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Professional Development and Professional Learning

I was at Uni this afternoon for the final session of my penultimate MEd module – and the last CTeach module for a while!

At one point we were having a particularly interesting conversation so I thought I’d put up a wee tweet:

Discussing the difference between professional development and professional learning #MEd #CTeach

@fkelly

Fearghal Kelly


Which generated an interesting reply…

@ I thought about that for 5mins and tied my brain in a knot.Must be cyclical relationship no?Hope you will blog your answer later 🙂

@dotcoe

Dorothy Coe


Unfortunately I don’t have time to do a full blog post, but I couldn’t ignore such a request!

We were discussing this in the context of leading our collaborative professional enquiry and the need to try to encourage our colleagues not to view participation as a passive CPD opportunity, but rather an opportunity for them to actively develop their own learning. Loughran’s (2010) definitions were really useful to explain a possible difference in the two phrases:

Professional Development has typically been understood as the more traditional approach to in-service that teachers often experience when they are asked to implement a new curriculum or some other policy initiative. In many cases, the waves of change that regularly flow over the profession generally involve some form of up-skilling in relation to the new things that we are expected to do or to deliver. Therefore, traditional professional development is often linked to the implementation of some form of educational change by doing something to teachers, that is, telling us about the change and expecting it to then be carried out. In this way mandated changes are presented, we are trained in those changes in terms of technical requirements (sometimes as simple as re-labeling existing curriculum and practice) and then we are expected to implement those changes. It is a top-down approach and it functions in a similar way throughout the education system whether it be in the form of policy initiatives from the central education bureaucracy or at local school level from the principal’s office.

And professional learning…

Professional learning operates in a different way. Professional learning assumes that we have some commitment to the change(s) – that the change might be driven, or developed and refined, by us. In essence, professional learning works on the bases that change is a result of work with, and/or by, teachers. Further to this, professional learning also carries an expectation that we are able to bring our expert judgement to bear on how change might best be implemented in our own context and practice. Therefore, professional learning is more about the learning that occurs through the process and how that learning is then able to be applied in our practice. Involvement in professional learning is therefore more likely to be voluntary, and the subsequent learning is personal and appropriately shaped and directed by each of us as individuals.

What do you think Dorothy?


Second thoughts

In a recent post I outlined my proposal for the final part of my MEd. In it I provided a rationale for my intention to involve pupils in planning learning in order to increase their engagement and described the steps I intended to carry out to achieve this. However, as I’ve mentioned – I’ll be going to a new school pretty soon. So, should I continue with my plans?

My initial thought was that I would…and the school was very supportive of this, but that Cramlington visit has really begun to change my mind. The school is really going for implementing the accelerated learning cycle and learn2learn and I’ve become concerned that whilst my proposal is complimentary to these developments, it is coming from a different angle and could well become a bit of a ‘bolt-on’ for anyone I managed to convince to become involved.

So, what am I going to do? I’ve decided that I need to shift the emphasis of the intervention to be much more aligned to the direction of the school and the needs (and workload) of the staff. So I’m considering instead coming from the perspective of evaluating the impact of the learning cycle on learning. This could be in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills development, but also in terms of pupil involvement and engagement.

I’m even finding some really useful literature on this, such as Geoff Petty, Black et. al. and Paul Rose. Through this reading I’m becoming increasingly convinced that my intervention could end up becoming much enhanced by this change by adding a much greater depth to the learning process, and therefore the enquiry.

Having said all that, it is pretty daunting to make such a fundamental change after writing and submitting a 5000 word proposal…but I have to respond to the needs of my new school…


Writing critically

As always on my MEd, we’re being encouraged to both think, and also write, critically. We spent a lot of time on this on our previous module and I feel that I’m making progress with this, but I’m nowhere near being confident as yet – as demonstrated by yesterday afternoon…

There are two primary aspects to the work I am doing towards completing my MEd. One is surrounding evaluating the impact of involving pupils in planning learning in terms of their engagement in lessons. On this side I feel I have made significant progress in my ability to write. My ideas are getting to the point where they are informed by research and I even manage to do so critically occasionally.

