Interpreting Teacher Practice: Two Continuing Stories (Practitioner Inquiry Series)

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To experience educational publications in this way, however, you must think of the authors as your collaborators as well as general authorities. There are several strategies for developing this attitude, but to keep the discussion focused, we will look at just two. We have already discussed the first strategy, which is to understand the purposes of any particular piece of research which you encounter, in order to assess its current usefulness to your daily work and your long-term professional goals.

We have already indicated several general purposes of educational research publications, but we will go into more detail about this in the next section. The second strategy for relating to authors as collaborators is to think about how you yourself might contribute to professional knowledge by engaging in research of your own, even as a classroom teacher—an activity often called action research Mills, ; Stringer, At the end of this chapter we discuss what action research involves, and how you might consider using it.

Authors of professional articles and books also make assumptions about their readers, and it helps to be aware of these while you read. One assumption is about the response which an author expects from you, the reader: does he or she expect you actually to do something new, or simply to consider doing something new?

Or does the author just want you to be aware of a new idea? Consider, for example, an article reviewing best practices about inclusion of students with special needs. The author may imply, or even urge you to take a moral position: you should include these students, the author may seem to say. But in a different article—one recommending particular teaching practices—the author may merely ask you to think about alternatives to your normal ways of teaching. Certain strategies worked under certain teaching conditions, the author says, so simply consider whether they might work for you as well.

A second, less obvious difference among professional publications is in their un-stated assumptions about prior experiences and attitudes of readers. This assumption may be either helpful or frustrating, depending on you actual prior background. On the other hand, a professional publication may assume that you have taught school for a number of years already, or that you are at least familiar with classroom life from the point of view not of students, but of a teacher.

If you yourself are experienced at actual teaching, reading about withitness may trigger a lot of questions about just how withit teachers are able to be in practice, and about whether in fact they always need to be withit. You can also ask yourself these questions even if you have not yet been a teacher yourself, of course, but they may seem less immediate or urgent. A professional article intended to advocate for a particular educational policy or practice may make very different assumptions about you as a reader.

It may assume, for example, that you do in fact enjoy persuading others of your point of view, even when others initially disagree or react indifferently. This sort of assumption may show up as much in what the writing omits, as in what it includes: if the term cooperative learning activity is used without explanation, for example, the researcher may be assuming not only that you are the sort of person— perhaps a teacher—who knows what that term means already, but also that you already believe in the value of cooperative learning and are motivated to explain its value to others.

In making these distinctions among published articles, keep in mind a point we made at the outset: that an individual article usually serves more than one purpose at a time and makes more than one assumption about your prior knowledge and about how you are supposed to respond to the article. The differences are only about emphasis. To illustrate these ideas about the purposes and effects of research, look in the next section at three examples of actual published articles relevant to education. The studies are not a full cross-section of educational research or publications, but they do suggest some of the variety possible and necessary among them.

Each example serves a mixture of purposes, but also emphasizes one purpose in particular perspective-taking, teaching recommendations, or advocacy described earlier. The authors of each example also make particular assumptions about you, the reader—about the intellectual work which the authors expect you to do and about the motivations which they assume you have or hope that you will acquire. For each example, we describe the reactions of one of us Kelvin Seifert as he read the article.

In , Herbert Saltzstein and several colleagues published a research-oriented article about how children acquire moral beliefs Saltzstein, et al. The group of researchers were all graduate students and professors of psychology, working mostly at the City University of New York.

When Kelvin read of their affiliation with psychology, he suspected that they would talk about moral beliefs in general, and not necessarily about moral issues in classrooms, such as cheating or treating classmates with care and respect. Still, the article interested Kelvin as a former teacher and current university professor, because he had long been concerned with fostering qualities like integrity, honesty, cooperation, and loyalty in students.

If Kelvin could find out about the mechanism or process by which children acquire mature moral beliefs, he reasoned, maybe he could modify his teaching to take advantage of that knowledge. So Kelvin began reading the article. He discovered some parts were challenging and required careful reflection, whereas others were easier to read. One of the most challenging passages came almost immediately, in the second and third paragraphs; these paragraphs, it seemed, required a bit of prior knowledge about theories of moral development.

But Kelvin was willing to concentrate more fully on these paragraphs, because he expected that they might clarify the rest of the study. The introduction continued in this challenging style for about two pages, requiring Kelvin to read slowly and carefully in order to understand its points. Kelvin was not discouraged from continuing, though, because he wanted to find out more about how, in general, children acquire moral beliefs.

In this case, then maybe Kelvin owed it to his students to adopt and express desirable moral attitudes myself, so as to provide a good model for their developing beliefs. In this second case, it might still be desirable for Kelvin to adopt positive moral attitudes, but not for the purpose of modeling them for students. Concerning the issue of cheating, for example, the students might already understand the undesirable nature and implications of this behavior. As a result they might not need demonstrations of honest integrity from their teacher as much as affirmations from the teacher of the importance of honesty and integrity, along with consistent enforcement of appropriate sanctions against cheating when it did occur.

So Kelvin read on. Saltzstein proposed resolving the issues about the origins of moral development by distinguishing between moral conflicts and moral dilemmas:. Saltzstein and his colleagues proposed that when young children show awareness of moral rules, they may be doing so in the simpler context of moral conflicts. A young child might believe that you should return a dollar to its owner, even if the child has trouble in practice overcoming a selfish impulse to keep the dollar. In that case two moral principles compete for attention—honesty and loyalty to a friend. To sort out the implications of choosing between these principles, a young child might need to rely on older, wiser minds, such as parents or other adults.

The minute that he or she does so, the child is showing the moral heteronomy that Piaget used to write about and that Saltzstein referred to early in the article. Understanding these ideas took effort, but once Kelvin began figuring them out, the rest of the article was easier to follow. In reading the remaining pages, he noted in passing that the researchers used several techniques common in educational research. They also imposed controls on their procedures and on the selection of participants.

The selection of participants was controlled by selecting two age groups for deliberate comparison with each other—one that was seven years old and the other that was eleven. Since the researchers wanted to generalize about moral development as much as possible, but they obviously could not interview every child in the world, they sampled participants: they selected a manageable number sixty-five, to be exact from the larger student population of one particular school.

