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Marzano Art & Science of Teaching Observation and Feedback Protocol in iObservation
I’ve spent 30-plus years trying to translate research and theory into practice, specifically as it relates to the classroom. And over that period of time, after looking at research, translating it, gathering it, doing our own studies, I’ve come to the conclusion that we stand at a unique time in the sense that, I think for the first time, we know all the major components at a very general level of what constitutes effective teaching. Each of those major components have subcomponents within it. I don’t believe there is any other—at least from what I’ve seen—comprehensive model that puts that together, other than what we’ve tried to do in the Art and Science of Teaching. Now, there might be programs, there might be models I’m not aware of. But the ones I’ve looked at, I feel like Art and Science of Teaching does put it together in probably the best and most robust fashion to date.
Now given that you have a comprehensive model of instruction—I’ll say it differently—given that we know all the component parts and how they interact, and that’s really an important part of the Art and Science of Teaching for each of the many types of strategies that we know, Art and Science of Teaching identifies the particular content or situation in which they’re best used. Now, given that, we can now use that knowledge base as a tool to enhance teacher skill in the classroom. And by definition, that requires feedback to teachers. When I say feedback, I don’t mean evaluation, and that’s unfortunate that in our profession most teachers and many administrators associate that any time there’s feedback, there’s an evaluation going on. That’s not the case, nor should it be the case. Feedback should be a natural part of being in this profession. Feedback is a natural part of every profession; if you want to become an expert in any field, you need feedback, and that’s feedback from yourself, feedback from peers, feedback from coaches, feedback from supervisors—that all should be in the mix, so it allows a person to examine their practice reflectively. And that’s where a protocol like we’ve developed with iObservation is absolutely necessary. To get the type of feedback that’s specific and robust, that can’t be done paper/pencil or by handheld tools—believe me we’ve tried it. You need a platform to do that. You need technology to do that. And that’s why I started working with iObservation. I was impressed with the platform and impressed with the company. The really exciting part with this partnership, what iObservation has agreed to do, is create a system that is specific to the Art and Science of Teaching and does exactly what we say should be done. So, for me, this is a culmination of three and a half decades of my life in terms of organizing and researching theory, but now getting it to a place, getting it in a format, that people can use it easily to examine their own practice and receive feedback from others. So I’m very excited about the partnership and I’m very excited about iObservation.