Critical Friends - Feedback of Colleagues

This method focuses on receiving from colleagues or giving to colleagues feedback. In the course of this, the teachers mutually "visit" their classes and observe the flow of events. These observations are the basis for a collegial feedback.

The procedure is that the visited person defines to which aspects of the teaching she/he wants to have a feedback. By this, the observing person acknowledges a specific mandate, what the focus of observation should be. The visited person receives the feedback of the observer in accordance with feedback rules.

The observation of social processes, such as teaching, requires discussions about the description and interpretation of the observed. A feedback, which should be productive for the recipient, must be carefully thought through. Observation and feedback are therefore the focus of a workshop, organized by the Department for Internal Continuing Education and directed by Susanne Mann.

This workshop consists of two parts:
The first part introduces into key aspects of observation and feedback, with frequent switches between input and exercises (duration of about 4 hours).

The second part is that the group visits a unit or sequence of teaching of a colleague, observes and also provides feedback. The whole process is being accompanied and moderated by Susanne Mann.

As a result, participants can use this method to the extent needed, can seek feedback based on classroom observations. If a certain amount of uncertainty exists or if it is being desired, Susanne Mann or her colleagues with respective experience can be contacted as facilitators of such processes.

This method of Susanne Mann was conceptualized in accordance with methods of action research (Altrichter Herbert and Peter Posch [1998]: "Lehrer erforschen ihren Unterricht. Eine Einführung in die Methoden der Aktionsforschung", Bad Heilbrunn [Klinkhardt], 3. edition; Schön Donald A. [1988]: "Educating the reflective practitioner: toward a new design for teaching and learning in the profession", San Francisco [Jossey-Bass]).

If you are unable to participate in the workshop, you can download a detailed description of this method under

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