Lesson observation: what is the problem it’s solving?
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This paper considers the problems presented to teachers, school leaders and schools as a result of the neoliberal revolution and marketisation of the English education system following the 1988 Education Act. The policies created have focused on improving standards in schools by improving the quality of teacher efficacy through creating a national framework of Teachers’ Standards to measure teachers against. The paper examines how lesson observations are implemented to make judgements on the quality of teaching and improve the academic outcomes of young people. It draws on evidence from relevant literature and integrates my own experience as a headteacher having worked in education for 17 years. The paper analyses the problems represented using Bacchi’s (2009) framework, What’s the problem represented to be?, underpinned by the work of Foucault. It explores the influence of disciplinary power and governmentality in relation to the impact of lesson observations on teachers and on schools. Finally, this paper outlines the implications for practice and makes recommendations for the future.
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