After reading the resources for this essential question, having the teacher be the observer puts a little bias towards the observation process. The teacher is quite involved with the students in a very powerful way. The students are very much affected by the mere presence of the teacher. I think the teacher, when making observations of the class, needs to be very meticulous about noting every minute detail, along with the subtle non-verbal ques and gestures students make. Students can be very honest about a class, or activity when they are NOT in that particular class they are describing. I know first hand what my own students in math class say about their social studies teacher, or science teacher, or language arts teacher because I hear them! Sometimes I don’t think they are aware of my presence, and even my hearing ability of their conversations among themselves.
It can be challenging to observe one’s own classroom, but I think with these tools and strategies, it can be done effectively with some very careful observations.
Farber, Nancy K. (2006) Conducting Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for School Counselors. ASCA Professional School Counseling. June 2006, p. 367-375
Kawulich, Barbara B. (2005). Participant Observation as a Data Collection Method. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2), Art. 43, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502430.
Merriam, Sharan B.; Tisdell, Elizabeth J.. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation (p. 140). Wiley. Kindle Edition.