Yesterday we were focusing on the other side of the work, which addresses working collaboratively. When writing about working with others I find that I am still some way short of where I’d like to be. To try to simplify the steps I need to take to make my writing more sophisticated I’ve devised a three part scale:

  1. Appending references: This is what a lot of my writing on collaboration is like at present. This involves writing what you’ve done or are planning to do, and then dropping in a reference which is vaguely related at the end.
  2. Literature informed: I have managed to do this occassionally. This is where I start with the reference and use this to plan and explain what it is I’m doing rather than tagging it on afterwards.
  3. Critically informed: I’ve not made it here yet. I imagine this is where you start as above but you don’t simply then follow on to explaining the positive link between the literature and your actions. You include a critique of the literature, outlining the limitations and explain why you’re still using this to inform your work – perhaps bringing in further literature to support your point.

I’m not sure if this is correct or not, but I think if I can move my writing up this scale then I’m likely to be more successful. It then dawned on me however, that this is not actually about the writing. It’s about the doing. The real point is to actually do the reading critically before planning what to do with others and then evaluate the outcomes against this reading. If I can embody this approach, then the writing will naturally fall into place. This is what I’ve begun to do with the other side of the work, and I need to bring this into the more intuitive aspect of the enquiry also – collaborating with others…


Can involving pupils in planning learning experiences improve learner engagement in lessons in S1?

I’m pleased to report that I have passed my latest MEd module! This module involved writing a proposal for a collaborative professional enquiry to be carried out in August/September 2011. I don’t feel able to share the whole proposal on here (and I’m not sure you’d want to read it all!), so I thought I would extract a few edited excerpts to give you the drift…

Summary

There is an increasing expectation on teachers that the young people in their classes will be engaged in their own learning. These expectations are set by schools, national policies and increasingly by the young people themselves. For many teachers achieving learner engagement within the confines of a curriculum still poses a major challenge. The aim of this enquiry is to investigate whether involving pupils in the process of planning their learning can provide an opportunity for them to become more engaged. This will be carried out by a group of teachers from different curricular areas working with S1 pupils from August 2011. The teachers will start a topic of learning differently by asking the pupils for their ideas on what and how they will learn.

What’s the rationale?

The aim of this enquiry is to improve pupil engagement in lessons through involving them in planning learning experiences.

My interest in involving pupils in planning learning experiences arose initially from an evaluation of my practice against policies outlined as part of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). Early in 2009 I became increasingly enthusiastic to begin to make changes to my practice as a result of the momentum behind CfE. However, at the time I was struck by the lack of clear support and guidance for teachers as to what it was we were to change.

At this time the most current policy document available was ‘Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching’ (Scottish Government 2008). There were numerous possible areas for development of my practice arising from the text, however there was one in particular which I felt was largely absent from my classroom. This is summarised as:

“all learners should be involved in planning and reflecting on their own learning”
(Scottish Government 2008, p.27)

I felt that this was not common practice in my classroom and so I decided to make this my focus. I had also already noticed that the learners in my classroom, at all stages, had become heavily reliant on me and had little ownership of their own learning and assessment. I realised that although this reliance resulted in efficient coverage of the content it did not ensure that the pupils were developing the understanding or skills one would expect of young people working towards the four capacities which serve as the purpose of CfE (Scottish Government 2008, p.22).

As a result I decided to radically alter my approach to planning for one of my S1 biology classes for the remainder of that session. I tried to involve them in the process by asking them to plan the content, activities, assessment and success criteria for a topic. I shared and reflected upon this process on my blog, which I use as an electronic learning journal (Kelly 2009). I was overwhelmed at the time by the impact this change in approach had with the pupils in the class, and amongst those in the profession who read my blog. I intend to develop and expand this approach through this collaborative professional enquiry.

It is the purpose of this enquiry to investigate the impact involving pupils in planning learning can have on their engagement in the process, and ultimately on their learning. My intention is to carry out this enquiry with a small group of teachers from a variety of curricular areas which I believe will have a substantial benefit to their professional development as well as my own.

What’s the context?

