A blog posting by Jeanne Harmon
"Ensuring that observers can provide accurate and meaningful feedback, in rich conversations with teachers, is essential for improving teaching and learning."
Last week, NSCEE hosted its sixth annual summit, welcoming more than 150 educators from all over the nation to Salt Lake City for three days of sharing. Teams from 29 states discussed challenges in implementing educator evaluation systems, worries about the educator pipeline, successes in developing instructional leadership and considerations for implementing the new federal legislation known as ESSA. One theme heard throughout the summit was the importance of creating a culture of continuous professional improvement among educators at all levels. Conversations frequently reflected a state's focus on observing instruction and leadership in action, then providing actionable feedback. Most states reported a need to build capacity in this area - to increase the number of educators skilled at helping others improve their professional practice.
Thursday evening, summit participants attended a book party hosted by the Gates Foundation. Better Feedback for Better Teaching: A Practical Guide To Improving Classroom Observations builds on the MET studies conclusion that "Ensuring that observers can provide accurate and meaningful feedback, in rich conversations with teachers, is essential for improving teaching and learning." As the subtitle promises, the book delivers practical suggestions for schools and districts interested in building the skills of observers.
The print version is available from Wiley ($28) and the electronic version is available for free download at: http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/teacher-supports/teacher-development/measuring-effective-teaching/better-feedback-for-better-teaching-a-practical-guide-to-improving-classroom-observations/