Observation Methods

09.13.2012

Hello, all! I have learned so many cool education things that I can't help but share them all!

Senior year as an education major is sort of strange in that we have this thing called methods block, so we all had to block off Monday through Friday from 8:00-12:00pm for the semester. During this block we either go out to our student teaching placements to teach and/or observe, have education classes, or have education seminars. So far we only went to the schools for one week, which means we have been on campus the rest of the time filling our brains with cool tips, tricks, and strategies! This past Friday we had a seminar about observational strategies, which sounds pretty uninteresting, but I actually learned a ton about observation methods! Dr. John White conducted the seminar, and he is an incredibly smart and funny guy. He teaches the history methods classes primarily, but the seminar leaders rotate through the department. Anyways, he showed us a few observational methods that provide a teacher with useful data to help improve their teaching.

One of the methods was to have an observer chart your walking pattern throughout the classroom, so you can see what parts of the room you tend to favor or focus on. You can also see which students you tend to focus on by having someone document every interaction you have with a student. You can also have an observer write down every question you ask throughout the class to examine the types of questions you are asking (high or low level). You can also document all what every student is doing during class to see where your distractions tend to be. I never realized there were so many observational strategies!

I am so glad to be part of UD's education program because I swear they train us soooo well! I have friends at other schools who have never even been in a classroom before! Have a great day!