As already stated, CfE clearly sets out the need to involve learners in their learning in ‘Building the Curriculum 3’ (Scottish Government 2008, p.27). This message has since been reinforced by subsequent policy documents (Learning & Teaching Scotland 2009, p.13; Scottish Government 2010, p.19), including an explicit emphasis on engaging and involving learners in approaches to assessment as the top priority in the recent summary of ‘Building the Curriculum 5’ (Learning & Teaching Scotland 2010, p.4). The concept of involving pupils in decisions regarding their learning pre-dates CfE in policy terms given that this was one of the principles underpinning ‘Assessment is for Learning’ (Scottish Executive 2005, p.2). Much of this policy is based upon formative assessment literature, which also identifies the need to take risks and “relinquish control” (Clarke 2005, p.12). However, despite the successes of ‘Assessment is for Learning’ HM Inspectorate of Education in Scotland still stated that one of the areas for improvement for secondary schools as:

“Engaging all young people actively in learning, giving each a sense of personal responsibility for their own learning and encouraging them to think independently and creatively.” (HM Inspectorate of Education 2009, p.46)

This resonates with my own experience also. Whilst many secondary teachers, including myself, have begun to use some of the techniques associated with formative assessment very few have gone so far as to involve learners in the process to the extent that they have genuine responsibility for the learning taking place in classrooms.

In addition to policy encouraging the involvement of pupils in the learning process, there are others who promote this approach also. In fact, this view of pedagogy is not a new one. Paulo Freire explains the need for a shift in education through teachers and students who “become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow” (Freire 1970, p.61). Head (2003) uses a social constructivist view of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development to explain the effectiveness of collaboration in learning. Based on this he argues for the creation of communities of learners where “teacher and pupils agree on areas and themes for research within an overall context” (Head 2003, p.59).

More recently, Guy Claxton (2008) uses what we know about learning to suggest that if we want our pupils to be “powerful learners” we need to provide them with opportunities to be “creative”, have “courage”, “explore and investigate”, “experiment”, have “imagination”, “reason”, be “social” and “reflective” (Claxton 2008, p.122-126) all of which could be provided by giving them greater responsibility for their learning.

Whilst there are many others who also make this case for a greater involvement for learners in their learning (Hopkins 2000; Rudduck 2003; Higgins et al 2008), not everyone agrees. Johnson (2004) thoroughly criticises the concept of “Personalised Learning” as put forward by the UK Government of the time. I feel that he starts with the extreme assumption that personalised learning means that every child is following a completely different curriculum from each other, which I do not envisage being the case. I intend to involve learners in the planning process, but only allow personalisation and choice at the individual level where it is practically possible. Skinner (2010) is critical of another aspect of this pedagogy. He suggests that “constructivism ignores much normal learning, disparages direct teaching and fails to match schooling realities” and goes on to suggest that teachers and learners need to develop the skills required in what he describes as the “four modes” of learning (Skinner 2010, p.23). I think that Skinner has a point when he suggests that we should not rely on one approach to learning due to the complex nature of learning, but also due to the reality of secondary schools in the current context. There is a danger that teachers and pupils may see this proposal as being unrealistic and unsustainable and so I intend to bear these messages in mind when developing this enquiry.

Assuming we do want to give pupils greater responsibility for the learning process, how could this be achieved in practice? Given the title, one would expect that John Loughran’s (2010) recent book might provide some ideas. However, whilst he does make a strong case for giving students responsibility for their own learning (Loughran 2010, p.49) much of the remainder of the book is still very teacher-centred. Surprisingly, when describing the strategies required of learners to develop their metacognitive skills of “planning, monitoring and evaluating” he still discusses the use of these strategies in the context of completing “a set task” (Loughran 2010, p.143). In my experience, supporting pupils to develop these skills within a set task is not new and has limited success. This enquiry is interested in the extent to which young people can become involved in setting the task in the first place.

Chris Watkins (2005) makes the case for developing what he describes as “classrooms as learning communities” and gives some ideas as to how to achieve this in practice. Again, Watkins (2005) develops his case from the standpoint of social constructivism, or as he simplifies it “learning = building knowledge through doing things with others” (Watkins 2005, p.17) but in his book, he goes on to suggest possible approaches to achieving this, including:

“it is possible to consider how pupils might make classroom choices on:

  • what they learn;
  • how they learn;
  • how well they learn;
  • why they learn.

And on each of these dimensions there could be more or less significant choices made.”
(Watkins 2005, p.76-77)

This list bears a striking, and coincidental, similarity to the opportunities I provided with my S1 biology class in 2009 when I asked them to contribute to the planning of “content, activities, assessment and success criteria”. I intend to use these overlapping lists of areas for pupil choice when developing this intervention. The topic will be set by the teacher in each case, but pupils will have opportunities to contribute to these dimensions within the set topic. For the purposes of this proposal, this is what I mean by “planning learning experiences”.

