General Observation on Lesson Observations

Observations can be a nerve wracking thing particularly when it is assigned or linked to the agenda of Ofsted, a judgement of teacher planning and delivery when attached to performance related pay. Observations conducted fairly can be a good and supportive way of ensuring standards are met. To identify areas of good practice that can be shared and to support in areas that may require further development or intervention. This is good in any means for reflective teaching and to improve ways to become more effective in terms of knowledge use and resources for teaching and learning particularly in Art and Design sector. This is important for good delivery and ongoing development for the teacher that may also be practitioner within the field of the subject taught. Keeping the teacher up to date and abreast with their practice.

My experience of lesson observations in the past have often been formal and in many cases either attached to an inspection such as an Ofsted or related to performance and targets. Schools and Further education colleges require that you teach a lesson as part of the interview process. HE doesn’t have that regulation. One could argue that results from NSS reports are the closest in terms to student experience in the classroom. Therefore, observations in HE is not so stringent, however the principles of ensuring good practice remains the same. Continue reading “General Observation on Lesson Observations”

Reflecting on my observation

Design and plan
I had planned a lesson using to deliver to 1st year BA Theatre design students. I had a peer observation. I had referred to the course handbook and a unit brief that the students were working on. This was the first day of a part of a two-day intervention for inclusive learning and teaching workshop. It fell in line with the curriculum to prepare the students been able to confidently plan and use their voice in preparation for their presentations of the theatre model sets.

This was helpful for me to consider the intended learning outcome what I wanted to students to gain and understand. I had designed a lesson to could consider critical thinking and awareness of marginalised groups. As emerging practitioners within theatre design, I want students to be aware of the world around them and to identify who are the marginalised the groups. Therefore, bring their interpretations of marginalisation within the context of theatre. I also design my lesson to include an artefact cast of ceramic lips as a starting point and referencing tool towards the theme and aims and objectives for the session. To do this I wanted the students to start by looking at themselves and their peers by producing and observational drawing of their lips. This was a warm up with regarding to using their voice which the lips represented symbolically however this enable students to in pairs discuss aspects of their identity with each other where each student had learnt something significant about the other that they later shared with the rest of the group.

I have discussed this in more detail please refer to this link:

From the Margins – Day 1

Support learning
I believe it’s important to develop a good rapport with the students I teach. During the past few sessions I have worked with the students and have learnt their names. I have found it beneficial to work with small tutorial groups where I can have more closer conversation finding out their interests and the likes and dislikes places like to go how they feel about being in London and general conversations about their well-being. We have discussed nutrition and exercise keeping yourself healthy while studying.

Prior to the lesson students had received an outline plan for the day. I had prepared a PowerPoint presentation that contains supportive keywords and explanations to the theme of marginalisation. This was to bear in mind students that may have a special educational need as well as international students where English is not the first language. Within the lesson the aims were discussed and that there is a clear set of objectives that students can see on the board. I indicated each stage of the task instructions so that students could refer to during the task where are like to have instructions for each task clearly identifiable to ensure that students so also understand the tasks ahead. Likewise, the plenary of what they have done in the lesson was linked to a series of questions. I had been aware that one of my students is autistic therefore I am considerate to maintain pace in my delivery of tasks and not to overcrowd my PowerPoint presentations with too much information on one slide. Students also had resource sheets and handouts detailing instructions and objectives for the activity. I had brought a bottle of water and cups so that students could keep themselves hydrated in the studio. Continue reading “Reflecting on my observation”

Self Initiated Project – idea

I’m interested in the attainment gap. My interest lies with my own experience of being in education as a student, an educator and being a parent. You could say the attainment gap is the main reason why first stepped into education. My experience of being aware of in many cases how a black British child can go through their whole educational life experience starting well in infant school but then by the time they get to junior school to secondary school things change and the attainment gap widens.

I had noticed this more with Black and Asian children and predominantly black boys. There have been parent’s evenings where I have been told “Your child is reaching his benchmark.” However further investigation shows that the benchmark was set at a low expectation where the trajectory for his attainment would be no higher than they C or a D GCSE grade. Fortunately for myself being a secondary educator at the time I was able to confront teachers with these figures and how they didn’t correspond with his learning outcomes. Through my own teaching practice within secondary school I was able to address this gap by first educating parents to help them understand the assessment grades through a series of workshops. Parents were therefore aware of the assessment grades that were given at secondary school and what to look out for when there been told at parents evening the child is reaching a benchmark, but which translates to a very low projection that the child had been given at the beginning of the school year.

During my role as an educator within secondary school I had managed to introduce projects where students saw more representation of themselves within the curriculum at the time I believed I was manipulating the art and design curriculum to employ inclusive practice and pedagogy. Many of the project across curriculum and would intersect cultural of religion, race, gender and sexuality and disability.

So why am I using secondary school examples for higher education? Continue reading “Self Initiated Project – idea”