The importance of lesson 
observations and feedback

Everyone agrees that every student deserves great teachers. We also know how important each teacher is in a child’s educational development.

Latest research suggests that having a good teacher can mean a higher quality of life and a higher than average expected lifetime income. (Hanushek, Education Next, 2011). There is also research that shows how much more knowledge per semester a high-performing teacher delivers to their students compared to a low-performing teacher (The Economist, June 11, 2016).

Research into successful schools points out that head teachers connecting the learning outcomes for their pupils/students with what teaching is actually taking place in the classrooms are more successful than others (Höög & Johanson, 2014).

This is the reason why I, as the founder of Successful Schools Sweden, have developed a model for successful school management which incorporates lesson observations for measuring teaching and learning in the classroom.

To involve all teachers in school and professional development is crucial. Research shows that top-down organised professional development has limited effect compared to a collaborative approach (Timperley, 2014).

You are not born to become a great teacher. It's just a myth. Most certainly you can have good or less good aptitude, but a good or great teacher is something you become through education and then feedback, experience and training, followed by feedback, experience and training.

In the OECD countries, 40 percent of the teachers have never had someone visiting their classroom to observe their lessons and provide feedback. During the last school year, we let the research company Novus put questions to Swedish teachers in elementary and upper secondary schools. 35 percent of the teachers have had a head teacher, colleague or tutor visiting their classroom sometime during the last two semesters, but only 11 percent of the teachers stated that they also received constructive feedback.

All teachers would benefit from receiving feedback on what teachers love to do - teach. This is why we, based on the excellent functionality in Derventio Education’s solutions, now launch BRAVOLesson – an app, web and video. One account for each teacher for sharing feedback through lesson observations and collaborative learning.

Mats Rosenkvist, founder of Successful Schools Sweden

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