ECER 2021: Keynote speech Kirsti Klette

At ECER 2021 "Education and Society: expectations, prescriptions, reconciliations", QUINT Centre Director Klette explores the use of video classroom research and observation protocols, how they could serve as a tool to develop common language and professional vision around teaching and to improve instruction.

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QUINT Centre Director Kirsti Klette presents at ECER 2021, 6-10 September 2021

Video recording (external link to Youtube)

Classroom observation as a means of understanding teaching quality: Towards a shared understanding of teaching quality?

More than forty years ago, Dan Lortie famously lamented the lack of a common language with which to describe teaching. In this talk, Professor Klette will explore the use of video classroom research and observation protocols could serve as a tool to develop common language and professional vision around teaching and to improve instruction.

Observation manuals (e.g. observation systems) as means of analyzing aspects of K-12 teaching and learning have attracted increased interest over the last decade and today scholars seem to agree on some key aspects as central when setting out to investigate teaching and learning in classrooms. In this talk, Klette will give an overview of ‘state of the art’ and developments in research on teaching quality drawing on classroom observation approaches. In her presentation, she reflects on how technological, methodological and theoretical development together with large-scale classroom video studies have paved the way for a new generation for classroom studies. Toward this end, she first sketches out theoretical developments aiming at analyzing teaching quality as well as provide an overview of possible observation manuals. She then summarizes empirical evidence and discuss whether we can talk about a shared language when analyzing teaching and learning in classrooms. Finally illustrating with video clips from authentic classrooms, Klette discusses the fine balance between generic and contextual factor when investigate teaching quality.

Once teaching-learning events are conceptualized, operationalized and studied, it also becomes clear that classroom teaching and learning share commonalities while at the same time being complex, situated and culturally bounded. Especially the discussion have concentrated around theoretical underpinnings and the way teaching quality has been conceptualized and operationalized across the different frameworks and approaches. The issue of subject specific versus generic manuals have been disputed along with differences in scoring and sequencing. Finally yet important, empirical evidence and issues of validity will be discussed including the role of contextual versus generic factors. Drawing on recent development in classroom observation studies and conceptual frameworks for analyzing teaching, Klette discuss possibilities and pitfalls when aiming at develop a shared language for teaching.

Conference information (from the conference website):

European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2021)

Education and Society: expectations, prescriptions, reconciliations

Dates: 6 - 10 September 2021 

The keynote videos are available prior to ECER and the ECER week will culminate with the Keynote Panel on Friday 10 September. 

ECER 2021, Geneva (online) proposes to investigate the tensions that exist between the broad social, political and economic demands placed on education systems and the realities of daily engagement with learners and those connected to them at all stages of the education continuum. Addressing this dichotomy between the, at times, contradictory prescriptions, injunctions and demands placed on education systems and the needs of individual learners and learning communities has been central to much educational research and the process of reconciling the, often conflicting, demands that emerge will be at the heart of this conference.

Geneva was one of the main crucibles of the New Education movement which, at the beginning of the 20th century and after World War I in particular, placed so much hope in the education of the human to build a better future. Thus when choosing a main theme for an ECER organised in this international city, it seems appropriate to raise the issue of tensions between the realities or social contexts within which the education process takes place and the stated aims of formal education as a collective, mandated endeavour, in as much as that has at its heart an understanding of the centrality of human personal development.

As a product of the societies that build, finance and manage it, the educational institution and its actors are caught in many dilemmas: supporting balanced and equitable educational provision in an increasingly challenged and challenging social and political environment; acknowledging the need for diversity, inclusion and openness to difference while at the same time recognising the need for an agreed set of shared values and practices; recognising the legitimate interest of the broader polity in the content, practices and structure of education while also keeping at the heart of educational provision the needs of individual learners and learning communities. The additional challenges of enabling educational communities to be transparent, open and responsive to the changing needs and requirements of the social and learning communities they serve and are part of is also of central importance.

Seeking to reconcile these different conceptualisations of the purpose and practice of education and educational research leads to the emergence of many research questions: is the objective of formal education uniquely the transmission of knowledge or should it be understood in larger ways and what does this mean? How can knowledge transmission in educational settings contribute to the solving of social problems? How far does education help the development of the citizen and what kind of citizenship is envisaged?

During ECER 2021, Geneva (online), the 32 EERA networks and the emerging researchers' group will engage and explore the various facets of the tensions experienced during the first decades of the 21st century in educational settings.

Published Sep. 3, 2021 12:55 PM - Last modified Sep. 6, 2021 10:24 AM