Teachers at Eton College have been engaged in action research for the last year as part of their eedNET membership. James Stanforth chose to explore ways in which he could make the teaching of French more expansive and you can read the results of his work, conducted under the auspices initially of the International Boys' School Coalition and latterly with the Expansive Education Network, here: https://db.tt/BaRMbdu5.
Or if you prefer a visual representation of his work, look here:
The second Redesigning Schooling pamphlet – What kind of teaching for what kind of learning? by Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas- will be arriving in SSAT member schools. Guy and Bill’s pamphlet is the second of nine editions to be published over the coming months, culminating with What the new professionalism means for the UK by Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves in Spring 2014.
What kind of teaching for what kind of learning includes the following:
Teaching and learning to what end?
What kinds of learning do you need in your school to deliver your desired outcomes of education?
What kind of teaching will create the kind of learning that you want in your school?
What kind of leadership will create the desired kinds of teaching and learning, so students leave school with your desired outcomes of education?
Pedagogic leadership - Creating cultures and practices for outstanding vocational learning
It is good to see vocational education coming centre stage in the education debate. The time is absolutely right – vocational courses are not just a
‘second chance’ default for those who have not done well in school-based academic studies. Aside from rhetoric around the ‘forgotten 50 per cent’ and the need to drive up skills in order to boost the economy, we are seeing new programmes, such as traineeships, new qualifications, such as tech levels, and new accountability measures, such as the technical baccalaureate, all with the declared intention of raising the profile and value of vocational programmes.
The attention is very welcome, but often the focus is somewhat misplaced. In much of what we hear, there is an assumption that our current system of vocational education has ‘failed’, and that the way to make it better is to make it more like its ‘academic’ counterpart. This message is heard on all sides
of the political debate, with talk of centres of excellence and support for new types of institution, alongside policies aimed at bringing ‘rigour’ and ‘robustness’ through synoptic assessment and employer‑endorsed qualifications.
We all accept that more can, and must, be done to ensure the highest possible quality in the vocational learning undertaken by millions in this country. But two misconceptions remain – the first is that ‘vocational’ learning is only really about trades such as bricklaying, motor vehicle, and hairdressing and the second is that complex pedagogy is the exclusive domain of the ‘academic’ world.
It is not difficult to understand that all of us need to undertake vocational learning as we prepare for working life – after all, it is vocational learning that teaches us the skill and the craft of how to do a job, and, in many ways, it is the more difficult part of learning. To put it simply, it is the skill that needs to balance with the knowledge. And the excellent How To Teach Vocational Education, published in 2012, set out for the first time the ways in which the pedagogy behind vocational learning is an immensely complex concept.
So impressive was that report that, early in 2013, the 157 Group of further education colleges and City & Guilds came together to commission its authors, Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton, to work with us to explore the implications for leaders in colleges who aspire to deliver outstanding vocational education
for all their learners. Alongside their research, Bill and Guy organised a day-long seminar with key leaders from colleges, in the 157 Group and beyond, and important influencers and policymakers in the education world.
This publication is largely the result of that day, during which ideas were shared and debated, and the passion that college leaders brought to the arena was manifest. In this document, Bill and Guy have built upon their previous work and offer a message that chimes with previous work from the 157 Group and City & Guilds concerned with leadership and culture. It is an indication of the growing nature of our partnership that we feel this will add to our knowledge in a very rich way.
157 Group colleges are taking forward the complexities of vocational education with networks of research professionals and combining this with new approaches to teaching and learning. An example of this work is that City & Guilds has refreshed its TechBac®, where what is emerging is a new relationship between the acquisition of technical knowledge; how it is then taught and applied; and its relationship to the employer and the workplace. In all that we do, relevance to the workplace is critical, alongside the preparation for progression to higher levels of learning, such as higher education.
Changing the perception of vocational education and its benefits is a ‘hearts and minds’ job inside and outside the sector.
So, importantly, this publication offers a very concrete set of actions for leaders in colleges who understand how complex vocational education is, how critical it is to the success of every learner and who wish to bring it centre stage in their organisational performance. We hope you find it as stimulating
as we have done.
This is your opportunity to participate in a national programme that raises achievement by increasing student engagement in learning.
We have received a grant from the Education Endowment Foundation to run the first major trial of Learning through REAL Projects in the UK. This is one of the larger and more ambitious projects supported by the Foundation.
Learning through REAL Projects uses student enquiry, feedback and public exhibition of student work to promote deep learning of subject knowledge and learning that has a real impact on the world outside school. Please see the enclosed summary for more information on REAL Projects.
There is evidence from the US that Learning through REAL Projects has a strong positive impact on student achievement, student engagement in learning and students’ success at College and University. Please see the enclosed summary for more information about our US partners High Tech High, world leaders in educational innovation.
Innovation Unit currently employs teachers from High Tech High to support pioneering schools in England to develop world class practice. We are now searching for 24 new schools to participate in this trial. Each trial school will receive:
· training for classroom teachers in Learning through REAL Projects,
· in-school coaching from High Tech High teachers,
· leadership coaching and support from Innovation Unit Senior Associates,
· data, research and evaluation from University of Durham, and an opportunity to learn from and develop your practice with other schools.
There are two phases to the trial. If selected to participate, your school will be randomly allocated to one of the two phases:
Phase 1:Begins January 2014, with implementation with Year 7 from September 2014 (next year)
Phase 2:Begins September 2015, with implementation with Year 7 from September 2016.
If you think your school might be interested then please register your interest as soon as possible. We are holding an event for all interested schools in London on 17th October. However, please do not be put off if you cannot make it to the event. We will be sending out information to all interested schools, and a member of the team will be in touch by telephone with all schools unable to attend the event. Schools will be chosen and notified by January 2014. Please respond using the enclosed Register of Interest form or online at www.innovationunit.org/REALprojects/registerinterest.