News and events

Final few places left for our Manchester Teacher Development 3.0 seminar on 17th May

Roll up, roll up! Just a few places are left for our TD3 seminar at Manchester University on May 17th. We have some fantastic discussants for this seminar: primary head teachers Eleanor Losse and Anthony Rae; Dr John Stephens CBE, CEO of Bright Futures Educational Trust; and Prof Ruth Lupton from Manchester University. Plus David Spendlove and Viv Ellis from Teacher Education Exchange. See you there! And book here via the lovely Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teacher-development-30-how-we-can-transform-the-professional-education-of-teachers-tickets-4808649801?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=estw&utm-source=tw&utm-term=listing

 

Mapping the future of teacher development – in discussion with The Chartered College

Ali Messer from Roehampton University writes: The Chartered College of Teaching is a new organisation taking the teaching profession in England in a new direction – and not before time. Children in our schools need teachers who are trusted as independent professionals Teaching is difficult and the Chartered College, like Teacher Education Exchange, is currently developing proposals for a ‘long, thin’ model of professional development, where teachers have time to develop ‘the habits of mind and capacity for informed, scholarly judgement’. We want to support any organisation promoting a ‘long life teaching profession’ (one of our four design principles), and Alison emphasised the strong start the College has made in reaching out to many other organisations enabling professional development, such as subject associations. The joined-up thinking shown by the College has the potential to reach out to many hard-pressed teachers. We want to work with anyone interested in making teaching more sustainable, with less talk about purely bureaucratic forms of leadership and more action against the kind of negative forms of accountability that can corrode teacher professionalism.

Earlier this month we met with Alison Peacock, the first CEO of the Chartered College along with her colleague Julia Flutter. Alison made it clear that teachers themselves must take responsibility for designing the professional pathways that would support teachers in acquiring the expertise necessary for maintaining excellence in teaching, and that this was the best way to secure the best outcomes for children and young people. So far so good: we agree that professional education should be profession-led (another of our four design principles). The definition of what teachers need to know set out by the College is well worth reading: https://www.collegeofteaching.ac.uk/membership/knowledge-and-research.

We also discussed what roles universities might play in the new landscape set out by the College. We think that professional education should be profession-led because teachers, from the start, have ideas about what the purpose of schooling is and what a good education might look like. Whether they join the profession from another career or direct from university, new teachers need to consider the questions we have posed in our first pamphlet, such as ‘who and what they are teaching and to what ends’, (part of our other design principles about teachers shaping a broad and balanced curriculum with their local communities, not despite them). Although conversations about these questions occur in all great schools, university education departments have much to offer in ensuring that ethical deliberations form a part of all initial and continuing professional education. Schools are not always easy places in which to learn as a new teacher, and without university partnerships, valuable opportunities to make sense of experience can be missed.

When we met Alison and Julia, we shared the work we are doing at conferences and in university seminars to open up discussion within the higher education sector about teacher development, and Alison shared her vision of teaching profession able to represent itself confidently and authoritatively, to government and to the public, via the College. As Alison said, we found ourselves ‘in danger of complete agreement’ on key principles. We plan to follow developments in the College via @CharteredColl, and invite you to find out more about our seminar and conference series by following @TeachEdXchange

Catching the conversation:themes from the Brighton seminar

Keith Turvey writes: “Storm Doris didn’t put off any of the intrepid and, highly reflective participants at the TeacherEdExchange Brighton seminar about Teacher Development 3.0, with one participant coming from as far as Birmingham to contribute to the debate.

Viv Ellis opened by setting the scene, with an analysis of what a profession-led professional education might look like. Surely with the newly established College of Teaching and a renewed interest in harnessing the rich knowledge and insights that can come from teacher and practice-focused research, it’s time to move on from a ‘reform or defend’ agenda and false binary choices?  Viv argued that it is time to resist the framing of the debate about professional preparation that so often seems based more on political or commercial interests and ego than on credible pathways to improvement.

Next up was Soo Sturrock, principal lecturer in education (UoB) and head of the highly successful primary PGCE. Soo gave a supportive but critical response to the pamphlet. She endorsed the idea of a long and thin journey into the profession but posed some critical questions for us:

How do Schools and Universities create credible, authentic and equal partnerships that respect teachers’ and beginning teachers’ work-life balance? Too often teachers and mentors just do not have the time to support student teachers; a situation that is not fair to anyone, least of all the children. Could a long and thin induction into the profession help to address this?

