constant and leaders have to find a way of leading their staff so they can operate effectively, survive and flourish in a climate of unrelenting change. To do this they have to "build capacity".

    Metacognition - Describes the process of thinking self-consciously about what we are doing when we learn, so that we understand the processes that we are using, so that we can improve the processes that we use to learn.

    Thinking skills - There is no one simple definition. they include general processing ability, specific skills such as analyzing, planning, etc., and metacognitive skills.

    Multiple intelligences - The idea that there are several different types of intelligences. The parts are interconnected but can work independently if needed they are not fixed and can be developed.

    Emotional intelligences - David Goleman defines emotional intelligences as " the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing ourselves, for managing emotions well within ourselves and in our relationships." We offer a course on this subject.

    Assessment for learning - Sometimes known as formative assessment, this describes the process of teachers and students using assessment feedback as a tool to support future learning.