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Magazine Issue 35: Professional Learning
May 2013

This month a quick look at Professional Learning

Article: Professional Learning
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Professional Learning

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Professional Learning An Article suggesting we need an enhanced approach to CPD - one we've already been offering to our pupils for many years.

He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger. Confucius

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Professional Development, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: CPD Personalised Learning Learning Styles
A Good Lunch
Nothing has promised so much and has been so frustratingly wasteful as thousands of workshops and conferences that led to no significant change in practice when teachers returned to the classrooms. Michael Fullan, 2000

I recently asked an audience of 70 educators if they'd ever been on a good course. Most raised their hands. I then asked if their practice had been significantly and lastingly improved because of the course. Two people raised their hands. Finally I asked if the course had provided one or more of: a good lunch, a chance to learn in a relaxed way, a chance to talk to colleagues from different schools and an opportunity to explore the local shops. Most hands back up.

I agree with Fullan, but we shouldn't devalue courses, conferences and workshops. We must use his findings to get greater value from them. Joyce and Showers (1996) point the way. They suggest that classroom practice is more likely to change when coaching and mentoring are used to embed ideas learned outside school.

Professional Learning Profile (PLP)
But is a good course combined with an effective coach right for every teacher? We've worked hard over the last 15 years to develop personalised learning for pupils. Have we applied the same principles to ourselves and to our continuing professional learning?

We build in task choice for pupils in class. What might ours be during training? Here are some options. How would you arrange them, and in what order and quantity, to suit your individual learning style:

  1. Research the theory
  2. Research the practice 
  3. Plan with a colleague
  4. Watch someone else
  5. Copy someone else
  6. Plan and self-reflect
  7. Coaching by a peer
  8. Coaching by an expert
  9. Realtime feedback (team teach)
  10. Realtime feedback (earpiece)
  11. Teach someone else
  12. Adapt original idea

For example, you may wish to reduce off-task behaviour at the start of your lessons and you are the type of learner who prefers a combination of 1, 2, 6 and 9: First you find out about pupil motivation and engagement, you then seek out effective practice, followed by trying out some ideas and self-evaluating. When you feel you've cracked it, you ask a colleague to come in and take a look. It could be less effective to make you watch someone else and insist on realtime coaching. This is not your preferred style.

How not If
The vast majority of folks with whom I work define themselves as learners as well as teachers. Whether they are going to learn and grow in their role is not an issue. How they are going to do it is. That's why it's important to build in CPD time to establish not only what needs to be learned, but how each individual can best learn it. This can even be extended by combining every profile into a school PLP. Although it won't play to any individual's exact preferences, an average profile will reveal the professional learning opportunities that are most likely to work with most people.

Hmm, maybe I should run a course on that....

New Resources:

Progress Diamond Thinking

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Progress Diamond Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool providing 6 ways to think about subject-based text. Individual, group or paired task to deepen subject understanding.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Analysis Bloom's Taxonomy Collaboration Progress
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Progress Diamond Powerpoint

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Progress Diamond Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, providing editable templates and subject examples for Diamond Progress.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Analysis Bloom's Taxonomy Collaboration Progress
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Literacy Think Sheet - Speaking & Listening

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Literacy Think Sheet - Speaking & Listening A Think Sheet offering visual prompts to support quality conversations.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Speaking & Listening Conversation Discussion
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Mike's Books:

Mike's long standing collaboration with Dr Branton Shearer offering practical classroom and school leadership tools.

Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers
by Mike Fleetham & Branton Shearer

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Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers <br> by Mike Fleetham & Branton Shearer A Book, Creating Extra-Ordinary Teachers: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom and Beyond, that was co-authored by Dr Branton Shearer. It demonstrates how to use MI to enrich teaching and leadership, and how to inspire others to do the same. It'll give you a useful edge in your role as coach or innovative teacher. Includes a free online MI profile and development activities.

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Leadership, Educators

Tags:

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Professional Self-Assessment

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Professional Self-Assessment An Article which sets out why we need to work in pairs or triads when we are developing our professional skills.
 
To doubt everything, or, to believe everything, are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
Henri Poincare

We cannot observe external things without some degree of Thought; nor can we reflect upon our Thoughts, without being influenced…by the Things which we have observed.
William Whewell

What is self-assessment? What are its strengths and dangers? Why do it? How can it work?

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Professional Development, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: CPD Coaching

 

Coaching

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Coaching An Article about educational coaching looking at its definition, guidelines, purpose and strategy.

All coaching is, is taking a player where he can't take himself.
Bill McCartney

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Professional Development, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Coaching CPD

 

Literacy Think Sheet - Adjectives

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Literacy Think Sheet - Adjectives A Think Sheet applying Thinking Classroom ideas to increase the understanding and use of adjectives.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, English, Junior

Tags: Adjectives
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Literacy Think Sheet - Grammar

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Literacy Think Sheet - Grammar A Think Sheet offering a more creative twist on KS2 Grammar.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, English, Junior

Tags: Grammar Assessment

 

Literacy Think Sheet - Authors

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Literacy Think Sheet - Authors A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for learning about children’s authors and their stories.

Categories: Think Sheet, English, Junior, Thinking Skills

Tags: Literature Story
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Books:

Contemporary Theories of Learning

Contemporary Theories of Learning Get really stuck in to the nuts, bolts, bones and essence of what learning is with 16 great thought leaders.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Professional Development, Learning Styles

Tags: Research Thought Leader


Websites:

Intro to Adult Learning Styles

Intro to Adult Learning Styles An excellent introduction to adult learning styles from John T. Beaver on the slideshare website.

slideshare.net/jtbeaver/adult-learning-styles-master

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Professional Development, Learning Styles

Tags: CPD



Next month we think about..Knowledge vs Creativity