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Two-way mirrors to aid teacher training

Ipswich Girl's Grammar School is pioneering a teachers observatory room where they can be watched while taking a class and given advice on how to improve.
Ipswich Girl's Grammar School is pioneering a teachers observatory room where they can be watched while taking a class and given advice on how to improve. Claudia Baxter

TWO-way mirrors, once limited to interrogation rooms in police TV dramas, have found a niche in the classroom.

Ipswich Girls Grammar School has introduced a high-tech teaching observatory, giving staff a unique perspective on the way they teach their classes.

The classroom looks like any other, but behind the mirror is an observatory with large-screen TVs and recording equipment.

The recordings are given to the teachers to help with developing their skills.

The classroom is soundproof with video and sound gear installed to capture everything that occurs in class.

IGGS dean of studies Kathy Bishop said the support program for pre-service teachers (PST), first-year teachers and new teachers on staff are intrinsic elements of the Educational Excellence Theme within the school's new strategic plan.

"One of the four pillars of our plan is Educational Excellence, which incorporates our model for quality learning and teaching. Based on the work of the Grattan Institute," she said.

"We see peer observation and collegial quality teaching teams as being key strategies for achieving excellence.

"The Teaching Observatory will be a key resource for both supporting PSTs and for supporting our teachers."

The observatory will be fully operational next year and IGGS hopes it will play a key role in building strong relationships with universities.

The project was funded by Independent Schools Queensland along with IGGS donors.

Topics:  education ipswich girls grammar school


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