Look and learn is the way to excel;Letter

17th September 1999 at 01:00
AS AN experienced teacher, an author of a book on pedagogy and a teacher trainer, I was extremely surprised to read your article "Teaching wisdom that stays silent". (TES, September 3).

The solution, in my view, is relatively simple: get the less-experienced teachers to observe the "master craftsmen and women" at work in the classroom.

I know from my own experience how effective this is as a method of learning about aspects of teaching which other teachers find difficult to articulate. Following up with focused discussions on key points, conducted by sensitive and experienced teacher trainers, would be a valuable extra part of the programme, but is not essential.

Organising this kind of peer-

observation programme does involve "freeing up" teachers to observe each other which is a cost but the results would more than compensate and all teachers would be able to learn from these masters".

If some lessons were videoed, costs could be reduced but effectiveness lost to some extent because "being there" is what is really important.

When setting up this kind of peer-observation programme, there would be no need to identify "masters" in advance because even observations of techniques which are less effective provoke the kind of thinking approach that has been recognised as important.

Sylvie Donna

Reading, Berkshire

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