What, however is meant by learner engagement? Harris (2010) provides a very useful account of student engagement. She classifies two types of student engagement: engagement in schooling and engagement in learning (Harris 2010). Harris argues that much of the literature on student engagement, such as the 2003 OECD report (Willms 2003), focuses on behavioural engagement. She goes on to point out that if we are interested in improvements in student learning we should be focusing instead on cognitive engagement. As a result of her work with secondary teachers Harris (2010) has a developed a continuum of engagement with associated approaches to achieving these levels of engagement. I have summarised these in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Continuum of Learner Engagement (What) and how teachers
can achieve these levels of engagement (How). Adapted from Harris (2010).

I have found this continuum to be useful and as such this is what I mean by “Learner Engagement” or the purposes of this proposal.

What will be different?

In order to involve pupils in the planning process, it is necessary for teachers to begin a topic of learning differently. Rather than informing the pupils of the title of the topic and proceeding with their plan, instead pupils are led through a process which supports them to contribute their own ideas. It is envisaged that this planning phase will last for approximately two one-hour lessons with the following structure:

Lesson 1

Setting the scene. Stimulating images and questions are displayed to generate discussion as a class surrounding the area of learning to be covered in the topic.
What do we know already? Pupils work in groups to complete an activity designed to draw out what they already know about this topic.
Homework. Between the two lessons pupils are set the task of listing the questions they would expect to be answered through this topic.

Lesson 2

Explaining the task. Teacher explains to the class that the purpose of the lesson is for each group to draw up a plan for the topic, which will be amalgamated by the teacher. It is crucial that at this point the teacher clarifies that there will only be one plan for the whole class, and the final decision for what takes place rests with the teacher.
Linking to the Curriculum. The teacher shares the chosen experiences and outcomes which this topic should address with the class. The experiences and outcomes can be modified and rewritten to make them accessible to the pupils.
Planning the topic. Each group is given a large sheet of paper and tasked with using what they already know, the questions they wrote for homework and the experiences and outcomes to produce a plan for the topic under the following headings:

  • What is the title of your topic?
  • Why should we learn about this?
  • What do you already know about this topic?
  • Which questions do you intend to explore?
  • How will you go about exploring these questions week by week?
  • What skills do you think you will develop through this topic?
  • How will you share what you have learnt from this topic?
  • What will be the criteria for success?

This lesson concludes with each group attaching their plan to the wall and the teacher beginning to formulate a joint plan through whole class discussion.

How will the enquiry be evaluated?

Through this enquiry I intend to answer three interrelated questions. These enquiry questions are:

  1. Can pupils become more involved in planning their own learning?
  2. Can pupil involvement in planning learning increase engagement in lessons?
  3. Can pupil involvement in planning learning improve learning outcomes?

I hope to carry out a baseline “Learning Survey” in January 2011 electronically with the current S1 pupils at the school, and also amongst the P7 pupils in the cluster primary schools. This survey is adapted from Watkins (2005) and is intended to gauge the extent to which pupils feel in charge of their learning. I intend to use this information for two purposes. Firstly, this will inform the direction of the intervention as the scores will indicate whether pupils currently feel ownership of their learning or not, and should therefore provide some justification for the enquiry and assist in the recruitment of colleagues to the group. However, I also intend to use these results as a baseline to which I can compare the pupils involved in the enquiry. By carrying out this same survey with the pupils in the classes involved at the end of the intervention, I will be to evaluate whether the pupils now feel that they have a greater sense of ownership over their learning compared with their own cohort, and compared to the previous S1 cohort. This will assist in the answering of the first of my enquiry questions.

In addition to the results from this survey, I will also be able to gauge the extent to which pupils can become involved in planning their learning through the items produced as part of the planning process. By comparing the plan which the classes followed to the teacher’s plan from the previous year, and the group work from lesson two, it should be possible to determine the extent to which the learning experiences changed from the previous year and how much of this was a result of the pupils’ ideas. I expect that these changes will also be highlighted by the teachers themselves when we meet to discuss the intervention at it the end of the topic. I also intend to develop a topic evaluation for the pupils to complete in conjunction with the other teachers in the group. This is relatively common practice in the school already, but I will need to ensure that the evaluations used in this topic are relevant to the enquiry questions. For example, most evaluations used in the school currently do not make reference to pupil involvement or engagement, so questions will need to be developed accordingly in conjunction with the other teachers.

