How can Managers, including the leaders of: teaching teams; subjects; courses; or programmes, improve the teaching of their team?
School Effectiveness research and School Improvement research, have shown that teachers have three times the effect on achievement as their managers, or any other whole college factor. Professor Hattie’s research confirms this. So if achievement is to improve, teaching must change. And only teachers can change teaching. How can you get your team of teachers to get out of their ‘comfort zone’ and experiment?… By experimenting yourself, then talking with your teachers about this, then suggesting they do the same. In otherwords… by leadership!
But experimenting in what direction? Professor Hattie’s research which synthesises what we know about what works and how well has shown us that development should be targetted at active learning, and at feedback.
Research is emphatic that only teachers experimenting and talking about their experiments can bring about improvement in teaching and learning, download this article which summarises a review of research. Visit the Suppported Experiments page to see how you can encourage experimentation in your team targetted at active learning and feedback. Visit the Active Learning Page to find some methods to experiment with.
The student activity in a lesson has a great effect on learning, so it’s worth getting this right. Why not create an ‘Active Schemes of Work’? This involves the teaching team talking about and agreeing the active methods that work best for each topic or sub-topic on their Scheme. The Active Scheme of work can be greatly improved by the team doing supported experiments and putting those that work on the Active Scheme. (See Active Scheme of Work page)
If teaching is to improve, and if your team is going to support each other while they experiment you are going to have to make time to discuss learning and teaching in meetings, and encourage the team to learn from each other. Download some strategies here. Download Leicesterways here.
How do you encourage change and development? ‘Making it Happen’ is a well tried strategy that has worked in a number of colleges, it might work for you too. The idea is that we need to get your team experimenting, we need to recognise and value these experiments, we need to learn from each other’s experiments, and we need to embed the experiments that work.
- Download Making it Happen cycle here
- Download Making it Happen 1 here
- Download Making it Happen 2 here
- Download Making it Happen 3 here
A limit to the rate of improvement a manager can expect is set by the teaching load you can download a paper about this here.
Advanced Practitioners: Over three annual conferences about 150 advanced practitioners/teaching mentors have shared the strategy that worked best in their institution to improve teaching. Download their collective wisdom here.