Can teaching be given a score?

Filling the pail

Early this year, I was fortunate enough to hear a keynote talk by Thomas Good, a veteran of process-product education research. As part of his talk, he outlined what this research shows about effective teaching and listed a set of criteria such as appropriate expectations, supportive classrooms and active teaching (I don’t have a link to the keynote but it is based upon this 2008 book and you can read an earlier summary of the research here).

Good was at pains to stress that these criteria should not be seen as some sort of checklist for classroom observation. They interact in complex ways and the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This is good advice.

In the UK, lessons are observed by OFSTED inspectors when they visit schools. Until recently, individual lessons were given a grade; outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. The momentum for change seems…

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