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Leadership webinar: unleashing great teaching (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How can school leaders help their teachers be the best they can be despite the perceived strictures of the curriculum?

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Professor Bill Lucas, who is Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester.

    We will examine the key ways in which school leaders can encourage great teaching.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on September 13 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Bill and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.


    To find about the Expansive Education Network, go to http://www.expansiveeducation.net.

    For more information about Educating Ruby: what children really need to learn today, go to http://www.educatingruby.org.

    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member


    Don't forget to submit your questions below.

    Thank you.
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webchat.

    The TES Leadership webchats give you the opportunity to put your questions to industry experts about key school management and operational issues.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester, who will be available for the next hour to discuss how schools can encourage great teaching.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.

    The content of, and information provided in, the TES Leadership webchats and their associated materials (including information posted in these forums in connection with the webchats) (the “Content”) is provided for general information purposes only. Any use you make of, or reliance you place on, the Content is entirely at your own risk. Professional or specialist advice, tailored to your specific circumstances, should always be obtained before taking (or refraining from) any action on the basis of the Content.

    Whilst TES Global and the panel of leadership experts make every effort to ensure the high quality and accuracy of the Content, TES Global and each leadership expert makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) concerning the Content. Neither TES Global nor any leadership expert will be responsible for any damage or loss related to any use of the Content.

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  4. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to this webchat on how to encourage great teaching. Joining me is Professor Bill Lucas, who is director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.

    Thanks for joining us, Bill.

    The PISA rankings are often held up as exemplars of good practice -- how has this happened? And is it damaging the drive for better teaching?
  5. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Thanks Andrew

    Yes. Education minsters love them. That’s why we often compare ourselves to Finland (a very different country!) PISA reinforces the focus on core subjects. As in EBacc, these count ‘double’. So in that regard it tends to limit breadth and innovation. The rankings themselves tell us little about the practices that have led to them.

    In 2015 PISA also tested Creative Problem-solving. That’s a good thing in my view as it encourages teachers to think what it is, how best to do it and how they might measure progress. I am also advising the OECD which has gathered 14 countries to explore the teaching and assessment of creative and critical thinking.
  6. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    In your view, how can great teaching be enabled? Is it even possible?
  7. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Great teachers are partly born and partly made! But all teachers can get better. John Hattie puts his finger on it with the phrase ‘visible learning’. At all stages we need teachers to better articulate their goals, identify best pedagogies and evaluate the impact of what they are doing.

    Thousands of teachers routinely undertake their own professional enquiries, action research, these days, many as part of the Expansive Education Network which we run. Teachers need to observe each other, talk and listen to each other as they reflect, give and receive feedback, ask students even!
  8. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What should every school leader be doing to help their teachers teach more effectively?
  9. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Show a real interest in pedagogy. Make sure that staff meetings routinely start with an aspect of teaching and learning rather than the normal and necessary admin. Have conversations with staff about what's going well in their teaching and why. Actively promote new teaching and learning methods over the year in a systematic way. Share their own current educational reading. Start a book club, maybe initially focusing on chapters of key authors - Dweck, Hattie, Langer, Perkins, Resnick, Claxton, Berger (and Lucas of course!) Arrange visits to schools to reflect on practices locally. Share an idea of the week. Listen to young teachers. Read some of the many good headteacher tweeters.
  10. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Should league tables be abolished?
  11. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert


    Certainly the over-reliance on a narrow set of data limits opportunities for breadth.

    And the jury is out on Progress 8 which will inevitably generate league tables.

    But I am not against measurement per se. In fact I want parents to have really rich data to help them make really good choices.

    I am unconvinced that high-stakes testing and accountability systems of the kind we have do much to help the many schools which are already ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

    And it depends what we are measuring. Recently the USA has decided to explore the idea of measuring high school students’ ‘grit’. The concept’s proponent, Angela Duckworth, thinks this is not a good idea. But at some stage we will have to get better at measuring capabilities as well as subjects.

    Wherever possible measurement needs to be used as a key to helping learners make progress, not judgmentally in the way that ‘league table’ implies.

    Maybe we could create a different kind of league table - Schools whose children ask the best questions, say?!
  12. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Is the national curriculum to blame? If so, can it be modified or should it be torn up?
  13. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Not entirely!

    Some of the revisions are improvements.

    But in some subjects the increased content is meaning that teachers feel they have to skim over the top at speed. Not helpful for real learning.

    Changed curricula also present opportunities, a moment to stop and think about best or better ways of teaching it.

    I am not at all happy about Ebacc. This is squeezing arts subjects. (Whoever said that music is not an 'academic' subject. What folly. It's damaging D and T.

    The fact that the results of some subjects at 16+ will count more has introduced an unhelpful 'Premier League' aspect to staff room conversations with those who are in and those who are optional and those who are feeling threatened.

    The next revision will need to put capabilities stage centre, just as Australia has done.
  14. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Should schools be setting up their own curricula?
  15. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Yes. Most do already, de facto. Even with a National Curriculum, there’s no such thing as a National Curriculum being identically taught across the land! Long may that continue. Great teachers have huge flexibility to design and deliver their teaching in innovative and different ways.

    Elsewhere in the world such experiments are well underway and we need more in the UK.
  16. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Do teachers really need to take a PGCE to be effective in the role?
  17. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    I'd want all teachers to be expert and deeply passionate about their subject(s). So graduate qualification is likely to be useful. They definitely need rigorous training and ongoing professional support, especially in the first few years. But I have seen outstanding teachers from all of the current routes into teaching and the PGCE stage is one of a number of options. The important thing is that all new entrants need to be truly confident in pedagogy as well as understanding the complex context of schools and classrooms...they need a blend of theoretical and practical capability.
  18. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Can good communication be taught? Could a good communicator go straight into teaching without a qualification?
  19. Bill_Lucas

    Bill_Lucas New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    We can certainly all learn to communicate better. But I’d not want a teacher going straight into a class to teach without a really good understanding of children and how they learn, of pedagogies, of assessment, of the role of parents and, of course, a deep passion for and understanding of one or more subjects or capability areas.

    We must not undersell the craft, science and art of teaching. It's complex and extremely worthwhile and demanding.
  20. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Should politicians be taken out of the decision-making process in educational developments? How could that work?

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