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Formative Lesson Analysis

Lesson Observation and Analysis are key 'formative' activities during any placement experience. They are activities, which are supported by having a prior agreed focus, and an opportunity to reflect on the issues emerging after the observed lesson.

The LJMU Partnership agreement requires that in Phases 2 and 3, ITT Mentors complete a minimum of 2 formal Lesson Analysis Forms per week (or 1 Formal Lesson Analysis Form per week for SALARIED student teachers) and give time to engage in a verbal learning conversation with the student teacher as a result. If a student teacher teaches in Phase 1, written feedback is also essential. Lesson Analysis Forms have been co-designed with partners, via our steering committees, to ensure that they are constructive, manageable and give priority to evaluating and reflecting on learning.

Page 2 of the lesson analysis form is available for note taking, with key analysis and development points summarised on Page 1. Many ITT Mentors find it useful to jot down some notes on page 2 from initial observations of how the lesson is progressing, in the order in which things happen. This is a useful preliminary process before evaluating the learning on page 1.

The partnership has agreed that all feedback to LJMU student teachers should focus on the impact of the teaching on pupil learning. Post-lesson reflections should unpick how effective the teaching was in supporting all pupils to achieve.

How will Lesson Observation and Analysis help the Student Teacher?

It will:

  • develop the student teacher's capacity to evaluate and reflect on their practice in relation to pupil learning;
  • monitor the student teacher's success in achieving previously agreed targets;
  • develop and extend student teacher's subject and pedagogical knowledge;
  • identify the student teacher's key strengths and areas for development in teaching and their impact on pupils’ learning;
  • discuss strategies and ideas to help the student teacher improve pupil learning and identify new targets;

Written feedback, as described above, is important to ensure clear, mutual understanding and to provide a record. Verbal feedback in the form of a 'learning conversation' is equally important to student teachers. The verbal feedback should discuss both key strengths and areas for development and be given as soon as practicable after the lesson.

There will be occasions when the student teacher is working with other teachers/members of the department. It is critical all colleagues attend mentor training if they are to support LJMU student teachers. In addition, the ITT Mentor should inform other staff of the expectations required for the Phase and the student teacher's individual targets and needs so that there is clear consensus and consistency in the LJMU ITE Curriculum.

It is also recommended that joint observations are carried out by ITT Mentors and the Professional Mentor, enabling them to compare their assessments of the student teacher, and to ensure that the expectation and feedback is consistent.

Some suggestions for conducting Formative Observation/Analysis and Feedback

In order for the formal lesson observations and analysis to be effective it is helpful to consider the following taking into account the Student Teacher's phase of training and individual needs:

Preparation for the observation/analysis:

  • discuss the focus for the observation/analysis;
  • review the evaluation of the previous lesson and new lesson plan before the lesson;
  • note any particular concerns about the lesson or pupil progress;
  • set aside the time to review any amendments to the lesson plan before the lesson is delivered.

During the observation/analysis:

  • concentrate on the agreed focus of the observation/analysis and emphasise the impact on pupil learning;
  • be precise on strengths and areas for development, which are linked to the ITE Curriculum and develop the student teacher further, illustrated by specific examples;
  • identify pertinent and perceptive questions for the student teacher to consider, which focus on the pupils’ responses to their teaching and how learning might be improved.

During the feedback session:

  • use your pertinent and perceptive questions to make this a constructuve learning conversation;
  • engage the student teacher in a dialogue about which aspects of the learning went well and be able to support the student teacher by looking at alternative approaches and strategies if necessary;
  • focus the student teacher on their own subject knowledge development; how confident did they feel in addressing and exploring pupils’ questions and clarifying misconceptions?
  • consider including work scrutiny as part of your discussion; looking at pupils' work can clarify how effective the lesson was in achieving learning objectives;
  • support the student teacher in monitoring their progress towards meeting LJMU’s ITE Curriculum and setting new and appropriate targets for development.

Some useful guidance for feedback sessions:

  • set a constructive atmosphere and start with your own positive comment;
  • identify the strengths in pupil learning during the lesson by asking the student teacher, 'what do you think went well' and 'why do you think that was successful?';
  • pick up on and develop the student teachers' answers by challenging/re directing their comments to engage them in deeper evaluation and reflection;
  • ask the student teacher to identify any aspects of learning in the lesson that did not go so well or could have been handled differently, by asking them 'what would you change' and 'how';
  • enable the student teacher to consider other possible approaches and strategies;
  • support the student teacher in identifying targets arising for the next lesson working through the points from your analysis;
  • summarise the main points and any that need following up and discussing at the weekly meeting, identify what support is available, if needed;
  • leave the student teacher feeling positive and with a ‘can do’ attitude.
Weekly Meeting Record