As children and young people are confined to their homes the expectations of how, what, where and when they should be learning are shifting rapidly.
In this period of unprecedented interruption to our routines and education landscape there will be moments when we might choose to be more reflective than our normal busy schedules allow. Indeed, some of us may find ourselves telling others to reflect. How many student teachers whose school placements have been cut short are now completing reflective tasks as they await decisions about their QTS award? How many of us in leadership are saying to our teams, ‘let’s just reflect on that before we act ‘? But, what do we mean by reflection, and how might it be of value at this time?
Education leadership is often talked about in hushed terms, there are so called hero-heads, there are numerous personal published narratives on leading schools, and we borrow and build theories of educational leadership.
There are some enduring questions about teachers and school leaders as a profession. What does it mean to be part of the teaching profession? Are teachers too often ‘done to’, or are they viewed as having emerging expertise? As professionals do they feel isolated or part of a unique and significant community? Should we be more concerned with the individual person or the characteristics of the collective? How are individual educators’ lives shaped by and contributing to the profession as a whole?
Often on social media practices such as coaching are presented as silver-bullets. In education there are many versions of coaching adopted and some are contested, some highly marketed, some are short-lived school-based innovations and others become woven into the professional fabric of schools.
What does it mean for a school to be inclusive? What impact do professionals working in schools have on the values and practices of the school?
During the last CollectivEd Advisory Board meeting in November 2019 our board members made a robust argument for the need to create and support a counter-narrative to the hyper-accountability culture that schools in England find themselves subjected too.
What could be more exciting than starting out as a teacher? There’s the chance to work with children and young people, with all their foibles, quirks and enthusiasm. There’s the chance to walk into that staffroom as an adult, going into territory that as a student was off-bounds. There’s the chance to develop new skills, gain new knowledge and forge new friendships. There’s the reassurance of knowing that someone is waiting for you to arrive to do your thing every work day. There’s the pleasure of being able to choose how to spend your weekends and holidays. There’s the potential of a long and curiously diverse career.
How can we best support early career teachers? Can collaboration, a social life and autonomy make a difference?
On February 4th 2020 Carnegie School of Education held its second Carnegie Big 6 debate evening, with a discussion on how we can best support early career teachers.
There are lots of reasons to talk to your colleagues. Perhaps you need to pick their brains, perhaps you have a good idea to share. You might need to explore a dilemma with them or in leadership role you need to give them advice or guidance. Sometimes it’s just good to talk.
We hear a lot of the difficulties faced by headteachers in England, but rarely hear of potential evidence-based solutions. At a time when the challenges in the education system are becoming acute it is essential that we find approaches which support school leaders and allow them to contribute to sustainable school cultures.
CollectivED at ICSEI 2020: Participatory International Dialogues About Mentoring and Coaching in Education
By Rachel Lofthouse, Yasodai Selvakumaran, Jeremy Hannay, Trista Holweck and Deborah Netolicky.
In December 2019 a number of participants of the EU Promise Project engaged in a study visit to Tilburg in the Netherlands.
In October 2019 Leeds Beckett University launched a partnership with Growth Coaching International (GCI) which will see CollectivED, a research and practice centre in Carnegie School of Education build further on the collaboration that has developed between Professor Rachel Lofthouse and GCI. In this blog post Rachel Lofthouse talks to both Rose Blackman-Heganci (GCI) and Leeds Beckett colleague Rachel Bostwick about the new partnership.
In this short blog-post I am going to describe the emerging clarity of purpose that our research and practice centre CollectivED is generating, and also recognise the importance of our new Advisory Board.
It is perhaps appropriate that this year the 5th October falls on a Saturday. For those who don’t recognise the date it is the internationally observed as The United Nations' (UN) World Teachers’ Day.
As a new professor I was invited to establish a research and practice centre, and it was suggested by the dean of my school that creating a working paper series would be a valuable output. The idea both enticed me and created some anxiety. Would I be able to encourage enough people to contribute? Would they be read? Would it detract from my capacity to undertake work deemed significant in external evaluation? While these questions bubbled up, I could not erase the thought that I could take the thread of this conversation and use it to create something new and of value.
Turning the PROMISE into a reality; making sense of teachers’ dilemmas as the basis of professional learning
Late September 2019; the Brexit debacle rumbles on in the UK, but our European partnership project has regained momentum. This week the Erasmus+ PROMISE project group reconvened in Scotland where we were greeted by a warm welcome from colleagues at The School of Education at The University of Aberdeen and where we were enveloped in autumn mists.
The CollectivED research and practice centre is working in partnership with Growth Coaching International (GCI), this partnership was celebrated at the CollectivED Knowledge Exchange Conference which took place this July.
As changes in the curriculum appear on the horizon it is essential for teachers and school leaders to engage critically and constructively with the opportunities and tensions that emerge.