In a second part of the investigation, they also selected a comparable number of children of the same two ages 7 and 11 from the city of Recife, located in Brazil. Kelvin recognized this research strategy as an example of using control groups. What did Saltzstein and his colleagues find out—or more to the point, what did Kelvin Seifert learn from what Saltzstein and his colleagues wrote about? There were three ideas that occurred to Kelvin. But it was rare for all children to support any one moral principle completely; they usually supported a mix.

Age, it seemed, did not affect the beliefs that children stated; younger and older children took similar positions on all dilemmas initially. But age did affect how steadfastly children held to initial beliefs. Saltzstein found that even though older children the year-olds showed more moral autonomy were more steadfast than younger children, they tended to believe that adults thought about moral issues in ways similar to children who were younger. Yet the year-olds also more often stated a belief that adults would resolve the same dilemma in a way characteristic of 7- year-olds—that is, by telling the truth to peers and thus betraying loyalty to a friend.

This finding puzzled Kelvin. Why should older, and presumably more insightful, children think that adults are more like younger children than like themselves? Saltzstein suggested an interpretation, however, that helped him make sense of the apparent inconsistency:. The article by Saltzstein offered a way to understand how children develop moral beliefs, and especially to understand the change from moral heteronomy to moral autonomy. Providing a framework for understanding, you recall, is one of the major purposes of many professional publications.

But note that the authors paid a price for emphasizing this purpose. By organizing their work around existing general theory and research, they had to assume that readers already had some knowledge of that theory and research. But assuming such knowledge can be an obstacle if the authors intend to communicate with non-psychologists: in that case, either the authors must make more of an effort to explain the relevant background research, or readers must educate themselves about the research. In conducting and reporting their research, Saltzstein and his colleagues were not presenting themselves as school teachers, nor were they expecting readers necessarily to respond as teachers.

Observation of children was their purpose, not intervention. But this comment was not the primary focus of their research, nor did the authors discuss what if anything it might imply about teaching in the United States. Yet the non-teaching perspective of the article did not keep Kelvin, a long-time school teacher and current university teacher, from reflecting on the article in terms of its educational relevance. As we mentioned already, Kelvin was attracted to the article because of his own concerns about character development in students—how do they acquire moral beliefs and commitments, and how should he help them in doing so?

He did hope to find an answer to the first, although even here he also expected that to make allowances for the fact that research interviews are not usually identical to classroom situations. Children might respond differently when interviewed individually by a researcher, compared to how they might respond to a teacher in class. Or perhaps not. But in spite of these cautions—or maybe because of them—Kelvin found much food for thought in the article related to teaching. He expected the article to document additional problems with labeling when a student is from a non-white ethnic group.

Here is how the study began:. His expectation proved correct as the authors explained their point of view, which they called a cultural approach to understanding disability. Using learning disabilities LD as an example, here is how they explained their position:. The authors continued by outlining the history of LD as a category of disability, describing this category as an outgrowth of the general intelligence testing movement during the twentieth century. By the s, they argued, the concept of LD offered a way to classify children with academic difficulties without having to call the children mentally disabled.

Because of this fact, the LD category was needed—literally—by well-off parents who did not want their children treated or educated as children with mental disabilities. LD as a concept and category came to be applied primarily to children from the white middle-class, and mental disability became, by default, the equivalent category for the non-white and poor.

To support this assertion, the authors reported a classroom observation of three non-white boys—Hector, Ricardo, and Boomer—while they worked together to design an imaginary research station in Antarctica. Citing actual transcripts of conversation while the boys worked, the authors concluded that all three boys showed intelligence and insight about the assignment, but that the teacher was only aware of the contributions of one of the boys. Boomer received considerable praise from the teacher, thanks to his speaking for the group.

Yet the teacher was never aware of these subtleties. The authors blamed her oversight not on the teacher herself, but on an educational and cultural system that leads educators to classify or typify students too quickly or easily. Here is how they put it:. In this study the authors offered a sort of backhanded framework of thinking about categories of disability; or more precisely they offered a framework for understanding what the categories are not.

An equally reasonable way to think about disabilities, they argued, is that modern society is organized so that its citizens have to be classified for many different reasons. Educators are simply helping to implement this society-wide expectation. In making this argument, the authors implied an indirect recommendation about how to teach, though the recommendation actually focused on what teachers should not do. Instead of mis identifying children with learning difficulties, the authors implied, teachers and other educators should stop concerning themselves with classifying children, and seek to reorganize classrooms and schools so that classification is less important.

It is not surprising that the article lacked concrete recommendations for teaching, given that the authors seemed to speak to readers not as classroom teachers, but as general critics of society who are concerned about fairness or social justice. Their comments made two assumptions: first, that readers will want to minimize unfair stereotypes of students, and second, that readers will seek greater fairness in how teachers treat students.

For readers who happen to be teachers themselves, the first of these assumptions is a reasonable one; most of us would indeed like to minimize unfair stereotyping of students. The second is also reasonable, but perhaps not in a way that the authors intended. Teachers probably do try their best to treat students fairly and respectfully. Their responsibilities usually mean, however, that they can only do this conveniently with their own students; the time available to work toward general social justice is often limited. As you might suspect, Kelvin was not fully satisfied after he finished reading this article!

The three specialized in curriculum studies, literacy acquisition, and bilingual language development, and were therefore motivated by a concern for the academic success of bilingual children and especially by concern for identifying why bilingual children sometimes have difficulty learning to read English. To search for this alternative, the researchers mounted a large research program, and the article published in was one of the studies resulting from this research. Instead of surveying dozens of students with a questionnaire, as researchers sometimes do, these investigators relied on just three students studied intensively.

Each student was chosen deliberately for a particular purpose. One was a highly proficient reader who was also bilingual Spanish and English ; a second was a marginally proficient reader who was bilingual Spanish and English ; and a third was a highly proficient reader who was monolingual in English. To qualify for the study, furthermore, each student had to be comfortable reflecting on and talking about their own reading processes, so that the authors could interview them at length on this topic.

