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Katalin Balassa: Using Classroom Observation Tasks To Update Mentoring and Teaching Practice

In this article my chief concern was how to work towards improving the quality of teacher training, including updating teaching practice and mentoring in practice schools. In terms of maintaining standards, we can definitely learn a lot from our old model school's efforts, where the staff always consciously combined theoretical preparation with practical training. A smallscale study and my long experience as a mentor show that this old value seems to be disappearing both from recent teacher training and teaching practice. A crucial problem might be that our mentors may not know how to develop reflection and critical enquiry in their trainees, and how to guide them toward responsibility for their own professional development. The classroom observation tasks elaborated by the mentors in our study may equip mentors, teachers and trainees alike with the appropriate means to enable them to work in a more aware and effective way. The school team, after having introduced Wajnryb's and Doff's s classroom observation tasks into English teaching, extended the use of the tasks to 9 other subjects, the representatives of whom adapted the tasks to their own field and created completely new taks for their specific contexts. An encouraging sign of the school-wide project is that all the participants who were engaged in trying ont the reflective tasks benefited a grent deal. Some of the major achievements are that in terms of counselling lesson planning, mentors have become conscious more conscious. In addition, the use of tasks speeded up the trainees' professional development and contributed to establishing a more close and collaborative atmosphere between trainees and mentors. In the long run the tasks can help mentors review their own practice and adopt a new mentoring role.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 98. Number 3. 169-186. (1998)

Address for correspondence: Balassa Katalin, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegye¬tem Angol Alkalmazott Nyelvészeti Tanszék, H–1146 Budapest, Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21.

 
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Magyar Tudományos Akadémia