Robert Janícek, Kotaro Nariai and Debbie Moncrieff
What students see and what their teacher see may often be quite different things. And the Learning School students who sit in classrooms and observe may also make judgements based on what they see and don't see. In this chapter we give examples of a number of different classrooms where the spot check shows both wide divergence of view and sometimes quite close consonance among the three sets of judgements. This does place a question mark over classroom observation which focuses on what the teacher is doing rather than what students are learning.
The spot check is filled out at one point in the middle of a lesson, perhaps half-way, to get a snapshot of what students are thinking and feeling at that moment. The teacher also fills it out with her judgement of student engagement while the LS student (or students) do the same. This gives a triangulation of judgements. Sometimes there is a close match. Sometimes, most typically, teachers over-estimate their students' involvement. Occasionally teachers underestimate their students' level of interest and involvement. The first of the following four figures (Figure 15.1) shows a teacher significantly under-estimating her
Figure 15.1 Spot-check graph by Ms S