Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Overlooked Resource in Teacher In-service

Question: What can school districts do to provide helpful inservice to improve teaching?

Answer/Quote: “Observing other teachers teach is generally agreed to be one way of improving instructional technique. In most schools, however, very little opportunity for direct observation can be provided because of crowded schedules and lack of tine. The use of videotape equipment can multiply opportunities to observe a number of teachers using a wide variety of techniques in diverse situations. It also offers the advantage of allowing teachers to observe and criticize their own teaching. The equipment needed is simple and available in most school systems today, and the planning involved is no more detailed or complicated than in everyday good teaching,” p. 26.

Quote: “Videotape equipment is widely available in schools and is here to stay. The Burlington experience indicated that it can be an extremely valuable aid in helping teachers watch teachers teach, in improving inservice programs, and in supplementing the public information program of the school district.” P. 27.

Comment: Bill Gates has given millions to improving teaching, and watching other teachers teach via recordings has proved to be one of his most successful techniques for improving teaching. Done within schools, it may not be as simple as this article suggests. First, the teachers have to agree to being recorded as they teach. Someone has to do the video recording. Someone has to take the time to edit the tape for some purpose. I like the idea of using this material to promote the public relations on behalf of teachers. In my experience, videotaping of teachers teaching is not used as part of a program for public relations on behalf of teachers. RayS.

 Title: “Reading Inservice Via Videotape.” Dianne R. Burgy. The Reading Teacher (October 19974), 26-27.

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