The researchers asked each student to read six one-page passages in English and where relevant in Spanish. They invited all three to think aloud about their reading as they went along, commenting on how they figured out particular words or passages. The oral readings and think-aloud commentaries were taped and transcribed, and became the information on which the authors based their conclusions and recommendations.

The proficient bilingual, Pamela, used her growing knowledge of each language to help in learning vocabulary from the other language. Both Michelle and Pamela differed, however, from the less-proficient bilingual reader, Christine. Like Pamela, Christine focused on vocabulary, but she did not think of her native Spanish as a resource for this task. She did not search for equivalent words deliberately, as Pamela did.

The authors of this article focused more directly on particular learning behaviors than did the authors of the two articles described earlier. But they did not claim this recommendation to be appropriate for all children or for all forms of bilingualism. They only focused on a particular pair of languages Spanish and English in the USA , and on three combinations of skill level in these two languages. These are common bilingual experiences in the United States, but they are not the only ones, either in the United States or elsewhere in the world.

For other bilingual situations, their conclusions might not hold true. For some students e. Chinese Americans , the native language and the second language are much more different in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar than Spanish is to English, and therefore may provide less of a resource to a child learning to read. In some settings, relationships between languages are more equal than in the United States.

In Canada, for example, both the numbers and the overall social status of English speakers and French speakers are more equal than in the United States. They began their article by describing previous research studies in these areas—more than a dozen of them, in fact. In the middle they described numerous responses of the three bilingual students to the passages they were asked to read. When Kelvin read these various sections, he found that his prior knowledge of and reflections about teaching helped to make sense of them.

Each of the professional articles just described offers ideas and recommendations that can stimulate reflection about teaching and learning. In the world of educational research, persons other than teachers—typically professors, educational administrators, or other professional researchers—tend to speak on behalf of teachers. All three of the articles described earlier in this chapter had this feature. Persons other than teachers chose the research topics. The information that emerges from this arrangement often still relates to teaching and learning, and may contain useful insights for classroom work.

But by definition, it is framed by people whose interests and fundamental commitments may not be identical with classroom teachers. As a result, the studies are somewhat more likely to attend to problems posed by academic disciplines or by educational administrators. Two of the studies which we described earlier—the ones about moral development and about labels for disabilities—showed this quality. Classroom teachers are concerned, of course, about both moral development and categorizing of students. But if teachers had designed the two projects themselves, they might have re-framed both of them to focus more explicitly on the challenges of classroom teaching.

In studying moral beliefs, for example, teachers might have focused more squarely on how to foster moral beliefs in their students. Action research is not to be confused with research about teaching and learning, which are investigations by professional researchers on topics of teachers, teaching, or learning. Action research has several defining characteristics, in addition to being planned and conducted by teachers. First, it originates in the problems and dilemmas of classroom practice, or in chronic problems with certain students, materials, or activities.

Second, its outcomes offer information focused on particular teachers and classrooms, rather than about teachers in general or students in general. It is, they argue, simply more attuned to the context of real classrooms St. Clair, Action research makes a number of assumptions as a result of its nature and purposes Richardson, ; Schmuck, To varying degrees, most such studies support some combination of these ideas:. Clifford and Friesen were co-teachers in a double-sized classroom which deliberately included children from first, second and third grades.

To answer these questions, the teachers kept extensive diaries or journals for one entire school year. In the journals, they described and reflected on their daily teaching experiences. The teachers also talked with each other extensively about classroom events and their significance, and the results of the conversations often entered the journals eventually during the research. In their journal, for example, the teachers recorded an experience with students about ways of telling time.

In preliminary discussions the students became interested in how a sundial worked. So the teachers and students went outside, where they created a human sundial, using the students themselves. As the year evolved and observations accumulated and were recorded, the teachers gradually began to answer their own three questions. They also found that imaginative expression helped certain children to feel safe to explore ideas. They found that blending school-based and personal knowledge caused children to learn much more than before—although much of the additional knowledge was not part of an official curriculum.

With these conclusions in mind, and with numerous examples to support them, Clifford and Friesen published their study so that others could share what they had learned about teaching, learning, and students. The study by Clifford and Friesen is interesting in its own right, but for our purposes think for a moment about their work as an example of action research. One of its features is that it formed part of the normal course of teaching: the authors were simply more systematic about how they observed the students and recorded information about classroom events.

Another feature is that the research required conscious reflection over an extended time: their journals and conversations contained not only descriptions of events, but also interpretations of the events. A third feature is that the study involved collaboration: it was not just one teacher studying the major questions, but two.

Th fourth feature is that the teachers not only developed their results and conclusions for themselves, but also shared them with others. These four qualities make the study by Clifford and Friesen a clear example of teacher research. Note, though, that sometimes studies conducted by teachers may not show all of these features so clearly; instead they may show some of the key features, but not all of them, as in the next two examples. Since , Vivian Paley has published a series of short books documenting and interpreting her observations of young children in classrooms , , , , , Paley was interested in how young children develop or change over the long term, and in particular how the development looks from the point of view of a classroom teacher.

In one of these books, for example, she observed one child in particular, Mollie, from the time she entered nursery school just after her third birthday until after the child turned four years old Paley, Paley therefore wrote extended narrative or story-like observations about the whole range of activities of this one child, and wove in periodic brief reflections on the observations.

Because the observations took story-like form, her books read a bit like novels: themes are sometimes simply suggested by the story line, rather than stated explicitly. Using this approach, Paley demonstrated but occasionally also stated several important developmental changes. Unlike Clifford and Friesen, though, Paley worked independently, without collaboration.

If you are studying the use of space in the classroom, for example, then aesthetically organized visual depictions photos, drawings of the room may be more helpful and create more understanding than verbal descriptions. A teacher Wendy Schoener and a university researcher Polly Ulichny explored how, or even whether, teachers and university researchers could participate as equals in the study of teaching. Wendy the two used first names throughout when they published their experiences was a teacher of adults learning English as a Second Language ESL ; Polly was a specialist in multicultural education and wanted to observe a teacher who was successful at reaching the ethnically diverse students who normally study ESL.

