Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Learning from and with others

One of the areas of practice in our school that I discussed in detail with HMIe, during their recent visit, was that of peer observation and learning from others. At Liberton, as happens at many other schools, peer observation is now integral to our CPD programme and how we evaluate our own practice. Peer observation (aka 'sharing classroom experiences') serves many purposes but a key outcome for me is the opportunity to observe staff in the classroom and to identify and celebrate best practices. Staff, generally, don't like being praised publicly and being singled out. How can we overcome this?

The most important part of the observation experience is undoubtedly the professional dialogue that takes place afterwards. When this is done well, both staff involved engage in reflection and dialogue. I am convinced that if we are to continue to develop as a school we must aim to further develop further means of learning from each other. During this coming session it is our intention to develop a primary/secondary reciprocal visits programme. I think this will be really useful in informing our thinking on where we want to go with Curriculum for Excellence and also exploring how Aifl motivated classroom pedagogy has evolved in the different sectors. I look forward to exploring this area further in later posts.

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