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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classroom Observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning (Paperback), 19 Nov 2013
Classroom Observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learningThis is a book of substance. It is packed with references to credible research and is full of insight. It provides both a thoughtful and thought provoking review of classroom observation literature and contemporary practice, which helps readers to make sense of the complexities, nuances and paradoxes of effective classroom observation. Matt has assembled an incisive and penetrating analysis of where we are up to in English classroom observation and also what we are up against. No-one with an interest in classroom observation can afford not to read this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you are really interested in improving teaching and learning in FE, you must read this book., 22 July 2014
This is a seminal work which should be read by every FE college leader involved with observing classroom practice. Dr. O'Leary turns many assumptions on their head and explores the theoretical underpinnings of quality management. How did we come to a situation where a full-time teacher who spends around 800 hours per year in the classroom is judged competent or inadequate by an observation of just ONE of those 800 hours? Is this the best model for giving a full picture of how learners' experience teaching and learning, and crucially, is it the best way to bring about positive improvements in that experience? The full weight of the Ofsted inspection model is crushing many FE colleges and teachers are increasingly disillusioned the authenticity and validity of the inspection /observation regime. Dr. O'Leary is one of the few researchers to look behind the primacy of the Ofsted approach to examine if it really is capable of delivering the kind of positive change which everyone agrees learners deserve. It takes courage, but FE leaders who are willing to think outside the box have much to learn from this book. Prepare to have your eyes opened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book on a topic of great interest for educational professionals, 20 Sep 2014
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I am currently writing a dissertation evaluating different models of lesson observation; this book has proved invaluable in terms of my understanding of the context of observation, illustrated by numerous examples taken from classroom settings. The book explains the role of observation in the classroom, and the conflict between the developmental needs of staff and performance management systems. This is an area I am particularly interested in, and I found this discussion both thought-provoking and enlightening. The book then explores various alternative models of classroom observation, including discussions of models of teacher effectiveness. The final section of the book, which includes a range of targeted observation tasks, is helpful in terms of practical applications of the models described. This is a topic of great interest for many of us working in the field of education. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 19 Nov 2013
A really interesting and valuable book. I would highly recommend it for anyone observing, being observed, or just wishing to understand better this important feature of current educational practice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is both well research and written. Dr ..., 8 Aug 2014
This book is both well research and written. Dr Matt O’Leary approaches the topic of lesson observations in an informative and thought provoking way. The book is packed full of credible references and tips for further reading. This is essential text for any involved in education, teaching or training. As a tutor, former teacher trainer, lesson observer and now MA student this book been a god send. All inspectors, headteachers, college principles, tutor and anyone connect with education (that includes government) should read this book with an open mind. Thank you Dr Matt O’Leary.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classroom Observation, 31 Mar 2014
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Matt O’Leary’s book has been invaluable in helping me understand the wider political and ideological frameworks that underpin lesson observations. Moreover, its use as a tool to judge teaching & learning is critically assessed. As a teacher and teacher trainer, I have accepted the practice of lesson observations as an essential part of education. This book has shown me that there are alternative ways to assess teaching and learning, and crucially at the same time, enhance teaching and learning, which lesson observations carried out for self-assessment & inspection do not do. Explanation and analysis, in the book, of ideologies and concepts that underpin lesson observations have guided me to critically assess my own use of lesson observations as well as the lesson observations carried out during inspections. I am currently using the book for my PhD Education research and am finding it an essential text for this, as well as for my role as a teacher trainer. I recommend this book to all those involved in observations in colleges & schools as well as inspectors who carry out observations for Ofsted.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classroom Observation: A Guide to the Effective Observation of Teaching and Learning, 22 Nov 2013
By 
Mrs. A. Iredale (Oldham England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was looking forward to reading this book, particularly as it's the first time this topic has been approached in a critical and sophisticated way - beyond the 'how to' and 'how not to' teach literature that pervades the bookshelves. This book provides a real insight into the role and purpose of lesson observations, revealing the vested interests, management agendas, and ideologies surrounding the surveillance of teachers. It should be essential reading for quality managers, Ofsted inspectors and those wishing to critique the 'taken-for-granted' assumptions about this contentious subject. I particularly liked the mix of socio-political context and critique, the broader sociological discussions about professionalism, and the clear guidance about ways in which observation can be used by teachers to reflect on their practice. I would recommend this text for all PGCE/Cert.ED courses.

Alison Iredale FIFL, FHEA,
Director of Learning
Oldham College
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