Polly therefore asked Wendy for permission to study her teaching for an extended period of time—to visit her class, videotape it, interview her about it, and the like. In the published article, the negotiations are described separately by each participant, in order to honor the differences in their concerns and perspectives. Before, during, and after the observations, it was necessary for Polly and Wendy each to adjust expectations of what the other person could do and was willing to do.

Wendy, as a teacher, found it easier to hear criticisms of her teaching if they came from herself, rather than from the higher-status university professor, Polly. Polly therefore made sure to tell Wendy about dilemmas and problems she experienced in her own university teaching. Overall, this study qualifies as a piece of action research, though it is not fully focused on classroom teaching. For example, the teachers did collaborate and reflect on their experiences, but not all of the reflection was about teaching in classrooms. The rest was about the relationship between Wendy and Polly. The researchers did share what they learned by publishing their observations and ideas, but their published report speaks only partly to classroom teachers as such; in addition it speaks to academic researchers and educators of future teachers.

The point is simply to show how diverse studies by teachers can be and to appreciate their differences. Whatever their specific features, classroom studies by teachers hold in common the commitment to giving a voice to teachers as they reflect on problems and challenges intrinsic to classroom life. This goal can be accomplished in more than one way: through journals and other record-keeping methods, through oral discussions with colleagues, and through written reflections created either for themselves or for others concerned about teaching and learning.

Diversity among topics and methods in action research studies should not surprise us, in fact, since classrooms are themselves so diverse. Well and good, you may say. But there are also a few cautions to keep in mind, both ethical and practical. Look briefly at each of these areas. One caution is the possibility of conflict of interest between the roles of teaching and conducting action research Hammack, The two kinds of priorities may often overlap and support each other.

But situations can also occur in which action research and teaching are less compatible, and can create ethical dilemmas. The problems usually relate to one of three issues: privacy, informed consent, or freedom to participate. Each of these becomes an issue only if the results of a research project are made public, either in a journal or book, as with the examples we have given in this chapter, or simply by being described or shared outside the classroom.

Sharing, you may recall, is one of the defining features of action research. Look briefly at each of the issues. Teachers often learn information about students that the students or their families may not want publicized. Suppose, for example, you have a student with an intellectual disability in your class, and you wish to study how the student learns. But the student or his family may not want such observations publicized or even shared informally with other parents or teachers. They may feel that doing so would risk stigmatizing the student publicly. There are limits, however, to how much can be disguised without changing essential information.

The teacher could not, for example, hide the fact of the intellectual disability without compromising the point of the study; yet the intellectual disability might be unusual enough that it would effectively identify the student being studied. As an action researcher, therefore, a teacher is obliged to explain the nature of a research project clearly, either in a letter written in simple language or in a face-to-face conversation, or both.

Parents and students need to give clear indications that they actually understand what class activities or materials will constitute data that could be made public. Sometimes, in addition, it is a good idea to recheck with students or parents periodically as the project unfolds, to make sure that they still support participation. If a teacher designates an activity as part of an action research project, however, and later shares the results with them, the teacher then also becomes partly responsible for how other teachers use knowledge of the research study.

Remember: sharing results is intrinsically part of the research process. Much of the time, a simultaneous commitment to both teachers and students presents no real dilemma: what is good for the action research project may also be good for the students. But not always. Even though the group discussions might resemble a social studies lesson and in this sense be generally acceptable as a class activity, some parents or students may object because they take too much class time away from the normal curriculum topics.

Yet the research project necessitates giving it lots of discussion time in class. To respond ethically to this dilemma, therefore, the teacher may need to allow students to opt out of the discussions if they or their parents choose. She may therefore need to find ways for them to cover an alternate set of activities from the curriculum. Is action research practical? Keep in mind, though, that a major part of the effort needed for action research involves the same sort of work—observing, recording information, reflecting—that is needed for any teaching that is done well.

A better way to assess practicality may therefore be to recognize that teaching students always takes a lot of work, and to ask whether the additional thoughtfulness brought on by action research will make the teaching more successful. Looked at in this way, action research is indeed practical, though probably not equally so on every occasion. If you choose to learn about the quality of conversational exchanges between yourself and students, for example, you will need some way to record these dialogues, or at least to keep accurate, detailed notes on them.

Recording the dialogues may be practical and beneficial—or not, depending on your circumstances. On the other hand, if you choose to study how and why certain students remain on the margins of your class socially, this problem too may be practical as action research. Much depends on your circumstances—on the attention you can afford to give to your research problem while teaching, in relation to the benefits that solutions to the problems will bring students later.

In general any action research project may require certain choices about how to teach, though it should not interfere with basic instructional goals or prevent coverage of an important curriculum. The mark may be used for the duration of the accredited period, up to five years, where accredited programmes are permitted to use it on all forms of communications.

As the independent professional body which promotes and regulates the teaching profession in Scotland, we act in the public interest in all that we do and aspire to maintain and enhance standards of teaching and learning as well as actively promote teacher professionalism. To this end, we license certain marks for use by eligible institutions in order to assure the public that the institution has, through our independent quality assurance processes, either: i had its teacher professional review and development programme validated for the purposes of Professional Update; or ii had a professional learning programme accredited for the purposes of Professional Recognition.

Our Marks may only be used by eligible institutions following a successful validation or accreditation process, under licence and in accordance with the terms and conditions detailed below. These terms and conditions form an agreement between the eligible institution and us: use of the Marks signifies your acceptance of these terms. The use of the GTCS Logo is subject to our written permission and is not covered by the licence set out in these terms and conditions.

We warrant that we are authorised to grant you a licence to use the Marks in accordance with these terms and conditions. You will not do anything that might suggest that you own the Marks and you confirm that the only rights you will have in the Marks are set out in these terms and conditions.

We will take appropriate action including legal action if required where we find that our logo or materials are being used in breach of these terms and conditions or without a licence or permission. The Licence will remain in force until the date of expiry of the relevant validation or accreditation or until it is withdrawn or suspended by us in accordance with clause 6 of these terms and conditions whichever is the earlier.

