Everyone’s a Critic: The Power of Peer Review
It is common practice in the modern tertiary environment for academic staff to receive ongoing critique from their students in the form of semesterised course and teacher evaluations, and from supervisors as annual academic reviews. While the feedback from students and supervisors is useful for teachers’ self-reflections and the possible streamlining of course content and delivery, it has been suggested that peer review is likely to of greater, particular value: ---- Faculty are particularly well qualified to critique their colleagues’ teaching when the objective is to improve quality of instruction because they are in a position to assess several aspects of teaching better than students, academic administrators, and other constituencies of the academic community. (Keig, 2000, p. 67) ---- In speaking to collaborative, peer assessment, Gaunt, Creech, Long, and Hallam (2012) also promoted peer co-mentoring as an effective vehicle for teacher reflection and development, noting it as: ---- a collaborative developmental process, with a mutual exchange of knowledge, skills and experience aiming towards shared learning and helping individuals to place their own development within wider cultural and educational contexts. (p. 40) ---- I considered these opinions through the lens of my parallel careers as both teacher and performer where critical review is an inherent characteristic of both professions; that is in academic environments a teacher is expected to respond to and reflect on supervisor and student evaluations while in performance environments the critical reviews of agents, managers, other musicians and most importantly, audiences can ‘make or break’ a career. So, while accepting that we work in fields where ‘everyone’s a critic’ teacher/performers must consider which criticisms are most useful in improving their work/artistic performance outcomes.
Teaching for Learning and Learning for Teaching: Peer Review of Teaching in Higher Education
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