The paper shares selected findings from a small scale qualitative research project in to pre-service student teachers’ perceptions of lesson observation and feedback in relation to their developing identities as teachers. It focused on observation and feedback processes; including action planning as an integral element linked to the post-compulsory sector professional standards (Education and Training Foundation (ETF) 2014), as they occurred on a PGCE in PCE programme; a one year full time postgraduate certificate in post-compulsory education course at a university.
The research approach saw interactions between the researchers and the student-teachers at various stages of their development. In Semester One, individual pen portraits and focus group contributions reflected early perceptions of their development from student-teacher to teacher. In Semester Two, all students were asked to reflect back on their individual data sets and the researchers’ analyses and interpretations in a semi-structured interview.
Student teachers referred to the ways in which they were actively developing and sustaining effective relationships with their students. They explored their sense of developing an identity as teacher and that included reference to the policies and practices of the contexts in which they were placed; such as a recognition of lesson observation as a performance. It included learning from experienced teachers (related to a community of practice model). The researchers also looked at how student teachers invited and/ or commented on their own development with a few explicitly asking questions of their observer in a peer- colleague observation feedback dialogue. That suggested transitions towards ecological learning systems in embodying an increasingly independent, multi-layered approach to own development.