Observation-based Professional Development (OPD) activities have long been in practice in the SL with a view to fostering individual and collaborative professional development practices. To this end we have a practical guidelines document which describes the rationale for, general principles of and basic steps involved in OPD activities as well as several sample tools that can be used with the activities. All OPD activities are developmental, formative and learning-focused where colleagues are invited to adopt the same principles for an effective collegial support role within an atmosphere of rich reflection on and discussion of teaching and learning practices.
The OPD Guidelines document presents brief guidelines and related sample sources on the following observation-related professional development (OPD) activities:
- peer observations and peer discussion
- involving learners in lesson observations and discussion with learners
- swapping lessons/classes with a peer and peer discussion
- team teaching and peer discussion
- video observations of lessons and peer discussion
based on the key concepts of mutual respect, trust and confidentiality; a collaborative spirit; the sharing of ideas, experiences and expertise and voluntary participation with a view to supporting the enhancement of our teaching practices within an atmosphere of rich professional dialogue on teaching and learning practices and processes.
Since 2014, SL has also been promoting the use of an ongoing online feedback form on OPD activities as well as developmental observation practices to allow SL teachers to provide feeback on these activities any time they may wish to do so. The link for this feedback form (also provided in the guidelines document itself) is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OPDandDevObs
OPD activities also contribute to the teaching component of the SL Performance Review process where SL teachers are required to engage in a minimum of three OPD activities over a three-year period and discuss their related experiences and learning in their performance review reports.
Useful sources to support OPD activities:
For further practical tools and examples, please also refer to the following chapters of our book, A Practical Guide to English Language Teacher Development in an Academic Context: Approaches, Explorations and Practices (2017) Bosson, A. and Kurtoğlu Eken, D. (Eds.) Blackswan Publishing House:
Observation based teacher development by Andrew Bosson & Sharon Çeltek (Chapter 6)
Team teaching as a tool for course orientation and modelling teaching practice by Vildan Çal & Amy Stopper (Story 1)
I am learning with and from my lovely learners by Meral Güçeri (Story 7)
Comparing teaching and learning: Teacher intention versus student perception by Sharon Çeltek (Story 12)
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