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learning rounds

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by CanuckGrrl, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. This is the latest bandwagon to come rolling through my LA, straight from EducationScotland (formerly HMIE + LTScotland).
    Anyone elsewhere implementing learning rounds? If so, how's it going?
  2. This is the latest bandwagon to come rolling through my LA, straight from EducationScotland (formerly HMIE + LTScotland).
    Anyone elsewhere implementing learning rounds? If so, how's it going?
  3. Is it like the learning walks they do in England which started off as a nice way of sharing good practice and making SMT more visible but are now the a mini-observation and the bane of every teacher's life?
  4. lookinglost

    lookinglost New commenter

    Working really well in my school. Really positive feedback from everyone involved, more teachers getting involved each time it's run. It's entirely voluntary and everyone is really supportive. No one from SMT is really involved other than organising cover.
  5. lookinglost

    lookinglost New commenter

    Not really as SMT aren't really supposed to be involved in it, but I suspect that you will have some SMT who choose to dismiss the whole purpose of it and use it as their own way of observing teachers.
    It's supposed to be voluntary and the focus of observations chosen by the staff involved. I found it to be a great experience.
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Is it when a colleague comes to your class and you go to a colleague's class and you have to each write a debrief?
    We had to do this a few months back and I made sure that I grabbed a colleague that I felt comfortable with!
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    It was not presented as such in my school.
  8. We call this peer visits in my LA, catmum, and the purpose is to inform your own practice, not to critique someone else's.
    Learning rounds are rather different--teams of 3-4 teachers at a time visiting classes with a different purpose and outcome in mind. Here's a link--
    Or just google "instructional rounds" for more info on how and where the idea originated. Hint: Harvard.
    I understand the rationale and process, but I'm wondering whether the learning round visit itself might impact on the lesson in progress. For example, if the visiting teachers are meant to chat with the children, does this not change the classroom dynamics somewhat?
  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    3 or 4? I have no idea where I would fit 4 other adults when all my sets have 30 pupils in them!
  10. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    After reading the article,it actually sounds pretty terrifying! Non judgemental? Probably not.
  11. ... and incalculably blissful for the retired teacher! [​IMG]
  12. lookinglost

    lookinglost New commenter

    It didn't have a huge impact on my lessons. Pupils just ignored the 3 visiting teachers in each case, I had quickly told the class at the start of the lesson that there would be visiting teachers. When I was observed the teachers did not chat with pupils until I had finished talking and the pupils were on task, less tactfull teachers could be disruptive I suppose. All in all it didn't change the class dynamic in my and the other teachers I spoke to classrooms. I did find it frustrating that feedback was about whole school practice with none specifically about mine. I found observing 2 practical classes in 10 different subjects very rewarding though.

    All in all I found being observed just like a normal lesson, but frustrating due to lack of specific feedback, but observing really rewarding.

    I think you are right to be wary though, these things could be misused. However, for me and I know a number of other teachers Learning rounds have been a great experience.
  13. How on earth do you separate the two? I agree with Flyonthewall on this one. I can see how Learning Rounds could have positives and it will be an immensely valuable tool for SMT as they tick the HGIOS boxes for inspection (so beware!!).
    I just hope it's not another cottage industry in education or indeed a new greasy pole for the ambitious
  14. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    I believe professional teachers should be able to make constructive criticism of initiatives put forward by Education Scotland. Unfortunately, few would dare and the advice from most LAs is not to challenge, or disagree, with anything they say. That is not a healthy situation.
    Education Scotland's fundamental remit is to improve education in Scotland. If they were doing that they would have the support of the vast majority of staff, pupils and parents. My concern, and that of others, is that standards within Scottish Education are deteriorating, in part because of ill thought out, political initiatives promoted by Education Scotland / HMIe / LTS.
    Education Scotland is supposed to be independent of political interference but, in reality, it is still funded by, and answerable to, the Scottish Government. When in office, everyone has to be 'on message' and assert, for example, that a CfE is a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved in Scottish Education. Then, when they retire, it's not unusual for officers, HTs and others to say they have serious misgivings about a CfE and the damage it may do to the future prospects of pupils.
    I'm sure most teachers could suggest ways in which the education of pupils could be improved, as no doubt could pupils, parents and others. The problem, I would suggest, is that those constructive ideas are constrained by a straight-jacket of centrally inspired initiatives, mind-numbing bureaucracy and political hoops that are more concerned with the control of education for political purposes than education itself.
    If 'Learning Rounds' have been inspired by medical rounds in hospitals, I fail to see the connection. A medical round carried out by a medical consultant accompanied by trainee doctors is designed to check on the progress of patients whilst, at the same time, using real cases to expand the experience of the trainees. How exactly does that equate to teachers observing other teachers teach?
    However, the example of the medical consultant using the medical round to teach trainee doctors is, actually, quite an effective way to improve expertise. One of the most effective ways to develop new skills and expertise is to be taught by an expert and then to practise what you have learned.
    So, for example, if we want to develop more effective ways to better engage less able, average or very able pupils why not just use an 'expert' teacher to show us how to do it. That's how it is done in most sports I have been involved in and the reason you can have confidence in the 'expert' doing the teaching is that they can actually demonstrate how to do it to a high standard.
    However, there perhaps lies part of the problem in education today. Whilst, on the surface, the concept of 'sharing good practice' sounds positive and collaborative, it is in reality simply teachers with varying degrees of ability and expertise trying to learn from other teachers with varying degrees of ability and expertise, in a somewhat unstructured way.
    Whilst there are many 'experts' from Education Scotland, and elsewhere, who will no doubt offer advice, there tend to be very few who will actually demonstrate how to do it with an average, mixed ability class.
    Apparently, that is not their job.
  15. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    That's how I picture it!
  16. Grunwald, this was precisely where the logic hit the wall for me and where my suspicions roared into life. How can you say you are observing "learning" without considering the teaching? Even in the examples offered by lookinglost, there were clearly observations recorded of teachers/teaching, which is not supposed to happen---but it did. And it will, of course, because you can't separate the two in a classroom. This is a very clever game ES is playing, getting teachers in effect to monitor each other on the pretext of observing learning.
  17. Yet again, fly, nail-head-WHACK.


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