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We have a visiting colleague from ESMT, Roselva Tunstall, and we’ve been talking about peer observation. In LearningLab we often think of peer review and peer observation as a way of improving the skills of the one being observed, and it is the one being observed who gets feedback.
But it might be thought of in another way as well, for the purpose of growth. As a lecturer I can set my own goals for how I want to grow over the next year. Instead of asking someone to observe me and give me feedback on how to reach my goals, I can instead find someone who already excels in this and observe how they do it and learn from them.
This means that it is the one doing the observation who is also the learner, and the vulnerable one in the situation. The one being observed is looked upon as a role model, and is more under admiration, than under scrutiny.
It changes the whole relationship, and creates a more safe, trusting and positive environment for sharing amongst peers. As Roselva puts it, how can you learn from each other without observing what we do?