Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Playing the game of panoptic performativity? (#ecer2009)

Live blog live blog capture of a session by Matt O’Leary, from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Playing the game of panoptic performativity? Perspectives on the grading of observations of teaching and learning...

The focus of this session is the graded observation of teaching and learning in Further Education and its impact on the professional lives of those working in the sector. Graded observations are a very contentious area in FE. The overwhelm use of lesson observation in FE colleges is for internal quality review and is often sold to staff as a way of driving improvement.

The grading of observation is felt to be divisive - particularly when the grades are mde public - it can lead to labelling. People with grade 1s are then asked to allow people to observe them teach and to run staff development etc. It can be seen as a poisoned chalice.

Concerns were expressed about inconsistency and reliability of grading and feedback. Also, there was evidence of people playing the game and ticking boxes. There is also concern about who owns the data, who was involved in the process and the time and resources allocated.

Colleges are using the OFSTED criteria but they are quite vague. In general, no attempt to triangulate with students views as this was seen to be too threatening.

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