Tag Archives: professionalism

Professional Learning: Never been better?⤴

from

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)⤴

from

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

Episode 13 – Professional Learning⤴

from

Listen to this episode on spotify, apple podcast, soundcloud or any other podcasting app. You can also click on the picture above to listen to this episode.

Episode 9 – Back to School⤴

from @ edublether.wordpress.com

In this episode our Main Feature is Back to School, where we discuss how things change over the summer and what it is important to focus on in those first weeks back. We also have the usual features: in the news, we recommend and inspired by. Please check out edublether.wordpress.com and rate us on iTunes.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-9-back-to-school

Episode 8 – Scottish education’s PRD⤴

from @ edublether.wordpress.com

In this episode, we carry out Scottish education’s PRD to analyse: what’s going well? What has been challenging? What are the next steps? And what support is needed in order to get there? We also have our usual features of #InTheNews #WeRecommend and #InspiredBy. We have been inspired by #PortyLF and @SirJJones #MagicWeavingBusiness and we recommend @Mattforde and @ThePoliticalParty podcast.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/edublether/episode-8-scottish-educations-prd

Episode 7 – Unlocking Leadership Potential⤴

from @ edublether.wordpress.com

In this episode of EduBlether, we interview @joycematthews_ about Unlocking Leadership Potential. We also have our usual features: in the news, we recommend and inspired by. Please check out edublether.wordpress.com and rate us on iTunes.

Listen on iTunes or via soundcloud.

Osiris Educational⤴

from @ edublether.wordpress.com

Osiris Educational are a professional learning body offering some fantastic ‘cutting edge’ programmes. Check them out here:

http://osiriseducational.co.uk/outstandingteaching/

Memory in education – a mission statement⤴

from @ Memory & Education Blog - Jonathan Firth

Most students take notes during lessons, but are they adding information to memory? Image by Nick Olejniczak

Most students take notes during lessons, but are they adding information to memory? Image by Nick Olejniczak

I believe that memory is very important in education. This might seem obvious - of course children and students need to remember things. Perhaps it also seems threatening - reducing education to mere passive memorisation?

I don’t think so.

In my view, improving how we use memory is not threatening because remembering is essential regardless of your view of how teaching should be done, or what the syllabus should consist of. Whether you are talking about lectures or discovery learning, a minimum requirement is that the pupils retain some of the information that you have been teaching, and develop skills and understanding over the long-term.

Indeed, educational approaches tend to be judged, at least in part, according to whether people remember anything in terms of their performance on tasks (real or artificial) or tests at a later date. As a learner, a class might be a lot of fun, but I would ask myself whether it was a worthwhile use of my time if I later couldn’t remember anything about it.

From a psychology or neuroscience perspective, we are talking about encoding facts, skills and schema knowledge that is retained over the long-term. This learning is represented in the physical brain by changes to neural structure. There is no learning without these things happening!

Perhaps memory can seem to be a threat because it appears reductive - breaking education down to a list of testable facts. But actually, this may just be a matter of definition; cognitive psychology takes a broader view of memory than that used in everyday speech, and includes any change in behaviour or thinking. This could include developing our creative skills, for example, or our ability to write an essay. There are, of course, various different types of memory - memory for a fact, an experience, a task, and so on. But all of them require, on some level, that the learner takes something in, and that it persists for long enough to affect their future actions and/or thoughts.

I would agree that too much of what currently passes for education is founded on shallow memorisation - much of what is crammed for exams is swiftly forgotten, particularly if not well understood to begin with. But this is exactly where research can come in - by telling us how to make learning last.

As for the role of memory being obvious, well… Perhaps something so fundamental should be seen as obvious, but as such it is easily ignored and neglected. I’d argue that the role of memory is not prominent in current educational debates, and plays too small a role (if any) in teacher training and CPD.

When we talk about improving education, we are essentially saying that we want pupils to do better at maths, science, languages, social science etc, in a way that will allow them to:

  1. pass exams
  2. retain skills that they can use in future

This means that they need to retain key facts (such as what hydrogen is) and skills (such as how to multiply two fractions) for long enough not just to pass an assessment, but also to use it an unspecified period of time in the future - i.e. it must be retained in long-term memory, and be amenable to transfer.

The newly re-elected Scottish Government has made it very clear that education is a top political priority, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has highlighted that we must try to ‘close the attainment gap’ in terms of the academic under-peformance of the least well-off young people in our society. I would certainly commend that sentiment. I would also suggest that interventions that have been shown to improve attainment exist in the psychology research literature, and has increasingly been applied to real settings and with authentic learning material.

What’s more, any such interventions - although they can help everybody - are likely to benefit to the lowest achievers most. This is simply because the less you have learned up to now, the greater the potential for improvement; the worse your study habits, the more you can improve them. In contrast, some other possible interventions tend to preferentially help higher achievers, for example more homework or smaller classes.

A major challenge, then, is to engage with the wealth of scientific research on memory that is out there, digest it, and communicate it in a way that teachers, learners and parents can actually use. There needs to be an increased psychological literacy when it comes to human memory - we need to understand how our own learning processes work, and how to use them better.

That is the aim of this blog.

Professionalism, Ethics, and Vocationalism⤴

from @ I'm not sure I do either

This post is hosted at

http://ukfechat.com/2014/10/09/professionalism-ethics-and-vocationalism-by-graeme-arnott-arnott_graeme/

 

 


Filed under: vocational pedagogy Tagged: #ukfechat, Carr, ethics, FE, GTCS, professionalism