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Title: Performance over professional learning and the complexity puzzle: lesson observation in England’s further education sector
Authors: O'Leary, Matt
Wood, Phil
First Published: 2-Aug-2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for International Professional Development Association
Citation: Professional Development in Education, 2017, 43 (4), pp. 573-591
Abstract: Attempts to measure the quality of teaching and learning have resulted in an overreliance on quantitative performance data and the normalisation of a set of reductionist practices in England’s further education sector in recent years. Focusing on lesson observation as an illustrative example and drawing on data from a national study, this article examines the application of observation and its impact on further education teachers’ practice. In viewing lesson observation through a complexity theory lens and contextualising it against the wider neoliberal backdrop of the marketisation of education, we seek to critique the inadequacies of current reductionist approaches to teacher evaluation, whilst simultaneously opening up a debate regarding the consequences of seeing classrooms as complex adaptive systems. In focusing on performative models of lesson observation in particular, the article exposes what we perceive as some of the epistemological and methodological shortcomings of neoliberalism in practice, but also offers an alternative way forward in dealing with the contested practice of evaluating the quality of teaching and learning.
DOI Link: 10.1080/19415257.2016.1210665
ISSN: 1941-5257
eISSN: 1941-5265
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016, .Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for International Professional Development Association. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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