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Appears in:
Pages: 1271-1277
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0442

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE USE OF PEER OBSERVATION IN PRE-SERVICE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

S. Čurković Kalebić

University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (CROATIA)
Peer observation is considered to be a useful practice in teacher professional development. It encourages the teacher's self-awareness and self-reflection (Cosh, 1999). It promotes the culture of professional cooperation and provides opportunity for the teachers to investigate their own constructs (Malderez and Bodóczky, 1999).

This study attempts to gain an insight into the role of peer observation in pre-service teacher education. It addresses the following questions: 1. What are the attitudes of student teachers towards peer observation practice in pre-service teacher education?; 2. What are the benefits of pre-service peer observation to the participants in this activity?; 3. What are the difficulties that student teachers experience while participating in a peer observation activity?

The participants in this study were twenty-one student teachers of English language and literature at a Croatian university. The study was made during the course Practicum and Teaching Practice that is offerred in the last semester of teacher education programme. The study was made at the end of the students' teaching practice in spring 2016.

Two instruments were used in this study: a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. The questionnaire consisted of eighteen items accompanied by a five- point Likert scale. First six items in the questionnaire referred to the student teachers' peer observation experience when they were observers, next six items referred to their experience when they were the observed and the last six items referred to their genearal beliefs and attitudes towards peer observation as an activity in teacher preparation. Semi-structured interview consisted of three questions referring to the benefits of this activity to both the observer and the observed, difficulties the students had when participating in this activity, and the students' willingness to use peer observation as a practice in their future teaching profession.

Peer observation was organised during school-based teaching practice. Each student observed a peer and was observed by the same peer. An observed student decided what aspect(s) of his/her teaching would be the focus of observation. Observation was preceeded by a pre-observation session and followed by a discussion in the post-observation session. The questionnaire was administered to the student teachers at the end of their teaching practice and followed by a semi-structured interview. The questionnaire was analysed by a quantitative method and the interviews were transcribed and analysed by a qualitative method.

The results of the questionnaire show that student teachers have a very positive attitude towards peer observation in teacher preparation. The highest percentage of students report that peer observation promotes a constructive dialogue between peers in pre-service preparation. They report that peer observation was equally beneficial to their self-reflection when they were observers and when they were the observed. The most frequent benefit from observing a peer was reported to be the opportunity to learn new teaching strategies whereas the most important benefit from being observed was claimed to be the possibility to learn more about one's own behaviour in the classroom. Students reported that providing feedback to a peer presented a major difficulty in peer observation activity.
@InProceedings{CURKOVICKALEBIC2017USE,
author = {Čurković Kalebić, S.},
title = {THE USE OF PEER OBSERVATION IN PRE-SERVICE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0442},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0442},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1271-1277}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Čurković Kalebić
TI - THE USE OF PEER OBSERVATION IN PRE-SERVICE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0442
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 1271
EP - 1277
ER -
S. Čurković Kalebić (2017) THE USE OF PEER OBSERVATION IN PRE-SERVICE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 1271-1277.
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