Given the complexity of involving learners in planning and evaluating pupil engagement, I also intend to carry out semi-structured interviews with a sample of pupils from each of the classes involved. Burton & Bartlett (2005, p.109) suggest that less structured interviews are useful when the emphasis is on the respondent’s own account which is exactly what I hope to achieve through these interviews. The learning survey described above is heavily structured and quite limiting in terms of allowing pupils the scope to express their own thoughts on the process, which I hope to address through these interviews. I intend to ask the teachers to identify three pupils from their class to be interviewed – the three should represent the range of opinions and involvement in the class where possible. I would welcome the teachers to carry out the interviews themselves, but will offer to do them to reduce the burden on their time. I intend to interview and record the pupils in these groups of three rather than individually. This is based on my own experience of a prior intervention in which I interviewed three pupils separately. I found as a result that the pupils often struggled to communicate their thoughts, particularly on those complex issues which have led me to choose to interview them. I quite often found myself ‘leading’ these interviews much more than I intended. It is hoped that by interviewing them in groups they will stimulate each other to express their thoughts. I intend to use the outcomes from this interview to answer all three of the enquiry questions and will semi-structure the interviews around these very questions.

In order to assess the level of engagement achieved through this intervention I intend to classify the responses from the teachers and pupils involved against Harris’ (2010) continuum of learner engagement.

In addition to the pupil evaluations and interviews already discussed, further evidence will be required in order to address the third enquiry question. In order to assess whether the pupils’ learning outcomes have been improved through the intervention it will be necessary to gather the assessment items from the topic and compare them to the previous year. I do not intend to ask the teachers to administer the same assessment which they used the previous year as this would not be appropriate given that the pupils need to have a say in how they are to be assessed. A comparison between the two years will therefore naturally be limited. I will therefore be reliant on the professional judgements of the teachers to assess any improvements in learning outcomes which they feel have resulted through the intervention. I intend to gather these judgements when we meet as a group at the end of the enquiry.

References

Burton, D. and Bartlett, S. (2005) Practitioner Research for Teachers. London, Paul Chapman Publishing

Clarke, S. (2005) Formative Assessment in the Secondary Classroom. London, Hodder Murray

Claxton, G. (2008) What’s the Point of School: Rediscovering the heart of education. Oxford, Oneworld

Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 2nd ed. London, Penguin

Harris, L. (2010) Secondary teachers’ conceptions of student engagement: Engagement
in learning or in schooling? Teaching and Teacher Education, doi:10.1016/j.tate.2010.09.006

Head, G. (2003) Effective collaboration: deep collaboration as an essential element of the learning process. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 4 (2) pp. 47-62

HM Inspectorate of Education (2009) Improving Scottish Education 2005-2008. www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/publication/ise09.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]

Higgins, S., Sebba, J., Robinson, C. and Mackrill, D. (2008) Personalising learning: the learner perspective and their influence on demand. http://research.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=rh&catcode=_re_rp_02&rid=14551 [accessed 28 November 2010]

Hopkins, D. (2000) Powerful Learning, Powerful Teaching and Powerful Schools. Journal of Educational Change, 1 pp. 135–154

Johnson, M. (2004) Personalised Learning – an Emperor’s Outfit? London, Institute for Public Policy Research

Kelly, F. (2009) Having a bash at a Curriculum for Excellence. Blog entry. www.fkelly.co.uk/2009/04/having-a-bash-at-a-curriculum-for-excellence/ [accessed 28 November 2010]

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2009) Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for learning, skills for life
and skills for work. www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/BtC4_Skills_tcm4-569141.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) A Summary of Building the Curriculum 5: A framework for assessment. www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/btc5_tcm4-605259.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]

Loughran, J. (2010) What Expert Teachers Do: Enhancing professional knowledge for classroom practice. Abingdon, Routledge

Rudduck, J. (2003) Research Briefing 5: Consulting Pupils About Teaching and Learning. London, TLRP

Scottish Executive (2005) Assessment is for Learning Information Sheet. www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/09/20105413/54164 [accessed 28 November 2010]

Scottish Government (2008) Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching. www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/building_the_curriculum_3_jms3_tcm4-489454.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]

