"Let's See": Contrasting Conversations about Teaching

Fanselow, John

Two common aims of supervision and observation are to evaluate and to help. Supervisors and observers with these aims provide products to those they visit: "helpful" prescriptions for improvement or a rating of the observed performance. The aims of supervision and observation presented in this article are to explore, to see teaching differently, not to evaluate or help; the emphasis is on a process-visited and visiting teachers sharing ways of looking to discover self. This process includes taping and transcribing excerpts from classes, grouping parts of the excerpts, arriving at a common language to discuss them, and making multiple interpretations about them, based not only on preconceived notions but also on a range of contrasting beliefs and goals. In short, this article tries to provide ways of looking so each of us can see our own teaching differently through observing others, reminding us all that we "are capable of acting on the world, and that these actions can transform the world" (Mehan, 1979, p. 207).


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Also Published In

TESOL Quarterly

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
February 22, 2022