In particular, you must not lead the public to believe that we have endorsed, validated or accredited you, your programmes or any parts of your operation which do not fall within the specific scope of the GTCS accreditation or validation process to which you have been subject and successful. You will provide these communications promptly to us for review. If the breach cannot be remedied or you fail to do so within such specified time, our decision to suspend or withdraw the Licence will then take immediate effect.

The notice will be deemed to have been duly received on: the second business day after posting; or, if e-mailed, on the day of sending if sent during normal business hours 9. Below is a list of accredited professional learning programmes. We aim to update this list on a regular basis as new programmes are accredited. By successfully completing one of these accredited courses, participants will automatically be awarded Professional Recognition. MSc Inclusive Education. This GTCS accredited programme, leading to GTCS Professional Recognition, is delivered through a partnership between mindfulness training providers and the University of Aberdeen, who will assess the completed portfolio.

In addition to Professional Recognition, on completion of the programme you till gain 30 Scottish Masters credit points, which could be used towards a flexible route to a Masters qualification. To complete the 4 stage process you will be required to complete:. On completion of all four stages participants will create and submit a portfolio for assessment and accreditation.

Accreditation will take place in June of each year. The Professional Recognition in Mindfulness module is a blended learning module offered in partnership with mindfulness providers in Scotland. For more information please contact Colette Savage, Programme Director: colette. Seconded teachers enhanced knowledge and understanding, skills and abilities in the areas of Literacy and Dyslexia also enable them to develop own school and cluster practice. Successful candidates are Seconded to the Service for one full day per week from September to June.

October - Teachers begin collaborative practice in the school setting, working with individual children referred to the service, with relevant staff and parents. Teachers are also asked to:. Hilary Aitken Main Trainer Hilary. Values based leadership is sweeping through Scottish education changing culture, inspiring action and enabling change as it goes.

The HTLA experience invites school leaders to focus on the cultures they create through an understanding of core values. Includes local and national seminars and a digital infrastructure to continue developing a focus on leadership. It offers graduates GTCS professional learning accreditation in values based leadership and membership of the Hunter Foundation Alumni that aspires to be the best professional learning network for school leaders in the world. More information available on the website here. The programme has been designed to build capacity within the Education Department.


  1. Concept of mathematics;
  2. Confessions of a Demon.
  3. West Greenlandic;

The introduction of a city-wide Learning to Read Programme was informed by the National Literacy Action Plan and significant research to meet the needs of the young people in Dundee. Teachers who gain professional recognition will, in addition to the training and support of the pedagogy around chosen programmes and literacy in Dundee, have a wider knowledge base from which to draw when supporting colleagues in the future. Capacity-building is a key element in the successful delivery of the Literacy Strategy. Throughout the training sessions, co-operative learning activities and discussions will be observed.

During the final training session, participants will annotate a "Simple View of Reading Chart" and answer reflective questions to show their knowledge and understanding of the teaching of reading. In addition to the requirements regarding training and practice, participants will read, critically analyse, reflect on practice and link research papers and national policy documents to the Dundee City Council Education Department Literacy Strategy. Participants will use their deep subject knowledge, enhanced curricular and pedagogic practice to lead learners and colleagues to develop the teaching of reading in their setting either as Reading Leader or member of the reading team.

Transitions between settings and across groups and classes will be improved by detailed subject knowledge and enhanced professional actions. Participants will be able to explain the rationale for effective approaches to teaching reading, making references to local and national policy and research which will lead to improvement within their own settings.

By engaging with research and policy papers participants will further develop their professional judgement and curricular knowledge in order to have a positive impact on outcomes for pupils. By engaging with all the professional actions set out in the document and completing the application form, participants will articulate their reflection on practice and provide robust evidence for Professional Update.

Our Graduate Diploma distance learning courses start in September every other year , etc. We have a long-established tradition of language teaching, both with students at the University of Dundee and via distance learning. The Graduate Diplomas aim to provide the challenge of an undergraduate curriculum in the relevant applied language.

The Master of Education MEd is designed to develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and professional values necessary to enhance professional practice and aims to build upon the competences developed throughout working life. Through a suite of postgraduate modules SCQF Level 11 , we reach out both nationally and internationally to build the capacity and expertise of professionals across all fields of Education.

All modules are delivered through online and blended learning and are supported by using online resources with optional local sessions. Particular emphasis is place on developing a strong learning community to support professionals in their studies throughout the programme. The programme is approved by GTCS. For more information please contact Kristi Herd, Masters Coordinator:. The four organisations in this partnership have responded to the national coaching initiative, promoted by the government several years ago, by developing a coaching culture in their organisations.

List of accredited programmes

This programme was developed with that purpose in mind. A key principle of this programme is a non-directive approach, which encourages individuals to find their own solutions, stretching and prompting others to take responsibility for their development, to set goals, take action and grow. Coaching is an essential part of the ongoing supportive PRD professional relationship and professional dialogue a teacher had throughout the year.

This has become increasingly important with the embedding of Professional Update and the revised GTCS Professional Standards which encourage individuals to find their own solutions, stretching and prompting others to take responsibility for their development, to set goals, take action and grow. The aim of the programme is to provide an opportunity for principal teachers and aspiring principal teachers to lead a whole school project.

Enabling them to develop a vision for change which in turn leads to improved outcomes for children and young people. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the course: it was engaging and challenging in such a genuinely supportive, positive environment- thank you. For more information about the Next Steps into Leadership programme contact Margo Cunningham, mcunningham eastlothian. The MSc Inclusive Education is designed for teachers and other education professionals who want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people. Our distinctive approach presents a reimagined future for learners and teachers, where responding to human diversity is recognised as the point, not the problem, of education.

The programme responds to the need for professionals with the capacity to respond to the increasing cultural, linguistic and developmental diversity of school communities and the pressure to achieve high academic standards for everybody, while safeguarding the inclusion of those who are vulnerable to exclusion and other forms of marginalisation. The programme offers a range of core and optional courses that cover inclusive classroom pedagogy, ways of working with other professionals to remove specific barriers to learning, as well as teacher's engagement with broader social justice issues, and acting as agents of change in their school communities.

