As East Sussex transitions to SCITT and NQT provision centred on Teaching School Alliances, it is timely to reflect on how teachers become more effective. Sam Twiselton’s article (Impact: Issue 3, Summer 2018) presents a useful insight into the features that all professional development should consider.
Twiselton identifies three categories of student teacher, and I think this would apply equally well beyond ITT:
1. Those that focus on task completion.
2. Those who conceive of themselves as delivering the curriculum.
3. Those who give their attention to the development of skills and concepts.
She proposes that the first two categories reflect a belief that learning is a product delivery process, thereby minimising or even eliminating the necessity of presenting learning as a holistic experience.
With this in mind, Twiselton proposes that the mentor functions to broaden the concept of what learning is, principally be linking it to wider environments and contexts. She argues that observation and feedback alone ‘are often inadequate’ (pp. 76),presumably because that often focuses on the classroom as though abstracted from wider professional understanding.
Moving to a more holistic appreciation of professional learning links well with the feature by Vicky Randell in the same edition. Her Professional Knowledge Model provides a succinct and yet well-rounded framework for assessing the depth and breadth of professional learning. You can follow her @VicksRandall82
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