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He does a Tony Blair. Remember: “A day like today is not a day for soundbites, we can leave those at home, but I feel the hand of history upon our shoulder with respect to this, I really do.”
Wood’s version is: “..neither naming nor shaming … will make sustainable improvements….the small number of teacher dinosaurs who believe that once qualified, their professional learning is complete, need to change or go.”
It gets worse: “…it offers professional teachers the opportunity to deliver their own improvements by working collectively. This fits neatly with the mind-set of Scotland's young teachers who are open to dialogue and self-evaluation.”
So in Wood’s world, there are “professional teachers” (young) and “teacher dinosaurs” (old). This is ageist, deeply insulting to the majority of teachers who are not “young”, closed-minded and lacking in evidence.
CheesyWotsitsBut he's right. In any other profession, anyone not taking part in professional development would be shown the door. Why should it be different with teachers?
It's not! Since 2001 and the 21stC Agreement, all teachers have had a contractual obligation to undertake CPD. Hence any teacher who refused to undertake CPD would be in breach of contract and liable to disciplinary action, up to and inclusing dismissal.
Why has this NOT happened? (Yet)
1. Many, may teachers are not properly reviewed annually, as they should be.
2. The quality of much CPD offered by employers is dire.
Hence, any teacher who wilfully refused to undertake CPD would find it very easy to beat the rap. This may change when re-accreditation (wash my mouth out, "professional update") gets underway
nittygrittyTo clarify, my point is that Wood should not have prefixed the quote above with the word “young”.
I agree, his choice of words is clumsy but, in his defence I think he is simply stating a truth which has developed as a result of the Probation scheme in the past decade. Teachers who have come into the profession since that time ( regardless of age) are entirely (OK MOSTLY ) comfortable with being observed regularly and observing others. Teachers who have been in the job since before that time are less accustumed to it.
His choice of words here is equally unfortunate ... "Firstly, the small
number of teacher dinosaurs who believe that once qualified, their
professional learning is complete, need to change or go." The usual negative focus from someone who has not seen a classroom as a working teacher, for a very long time.
However, he's on the money here ... "Secondly, government (national and local) should set broad strategic
directions for education but end the micro-management habit."
CheesyWotsits teachers who refuse to continue with their professional development
What exactly is meant by professional development? What do you mean by it?
Does it mean jumping on the back of the biggest bandwagon and hitching a lift to Promotionville?
Does it mean attending, dutifully every LA run course available while you switch off mentally and think about the holidays/food/sex/all 3 at once?
Does it mean responding to, and acting upon each new, often school led, initiative?
Discussing issues on here, reading books about child psychology, teaching yourself how to change your car's spark plugs, going to a dance class, learning to surf . . . do they count? Potentially all those activities would teach you some kind of transferable skills suitable for the classroom . . . . .even if it's just patience
Unless we define very clearly what is meant by professional development then we can't prove that someone is refusing to undertake it. Imo if you are involved in the process of teaching then you are involved in the process of learning, and now a days, when it's all about educating the whole child (life skills, skills for work etc), anything you learn (just about) will be of value in the classroom.
Eeek! It took me so long to write my post, 3 other posters posted before I had finished.
Perhaps a wee typing skills course could count as my CPD? I doubt it though, because it never seems to be about what the teacher wants and, perhaps, needs, it's about what is free/cheap and on offer by the LA (under the direction of the SG), so I'll take my pick from courses on CfE, Co-operative Learning, AiFL etc.
nittygrittyTo clarify, my point is that Wood should not have prefixed the quote above with the word “young”. The implication is that older teachers are not “open to dialogue and self-evaluation”
This is nonsense and offensive to the majority of teachers.
kiboshWhat exactly is meant by professional development? What do you mean by it?
nittygrittyWood: "This fits neatly with the mind-set of Scotland's young teachers who are open to dialogue and self-evaluation." Was there a need to include the word "young" into the sentence? That (again) is my point.
nittygrittyMr Implication got in before you! Oh, and did I infer I was male?
CheesyWotsitsnittygrittyWood: "This fits neatly with the mind-set of Scotland's young teachers who are open to dialogue and self-evaluation." Was there a need to include the word "young" into the sentence? That (again) is my point.
He just said it fits with their mindset. Perhaps because he knows that the younger teachers have undergone training that has had more of a focus on self-evaluation and improvement than older teachers. Maybe it's based on observations he has made over the years in his various posts from teacher to PT, to Depute to HT. Because he didn't qualify the statement, he left it open to interpretation, which was either deliberate (to provoke a reaction like yours) or not. Maybe he genuinely felt his opinion needed no qualification. The only one that knows is the author. Your implication is a valid implication, but that doesn't mean to say it is correct - more information is needed - which is MY point.
airyThere is a confusion between age and how recently a teacher has trained. A better sentence might have talked about the mind set of the majority of teachers who are open to dialogue and self-evaluation.
The inclusion of "young" clearly implies that old teachers have a different mind set.
I am fed up reading about these super new methods that we should be using. It is sounding like a witchhunt where the only way to teach is the one prescribed by individuals who seek power. By saying theirs is the way ahead for all, the illusion created is that anyone who does not subscribe to their methods is wrong. Lets take group work. It works sometimes (depending on the expectations...), however I (yes just my own personal view) am not enamoured about the supposed benefits. Am I allowed to offer dissent against the wisdom that dominates? Peer assessment? Too many variables to suggest it is an efficacious use of time. Am I allowed to say that?
I am a teacher it is my natural instinct to review what I do and find better ways to deliver lessons. CPD is not something which should be forced on teachers, we all should be doing it. Listening to people suggesting that this is a way to judge teachers irritates me. There are more obvious ways.
The success of this approach requires two things. Firstly, the small number of teacher dinosaurs who believe that once qualified, their professional learning is complete, need to change or go."
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