You are on page 1of 22

1

Week 1 Being a Teacher


1. About the course
2. Being a teacher
Identity
In this course we explore eight different aspects of being a teacher
(Introduction, Being a teacher, Learners and learning, Curriculum, Planning for
teaching and learning, Introduction to student assessment, Being a professional
and Developing relationships).
What do I already know?
What do I not know?
What would I like to know?
Who are the learners?
What do they know, feel and do?
How can I engage my students in a way that is meaningful for them?
What are the most effective strategies to promote learning?
What are the major theories of learning?
Curriculum
Planning for teaching and learning
Formulating Goals
Engaging Students
Planning Lessons
Organizing Resources
Developing Strategies
Communicating Achievement
Assessment
Diagnostic
Summative
Formative
Importance of feedback
Being a professional
Ethics
Codes of conduct and standards
Legal/administrative responsibilities

Personal philosophy of teaching


Being part of a professional learning community
Seeking advice on how to improve your teaching
Planning for your future development as a teacher
I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is
fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so
that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the
same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes
and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is
knowing who we are and what we can do Ultimately, we must synthesize our
understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try
matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world
which we can affect for good or for ill. (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181)

3. The World of Childhood


What did you learn in school today? (not the same as what were you taught).
The three worlds of childhood: academic, social and cyber.
What has the stronger effect on children?
How am I smart?
What do I know about learning?
What works best for me?
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
What helps and hinders my learning?
Where and when do I learn best?
Who do I learn best with?

4. Being a professional
Passion
Toxins
Ideas rejected or stolen
Constant carping criticism
Being ignored
Being judged
Being over-directed
Not being listened to
Being misunderstood
Nutrients

Being
Being
Being
Being
Being
Being

valued
encouraged
noticed
trusted
listened to
respected

Priorities
Importance and urgency

Week 2 Thinking about Learning


1. Revisiting learning
I know what I
know
I dont know
what I know

I know what I dont


know
I dont know what I
dont know

What is distinctive about human learning?


-Learn in reciprocity
-Construct abstractions
-Store information outside the body
-Think about thinking
-Make ethical decisions
-Portray thought and feeling
-Construct meaning from experience
-Think about feelings
-Seek out problems
Seven things we know about learning
1. Cognitive conflict (Piaget)
2. Leverage (Dewey) and Bandwidth (Qvortrup)
3. Mediated by emotional centers (Damasio)
4. Attention to learning moment (Perkins)
and fail better)
5. Learning by teaching (Bruner)
6. Social activity (Vygotsky)
7. Context is critical (Gardner)
Read the room

FEEDBACK (Try again

2. Thinking about thinking


Thinking skills: mental processes we use to do things such as:
-Thinking about thinking
-Draw on a range of intelligences
-Think divergently: create new ideas
-Develop problem solving strategies
-Weigh up different possible decisions
-Brainstorm questions
-Organize information

MYST Routine
ME: How do I model thinking? How do I make my own thinking visible?
YOU: How do I make my students thinking visible?
SPACE: How is the environment of the classroom organized to help facilitate
thinking?
TIME: How can I give thinking more time in my classroom? How does thinking
change over time?

SEE THINK WONDER


What do you see? What do you think about that? What does it make you
wonder about?

A circle of viewpoints
I am thinking of from the viewpoint of (thinking from someone elses
perspective).

3. Teaching for learning


Sticky knowledge: the message that goes from the teacher to the learner has
to pass a difficult way (self-doubt, self-talk, inappropriate medium, lack of prior
knowledge, misconception, peer norms).