The core content of the programme draws from the disciplines of education, sociology, psychology, disability and childhood studies to enhance knowledge and understanding of the issues related to inclusion. The experience of engaging with the MSc Inclusive Education has been a life changing one, both personally and professionally.

Studying at Moray House has provided me with a range of opportunities which have encouraged me to critically reflect on my teaching practice, engage with other teaching professionals and develop my academic writing skills. Through research and engaging with theory on a deeper level, I have enjoyed making links between theory, policy and practice; however, have also been professionally challenged by the gap between academic literature, Scottish Government policy and day-to-day practice in Scottish schools. This has largely guided my research as I have been interested in the lived experiences of teachers in Scottish education, which I explored in numerous essays and also my dissertation.

You have the choice of applying for a full or part time MSc programme or you can apply for a part time Postgraduate Certificate or a part time Postgraduate Diploma. If you choose the Postgraduate Diploma, you will also have the option of specialising in a specific pathway. You can also apply for some stand-alone courses via our Professional Learning provision. More information about the programme is available at our website. Better Movers and Thinkers BMT is an approach to learning and teaching in physical education that is designed to develop the ability of all children and young people to move and think in a more cohesive way, with an specific focus on developing, enhancing and fostering Executive Function skills within the learning process.

The BMT approach represents an evolution in physical education that incorporates pedagogical development, and innovative content, with current good practice. The Supporting Teachers' Learning in Physical Education Programme is designed to help practitioners who already have some experience in using the BMT approach, to develop their own understanding and practice.

It will also prepare them to deliver workshops and in-service courses, and help colleagues from their schools and cluster groups, to integrate the BMT approach into their on-going practice. It is designed to support colleagues in developing their understanding of aspects and models of leading in a strategic change initiative.

The course allows colleagues to reflect and evaluate the impact of their change leadership over a full school session. The course is built around one core text Leading in a Culture of Change, Fullan and also includes additional reading of professional literature and current educational policy to inform participants' rationale for leading an aspect of strategic change. The course also aims to build colleagues' awareness of key policy context around leadership of change e.

We recognise that the development of our middle leaders is vital in ensuring that our colleagues can develop their pedagogical leadership skills alongside their strategic leadership skills in preparation for roles within establishments and the creation of future headteachers. It is designed to build on an enquiring stance by ensuring that staff understand and are aware of the importance of enquiry, data and evidence in continuing to lead pedagogical and strategic change which has a positive impact on our young people.

The course is intended for teachers across all sectors in schools. Fully registered teachers can engage in this course at any stage in their career to support them in developing a deeper understanding of aspects of teaching and learning approaches. This course can be standalone or provide the basis to our Professional Learning and Leadership pathway in Fife. Skills in engaging effectively in the process of enquiry are key to the professional learning and ongoing develop of the professional practice of teachers in a range of roles within the organisation. This course, together with ongoing discussion with their line manager, aims to support participants in identifying professional learning priorities, concurrent with self-evaluation against the CLPL Standards, and the specific needs of the learners that they are currently engaging with.

The course will support participants to plan and implement an enquiring approach to addressing these needs and professional learning priorities, and to identify the impact of their learning on professional practice and on outcomes for learners. Our intention is that participants make connections from theory to practice in an ongoing, organic way as their engagement with current literature and policy, and ongoing discussion with colleagues and line managers, informs their enquiries into the impact of a specific pedagogical approach es.

Our Teacher Leadership Programme is intended for teachers across all sectors in Fife's schools. It is recommended for teachers with around three years' experience or more and it is designed to support them in developing their understanding of aspects of teacher leadership through facilitating a collaborative enquiry. The course considers the key aspects of collaborative enquiry and encourages reflection on what teacher leadership looks like on a daily basis.

The course contains an element of reading of professional literature and current educational policy to inform participants rationale for their collaborative enquiry, professional learning and continually evolving perspective. The course is designed to ensure that the focus is on developing staff confidence, awareness and ability within the specific role of teacher leadership.

It is designed to build on an qnuiring stance by ensuring that staff understand and are aware of the importance of enquiry, data and evidence in continuing to lead change which has a positive impact on our young people. The course includes a combination of activities and learning around key leadership qualities such as vision, values and aims and also the requirements for a successful collaborative enquiry as well as the opportunity to develop practical skills which will support participants in leadership roles in the future.

Improving Our Classrooms was developed to focus on classroom practitioners and support them in conducting a practitioner enquiry. It focuses explicitly on improvement through self-evaluation to identify aspects which can be changed and developed to promote improvement for learners. In Glasgow, it is recognised that the quality of learning and teaching is the key to meeting the needs of learners and this course encouraged depth of learning over an extended period of time for class teachers.

The key questions were not only 'How well are we doing? The course was originally designed for primary teachers, but as a measure of its success, it was developed and piloted this year for secondary colleagues. Next session approximately sixty secondary teachers will take part. There have already been around one hundred and eighty primary graduates.

Glasgow City Council was successful in having the primary course accredited for professional recognition and it is the intent to follow the same process for the secondary course. This will provide strong evidence for teachers' professional update. The main aim of the course is for participants to develop a firm understanding of the Nurture Group approach. Participants will be offered the opportunity to gain accreditation which is essential to work in a Glasgow Nurture Group.

Participants may:. All trainers are accredited and delivery takes the form of presentations, research, reflection and discussions. The nurture training programme has been accredited with the award of Professional Recognition in Theory and Practice of Nurture.

Accredited Professional Recognition programmes | General Teaching Council for Scotland

This course links to the standards for registration, in particular the standard for Career Long Professional Learning. The completion of the assignment is a necessary part of undertaking the course. McKerrell education. The Teaching in Nature programme supports teachers to use wild and natural places as a context for learning. The course is collaborative, participants sharing planning, successes and challenges. The course is also active — participants get outside to experience the learning tools and processes first hand.

