Author Archives: EduBlether

Professional Learning: Never been better?⤴

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Through the Into Headship programme, I was fortunate enough to listen to Gayle Gorman at one of our national conferences. She spoke passionately about taking the politics out of education in what can be seen in her quote below.

Move from a politically driven to a professionally led system.

Gayle Gorman, HMIe Chief Inspector, Education Scotland (April 2018)

It made me consider the importance and value of professional learning and the huge potential we have already within our education system. And made me reflect on there never has been a better time in Scottish education for professional learning.

Professional learning is at the heart of the GTCS Standards, enshrined in How Good is Our School? 4 and a key feature of professional practice across Scotland.

National Model for Professional Learning

In light of our recent move to the online world, it is now time to reflect on the professional learning opportunities available to all in Scottish education and beyond. Arguably, the way in which we engage with our learning will change as a result of organisations, charities, Education Scotland and local authorities adapting to this new world. Will we ever attend a course in person again? Probably. However, we may experience a wider range of opportunities as people are now comfortable with attending online lectures and conferences. It may in fact open up more opportunities where previously people were unable to attend.

With a five yearly focus on Professional Update and an annual review process encouraging all teachers to reflect on their learning, I do feel like we are in a good position. However, is it tokenism and does this help with our drive for high quality learning and teaching? That is a question teachers will need to reflect upon individually, however I think it does and believe that high quality PRDs link in with school improvement which in turn impacts on pupils learning.

I would argue that there is an increasing shift away from attending a course. We now have podcasts and blogs being developed at pace right across the education system. There are also pop events and conference organised by and for teachers. It is encouraging to see this organic movement but does beg the question what the formal organisations responsible for the delivery of professional learning are doing about it. For example, the recent change to the Scottish learning festival which will now be organised by the professional learning and leadership directorate instead of the wider education Scotland. And what about the role of local authorities? Teachers are professionals and are more than skilled and capable to collaborate themselves however are they being failed by the wider formal structures which should be providing a service? I’ll let you comment on that!

The focus on leadership development has also been a key focus, and remains so. With the development of the framework for leadership and the many online learning modules created to support the different categories:

Professional learning

School leadership

System leadership

Middle leadership

Teacher leaderhsip

I do think we are now at a stage where our professional learning opportunities are excellent in terms of the choice and breadth, however we do now need to consider the depth and quality of professional learning. Perhaps this is where we need to consider again a masters level approach so that each professional learning engagement is supported by a university and contributes towards something like a qualification. This would help bring coherence to our overloaded system and also support the idea of high quality in depth learning.

Lastly, we need to recognise the potential knowledge and experience within our schools, universities and local authorities as it currently stands. Each school could have specialisms which they could share their experiences in which may foster greater collaboration. We need to reduce our reliance on courses which are paid for. The reason for this is that as budgets tighten then fewer people can benefit from this and I believe we don’t always have the quality when CPD companies churn out another course with little consideration for the person attending. If we had a greater collaborative culture across schools where we could regularly share in our own in-house developed programmes, this would reduce the competition aspect within education.

Therefore, I believe we have many opportunities in the years ahead and that there has never been a better time to engage in professional learning in Scottish education.

I’ll leave you with a few questions:

1. What is needed to ensure every teacher values their own learning just as much as the learning of the young people?

2. How do we ensure effective collaboration to build upon the organic movement already taking place? Do we need organisations like Education Scotland and local authorities to fulfil the role of professional learning or is this up to individuals?

Please feel free to comment underneath the post on twitter.

Episode 25 – An EduBlether with Haili Hughes (John Catt Educational Series)⤴

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Our first episode in the John Catt Educational Series.

In Part 1 of our John Catt series we interview Haili Hughes on her new book ‘Preserving Positivity’. This is a wide-ranging discussion all about how best to keep experienced educators in the classroom, as well as looking at the reasons why so many teachers leave the profession. We discuss some of the similarities and differences between Scotland and England to identify the similarities and differences. While dealing with complex and challenging aspects of teaching, the book is pragmatic and optimistic, as was this conversation.

