The role of teaching observations: Developing or managing academic practice?
Observations of teaching are becoming increasingly common in Higher Education, often as part of a peer observation project, taught teacher education programme or other professional development activity. In the context of the evolving Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), this paper argues that teaching observations can and should play a central role in developing teaching quality but that there needs to be clarity about the value and purpose of them from the start. Drawing on experiences from the Further Education sector, issues and pitfalls are highlighted that illustrate how a tool for teacher development can become a managerial mechanism for teacher perfromance monitoring whilst also suggesting approaches designed to create a positive engagement with observation by both the observer and the observed.
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