Teacher tip: Peer observation, feedback and reflection

Peer observation involves teachers observing each other's practice, focusing on teachers' individual needs and the opportunity to both learn from others' practice and offer constructive feedback.

Peer observation aims to support the sharing of practice, and builds self-awareness about the impact of one's teaching practice in order to affect change.

Using peer observation

The 'cycle of peer observation' provides a basis for the implementation of peer observation, feedback and reflection, and includes five key phases for successful peer observation:
  1. Teacher self-reflection: Self-reflection informs future peer observation activities.
  2. Pre observation conversation: Underpinned by supportive and collaborative whole-school protocols and developmental approach.
  3. Peer observation: Teachers learning from one another, building a shared understanding of effective practice.
  4. Teacher and observer reflection: Provides an opportunity for structured feedback and reflection, based on agreed criteria with a focus on progressing student learning.
  5. Post observation conversation: Implementation of new strategies and improved teaching and learning.

Benefits for teachers

Improve your teaching practice

Peer observation is a developmental opportunity for teachers. Research shows that when done well, peer observation, including feedback and reflection, has a high impact on improving professional practice and can be an important part of a teacher's professional development (DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. E., 1998).

Valuable for both the teacher being observed and the observer

Peer observation can benefit both the teacher being observed and the observer. For the teacher being observed, peer observation provides a valuable opportunity to discuss challenges and successes of teaching practice with trusted colleagues. For the observer, peer observation supports the sharing of ideas and expertise among teachers.

Resources for teachers

To access all peer observation materials, see: 

Four annotated templates have been developed for teachers. Each template includes steps on working through the template.

Feedback welcome

For more information, or to share your feedback, email: professional.practice@education.vic.gov.au