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Quality Teaching

Quality Teaching An Article providing you with food for thought about what it means to be an effective and improving teacher.

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Quality Teaching CPD
That's Quality!
In the fickle, emergent vernacular of teenagers, "Quality" means (or maybe once meant) "the best, superior, amazing, very good". It's used to make genuine statements about excellence as well as (being teenagers) to comment ironically or sarcastically upon comical situations in which they find themselves, for example, "That's a quality mullet." referring to the once fashionable hairstyle.

The Meaning of Quality
Quality in teaching and learning too is a useful description of 'the best, superior, amazing, very good' but may also become divisive in the same way as 'outstanding'. The way 'quality' is used in business can be more helpful: instead of meaning 'the best', a quality product or service is one that is 'fit for purpose'; one that meets or exceeds its design requirements. It does what it's meant to do. This means that a cheap, disposable pen is a quality item if what you need is a cheap disposable pen. However it wouldn't be if you needed a gold plated fountain pen. It's a subtle but very significant difference which challenges our thinking about what the most effective teaching might be.

Quality Teaching
Using the business definition of quality within education means that quality teaching is teaching that is fit for purpose. It does what it's supposed to do. It's not about superiority or excellence, it's about appropriateness. It means creating the right experiences for your pupils so that they learn what they are supposed to. Of course, there are a lot of variables here, not least an agreement on the purpose for which teaching needs to be fit, but this way of looking at quality helps teachers to focus on doing what they do better as well as meeting the external standards that drive their professional development.

Quality Teaching in Practice
It is down to purpose: Why are we educating our pupils? As term begins again for some of us, this is a valuable thought with which to meet our new classes. Are we preparing them to pass exams? To be creative, moral citizens? To develop the skills to help push the human race forwards? To get to university? To raise families well? Or some other purpose or combination of purposes? Once we've got this a little clearer then it's a whole lot easier to create lessons that are fit for that purpose.

The quality folks with whom I work have a very clear sense of purpose for their work in education. Yet they are also keenly aware of the professional standards to which they must adhere and aspire. Their trick seems to be using one to move towards the other: their driving passion and purpose, lived out, automatically sees them producing lessons that are graded highly.

If you do clarify one thing this year, why not make it your sense of purpose as you step into school each day. That would be mint.

Related Resources:

Effective Teaching 1 - Introduction

Effective Teaching; Teacher Effects



Ofsted and Outstanding

Outstanding Lesson Design

What is Outstanding Teaching?


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