A theme that resonated with our team was the mismatch that occurs between teachers’ beliefs about established cultures of thinking and actual classroom practice. We felt that this mismatch between a teacher’s belief system and their practice may be fairly common and discussed a number of factors that may contribute to this.
Perhaps this mismatch is a result of spending too much time and rhetoric in meetings, conferences and professional learning initiatives over recent years, exploring the importance of students being active participants in their learning (addressing the why), but many practitioners may not know what this actually looks like and may not know HOW to guide students towards this effectively in their classrooms. We felt Dylan Wiliam/s strategies have been a great starting point for many of our teachers (including ourselves) in terms of the what this looks like and how we can achieve this - but as TWPS has identified, there is more work needed around this.
A focus on transformational leadership may also contribute to this mismatch as leaders may have been working towards: creating a shared vision, inspiring others towards the vision, etc. Whereas now, Hattie and others tell us that the most effective leaders are instructional. A move in our leadership development toward working collaboratively and shoulder to shoulder with teachers to develop students self efficacy, self regulation and active engagement, may be helpful.
Certainly the planning stage is an important step, with thought given to how we can identify and explore key transferable ideas in a meaningful away, allowing students to be actively involved in co-developing learning paths and success criteria, so that they ‘own’ their learning, know why it’s important and can monitor their progress.
What do we hope to observe for the POP?
(Of course, not all listed characteristics would be evident in all classrooms / lessons.)