Peer Observation

Published: 12/8/2016 12:44 PM

Peer observation is designed to provide useful formative feedback and foster collegial conversations among educators about real issues related to teaching, learning and professional practice. Peer observation is a required component of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) because it provides formative feedback and support for reflection as well as continuous growth in ways that impact student achievement.

The peer observation process can be a rewarding and fulfilling journey of professional growth and collaboration for both the peer observer and the educator being observed. Peer observation supports professional growth because it is educator-driven, supported by principals, and collegial.
 
Statistics reveal a need for deeper professional learning regarding the integrated use of peer observation to increase educator effectiveness (Measures to Learn and Improve (MLI) survey, February 2015)*. According to Joellen Killion, Senior Advisor of  Learning Forward, (2008), “… A form of professional learning, peer observation is a set of purposeful, planned actions and the support system necessary to achieve the identified goals…”
 
Educator-Driven
Other professionals guide the peer observation process. The sharing of instructional and professional practices empowers educators to identify learning needs that increase effectiveness and student achievement. An authentic, embedded form of professional learning, peer observation is a collegial way to review instructional methodology and share professional practices among educators.
          
Best Practice
The PGES regulation, (704 KAR 3:370 Section 5(2)(b)) requires other professionals to have one peer observation during the summative cycle. This minimum requirement should not dictate the frequency of peer-educator contact. In the requires other professionals to have one peer observation during the summative cycle. This minimum requirement should not dictate the frequency of peer-educator contact. In the Overview of State Teacher Fellows Program in Kentucky, the Hope Street Group's finding was that educators favor frequent peer observation.
 
Peer Observer Training
State regulation requires certification training every three years (704 KAR 3:370 Section 6(9)) for all educators serving as PGES peer observers. Consult the district certified evaluation plan (CEP) for local requirements. Peer observation training is also useful and available for any educator interested in working with peers to improve their educational practice. 

Peer observation training options: 
  1. On-Line Training (Instructions)
    This updated, online platform housed at DDL, provides self-paced peer observer training. To complete the full course, individuals will invest approximately two hours. Upon successful completion, a printable certificate generates. This training replaces the PBS Learning Media’s Professional Learning for Peer Observers.
  2. Off-Line Training Package (Instructions)
    The off-line training package allows a certified peer observer or administrator to conduct face-to-face
  3. Regional In-Person Training Sessions (Criteria)
    Regional face-to-face sessions facilitated by KDE staff may be requested. Submit inquiries to teacherleader@education.ky.gov. Certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training.
*The MLI survey results are currently housed within the department’s database and available upon request.
Amy Jacobs
Office of Teaching and Learning
Division of Next Generation Professionals
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-1479
Fax (502) 564-6470