from anywhere –
the Doon School, India
Video lesson observation for all of your ITT or PGCE students.
The Doon School is a boarding school for boys aged 12-18 in Dehradun, India. Established in 1935, The Doon School is one of the country’s preeminent schools, with a strong intellectual heartbeat and a proven track record in producing outstanding leaders in all walks of life, which has earned The Doon School and its alumni a worldwide reputation for excellence.
In September 2018, the ONVU Learning team started working with teachers from The Doon School to improve teacher training through the use of the latest in video technology for lesson observation, the Lessonvu solution, and remote coaching. With a mission to attract and develop exceptional boys and teachers from all backgrounds, The Doon School places high value on the quality and ongoing development of its teaching. Headmaster Matthew Raggett was keen to understand whether the Lessonvu solution and video footage could provide the opportunity for teachers to review their own lessons and if remote coaching with an ONVU Learning consultant, based in the United Kingdom, could cut across cultural differences to bring about professional
growth for his teachers.
Lessonvu enables all lessons from the teachers’ classrooms to be recorded with the least intrusion so enabling coaching based on the review of ordinary or regular lessons. Teachers are then able to self-reflect on any part of their daily teaching, gaining detailed insight into classroom practises and consult with colleagues for constructive feedback.
Establishing best practice for remote coaching
There are potential obstacles to remote coaching, anything from working across time zones to working with school networks, to linguistic and cultural differences. However, the most important consideration is to build trust. Two volunteers from The Doon School were excited to be involved – Mr Manu Mehrotra, a Maths teacher and his colleague, Mr Gyaneshwaran Gomathinayagam, who teaches Physics. Both are experienced teachers and were introduced to ONVU Learning’s Teacher Development Coach, Dr Sean Warren.
Dr Warren presented them with the key principles of his ‘Align’ methodology. The subsequent dialogue familiarised the teachers with key terminology and reassured them that the exploration would be non-judgemental. A cycle of review, sharing, coaching and implementation then ensued. Manu reflects, “In the 15-minute clip, Dr Warren was able to pinpoint exact moments to show which part of my practice he was referring to. Clicking on the 15 second rewind function enabled me to review events frame by frame. I found his questions very stimulating.”
“Seeing the camera for the first time was very heartening. I didn’t realise you could see the same lesson from so many different angles. You could focus on the whiteboard, as well as tracking an individual’s movement. At the same moment I could also select a particular group of students to assess their degree of engagement with the tasks.“
Mr Manu Mehrotra, Teacher
Gyaneshwaran worked on aspects of classroom management. He felt confident to tell Dr Warren that he wanted to teach without having to raise his voice in order to maintain order in the class. Dr Warren led Gyaneshwaran through some diagnostic exercises which confirmed an incongruity between what the teacher wanted from his class, and what he was getting. Footage from the 360-degree video suggested that tighter routines during the opening phase of the lesson could provide a stronger foundation for settling the class. It was apparent that building positive relationships were very important to the teacher, so an approach which enabled an appropriate balance between control and care was developed. After working through suggested solutions,
Gyaneshwaran saw significant improvements.
“Building relationships outside of class context has given me more results than any other strategy… When back in the classroom, these have allowed me to have access in a way that was missing before… I don’t have many classroom management problems anymore. ”
Mr Manu Mehrotra, Teacher
Evaluation and Outcome
ONVU Learning enabled the teachers to take charge of their own professional development and improved their ability to self-review. Both teachers expressed their positive experience of concurrently using the 360-degree video and the ONVU Learning solution. They were able to share their video with a remote coach who provided a fresh interpretation of events. With trust and mutual respect at the core, the teachers were able to build up a strong professional relationship with ONVU Learning’s representative. The platform enabled development in practice, increased motivation and provided a lens for effective reflection. Through targeted support, these culminated in improved student outcomes. The teachers felt that the combination of the ONVU Learning system and coaching had positive impact on their learning environment. Of real benefit to The Doon School is that both teachers recognise the potential to cascade the professional learning they have received to support colleagues in their school. This is welcomed by the team at ONVU Learning as it addresses the requirements of many international schools to support and develop their teachers. The remote coaching model provides an interesting, effective and efficient mechanism to provide them with greater opportunities for development.
Given the unprecedented adoption of technology within the country and India’s image as an emerging global IT power house, more teachers – not only the new-age educators, but even the experienced teachers believe that technology will become their major platform for accessing resources and content related to professional development. The Doon School is at the forefront of these advancements in classroom technology which are making a positive impact on teacher training and development.
“I see huge benefit from Dr Warren observing my classes and helping me to notice things which could easily be ignored in the momentby-moment decision-making. ”
Mr Gyaneshwaran Gomathinayagam, Teacher.
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