January 27, 2008 – ¡Vámonos!

Day: January 27, 2008

My BBC email alert once again gave me food for thought this morning – also noticed by @acsutcliffe who tweeted about it.

What makes a good teacher? asks the article by Mike Baker. The conclusions of research carried out by a group of experts at the invitation of Cambridge Assessment agency make interesting reading. You can read the article for yourself, but I found it interesting to read some of the conclusions.

Professor Patricia Broadfoot argued that
“the highest quality teaching and learning comes when we have the greatest autonomy for the teacher and the learner”. The good teacher, she went on, was someone who was “left to get on with what they think their students need”.
She goes on to suggest that child centred learning is the key.

Another expert Professor Debra Myhill pointed to the ability of the teacher to reflect on and change his or her performance as key.

And another, Professor Mary James commented
“If learners are not involved in their learning, they do not learn”.

My favourite phrase of the article is the call for teachers to be ‘creatively subversive’ – explained as not passively accepting Government initiatives and directives, nor dismissing them and refusing to comply, but instead, creatively adapting them.

Well – I agree with @acsutcliffe – there is a lot of relevant stuff here that the Government needs to note, and the conclusions of these experts make perfect sense to me. Subject knowledge is all well and good but it’s what you do with it and how you share it that matters.

The article concludes with the writer questionning whether there are enough teachers capable of ‘creative subversion’ after years of being told exactly what to teach and how.

I know plenty of people who are ready, willing, able, and in fact, downright excited about a bit of ‘creative subversion’ .

What do you think? Are you up for it?

I find myself unexpectedly in Starbucks, enjoying a gingerbread latte and staring at the wall.

And thinking.

This picture struck me on several levels.
I like it, first of all.
It’s simple and uncomplicated.
The subject is growing and blooming.
It’s imaginative.
And it’s in Spanish.
Just like one of my lessons??
I’d like to think so.

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