As I was looking ahead to starting a new job as Headteacher, I was thinking about all the conversations we were going to have about learning. To a large degree I wanted my teachers to be as up-to-date as possible within their own subject domains. They should know the latest OfSTED position ( eg with Moving English Forward or Mathematics: made to measure ) and be up to speed with exam specifications and assessment requirements. Subject knowledge and subject-specific pedagogical knowledge were going to be key drivers of everything we would do.
However, in order to fuel the collaborative effort of reaching the ambitious goals we had for the school, we needed to establish a shared conceptual language for talking about teaching across the school as well as within departments. This post is based on my ideas at the time in 2014…..
Inevitably, different teachers will have engaged to different degrees with certain ideas depending on the books they’ve read, conferences they’ve been to and blogs they’ve browsed through and the content of their PGCE or other ITE programme. It strikes me that it would be a huge benefit to us all if we’re more or less on the same page when we’re discussing contemporary ideas about pedagogy, learning, assessment, motivation, neuroscience and so on. I don’t want people quoting half-remembered snippets from a Dylan Wiliam thing they attended years ago or citing Hattie effect sizes as absolute measures or talking about Growth Mindset, never having engaged with what Carol Dweck has actually written.
One of my first actions will be to buy a ton of books to stock the staff CPD library. I want to make it easy for everyone to read the books that will inform our discussions. Already, we’ve bought in copies of Dylan Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment, Hattie’s Visible Learning for Teachers and Martin Robinson’s Trivium 21st C. But there is so much more for us all to absorb and share.
Over the last two years, I’ve found that I can engage much better with the ideas in some of these books when I’ve seen the authors express their ideas directly – either in person at a conference or through some of the video material on the internet. In this post I’ve gathered some of the videos that I’ll be recommending that all of my staff engage with at an early stage. Each one links to a key academic or thinker and their ideas. Of course, there is also the growing world of teacher bloggers and teacher authors to engage with too and I’ll be promoting general engagement with all of that material – especially the people on my blog roll.
However, to ensure we have strong common ground, I want to focus on a few key researcher-writers and their work:
To read the list of overviews, with videos of the researchers talking, visit: https://teacherhead.com/2014/08/18/contemporary-educational-ideas-all-my-staff-should-know-about/