Thursday, February 18, 2016
Thoughts/Questions about Teaching Observations
The brief section in chapter 7 of A Guide to College Writing Assessment that addresses teaching observation made me consider my own upcoming teaching observations and how within our program teaching observations play a dualistic role of WP assessment and individual instructor professionalization. This made me wonder, if teaching observations are meant to fulfill two different purposes, shouldn't the observation be geared towards different things. To be more specific, if an instructor is being observed to promote/facilitate professionalization, shouldn't this observation look different than an observation that is collecting data for the WP. I could see an argument being made that all teaching observations are moments for professionalization, but I feel like depending on the instructor the need is different, especially for new TAs. In other words, new TAs are going to need more guidance than a more veteran faculty member. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be held to the same standards and expectations. Not at all. I just feel like their teaching observation should be doing something different in order to fulfill their varying needs. Maybe this is the case already and I am just not aware of it. If so, I am interested in what the differences are.