Excitingly, there are many colleagues entering into research to test the validity and reliability of Classroom Profiling. The latest published author is none other than our President, Pete Keen.
In the book, “School Leader as Researcher”, edited by David Turner, Chapter 5 is entitled by Pete Formative Teacher Evaluation: Classroom Profiling as a collaborative process for professional growth. In this chapter, Pete outlines the research indicating how teaching improvement can be achieved through observation, feedback, and coaching. A broad picture of the impact of teachers on learning outcomes for students is provided, successful international education system and school improvement models explained and how this work is contextualised within Queensland. Pete then goes on to outline what Classroom Profiling is and how it can be described as a formative teacher evaluation process assisting teachers to critically self-reflect on their practice and set goals to improve over time (Jackson, Simoncini, Davidson, 2013).
When reading this chapter I took away some rich research statements that I have now incorporated into my trainings and a huge injection of motivation and pride in the work Mark Davidson has done and shared with so many over the years and how we as an Association are continuing to expand and growth.
Some of the research quotes that resonated are:
- Teachers are among the most powerful influences in learning. (Hattie, 2012, p.22)
- Collaborative collegial engagement in the form of observation, feedback and coaching is a high-yield strategy to improve teaching and learning. (Marzano 2012).
- The correlation between teachers’ self-reported abilities and their actual practice is not strong (Kaufman and Junker, 2011)
- Reflective teachers motivated to improve will actively submit their teaching beliefs and practices to critical examinations. (Brookfield, 2017)
- Classroom Observations and feedback is a way to achieve this critical examination, allowing teachers to become aware of their pedagogical approach where improvements can be realised. (Guss et al., 2013 ; Khachatryan, 2015: Lowder et al., 2017)
- Teaching improvement has been identified as one of the key drivers influencing the rate and the extent of school improvement.(Hattie, 2009,2012, 2016).
Pete succinctly explored many of the research concepts that are embedded into all Classroom Profiling trainings and it was
a great reminder of just how excellent this tool is at building teacher capacity. What we know intuitively about maintaining the integrity of the Classroom Profiling process through quality training is significantly backed by research.
• outlining that high levels of trust are a necessary precondition to significantly increase the impact of this form of professional development.
• regarding the skill of the observer – if there is any bias of the observer there is an unintended tendency for the observer to note evidence that affirms those preconceptions. Again a highly important part of any training, ensuring quality assurance across observation, classification and accurate recording as per Module B. We want to achieve the highest level of correlation between profilers as possible. Attending refreshers and coprofiling are excellent ‘check-ins’ around this concept. As is attending higher levels of training
• facilitating the guided reflection session for actionable feedback ensuring profilers presenting the specifics of what was observed without projecting judgement about attitude, knowledge or competence of the teacher (Keen, 2019 p110)
• leading to ongoing support and opportunities to engage in professional conversations in the form of coaching. Taking the process of Classroom Profiling and embedding it into your school context and school improvement agenda.
• using data – we use the teacher’s profile and the Summary of Collated Data to do this. In this way the teacher owns their data
and the profiler assists with analysis and self-reflection leading to goal setting. If you have data please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep this valuable research base up to date.
It really was a validating read for all Classroom Profilers and I highly recommend you invest in this approximate 30 minute professional read.
Congratulations Pete. We all wish you well in your PhD endeavours and look forward to benefitting from your research as a school leader.