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Please help! Academic sources for what to do after an unsatisfactory observation?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by booksandlashes, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. booksandlashes

    booksandlashes New commenter

    Hi, everyone.
    I am looking for academic sources in regards to what student teachers should do after an unsatisfactory observation on your PGCE course.
    Online blogs and articles are not appropriate to cite so I am really hoping someone knows of a section in a Geoff Petty book or a '10 steps to improving upon your unsatisfactory observation' from an educational academic.

    Thank you for any help you can offer.

    (Ofsted criteria and ITT, PGCE guidelines for obs and their criteria have already been researched and I have 5 satisfactories under my belt. It is specifically academic sources about WHAT TO DO AFTER you've received an unsatisfactory)

    Thanks, again.

  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Who is grading lessons? I run a university PGCE course and it is really established now that you cannot, must not, and should not grade lessons - it is a totally counter productive thing to do. As an official external examiner I would draw any course leader's attention to this.

    Still, in the government's wisdom they will let non-evidence based providers into the market.

    To be helpful, you need to engage in what we call reflective practice. Reflection in action (schon) as well as reflective cycles (Gibbs) and Jenny Moon writes extensively about this. You reflect back and forward. Much of it will be about reviewing your decision making and pedagogical ideas and improving them based on lesson evaluation, observer feedback, peer to peer interaction and wide reading on the strategies you employ such as questioning, reward and motivation, behaviour for learning, differentiation etc. Thus your decision making in class and between class will improve and subsequently your teaching.
  3. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    It would be helpful if you provided more details on exactly what was graded unsatisfactory? I do not think academic sources are going to help here. You could read a book or some literature but there is no book on how to plan the perfect lesson or deliver one.

    This is where in my opinion your mentor should be guiding you using 'constructive' criticism. As we all know, everyone has their own take on what constructive means. Is your mentor sitting down with you or not? What is the score on that?

    You have 5 satisfactory lesson observations as you say, so you don't need a book. But you do need to be specific if you want the right kind of help.

    You can talk to me if you wish. Im not an expert but i have been more or less where you have been and its horrible.
    booksandlashes likes this.
  4. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Hang on a minute. Lets give the girl or guy a chance here. We don't always word things correctly on here. This individual is asking for help here. They didn't have to. In my opinion any person actively seeking help is trying to help themselves and get better. Lets try and be fair here before we jump to conclusions.

    I know how hard this teacher training is. Believe me i know, so lets try and be kind to each other in these difficult times. Thank you.
    booksandlashes and MrMedia like this.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    It sounds to me as though you have been asked to submit a formal piece of writing on how you will improve your practice. As Mr Media suggests Schon is good starting place. I would also suggest using your university library catalogue to find articles on professional learning, improving practice and reflection rather than "what to do if you get unsatisfactory".
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    It sounds to me as if the OP is studying a BA with QTS, rather than a PGCE, and is writing an essay or research proposal regarding how student teachers in general can improve their practice after being graded as unsatisfactory (OP says they personally have 5 satisfactories, so I infer their meaning to be that they have no direct experience of the situation). I think they've chosen this topic specifically because there is a lack of academic research on the issue.

    I have nothing to add that's helpful to the OP, I just think some people are misreading the original post.
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I'm not jumping to any conclusions, I genuinely don't understand what this post is asking for.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    the stuff of nightmares...
  9. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    It really isn't. It is sensible advice, possibly worded a little pompously. Trainee teachers are in a situation where the required trajectory of progress is steep to the point of being vertical (whether we like it or not, that is the reality of the sector we work in). Trainees MUST make progress and 'reflective practice' is a rather long winded name for a concept that is actually common sense - you establish what has gone wrong, think (reflect) about why it has gone wrong, and make changes so it is less likely to go wrong next time. That is the essence of the theories cited by Mr Media and if the OP needs theory to support whatever assignment they are engaged with then these are a good starter. OP I'd also recommend Pollard, 'Reflective Teaching' and Cremin 'Learning to Teach....'.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    that is your opinion, to me it is stating the bleeding obvious in a totally convoluted and inaccessible way and absolutely nightmarish
  11. booksandlashes

    booksandlashes New commenter

    Thank you very much for your understanding in this matter. I didn't realise asking for help and advice on here would be so provocative. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
  12. booksandlashes

    booksandlashes New commenter

    Thank you, I am in an uncertain terrain with my unsatisfactory lesson. It is for my PGCE and I only wanted to see if there were any academic sign posts on how to personally deal and move forward after your first unsatisfactory obs. I did my reflection and presented my improvements for that session to my tutors without any academic sources about unsatisfactory lessons and they told me that they dont really exist, so to speak.

    Thanks for your kind words :)
  13. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Ah, I see.

    I think you have to follow the advice of your mentor/tutors - during the PGCE and NQT year you have to jump through the hoops they put in front of you.

    Don't take to heart some of the things people write on here.

    All the best :)
    booksandlashes likes this.
  14. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    And that is your opinion, and utterly and completely unconstructive for the poor OP.
    Rehkitz27 and booksandlashes like this.
  15. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    how do you know, a lot of people are greatly comforted to hear that other people also find this type of verbal dioreah completely meaningless. I always was!
  16. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    How do you know? If we are talking about personal responses as representative of a general consensus then I find the knee-jerk 'oh it's all b0110cks' lazy and tiresome. 'Previous postings in this thread by the OP seem to indicate that they appreciate the constructive suggestions. (Your spelling and punctuation make my teeth itch......).
  17. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    how nice to find teachers so understanding and sympathetic about dyslexia......

    I know because so many people have told me
  18. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter

    May I just say a big thank you to MrMedia and mandala1 for your helpful responses on this thread, and in particular for your suggested reading lists. As a wannabe teacher who has recently had a setback at interview for ITT, being told I showed only limited evidence of ability to reflect on experience, this is exactly the sort of recommendation I needed, too.

    Right, I'm off to a book shop. I do hope your recommendations aren't too expensive ... otherwise the ghosts of the Christmas presents that I shan't be able to afford if I exceed my budget may just come back to haunt you both :p
    booksandlashes likes this.
  19. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    A pleasure! Good luck!
  20. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    All of the books will be in the uni library to save cash. I also recommend downloading first chapters onto a kindle or kindle app to check if you find them useful.

    It sounds like it is not the lesson that is being failed - for we can only plan, hope and have limited control of how the children will react in any single unique lesson. (And one of the many reasons why grading is pointless.) Rather that you need to consider reflection-in-action decisions - the decisions you make in reaction to live circumstances during the lesson. And the reflection after the lesson - your ability to pick out those things you could do next time to improve the chances of better learning as well as those things which you do not know what you could do to improve, but are aware that there other ideas in existence. (For example, a hands down Q&A approach did not work for an activity with a specific class and so you might identify the need for you to know a greater range of Q&A strategies to help you switch style mid lesson in future. Target: read up on some papers on questioning, try out new approaches and then reflect on how they worked for you and your class)

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