Three key principles


CONNECT
How does this new information connect with what you already know, think
and/or can do?
EXTEND
How does this new information extend, build on what you already know, think
and/or can do?
CHALLENGE
How does this new information challenge what you already know, think and/or
can do?
-Connect, extend, challenge
-What makes you say that?
-What do you think you know?
-What puzzles you?
-What do you wonder about?
-Think Pair Share
-I used to think now I think

All learning is social, emotional and intellectual


The teachable moment

4. Thinking about curriculum


Five key trilogies:
1. Formal, informal, hidden
2. Romance => precision => generalization => romance (A. N. Whitehead)

3. Enactive, iconic, symbolic (Bruner)


4. Knowing. Doing. Feeling.
5. Intended, implemented and attain curriculum

Curriculum: in planning
Principle 1: selection of content, what is to be learned and taught?
Principle 2: development of teaching strategy, how is it to be learned and
taught?
Principle 3: decisions about sequence
Principle 4: diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of individual students,
differentiating principles 1, 2, 3 to meet individual cases

Curriculum: in action
Principle 1: studying and evaluating student progress
Principle 2: studying and evaluating the progress of teaching
Principle 3: reviewing adaptability of curriculum in varying school contexts,
pupil context, environments and peer group situations
Principle 4: evaluating variations in effect in differing contexts, on different
pupils and causes of the variation
Curriculum, from delivery to partnership

Week 3 How good is my classroom?


1. What is a good school?
What makes a good school? Who knows? Who should we ask? Teachers,
parents, students, politicians? What are the things that are common to good
schools? What counts? What makes a good teacher/ What makes a good
student?

2. Questioning
As a teacher what kinds of questions do you ask your students? Are they
always ones to which you already know the answers? To what extent might
they be described as open or closed? How might you ask better questions?
Life is full of questions
Kinds of questions: open questions, big questions, high-order thinking
questions, rich questions, questions linked to resources or tasks, no-hands-up
questioning.
Question and answer, like ping pong or basketball.
Probing questions.
Do I? ask challenging questions? pose questions in a non-threatening way?
give pupils time to think critically? Follow through on implications of pupils
answers? use and develop probing answers? ask questions only to the brightest
or more likeable? Ask difficult questions too early? Always ask the same type of
questions? encourage pupil-pupil and pupil-teacher questioning? Ask questions
to which I know the answer?
Do students? Ask challenging questions? take notes of what other students
say? Aks teachers about their learning? Have a thinking/feeling/learning
vocabulary? Initiate improvements? Make significant decisions? Have a sense
of personal authority? Exercise leadership for learning? Have a built-in crap
detector?
Postman and Weingartner
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquiry_education

3. Assessment
We must learn to measure what we value rather than valuing what we can
easily measure (Education Counts 1971).
Six assessment criteria. Is it? Accurate? Fair? Reliable? Useful? Focused?
Negotiated?
Campbells Law: the greater the social consequences associated with a
quantitative indicator (such as test scores), the more likely it is that the
indicator itself will become corrupted and the more likely it is that the use of
the indicator will corrupt the social processes it was intended to monitor.
Assessment of learning: occurs at the end of a term or at key stages. It is
summative. It is for grading, benchmarking, reporting.

Assessment for learning: it is ongoing, diagnostic and formative. It is for


ongoing planning with a focus on the nature and progress of learning.
Assessment as learning: actively involves students in thinking about and
shaping their own learning. It is ongoing and involves self and peer
assessment, providing students with the opportunity to improve their learning.
Traffic lights
Red: I dont understand. This is too difficult.
Amber: Im not sure Im doing this right. I could do with a little help.
Green: I can do this. No problem.
60-second think: you can use it spontaneously in the classroom at any time.
Ask students to stop what they are doing and take a minute to think:
How many learning is going right now?
What have I been doing?
What am I learning?
How am I learning?
What do I still need to do?
In 40% of studies feedback had a negative effect on performance (Kluger and
De Nisi, 1996).
Assessment is counterproductive when: generalized or cheap praise (Waller,
1931), grade only marking (Black and William, 2009), grade and comment
(students only looked at the grade) (Black and Williams, 2009).
Advice: give as much as possible assessment for learning, helping students to
look at the evidence of their own learning.
Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for
use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their
learning, where they need to go and how best to get there Assessment Reform
Group, 2002
http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/videos/expertspeakers/assessmentforlea
rningdylanwiliam.asp

4. Planning for improvement


How good is my teaching? How good is the learning which I am trying to
encourage? How good is my classroom? How good is my school? These are all
questions which would be described as self evaluation'. Does this happen in
your school? How is the activity managed? How might it change the way in
which your school works?

