Classroom Life: An eye on CPD

The article discusses the innovative approach taken by Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) for teacher development, emphasising teacher autonomy and practical insights into teaching methods.


The academy, led by David Chapman, has implemented classroom camera technology from ONVU Learning, giving teachers control over recording their lessons. This tool allows them to reflect on their teaching, understand why certain methods work for some pupils but not others, and identify areas for improvement.


The technology helps teachers spot subtle indicators of student engagement and understanding, which can be overlooked during live teaching enabling their teachers to adjust their lessons to maintain student engagement or take steps to manage a challenging group of students more effectively.


The article underscores the importance of teacher-led analysis in improving teaching practices. By focusing more on learning than teaching, teachers at AUEA have been able to refine their methods, leading to increased student engagement and more effective lessons. This approach has fostered a more positive, collaborative, and self-reflective culture among teachers, enhancing their professional development.


Click the link below and go to pages 24-25 to access the complete article.

Creating a safe space for teacher development

The article discusses how one academy has adopted a low-stakes approach to lesson observations aimed at reducing teacher stress and enhancing the learning experience. Traditional lesson observations can be counterproductive, creating nervousness among teachers and impacting the natural flow of the lesson. The focus is shifted to a more pupil-centered observation, considering how students learn and react to lessons. This involves looking for “small tells” like body language, which can indicate student engagement.


The approach encourages teachers to take an active role in reviewing their lessons, utilising ONVU Learning camera technology. This allows teachers to reflect on their teaching by reviewing footage either alone or with colleagues. For example, a teacher discovered why some students didn’t grasp a complex math problem by reviewing the lesson footage, enabling her to adjust her teaching method.


The article emphasises the importance of support over scrutiny in teaching. Regular informal sessions where teachers discuss challenges, share ideas, and access shared video clips of effective strategies promote a collaborative environment. 


The result is that teachers view lesson observations as an opportunity for professional development rather than a stress-inducing evaluation, fostering a more effective and supportive teaching environment.


To view the article, click the link below and turn to pages 8-9.