Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test and develop a new tool for lesson observation and feedback within the context of initial teacher education. The tool was designed to align with the practitioner enquiry model of teacher learning underpinning the course, and as such it drew mentors into the mode of responding to their students questions.Designmethodologyapproach The research was undertaken as a Design Study. The design of the tool led to an iterative, collaborative, processfocused approach to the development of the observation tool. Students and their mentors were encouraged to experiment with and report on their observation experience.Findings The observation tool altered the quality of the mentoring relationship through focusing on enquiry as its foundation. Feedback from student teachers and their mentors helped us to define the role of observation in the process of professional learning and to review the nature of the mentoring relationship which emerged.Practical implications Significant professional development and learning can be triggered by crossing both real and metaphorical boundaries and as such it is essential that the tools offered to students and their mentors are supportive of divergent learning outcomes, through which each student teacher has the opportunity to transform teaching practices, not simply replicate existing ones.Originalityvalue Observation and feedback in the classroom can be viewed as a boundary practice. This new tool can be regarded as a boundary object which promotes the use of questions to support the framing and reframing necessary for the professional learning and development of the beginning teachers.
International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 4, 2012
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