On a recent car journey with Kristen, I was amazed at her multi-tasking ability to drive fast, navigate the M25, brake late, drink coffee and discuss her Doctorate research. Now, I am honestly really interested her research findings at the best of times, and maybe it was my fear as a nervous passenger, but one question she asked, has stuck with me. I have been trying to think of answer ever since. I thought I would share it with you, in the hope I could get some answers. Her question was ‘What do we mean by a Teacher’s practice?’.
Thinking for a moment, all I could come up with was, a Teacher’s practice is what a teacher does everyday with their pupils. But, that what does that mean? What is it as Teachers we really do? Do we instruct, demonstrate, teach, facilitate, guide, direct, all of these and more? or is it something else? I never realised how important a question this is.But, if we want to create and support professional development, we need to identify what it is that professional development will change.
From my own experience, official development of my own practice came about as a result of outside pressures, such as OFSTED inspection or policy changes at local authority level. It was never as a result my own practice needs. Bizarrely enough, my own practice was given top marks in my school inspection lesson observations, so did that mean my practice was ‘perfect’? If so why did the work I did with the Partners in Learning Network have such an impact on what I did every day in the classroom?
So here are some questions that I would welcome some insight on.
- What do you understand by the phrase ‘developing a teacher’s practice’?
- What aspect of that practice do teachers need to ensure is effective in supporting the needs of the 21st learner?
Please post your comments here on this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a special added incentive, I’ll send the first 25 people to respond an Innovative Teachers USB stick.
I will happily pass your comments on to Kristen, so the next time we travel together by car, the conversation might distract me enough to stop my right leg twitching with imaginary braking every five minutes!