Teacherless Observations, Leysin American School

Exploring Student-Directed Learning with Teacherless Observations

For schools with the goal of student-directed learning, classroom observations of just students - without the teacher - provide a measure of progress.

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Leysin American School, which has focused on developing greater student agency for several years, recently trialled a different sort of classroom observation, called Teacherless Observations. Teachers volunteered not to be in the classroom during an observation by one the researchers. The researchers documented the student interaction of the teacherless classroom using running records. Teachers were allowed to prepare their students in any manner they found appropriate, from no preparation at all to assigning specific roles and leaving a specific lesson plan to follow. The observers report on their own experience and the shared experience of the teachers. The discussion includes the interesting variants of preparation, observation, and student behavior during these teacherless observations, and suggests why such observations might be an interesting addition to professional development programs focused on developing student agency.

Keywords: Student agency, self-regulation, agile, K-12, international schools, professional development, professional learning