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Watching Teachers Work: Using Data from Classroom Observations to Improve Teaching

  • and Susan Ochshorn
February 14, 2012 |

On January 26, 2012, the Early Education Initiative presented its findings and recommendations from New America’s latest paper on teacher effectiveness, Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades.  Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative, led the presentation as part of a panel discussion at the New America Foundation's office in Washington, D.C.  Susan Ochshorn, founder of ECE Policy Works in New York and co-author of the paper, also provided remarks.

Here is a video of the presentation that includes video clips:

Written remarks and a PDF of the presentation (without the video) can be downloaded here, here, and in the column to the right under "Related Files."  We have also posted a copy of a short list of other reports and webinars on observing teachers.

Guernsey's presentation describes how several innovative early learning settings and schools are embracing the use of video and in-person observation to capture meaningful data on how teachers interact with students. It concludes with five recommendations for using valid and reliable observation tools to improve public education through PreK-3rd reforms and across the PreK-12 spectrum.

The presentation features video clips of teachers in the classroom, plus interviews with an early learning "coach" and a first grade teacher.  (After the presentation, teachers and policy analysts from a range of settings – early years to high school – talked about several topics in the report, including whether observation data should be used in personnel reviews and the potential of coaches for strengthening the impact of professional development programs. See the full 90-minute event in this longer video.)