Imagine yourself on a ship sailing across an unknown sea, to an unknown


destination. An adult would be desperate to know where he is going. But a child
only knows he is going to school...The chart is neither available nor
understandable to him... Very quickly, the daily life on board ship becomes all
important ... The daily chores, the demands, the inspections, become the
reality, not the voyage, nor the destination.
(Mary Alice White, 1971)
Force Field: a useful instrument of evaluation that describes the things that
help us move forward and the tones that hinder that movement.

Week 4 Continuing to learn in a changing world


In 1971, Alvin Toffler wrote a book called Future Shock in which he described
'future shock' as what happened to people when they are subjected to too
much change in a short period of time. Just think of how many things have
changed since Toffler wrote the book. Children in schools today would not even
recognise the world of 1971, perhaps except in schools. The world has changed
and now teachers must work to change what they do as well.

1. A world of change
If we think about the future in terms of what we know now we may well be
unprepared for the future. How do we help children and young people to live
and learn in a world of change and how do we prepare ourselves to learn to live
with change?

The Power of the collective


The best-performing educational systems all have built their change strategies
on systemic approaches that rely on collective professional and institutional (or
social capital) development, enhanced conditions for teaching and learning for
all, and more equal educational opportunities within their education systems.
(http://www.pasisahlberg.com/blog/?p=32)

A theory of change
The rule of the vital few: A few exceptional people doing something different
start and incubate an epidemic.

The stickiness factor: Some attribute of the epidemic allows it to endure long
enough to "catch", to become contagious or "memorable".
The power of context: The physical, social and group environment must be
right to allow the epidemic to then suffuse through the population. (M.
Gladwell)

2. Outside of school
What matters regarding learning? What? Where? When? Who? How? Why?

School and not school


Individual cognition in school versus shared cognition outside
Pure mentation in school versus tool manipulation outside.
Symbol manipulation in school versus contextualized reasoning outside
Generalized learning in school versus situation-specific competencies
outside
(Carol Dweck)

Teaching and learning in the wild


Embedded in relationships
Contextualised
Learner-centred
Concerned with skills & dispositions
Supportive but challenging
Enjoyable but risky
Relaxed but alert
Age blind

Intelligence is knowing what to do when you dont know what to do

Jean Piaget

3. Professional development
How do teachers learn

Co teaching
Mentoring, coaching and critical friendship
Learning from and with students
Learning conversations
Sharing and discussing students

work

Reflective diarying
Peer observation
Collaborative lesson planning
Shared assessment

Opening ones own classroom to inquiry has the effect of de-privatising


practice, signalling that it is acceptable and desirable to see your colleagues
teaching, encouraging an ethos of collaboration, creating a no-blame culture.
This is at the root of peer evaluation and school self evaluation, preparing the
fertile ground on which school improvement flourishes.

There is no grand narrative that can speak for us all. Teachers must take
responsibility for the knowledge they organise, produce, mediate and translate
into practice. If not there is a danger that they come to be seen as simply the
technical intervening medium through which knowledge is transmitted to
students, erasing themselves in an uncritical reproduction of received wisdom.
(Giroux, Border Crossings)

All of us is better than one of us


One key attribute of successful institutional learning programs is that they
consistently involve socially shared intellectual work, and they are organised
around joint-accomplishment of tasks... work, personal life, and recreation take
place within social systems, (Resnick, 1987, p. 18)
and each persons ability to function successfully depends on what others
do and how several individuals mental and physical performances mesh

4:1 Rule: mention four positive things before you mention one that is negative

4. A Review: Questions of Professionalism


Developing relationships
With your students
With colleagues
With families
With the wider community
With the schools leaders

What we do know is if youre not prepared to be wrong, youll never come up


with anything original. And by the time they get to be adults most kinds have
lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. We stigmatize
mistakes and were now running educational systems where mistakes are the
worst thing you can make.
(Sir Ken Robinson, Chair of Government Task Force on Creativity, 19972001)

All of us is better than one of us

Quiz
To avoid uncertainty is to stop learning

2 Being a Teacher
Week 1 What is a teacher?
1. What does a teacher do?
This lecture considers some of the important things that teachers do to support
student learning. It identifies what students think that good teachers do, talks
about some of the specific tasks of a teacher in planning for learning and
considers how the classroom environment contributes to learning by the way in
which it is set up, by the way in which we ask questions and by the way we find
teachable moments for our students.

