Saturday, March 7, 2009

Performance Management - Have we got it right?

If our beliefs about assessment are about informing the learner about how they are going? where they have come from?  and what their next learning steps might be, how does that align with what how we conduct appraisal for adult learners.  It has so often been an event, something you work up to as a teacher to put on the show for who ever is coming in to visit.  We all naturally like to perform well, however in a one off hour window anything can happen as we well know!  
How do we adopt the definition of formative assessment outlined above and ensure there is rigor around goal setting, professional learning, feedback and evidence gathered to ensure real learning for our teacher learners.  
Importantly our visits to one anothers classrooms need to be valued and occur frequently.  Opportunities to reflect and dialogue with one another to question and shift practice is essential.
The next question I guess is "What do we collectively look for when we observe one another's practice?  What signs do we look for that show a depth in the learning occurring.  We can quickly identify colorful walls, quiet child, busy learners - doesn't always mean deep learning is occurring though.
As Tony Burkin stated at a PD session "We are great at stoking one another as teachers" The strokes don't always provide the reflection and where to next steps.  We are currently working on developing a common understanding and clarity around what it is we might look for in relation to what we have identified as effective teaching practice when we visit one anothers classrooms.  We believe if we can gain clarity we can capture patterns and evidence over time that will enable more effective feedback to our colleagues.  Will keep you posted on developments.

I think our Pedagogical practice has changed somewhat from this example Ma and Pa Kettle

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