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Reciprocal Learning in the Secondary Classrooms…

16 June 2015

"We sought to encourage one another in being professional teachers who are open to questioning and who critically reflect on what we teach, how we teach and why we teach. Our collaborative peer observations have provided a catalyst for change through giving us insights into our teaching practices. We emphasize that these insights have contributed to the professional learning of both the observer and the observed ", enthusiastically reflected one of our Secondary Teachers.

In the spirit of fostering peer to peer connections and reflection on teaching and learning in the Secondary Division, the open classroom reciprocal visits were organized and involved each teacher taking turns as host and visitor. Each visiting teacher, who pinpointed three positive points he/she observed and is willing to transfer to one's own classroom, shared his/her professional reflection with his/her colleague. The experience tackled reflective questions such as: What did I learn? What features of a learning environment did the teacher create? What teaching strategies did the teacher use that I can implement in my own classroom? Did the teacher respond to a student in a way I would like to emulate?

Educational research has stressed that non threatening process of reciprocal classroom observations and shared reflections create safe supportive spaces for practitioners to grow and foster positive attitudes and behaviors nurturing a mutually energizing community of "individual appreciation" and "reciprocal learning" (Bodone et al, 2004).

Nadia Al Saheb
Academic Director of Secondary Division