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Many people wrongly think that Ofsted has a preferred style of teaching.
The Ofsted Annual Report 2012/13 looks at some common misconceptions about what makes for good teaching:
Some believe that the faster the lesson, the better the learning. While pace is important – pupils may lose concentration in a slow lesson – teachers can sometimes concentrate too often on the pace of the activity rather than the amount of learning.
Some teachers think that the more activities they cram into the lesson, the more effective it will be. This is often counterproductive, as activities are changed so often that pupils do not complete tasks and learning is not consolidated or extended.
Excessively detailed and bureaucratic lesson plans can cause teachers to lose sight of the central focus on pupils’ learning.
Some school policies insist that all lesson plans should always follow the same structure, no matter what is being taught. The key consideration should be the development of pupils’ learning rather than sticking rigidly to a format.
In many lessons, much time is spent by teachers getting pupils to articulate their learning before they’ve completed enough work. Ofsted inspectors have observed lessons where pupils were asked to self or peer assess work before they had been able to complete a sentence or two.
Ofsted’s ‘Moving English Forward’ report took a thorough look at teaching methods and misconceptions based on three years of observations.
The Ofsted Annual Report for Schools 2012/13 takes a look at the state of teaching across England, and highlights what is going well and where there is room for improvement.
There are also eight regional reports, so you can see exactly how your area is performing.
You can also read the full report commentary from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.
What do you think makes good teaching? Let us know in the comments.
It would be really sweet if every inspector were acquainted with this and if other myths were dispelled.
It'd be really good if training providers were told this too. I have to plan for 3+ activities in 1 hour lessons (10/15 min each). I don't feel this allows for any in depth learning, even practicals I have to fit into this time (some really can't be done safety/properly in this time).
We'll be looking to post some more 'mythbusters' soon.
This sort of advice is desperately needed.
OFSTED you to clarify how 30 students can all individually demonstrate progress in 20 minutes. Personally, I feel that unless you have twisted your lesson to a specific and unsustainable style, it's simply not possible. In other words, it's possible to do, but if OFSTED are genuinely wanting to see teachers teaching in their normal style, they'll only see this very rarely.
Isn't the progress in 20 minutes one of the myths, dreamt up by someone who thought that because the minimum length for an observation would 20 minutes that authomatically meant that there had to be progress?
Latest guidance to school inspectors reiterates the point that Ofsted does not favour a particular teaching style. For more clarity see par 64 in the subsidiary guidance document: www.ofsted.gov.uk/.../subsidiary-guidance-supporting-inspection-of-maintained-schools-and-academies
In my experience, is usually the senior leadership team of a school who insist that lessons follow a specific format and that planning is done in a certain way.
Apologies for there being no paragraph breaks in my post above, but this part of the web site simply ignores them! I have tried to edit them in several times.
I had a look at the annual report you refer to on your website, but couldn’t get past the opening comments from Wilshaw.
“The 'battle against mediocrity' is slowly being won but major barriers continue to prevent England’s education system from competing with the best in the world, the Chief Inspector of Ofsted said today.”
I felt I was reading the Mail or Express. We are “mediocre”! That is the first utterance I come across from your report! Pretty good soundbite for the ambitious politicians don’t you think? Very useful for running around crying “Education is rubbish. Vote for me and I will make it better.”!
I think I can rest my case, don’t you?
After, after thought.
You are still battling against mediocrity!?? Can I enquire what you have been up to over the last umpteen years? By your own admission, making slow progress. Is that a “satisfactory” or a “good”?
In my school's inspection earlier this year it seemed like the inspector who observed me had a preference for a particular teaching style which led her to ask overly specific questions in terms of differentiation. ie. Does your teacher ever ask you to start a different question to everyone else?
It seems to me that the inspectors need to be reminded of not have a preference in terms of teaching style.
I have been hunting through the Ofsted website to find guidance on trainee teachers. During an inspection should the normal classroom teacher take over the teaching of that class? We are about to have a Quality Assurance Review and my HoD thinks we should take all teaching away from our PGCE student during this time, which strikes me as very wrong.
I think good teaching is someone who challenges the students, stretching their thinking. Someone who knows their class well enough to ask the right questions of the appropriate students. I've recently been on an outstanding teaching programme course and it seemed to me that nobody knows what an outstanding lesson looks like any more. I have found this for interesting reading though: www.ofsted.gov.uk/.../generic-grade-descriptors-and-supplementary-subject-specific-guidance-for-inspectors-making-judgemen