Beyond Peer Review: Investigating Practitioner Perceptions of Teaching Observations Undertaken by Academic Developers

By Simon Lygo-Baker and Stylianos Hatzipanagos.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The teaching observation process can be underpinned by an intention to enhance learning and teaching but in higher education has often been perceived as a managerial tool to audit quality and standards. Such interpretations appear particularly in relation to cases where peer review schemes have been established. Academic developers involved in peer review schemes are experienced teachers but rarely have content related knowledge of the teaching being observed unlike faculty colleagues engaged in peer review. This paper examines the perceptions of new academic staff who have been observed as part of a programme where the emphasis is on enhancing participants understanding of learning and teaching. It considers whether they believe that the process has fostered formative notions, such as deepening understanding, critical reflection and the enhancement of teaching practice and therefore has had a developmental focus. The study has been conducted in a research intensive university in the United Kingdom and is drawn from questionnaire data and semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that the utilisation of academic developers as observers can support a developmental process which helps teachers to examine their own values and enables critical engagement. However, the study suggests that for this process to occur there is a need for those observed to declare their philosophy of teaching, discuss it, reflect on it and review it.

Keywords: Teaching Observation, Academic Development, Teaching Values

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.99-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 510.947KB).

Simon Lygo-Baker

Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, King's Institute of Learning and Teaching, King's College London, UK

Dr Stylianos Hatzipanagos

Letcurer in Higher Education, King's Institute of Learning and Teaching, King's College London, London, UK


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