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Teaching: a Passionate & Subversive Profession?. Initial Thoughts.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching: a Passionate & Subversive Profession?. Initial Thoughts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching: a Passionate & Subversive Profession?

2 Initial Thoughts

3 “Men at some times are masters of their fates. The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

4 Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge. New York: O.U.P. 1998 “ In its determination to see only what can enter into utilitarian calculations, the economic mind is blind: blind to the …… separateness of its people, to their inner depths, their hopes and loves and fears, blind to what it is like to live a human life and try to endow it with meaning”

5 Cautionary Note 1. “A dominant force may legitimate itself by promoting beliefs and values congenial to it; naturalising and universalising such beliefs to render them self evident and apparently inevitable, denigrating ideas which might challenge it, excluding rival forms of thought.” (Eagleton 1991)

6 Our Work in Context

7 Teaching: the ultimate reality show.

8 Preparing to Teach in Secondary Schools Edited: Brooks V. Abbot I.& Bills L. OUP 2004 Multidimensionality: Many people / personalities Simultaneity: question-listen-motivate-assess Immediacy: momentum- pace-no downtime for reflection Unpredictability: unexpected events- serendipity Publicness: fishbowl syndrome History: classes socialise into ‘norms’.

9 Content- Knowledge, principles, skills and abilities Dispositions to Learning – Learning to Love Learning Emotional and Spiritual Space Relationships A Model of Learning

10 Teaching: A Complex Interaction “… a public recognition that effective learning involves, essentially an ‘interactive chemistry’ between learner and teacher, which depends on process as much as content and is an expression of personal values and perceptions as much as competences and knowledge.” Day, C. “Teachers in the twenty-first century: time to renew the vision.” Teachers and Training: Theory and Practice, 6, 1, pp 101-115. 2000.

11 “ We Teach Who We Are” Parker J Palmer The Courage to Teach Jossey-Bass 1998

12 Passion Convictions Emotions Values Idealism: Moral Purpose : Mission : Vocation: Stance

13 An Activist Profession

14 Our Collective Responsibility To be….“active agents in the production of a new pedagogic discourse, rather than merely the consumers of the professional knowledge produced by academics and educational researchers.” (Edwards & Brunton)

15 Staff Development

16 For too many teachers….staff development is a demeaning mind- numbing experience as they passively ‘sit and get’. That staff development is often (prescriptive) in nature….and evaluated by ‘happiness scales’. Sparks 2004

17 Tragically, however, many come with a convincing feeling that what is inside them is not valid because it is ‘only personal’ to them. Somewhere along the line, many have learnt to seek the ‘expert’ outside but deny that there may be a potential ‘expert within’. Dadds 1997

18 Vision & Mission = Antidote

19 Moral Visionary Profession “…making teaching into a moral, visionary profession once more where teachers know and care about their world as well as and as part of their work. It means teachers recapturing their status and dignity as some of society’s leading intellectuals, and not being the mere technicians, instruments and deliverers of other people’s agendas……….. Those who focus only on teaching techniques and curriculum standards and who do not also engage teachers in the greater social and moral questions of their time, promote a diminished view of teaching and teacher professionalism that has no place in a sophisticated knowledge society.” Hargreaves A. Teaching in the Knowledge Society2003

20 GTCNI Approach Reflective & Activist Teacher Knowledge & Competence Mission & Purpose Sense of Professional Autonomy Values & Attributes

21 Reflective & Activist Professional 1. concerned with the purposes and consequences of education, as well as what might be called technical proficiency; prepared to experiment with the unfamiliar and learn from their experiences; have an approach characterised by open- mindedness and wholeheartedness;

22 Reflective & Activist Professional 2. committed to professional dialogue in school and beyond; have working patterns characterised by a process of action, evaluation and revision; and assume, as life-long learners, responsibility for their ongoing professional development

23 Standards? Exemplifications of Competences

24 Competences The Council takes the view that the notion of competences goes well beyond the simple acquisition of skills and that, although curricular knowledge and pedagogical skills are important, teaching is both an intellectual and practical activity with important emotional and creative dimensions. Essentially, teachers, while reflecting on and evaluating their professional context, use acquired professional judgement to select the most appropriate options from a repertoire of teaching strategies, and in the process of teaching refine and add to their professional knowledge.

25 Hayes,D. Opportunities and Obstacles in the Competencey-Based Training of Primary Teachers in England. Harvard Educational Review Vol 69 Number 1 1999 If competence (standard) statements are used as a basis for informed discussion and reflection upon classroom practice between tutors, students, and classroom teachers, they will fulfil an important function. If they are used mechanically within an inflexible assessment regime framework, it is likely that the preparation of teachers…. will become miserably rigid, unsympathetic towards the realities and rigors of classroom life, and at worst, an impediment to creative and innovative teaching.

26 Dimensions of Development 1 greater complexity in teaching e.g. in handling mixed-ability classes, reluctant learners, classes marked by significant diversity, or inter-disciplinary work; the deployment of a wider range of teaching strategies; the ability to adduce evidence of one’s effectiveness; basing teaching on a wider range of evidence, reading and research;

27 Dimensions of Development 2 extending impact beyond the classroom- fuller participation in the life of the school; the capacity to exercise autonomy, to innovate, to improvise; and a pronounced capacity for self-criticism and self- improvement; the ability to impact on colleagues through mentoring and coaching, modelling good practice, contributing to the literature on teaching and learning and the public discussion of professional issues, leading staff development, all based on the capacity to theorise about policy and practice

28 Final Thoughts

29 Professionals exhibit but also inspire confidence! We trust in their: –Competence –Commitment –Conduct –Judgement All Underpinned by GTCNI Competence Document

30 “ Teachers with high self-esteem know how to value both themselves and others……... This basic sense of self-worth is internalised, deeply imbedded, so it is not easily susceptible to any gross distortion by life events, however calamitous…” Day et al 1998 Equally such teachers are better placed to resist the pressures of the ‘old guard’, the blandishments of political ‘short-termists’ and the stresses of the paradox that is teaching.

31 Competences as a BULWARK YOUR TASK IS TO: Define the Mission Reinforce the Vision Bolster self confidence Build Communities of Practice Initiate & sustain the ‘conversation’ BE LEADERS

32 Competences offer: A statement of moral purpose or mission; An understanding of what competence might look like----mediated via context; and The basis for self evaluation and whole staff / individual development via SDP and PRSD

33 Price of Failure “ …do their job, nothing more nothing less, aided in this by codified rules, timetables and lesson plans. The restrictiveness of their (assigned) texts and regulations serves them to adhere to their minimalist assiduity….the sacred fire which once lit their work gradually dies to a smoulder.” » Hamon & Rotman


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