New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. Ysh. How all of us will improve our teaching (and so make our school a truly great school) I have been a teacher of English for 24 years, a Headteacher for 9 years and, at the age of 48, this much I know about how all of us will improve our teaching (and so make our school a truly great school).
If we worried too much about the chaos of the English state education system right now we’d weep openly. It’s laugh or cry time and it’s important that we laugh – take things seriously, but laugh whilst seizing the opportunity that we have at this point in time to do what we want, as long as it works. So, we should all work tirelessly upon improving our teaching – something over which we have complete control.
Always ask yourself if what you are doing has lost its mojo. As I have become more experienced I have become, paradoxically, less sure about lots of things! Adapt; I’ve been reading Tim Harford’s book. How we will become a truly great school. Ownership is all. Always, always, always explain Why? Coherence is all. Change your structures to accommodate your core purpose. 1. Teachers must be learners. This article appears in the May edition of Education Investor magazine and the Teacher Development Trust blog Better schools will need better teachers.
And that means better CPD, says David Weston. Research has repeatedly shown that the number one influence on the quality of student attainment isn’t leadership, buildings or IT: it’s the quality of teaching. Student background and quality of parenting are hugely important, too, of course – but schools struggle to affect such external factors. The most effective thing a school can do to improve the lot of its students is to improve the quality of its teachers.
However, most schools spend only small quantities of money and time on staff development. English schools reported spending just under £200 million on staff development last year – equating to only £25 per student, or 0.5% of the national education budget. As to how this money was spent, teachers most commonly reported they chose whatever course they fancied. Can Coaching Help Transform Teacher Quality? In the last week Michael Gove has challenged teachers about the setting of the highest standards in our schools.
Beyond the Mr Men debate, there is a truth that we should all be seeking the highest standards of teaching and learning possible. In my experience there have been very few teachers who don’t agree with Gove on this, or who do not attempt to challenge students and inspire curiosity with the highest of expectations on a daily basis. Rather than focus upon pointless political point scoring I want focus upon some practical solutions to help raise standards and I would hope Gove lessens his point scoring politicking to do the same. This post aims to explore how we can improve Continuous Professional Development in our schools, thereby improving teacher quality – the singularly most important factor impacting upon standards in our schools.
“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.” What makes effective CPD. Effective CPD focuses on improving teaching and evaluates its impact on learning. “There is advantage in the wisdom won from pain.” Aeschylus, The Oresteia, 458 BC Every year since 1856, Oxford and Cambridge University rowing crews have competed in the Boat Race on the Thames.
Today, millions of people globally watch the race. As my housemate competed in Great Britain rowing trials, I’ve seen how the training works. Rowing training involves phenomenal dedication, teamwork, coaching and practice. Getting everyone rowing in the same direction is an apt analogy for teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) in schools: it requires a clear destination, strong steering, balanced teamwork and dedicated practice. What’s so important about CPD?
If improving teaching quality opens the door to raising student achievement, CPD holds the promise of acting as a key. When is CPD ineffective? Anecdotally, I’ve found that most CPD tends to be quite scattergun. The research evidence says the same. Effective CPD - Evidence Based Teachers Network (EBTN) Repeated research shows that the effect on your student's learning a few months later is too small to measure.
It was a waste of your time and the college's money. Effective CPD The same research also shows what does work: The whole staff (including managers) attend a training day and hear about evidence-based teaching methods.Staff are divided into groups of 3 or 4 who meet regularly to support each other.You identify learning needs and pick one or two methods which address these needs and try them out in your classroom. (Note: the lesson may go badly the first time you try something.)You discuss how things went with your team members and decide how to improve.You try the method again several times getting feedback by self-review, peer observation (no senior staff at this stage) or simply through discussion and reflection.After about 3 tries, you will know if this method will work with you/your subject/your students.After about 10 tries you will become competent.