This episode is kindly sponsored by
John Catt Educational http://www.johncattbookshop.com
@HughesHaili
@JohnCattEd

Teaching Walkthrus⤴

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I was looking for a new book to read and was recommended this by a friend. It is excellent value, only £3 on kindle! A really good book and I loved reading it – the kind that you just want more and that motivates you to pick it up each time.

The book is structured into three main sections as outlined below in the sketchnote. For those interested in pedagogy, this book is for you. I particularly enjoyed the section called ‘Why?’ which delved into the research and theory behind high quality learning and teaching.

There are many many books out there all promoting high quality learning and teaching and at times it is difficult to know which one you are actually looking for or going to benefit from. This one is the one for me. It has handy top tips that are broken down into smaller ‘how to’ sections. I can easily see this being the focus of a faculty or whole school meeting.

Also, trying to engage all teachers should be an easy prospect, however not all teachers have the time or know where to begin. The focus on short sharp overviews if research really helps everyone to engage in research without become too overwhelmed.

@olicav

@teacherhead

If you have a spare few minutes this summer, purchase this book for the kindle.

@EduBletherJase

Episode 24 – An EduBlether with Patrice Bain (Powerful Teaching – Unleash the Science of Learning)⤴

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In this episode of EduBlether, we welcome Patrice Bain, co-author of the book ‘Powerful Teaching – Unleash the science of learning’. We discuss knowledge, critical thinking, assessment, curriculum and lots more.

It was a fascinating discussion with some great practical ideas for how to begin using these research-informed strategies or ‘power tools’ in your classroom.

http://www.powerfulteaching.org
http://www.patricebain.com

Listen: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/edublether-episode-24-an-edublether-with-patrice-bain

Episode 23 – Digital Learning⤴

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In Episode 23 of EduBlether we discuss Digital Learning. We think about Pedagogy, the SAMR model, equity, access, professional learning and so much more. Let us know your feedback on Twitter @edublether

What is your experience of Digital Learning been? Why do you think we have not made the advancements in Digital Learning that we could have done up until now? What will happen to Digital LEarning when we return to ‘normal’? Let us know what you think.

Listen: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-23-digital-learning

Episode 22 – Nurture and Inclusion – An EduBlether with James Kidd⤴

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On this Episode of EduBlether we discuss the very large and complex issue of Nurture and Inclusion with James Kidd. James is passionate about Inclusion and Nurture, and his rich and varied experiences across different schools and local authorities make him a perfect person to have a discussion with about the vast themes explored in this episode.

Listen: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-22-nurture-and-inclusion-an-edublether-with-james-kidd

Episode 21 – Cognitive Science and Retrieval Practice⤴

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In this Episode we have a discussion about retrieval practice and developments in cognitive science. We look at the implications for teaching and learning, as well as what this means for the role of Education in a wider debate. We have many tangents in this episode discussing hegemony, knowledge, politics and much more. I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Listen: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-21-cognitive-science-and-retrieval-practice

Episode 20 – Leadership of Change⤴

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In this new format podcast, we have stripped it back to focus on our EduBlether and we are delighted to be sharing it with you. We focus on leadership of change and talk about improvement planning, self-evaluation and change leadership. This includes pupils, parents and staff and we hope you find this episode both interesting and informative. As usual, we’d be delighted if you could rate us on your chosen podcast app and send us a tweet and engage in the EduBlether on twitter.com/EduBlether.

To listen: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-20-leadership-of-change

Episode 19 – An EduBlether with Blair Minchin⤴

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In this episode of EduBlether, we have an EduBlether with Blair Minchin, a passionate and enthusiastic Primary Teacher in Edinburgh who, amongst a range of other things, creates superb videos sharing his practice on Twitter. Please follow him on for some excellent content @Mr_Minchin We also have our usual features where we recommend the work of Jennifer Gonzalez @cultofpedagogy. Check out edublether.wordpress.com for more great content and if you like the show please rate us on iTunes.

To listen: Listen

EduBlether John Catt Educational Series⤴

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John Catt Educational are a leading publisher of professional development books for educators around the world. Check out their titles at JohnCatt.com


We have teamed up with John Catt Educational to bring you a series of EduBlethers with a select group of authors from John Catt Educational.

We are in the middle of securing dates and will publish them below.

July

An EduBlether with Haili Hughes – Preserving Positivity