Learning from Reciprocal Peer Observation: A Collaborative Self-study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Studying Teacher Education, 2008, 4 (1), pp. 61 - 75
Issue Date:
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Engaging in a self-study is a multi-faceted activity that involves not only autobiography and theory, but also students and colleagues. Learning from and with colleagues can take many forms. This article discusses the authors' experience with reciprocal classroom observation in a teacher education context. Peer observation supported our learning about our own teaching by providing suggestions for change and mutual reassurance. In this study we make connections between learning from each other, ourselves, our students and theories of teaching and learning. Specifically, we address what we learned about pedagogy in relation to missed opportunities, teacher-directedness and articulating purpose; about curriculum, in relation to balance and standards; about our students, in relation to their backgrounds as well as social tensions; and about ourselves as teachers and learners in relation to rapport, role modeling and collegiality. We demonstrate how peer observation can be a valuable component of ongoing professional development for tertiary teachers.
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