Teaching is a process intended to support learning by inducing a change in the


person taught.
Teaching is an art of communicating a message that will have impact on your
audience.
Pedagogy is the art or profession of teaching.

What makes a teacher good and what makes a teacher not so good? (Think
about it).

Good teachers Are helpful and supportive


Take time to explain material in depth
Are friendly
Understand and know the subject well
Use a variety of teaching style and innovative approaches

Are fair and have equal standards and expectations of pupils, regardless of test
scores

A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity to recognise what is


happening within the class to make connections and to extend and rich
learning

Tasks of the teacher


Setting the environment for learning
Clarifying objectives
Motivating students
Sequencing subject matter
Understanding (and providing for) individual differences

2. What makes a teacher effective?


Content pedagogy caring

An effective teacher
Is organized. The time you take in planning and preparing will pay off for your
students.
Is welcoming. Do you remember what it was like when you started in school?
What made you feel welcome? Your students will want the same feelings
Provides feedback. This is where students learn a lot. They want to know
what you think about how they are doing: What they are doing well and what
they need to improve
Is aware. Not everyone learns in the same way. You may need to do more
direct teaching and modeling with some students and more facilitation with
others
Has enthusiasm. Its infectious if you are keen on teaching, your students
will be keen on learning.

Has high expectations. We all do better when we know what is expected of


us. Effective teachers expect their students to do well and let them know this
Is knowledgeable. You dont have to know everything, but you have
knowledge and experiences your students do not yet have
Is open to learning. Theres no better role model for a student than the
teacher who says, I dont know the answer to that one, lets see if we can find
it out together

Within their classrooms, effective teachers create learning environments which


foster pupil progress. (Hay McBer:2001)

Who are my students? A strategy for finding out.

Survey (ask them about their lives)


Test (their knowledge of the world around them)
Share (what they know and can do with others)
Incorporate (new material into what they already know)
Reconcile (different values, opinions and views)
Identify options (for learning authentically)

Teaching for learning. If students dont learn the way we teach them, lets
teach them the way they learn (Kenneth Dunn).

The learning pyramid.


The more active students are in their learning, the more they remember what
they have learned.

Helping students to learn how to think


Mental processes we use to do things such as:

Think about thinking


Draw on a range of intelligences
Think divergently: create new ideas
Develop problem solving strategies
Weigh up different possible options and decisions
Brainstorm questions
Organise information

An effective school is one

In which everybody believes that all students can learn


Where the people in the school know where they are going and know how to
get there
Where students DO learn to high levels

Where there is not a great deal of variation between the best students and
the worst students
Where school leaders, teachers, parents and students all work together to
improve the school
Where the school evaluates how well its doing on a regular basis and
makes adjustments where necessary for the future

3. How can I best improve my skills?


Improvement must begin in the classroom, by working to get effective
research-based teaching strategies into every classroom -Gordon Cawelti and
Nancy Protheroe Handbook on Restructuring and Substantial School
Improvement

Teachers improving schools

Help teachers to see each other as their most powerful resources for
improving teaching
Increase teachers belief - both individually and collectively - that they can
have a positive effect on learning for every student
Use the research base to identify elements of effective teaching and
learning
Increase each teachers repertoire of teaching strategies, so equipping
teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body

What is continuous professional development?

