How do Teachers Make Sense of Peer Observation Professional Development in an Urban School

  •  Luis Miguel Dos Santos    


The purpose of the research study is to explore how a peer observation training programme could be beneficial to the professional development of English teachers in an East Asian environment. The research objectives were to improve teaching practice, examine how teachers make sense of the peer observation programme after they have taken part in, and to suggest alternative approaches.

Data were collected from three teachers who participated in a peer observation programme at a language school in Hong Kong through an interview process. The research discovered that peer observation can be a good tool for continuous professional development for teachers in order to develop their teaching strategies. This is especially important within the field of language education. From the analysis, most teachers are wary of the practicalities of peer observation due to the sensitivity that is associated with it. The research also discovered that teachers think that if the peer observation approach is well developed, it can be potentially interesting or generate excitement among teachers. It can support teachers to deliver their possible best practice. There is a general acknowledgement among the participants that there are certain elements of a teacher’s performance that only colleagues in the same or closely-related disciplines can accurately assess. In the absence of a clear cut procedure and requirement for evaluating a person and for the person being evaluated, both parties become frustrated as there is no yardstick of performance. Recommendations for improvement have also been presented.

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