Participants complete a simple, reflective learning log as evidence of their learning. This course was developed in by Greg Mannion of Stirling University, and has proved incredibly popular. A Teaching in Nature course comprises of two complete days, three half days and a commitment to take learners outdoors over the course of an academic session. The Lead Teacher in Outdoor Learning programme is aimed at using school grounds and local, accessible green spaces as a place to extend learning.

The course is packed with practical lesson ideas and activities, from across the curriculum. The course is collaborative, with teachers sharing planning, activities and experiences with other course participants. The process also challenges teachers to consider why they would choose to use outdoor learning, and the benefits that taking different approaches to learning brings. This course has been running since , having been developed by teachers in Scotland.

Previous participants have gone on to take the lead in outdoor learning or learning for sustainability in their setting. Lead Teacher in Outdoor Learning usually takes place over two full days and three half days across an academic session. For both courses, email gfl ltl. Highland Council Psychological Service is committed to continuing to be part of the team that delivers training in Coaching. The two-day coaching course provides the initial skills that coaching can have on aspects of professional development through providing a structure for Professional Development Reviews PDRs. In the training its use with pupils, particularly with the increased emphasis on helping pupils complete their Personal Learning Plans PLPs are highlighted.

The use of the language of coaching in classrooms will help support the delivery of the curriculum. In Highland a mentoring approach is the foundation of a range of approaches to teaching and learning and to the way our schools are led and managed. The duration of Highland Council Mentoring programme is approximately 12 months. An important part of the programme will be the dissemination of the learning.

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Participants will also be asked to submit a CPD plan showing mentoring as an area for development and evaluation against the appropriate GTCS Standard. This will be posted on to Highland Mentor Glow Group, and in conclusion of the programme a summary of the impact of their learning will submitted to authority.

The Course is delivered over 8 days. One day a month over a calendar year, each day builds on the previous; with a focus on a different aspect of emotional literacy e. The course is action learning based with a requirement to meet in learning sets between the regular taught sessions. This format gives practitioners time to work together, discuss and process new knowledge to support the development of practices in promoting positive relationships.

Park and Tew a set of skills that are essential for the development of positive relationships and personal growth in each one of us. Participants on the programme benefit from increasing their professional skills, specialist knowledge, self-confidence, self-esteem and emotional literacy, through practical experience and access to the latest research in the field. This supports their personal growth and the wider development of their professional skills and competencies.

It provides a deeper understanding of the social and emotional aspects of learning and greater levels of skill in developing emotional resilience and well-being across all pupils. It also provides a level of professional confidence in supporting children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural needs, effectively managing challenging situations, which might otherwise create distraction and disruption within the classroom and across other areas of the school.

The Lead On… Programme is a self-directed, blended learning programme that enables participants to choose their own pathway to leadership learning and development. The focus of the programme is on leading a change initiative in school, establishment or setting. Many change initiatives are embarked on every term in our schools and these require to be effectively led if they are to be successful in improving the educational experiences and contexts for our children and young people.

This programme draws on the most up to date educational research and learning in relation to leadership, team development and managing change. It is delivering excellence by supporting the process of distributive leadership within schools and across teams and also establishing an excellent process for succession planning, providing future managers and Head Teachers with key, core skills in effectively leading teams in a culture of change. The programme will assist participants to identify constructive ways to update their skills, provide access to opportunities which can address those areas identified as requiring support, help them to manage change and offer a focus on ways in which they can enhance their careers.

Participation confirms that they are maintaining the high standards required of a teacher in Highland's educational establishments. The programme builds the capacity of teachers themselves to take responsibility for their own professional development, building their pedagogical expertise, engaging with the need for change, undertaking well-thought through development and always evaluating impact in relation to improvement in the quality of children's learning.

Participants are expected to demonstrate enhanced, significant and sustained professional learning, aligned to the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning. A month programme that includes a one-week residential course held in Spain or France, to enable teachers to gain GTC Scotland Professional Recognition for their expertise in the Teaching and Learning of languages.

The courses are intended for qualified primary and secondary teachers who wish to review and reflect on their professional actions in the field of language teaching and learning. The courses are held in various locations in Spain or France and are delivered in the target language, providing teachers with the opportunity to immerse themselves into the language and culture. Should you require further information about this programme, please do not hesitate to email Roslynn Main on:.

An intensive three-week residential programme held in Spain or France to enable qualified teachers to meet the GTC Scotland standard residency requirements. The course is intended for qualified secondary teachers who have gained a qualification as a language teacher and who wish to improve competency and performance in the teaching of Spanish or French.

The course will be held in Malaga Spain or Lyon France and delivered in the target language, providing teachers with the opportunity to immerse themselves into the language and culture. Should you require further information about this programme, please do not hesitate to emmail Ros Main on:. This year has been an absolute treat and I have already recommended it to my colleagues and other teaching professionals - Taing mhor dhuibh uile [grateful to all].

I have got so much more out of it than I thought I would! Enjoyable, informative, challenging, inspiring. I feel I have changed on a personal level as a global citizen too. Thank you! This programme is designed to deepen understanding of Learning for Sustainability, specifically with a focus on enhancing practice in Education for Global Citizenship. Through in-depth training, professional reading and practitioner enquiry, by the end of the course teachers will be able to:.

For further information, please email: sally oneworldcentre. Or visit their website here. The Osiris Teaching Intervention OTI exists to create an effective professional learning programme for teachers in order to accelerate their knowledge and understanding of pedagogy and then applying it in their classroom practice, so improving outcomes for all children.

OTI uniquely works teacher by teacher and reconnects them with why they went into teaching. Through a series of learning cycles, grounded in their day to day practice, they secure development of pedagogical knowledge and understanding.

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This directly impacts on their learners in terms of outcomes and enjoyment, them in terms of longevity and efficiency in the classroom reduced stress and workload and their willingness to engage with ongoing career long professional learning. OTI is designed to focus on learning and growth of teachers from their own starting point and the context of their own school, regardless of the age of the class. The structure and content of OTI aims to:.

