Friday, October 16, 2015
First one chooses the type of observation they wish to do. The 4 types of observations are: complete participant, participant as observer, observer as participant, and complete observer (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 140). Next you consider the setting. The setting should be as natural as possible (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 137). While observing you should keep your focus on one category to observe. To do this you should have a systematic way to organize notes. Using a template can help you keep data organized and easy to record. With having this template it will also help in being selective. (Classroom Interactions). There is no possible way to write down everything you observe, so you must choose what you perceive to be the most valuable at the time. If you are an active participant in your observation you must also find a line between being totally absorbed and just participating (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, pp. 146). If you are not video or audio recording and cannot write your notes while observing you must be sure to avoid talking to others before you record your notes. Merriam & Tisdell (2015) note that talking before recording can “diffuse importance.”
Why should observation be done in a classroom? Observation is most commonly used to improve classroom management and instructional techniques (Hidden Curriculum). It has been noted to cut down on misbehavior, make students more independent, allowing students to accomplish more, and for teachers to learn more about students . To be able to observe effectively it “requires sharp, vibrant lesson, spot on directions, and prove it to me checking for understanding before releasing students to work” (Linsin, 2015). If you don’t do this, you will be so absorbed in teaching and helping students that you would never be able to observe what is happening in the classroom.
Classroom Interactions. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2015, from http://fcit.usf.edu/assessment/classroom/interactb.html
Hidden curriculum (2014, August 26). In S. Abbott (Ed.), The glossary of education reform. Retrieved from http://edglossary.org/hidden-curriculum
Linsin, M. (2012, December 15). Why You Should Observe Your Students More. Retrieved October 15, 2015, from http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2012/12/15/why-you-should-observe-your-students-more/
Merriam, Sharan B.; Tisdell, Elizabeth J. (2015, July 6). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (JOSSEY-BASS HIGHER & ADULT EDUCATION SERIES). Wiley. Kindle Edition.