The attitude and process of being a lifelong learner


The conscious updating of professional knowledge and the improvement of
professional competence throughout a person's working life
A necessary requirement for ensuring survival and quality in any profession

Forms of professional development

courses/workshops (e.g. on subject matter or methods and/or other


education-related topics)

education conferences or seminars (at which teachers and/or


researchers present their research results and discuss education
problems)

qualification programme (e.g. a degree programme)

observation visits to other schools

participation in a network of teachers formed specifically for the


professional development of teachers

individual or collaborative research on a topic of professional


interest

mentoring and/or peer observation and coaching, as part of a


formal school arrangement.

reading professional literature (e.g. journals, evidence-based papers,


thesis papers); and

engaging in informal dialogue with peers on how to improve


teaching

Professional development that works is


Sustained over a period of time
Directly connected to teachers work with their students
Directly related to content and teaching strategies
Collaborative, involving active participation in teacher learning communities in
which knowledge is shared
Grounded in teachers questions, inquiry, and experimentation
Supported by coaching and modelling

4. Developing a philosophy of education


Axiology in education asks questions about values such as

What is the purpose of education?

What do we value about education?

Should some elements of the curriculum be valued more than others?

Forming your own philosophy of education

Some questions you might consider in doing this are:


What do you believe are the purposes of Education?
Should everyone have access to education?
Should students or teachers direct learning?
What content/skills should be taught at school?
How should schools teach content and skills?
How should learning be measured?

Your teaching philosophy

Identifies your thinking at a particular time

Gives you a starting point to examine your own teaching practices

Allows you to monitor your development as a teacher

Is a personal document that should reflect and represent you as an


individual

(More) Questions to consider when developing your philosophy of education

What do I believe about teaching?

What do I believe about learning?

What motivates me to learn something new?

Would that work for my students?

What do I expect to be the outcomes of my teaching?

What is the student-teacher relationship that I would like to achieve?

How do I know when I have taught successfully?

What elements are part of my most successful teaching achievements?

What values do I want to impart to my students?

Week 2 Myself and my learning


The second week of this course looks at teachers sense of identity, differing
reasons and motivations for becoming a teacher. We ask you to consider the
influences on you and particularly the people who may have played a part in
your decision to join the profession. You will be asked to reflect on the nature of
transactions in the classroom and the differing ways in which students respond
to how teachers address them. The fourth lecture draws on Kounins key
strategies that expert teachers use to manage classrooms effectively.

1. Thinking about who I am


How do you reconcile policies and what you believe?

Five ways of being

Somatic
Bodily senses
Rhythm and musicality Gesture Communication
Mythic
Story
metaphor
mystery games, drama, play

binary opposites joking and humour sense of

Romantic
Extremes limits of reality
heroes
wonder collections hobbies
idealism
Philosophic
Drive for generality lure of certainty schemes
theory
search for truth search for authority
Ironic

Testing limits of theory


Doubt
Context
As a teacher How often do I draw on this way of being? For myself? For my
students?

2. Why become a teacher?


Why did I become a teacher?
How did I become a teacher?
Who influenced me to become a teacher?
What keeps me in teaching?

Why do people choose to teach?


Force of circumstance (by default)?
A family tradition?
A love of children?
A desire to pass on knowledge and skills?

From the time I was in school I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to


show that teaching could be much different from what I had experienced as a
pupil.
(Teacher, Zimbabwe)

If teachers do not have the opportunity to experience new and different ways
of teaching they will tend simply to teach as they were taught when they were
at school, perpetuating bad habits and never questioning long embedded
traditions

Criteria for selection of teachers

In selection of teachers I would have to put at the top of my list the following:
(Global Education Management Services)
Commitment to continued learning, from colleagues, from students, from
continuing professional development opportunities, reading and research (What
opportunities are open to me? What opportunities can I create for myself?)
The ability to be transparently open to learn has to be combined with a strong
sense of professional authority and self confidence (Am I open to learning from
others? My colleagues? My students? Do I have the confidence and sense of
authority to be seen as a learner?)
Being at ease with a wide range of teaching approaches and a desire to go on
expanding the repertoire (What is my teaching repertoire? What would it mean
for me to expand it? What sources can I draw on to develop that repertoire?)
An international outlook and cultural sensitivity (How do I learn about other
cultural backgrounds and mores? Am I open to challenging my own cultural
prejudices?)

3. Understanding my classrooms selves