The design of the OTI provides iterative structured opportunities for teachers to engage with key aspects of pedagogy, plan the implementation of the change in their classrooms, and then test out and reflect on the impact of the changes. This cycle of 'plan, test through enquiry, and reflect' for teachers over the course of two terms is key to ensure that teacher learning about new approaches becomes embedded in their day-to-day practice.

There is a three module structure - engaging learners, feedback, challenge. Each module follows the same structure. Teachers will work through an iterative cycle of plan, test, and reflect in each module. There is a professional learning session, between 3. The structure of OTI ensures collaborative practice is at the core of making meaning, sharing learning from enquiry and testing out the teachers' new learning in their own classrooms as well as the reflections on the impact of these changes.

Collaboration enhances the meaning made of new learning and how this can be best applied in the context of the school and the community it serves. The processes and structure of OTI align closely with the national model for professional learning; one that focusses on teacher-as-learner and creating an environment where teacher learning leads to a deepening of their knowledge, skills and understanding.

All teachers are leaders, ranging from leading learning in the classroom to leading a large number of staff. Many professional learning opportunities are available for teachers in promoted positions, however there are a limited number of opportunities for non-promoted staff to engage in programmes which will allow them to further develop their leadership and management skills, reflect on their practice, share their experiences and give them the confidence to apply for their first promoted post.

This programme is delivered in partnership with the Local Authority and is aimed at aspiring leaders within schools who wish to develop their skills and confidence as a leader and apply for their first promoted post. To achieve Professional Recognition participants will be required to evidence the following learning outcomes The programme begins with teachers selecting from practical CPD courses as their starting point.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Teachers attend a Primary Engineer, Early Years Engineer or Secondary Engineer one-day course, baseline assess their pupils, implement in the classroom and assess impact. Teachers develop their practice over the course of a year through; research, extending their engagement with engineering and understanding of engineering as an industry and career path and identify and undertake action research. Teachers are supported throughout the programme and attend a series of twilight sessions which include lectures and seminars delivered by internationally recognised experts.

The need for STEM expertise is in demand as Government and industry look to teachers to address the skills shortage and develop the next generation of STEM professionals and technicians. For further information, please contact Lise McCaffery on or email: Lise. McCaffery primaryengineer. Through participation in the Good Food Champions programme, participants will develop a critical understanding of food and all its facets. The programme runs over an academic year incorporating twilight sessions, farm visits, in-school delivery and self-led enquiry and research. Over the duration of the course participants will explore a range of pedagogical methodologies which can be used with learners in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Three key themes and a fourth element; Pan-Thematic Outputs has been designed to bridge all three themes. Have three months in which to explore each theme following the appropriate taught day and a twilight session at the end of this three-month period which will provide an opportunity for reflection, sharing, and questions. These twilight sessions will be facilitated by partner organisations. The programme is founded on the revised Professional Standards for Career-long Professional learning and takes inspiration from a core text Professional Capital Hargreaves and Fullan, Our intention is to support participants to make the connections between research, policy and practice over the course of a school session and to recognise how their reading of substantive literature and current policy links with their enquiry findings and, ultimately to apply their new knowledge with increasing confidence.

Participants are also expected to access additional sources policy and research related to the focus of their enquiry. The programme spans, for the most part, a school session: from September — June. The two ALS sessions further emphasise the potential to benefit from collaborative working as is the norm with ALS format, the focus for discussion is chosen collaboratively within each smaller group. In preparation for each taught session, participants undertake prescribed reading and activities such as self-evaluation, reflection, journaling , and begin to identify their own enquiry focus as well as any professional literature likely to be relevant.

From January to March participants will oversee implementation of the group plan, working with colleagues to maintain their professional reading and ensure possible evidence of impact is gathered along the way. In April, the group is expected to reflect on the combination of evidence gathered and together draw conclusions about the impact. The findings from the collaborative enquiry will then form the basis of a presentation to be shared with other LLPE course participants at the May meeting and in a written report for a wider audience by the middle of June.

The programme is ideal for practitioners with language skills who have, or aspire to have, a leadership role in their school, cluster or local authority. The aim of the programme is to critically engage participants in a mix of policy, theory, strategy and classroom practice. The programme brings together presenters with a variety of expertise, working in a variety of settings and with experience of teaching a wide range of languages. The programme comprises a Summer School followed by additional options.

In the course of the programme, participants:. Places on the programme are offered at no cost to teachers working in local authority primary, secondary and special education schools, and to teacher educators at Scottish higher education institutions. The SCIS School Leadership Programme has been designed to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to school leadership in the independent sector.

The Programme is comprised of 6 core days covering a variety of topics delivered by experts in leadership in the world of education and beyond. The LDP outlines the practical application of in-school tasks and is informed by relevant literature. Allied to this, participants have the opportunity for the on-going sharing of ideas and useful articles via an online platform.


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Finally, the Programme allows participants the opportunity for networking and professional dialogue with colleagues from different schools with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The Programme is assessed by means of a presentation. The presentation provides the opportunity for participants to demonstrably analyse the impact of the Programme on their role as a leader.

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The presentation provides an opportunity for synthesis with the many facets of the Programme including the LDP, self-evaluation, professional actions and professional reading. The course is thoroughly reviewed at the beginning of the session and an evaluation is carried out at the end to ensure continued relevance to the changing national and local educational landscapes. The programme matches teachers with a special place near their school and the people who know and love it e. Over the course of the programme, participants work collaboratively on site, online and in person to develop pupil visits that make the best use of their place and meet their learning intentions for their pupils.

They integrate at least two visits to their special place with other indoor and outdoor class work, building outdoor learning into the way that they work across the Curriculum as appropriate. Participants reflect on their professional journey with reference to related research on place-based learning and the GTC Scotland Standards. They collaborate with fellow participants and site staff to overcome challenges, share experiences, and extend their comfort zone. The programme can take an academic year or longer and participants are expected to complete a Learning Log, which is submitted at various stages.

The programme has been running since and is based on research carried out in I think this project has made me realise that Outdoor learning has much more scope than this and that any curricular area can be covered outdoors. The children managed to co-operate much more outdoors and work together. In the future I will make sure I incorporate Outdoor Learning into my termly plans.