I recently took up a new position with Junior Cycle for Teachers as Team Leader in the North East of Ireland for Whole-school Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
It is taking me a while to learn about my new role and as a consequence reposition eLearningIsland. This is my 328th posting since February 2009 and I want to continue blogging about aspects of my thinking on matters educational.
The tagline of eLearningIsland is thinking about teaching and learning and that is what I have been at over the last number of years. The context however was by and large as a classroom-teacher with an interest in all things digital.
eLearningIsland has been good for me personally and professionally as I grew in confidence about my practice in the digital space and made it explicit in regular blog postings.
I am now out of the classroom and in time will be increasingly in the staffroom – what will I draw on for my musings and reflections? The weekly Monday night #edchatie discussion was recently about “What type of CPD would you like/find useful? Fred Boss had it collated in Chirpstory and I have pulled out a number of themes (there are more)
- The importance of Twitter as an online professional network
- The lack of time (or quality time) for CPD
- The role of the Inspectorate from the Department of Education and Skills
- Peer-observation in class and self-observation on video
- Reading research (or not)
- The Not Invented Here syndrome
- The quality of reflection
- Sources of CPD – subject associations, unions, supports like the Professional Development Services for teachers
This #edchatie discussion was on the same day that I attended the Joint Managerial Body 2014 Education Conference in Croke Park Dublin.
Three of the speakers, Chief Inspector Howard Hislop, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Director, Norman Emerson and Education Consultant, Dr. Mark Fennell all spoke about the importance of a collegiate approach to CPD – teachers working together, sharing practice to improve teaching and learning.
The work of John Hattie, Paul Black, Dylan Wiliam and Daisy Christodoulou was regularily cited. Many of you will be aware of Hattie’s analysis on what most influences student learning in the tweet below.
— fboss (@fboss) September 15, 2014
We definitely as a teachers, and I am speaking here in a worldwide context, need to take the best from research. We need to read what was “invented” abroad and reposition it in our own contexts.
Yes, take Hatties research and examine effective feedback in your own context and share and discuss it with others. Make notes, look at the copies, talk regularly with the students – see how they (and you!) develop over time, reflect…Not Invented Here, Improved Here…