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Peer-observation of Teaching

Peer-observation of teaching should be a collegial process where one teacher observers another in the process of his or her professional duties and then provides supportive and constructive feedback that enables the observed to reflect upon, and improve, how he or she performs these duties.

This is a deliberately narrow definition in contrast to much of the literature where the term “peer-observation” is used to describe almost any third-party observation of teaching – no matter how unequal the relationship between participants may be.

Although a narrow definition, it encompasses all duties that a teacher might undertake. Just as it is useful for teachers to receive feedback following an observation of a classroom session; so it is also useful for teachers to receive feedback following an observation of how they mark work, plan classes, design modules and all the other many things teachers need to do.

For those wishing use peer-observation within their continuous professional development programme, UCD Teaching and Learning has developed a five-stage model, Genuine Peer Observation of Teaching which, while primarily designed as a development tool for reflective practice, can also be used to generate validated evidence of excellence in teaching.

In the Genuine Peer Observation of Teaching control of all data generated by the observation remains firmly in the hands of the person observed.  You may also be interested in Peer Observation: a Practical Guide

A full explanation of the theoretical underpinnings of the system can be found  Using Observation of Teaching to Improve Quality

If you have any questions or would like further information, please use the feedback button below to contact the UCD Teaching & Learning team.