Scottish Government (2010) Building the Curriculum 5: A framework for assessment. www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/BtC5_assess_tcm4-582215.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]

Skinner, D. (2010) Let the Four Modes Lead Our Way Forward. Times Educational Supplement Scotland. 26 November, p.23

Watkins, C. (2005) Classrooms as Learning Communities: What’s in it for schools? Abingdon, Routledge

Willms, J. D. (2003) Student Engagement at School: A Sense of Belonging and Participation, Results from PISA 2000. www.oecd.org/dataoecd/42/35/33689437.pdf [accessed 28 November 2010]


My Chartered Teacher story so far

In January 2008 I took a big step – I embarked on the Chartered Teacher programme. Having reached the top of the main pay scale at the beginning of the session, I had been considering it as an option but it seemed like such a big commitment. Come January I decided to go for it…why? By that point I had been teaching for almost six years in a number of different contexts and I think I found myself in a bit of a rut. When I arrived in Scotland I had lots to learn about how things worked up here, but once I got the hang of NABs etc I found that a lot of the time I was ‘going through the motions’. To be frank, apart from the odd bit of challenging behaviour, it had all become too easy and a bit routine. This had been brought to my attention by my foray into blogging. Blogging had not only provided me with glimpses into other inspiring classrooms, but also forced me to reflect on my own practice to a much greater extent.

So I headed to Edinburgh University for Module 1 of their MTeach programme – which turned my professional world upside down! I was forced to really reflect on what it means to be a professional. For the first time in a very long time I articulated my values as an educator and began to change my practice accordingly. I also began to inform these changes based on literature, for the first time since my PGCE. My classroom changed rapidly during this module. The desks were rearranged to form groups, the tasks were redesigned to allow opportunities for learning based on social constructivism, my relationships with my pupils improved dramatically and the discourse in the room shifted to ‘learning’ from ‘work’. At the same time I was writing an essay on Professionalism and Curriculum for Excellence which provided my first serious insight into what Curriculum for Excellence was all about, but also encouraged me to critically reflect on my practice and the policies.

Following completion of Module 1 I switched to Stirling University’s MEd programme. This was primarily a practical move as at that time Edinburgh’s modules were ‘single’ whereas Stirling offered ‘doubles’. This meant that by switching I would complete the programme in half the time! Through the Stirling MEd I have continued to develop my ability to reflect and read critically and have really begun to embed this approach into my everyday professional life. I’ve also completed two pieces of professional enquiry whilst at Stirling. In one I decided to try to embody the principles of Curriculum for Excellence and social constructivism with my S1 class by giving them a much bigger say in how they learn in a topic. This had a massive impact on this class, and my own understanding of the power of involving pupils in their own learning to a greater extent. By sharing the outcomes of this intervention on this blog, in my school and at TeachMeet a number of teachers have come back to me since to tell me that they have tried out this approach in their own classes with very positive results.

In another of my professional enquiries I worked with one of my classes to try to improve their confidence for learning. A large number of the class regularly refused to even attempt tasks claiming that they wouldn’t be able to do it so there was no point trying. Prior to the CT programme I probably would’ve continued to plough on with the course and just try to come up with more engaging tasks. However, through reading I concluded that there was a much bigger problem here. I discovered the work of Carol Dweck on mindsets and set about working with the class to change their mindset from fixed to growth. Once again this had a powerful impact on many of the pupils in the class – who would now refuse help if they were stuck as they wanted to learn! This enquiry also changed my view on the complicated factors at play when a pupil isn’t working as I’d like them to.

At this point I was half way through the programme, and still am. I became so interested in Curriculum for Excellence and its implementation that I applied for my current Secondment and as I would no longer have any classes, I took a year out of the programme. However, although I’m not currently in the classroom, the Chartered Teacher programme has still played a massive role in my work. My efforts to develop professional learning communities has been largely informed by my reading which I would never have undertaken otherwise. And my enthusiasm to promote the messages in Building the Curriculum 5 is borne out of my belief that this policy is grounded in sound educational theory which I’ve seen have an impact with my pupils.

I’ve recently returned to the programme and I’m currently writing a proposal for the collaborative professional enquiry which will form my MEd dissertation, but as I’ll hope you’ll agree I’ve already changed dramatically as a teacher as a result of this fantastic CPD.


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