Teacher's Perspectives of Classroom Observation in Instructional Rounds

The Instructional Rounds protocol has been adopted by many school districts as a way to improve teaching and learning. Instructional Rounds (IR) is a specific process of identifying a problem of practice, conducting classroom observation, debriefing, constructing an image of current practice, and making informed decisions designed to influence the organizational practice of a school. Studies of teachers’ perspectives regarding classroom observation for the purpose of evaluation or professional development, reveal that teachers believe classroom observation can help improve the student learning and teaching practices. Nevertheless, evaluative observation has been associated with teachers’ feelings of anxiety and nervousness when they are observed. The purpose of this study is to understand teacher perspectives when their classes are observed for the purpose of IR. A web-based Likert-type scale survey was used to collect teachers’ beliefs and feelings responses from two school districts participating in this process. The findings of this study suggest that teachers believe that classroom observation for the purpose of IR may inform district leadership teams of professional development, which in turn can improve teacher practices and student achievement. The findings further suggest that teacher feelings about IR classroom observation are more favorable than the literature revealed for teacher feelings of classroom observation for evaluative purposes. Keywords: teachers’ perceptions, beliefs, feelings, classroom observation, Instructional Rounds