"The Politics of Classroom Observation and Effective Teaching: The Optimizing Student Learning Opportunities (OLOS) Observation System"
AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: "The Politics of Classroom Observation and Effective Teaching: The Optimizing Student Learning Opportunities (OLOS) Observation System"
Authors: Carol M. Connor, Michele M. Mazzocco, Ann Schulte, Deborah L. Vanedell
Classroom observation is an important tool for teaching evaluation and improvement, and has been at the center of policy initiatives for the past decade. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Measures of Effective Teaching Project, or MET, may be the best known (Kane & Staiger, 2012). Accumulating research also shows that providing support and feedback to teachers on how to meet the unique learning needs of each student in their classroom improves student learning in literacy and mathematics (e.g., Connor, in press). The Early Learning Network’s OLOS team is developing a teacher professional development system that centers on observing the learning opportunities provided to individual students during language arts and mathematics instruction for pre-kindergarten through third grade. The technology platform on which it runs (OLOS is web-based and can be used on tablet or laptop) offers immediate feedback to teachers and instructional coaches in the form of graphs and reports and talking points based on the data collected. With a practitioner-friendly interface, OLOS can be used validly and reliably to improve teaching and student outcomes by focusing on students’ learning and participation in learning opportunities. Practical and policy implications of an inexpensive, valid, and reliable way to observe classroom learning opportunities across the PreK-Grade 3 continuum will be discussed.