Soo also challenged some of the assumptions at the heart of the Teacher Development 3.0‘s call for a ‘long-life teaching profession’. Can this call also be seen to ramp up the pressure on teachers, she asked? A long-life teaching profession needs also to be inclusive of career changers and mature students who bring valuable experience to the profession.

William Aristide-Deighan is the headteacher of Varndean, a Brighton secondary comprehensive school. Due to a governors’ meeting, William couldn’t be present at the seminar so instead recorded his response to Teacher Development 3.0 in a short video. Williams raised a core dimension of teachers’ work, often neglected in the current arguments for ‘traditional’ or ‘knowledge-rich’, ‘no excuses’ teaching: care and the professional ethic of caring. Drawing on the work of Nell Noddings. Williams suggested how a professional preparation in caring for students was the essential foundation for everything else, a relational dynamic that made sense of all other activities from the students’ perspectives as well as families’ and communities’.

The final speaker, Jonathan Cooper, head teacher at St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton, gave another thoughtful response to the pamphlet and some challenges for us all. Jonathan described the pamphlet as a ‘quiet revolution’. I suspect we, the authors, may well settle for that! Jonathan was particularly taken by the potential of a profession-led system and related this to his own optimistic vision of how we navigate the often professionally paralysing impact of constant change in policy and accountability. He called for a new model of bottom up CPD. The message was quite clear; we don’t need more edu gurus or consultants selling us tips or solutions. He highlighted the risks of teachers as frozen technicians; the antidote he suggested was for schools and universities to challenge each other more. As he pointed out, we need teachers who can effectively deconstruct learning based on improved research literacy and the critical take up or even rejection of research. There is, after all good and bad research.

Jonathan ended the presentation with a long list of transferable knowledge, skills and understanding fundamental to the role of effective teachers. It was a sobering reminder of why the ‘just-tell-us-what-works’ refrain, so often uttered by self-styled 2.0 reformers, is severely limited and constraining and why a profession-led model based on authentic collaboration is urgently needed in teacher education. Jonathan also challenged us to justify our critique of the ‘leadership fetish’ we, as authors, think is currently affecting schools. We know that leadership makes a difference, argued Jonathan; even by its absence.

What we are realising after two of these seminars now is that there is a tremendous appetite for the kind of discussion the pamphlet stimulates. There are always points of disagreement – whether that is concerned with the discourse of school leadership or the limits of a long-life teaching profession.But what we are noticing is that these ideas are provoking the kinds of discussion we rarely have about teacher education and development. And we think that is a good thing.”

Teacher Development 3.0 at Teachers College, Columbia University: TONIGHT!

Viv Ellis will be leading a  seminar for doctoral students at Teachers College in New York this evening – Zankel 304 from 7 – 8.30pm. Free refreshments!

Drawing on Teacher Education Exchange’s first pamphlet, Teacher Development 3.0: How we can transform the professional education of teachers, Viv will be situating the concept of Teacher Development 3.0 in the context of the ‘global education reform movement’ and in traditions of ‘policy-borrowing’ (without, apparently, policy learning) between conservatives across the north Atlantic.

In suggesting Teacher Development 3.0 as a way forward – and one that cuts through the increasingly turbulent political noise and the destructive and fragmenting instincts of self-styled ‘reformers’ – Viv will ask participants to consider how a doctoral-level education (and specifically one specialising in Teacher Education) relates to the ideals of the concept. If we wish to support a strong teaching profession and profession-led teacher development, what is the contribution of a PhD in teacher education?

Teacher Development 3.0 Brighton seminar: Thursday 23 Feb at 5.30pm

We’ll be hosting a Teacher Development 3.0 seminar at the Friends Meeting House in Ship Street, Brighton on Thursday 23rd February from 5.30 – 7pm. Soo Sturrock, Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton’s School of Education; William Aristide-Deighan, head teacher of Varndean School; and Jonathan Cooper, head teacher of St Luke’s Primary will be our respondents (to whom we are really grateful) along with representatives of Teacher Education Exchange, including Kenny Frederick, Keith Turvey and Viv Ellis.

You can sign up at the Eventbrite by clicking here.

Teacher Development 3.0 now published and free to download!

 

Our first pamphlet is now free to download from the Publications section of this website. We’re excited! Teacher Development 3.0: How we can transform the professional education of teachers will be followed by a bespoke summary of the key ideas for teachers and school leaders, authored by Kenny Frederick, that will be published on 11 February and will also be free to download.

Our next full-length publication – available in the Spring – will focus on new funding models for university involvement in profession-led teacher development. Watch this space!