TPR was developed at the University of Northumbria by Tony Clayton and colleagues. The process was specifically designed for use in postgraduate training and development courses for newly appointed members of the teaching staff, for part time lecturers, researchers who teach, and colleagues in learning support services. The technique is a variant of Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR), which was devised by the late Norman Kagan whilst at Michigan State University in the 1960s (Kagan, 1984) where its initial application was in developing the communication skills of mental health workers. TPR goes beyond IPR in that it involves the giving and receiving of supportive but critical feedback.
The process involves the lecturer in:
- Being video-recorded teaching a group of students
- Playing back the video to a group of colleagues
- Receiving active support from them in reflecting upon and evaluating their practice.
Group members take on the roles of Enquirer and Observer, participants follow sets of guidelines to help make the process less stressful and more productive than it might otherwise be.
TPR enables participants to develop the effectiveness of their teaching, by:
- Gaining a more objective view of their teaching, by watching themselves in action and describing their behaviour.
- Becoming more aware, not only of what they were doing and saying, but also thinking and feeling during the teaching session, and their underlying intentions, assumptions and concerns.
- Watching others teach, and learning from the experience.
- Adopting a more analytical stance towards the teaching-learning process.
- Evaluating their teaching, with the help of group members, and making decisions as to how they wish to develop their practice.
Observing one’s teaching, and being observed by peers, can be a stressful experience, particularly if it occurs early in a teaching career. Accordingly, TPR includes features that are designed to reduce the level of stress that might be experienced by its participants:
Recall takes place in small groups not exceeding five members, which meet on at least four occasions during the year, and which can develop mutual trust and support. Each participant owns and keeps their videotape. In the first of the three models of TPR, the participant decides which sections of the tape to show to the group. The emphasis in Model 1 of the PG CAP is on describing and explaining one’s teaching, providing a basis for evaluation in the later Models 2 and 3.
Kagan, N (1984) “Interpersonal Process Recall: basic methods and recent research” pp 229-244 in Larson, D (ed) Teaching psychological skills: Models for giving psychology away. Monterey, CA. Brooks/Cole.
This short video gives an overview of the process and thoughts from the staff involved.
For more information about the use of TPR in the PG CAP please contact Dr Nicola Reimann.