Observing Schools discusses the nature and purposes of observational research in schools. It covers the different observational techniques which can be used, and their advantages and disadvantages, bridging the gap between qualitative and quantitative approaches. The preparations which must be made before observation, the process of observation itself, and the recording and analysis of observations are discussed in detail. The book also explores how assessments can be made of observational accounts and discusses the ethical issues raised by this kind of research. These discussions are illustrated throughout by examples drawn from recent observational work conducted on a variety of aspects of school life.