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Andrew Pollard Institute of Education, University of London, UK PowerPoint Presentation
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Andrew Pollard Institute of Education, University of London, UK

Andrew Pollard Institute of Education, University of London, UK

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Andrew Pollard Institute of Education, University of London, UK

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  1. Improving Teaching and Learning Andrew Pollard Institute of Education, University of London, UK Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK ELTDP Symposium, Kuching, 20th February, 2013

  2. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  3. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  4. Contemporary challenges? Key aims Education plays a central role in any country’s pursuit of economic growth and national development. In today’s global economy, a nation’s success depends fundamentally on the knowledge, skills and competencies of its people. It is no surprise that nations with higher education levels tend to enjoy greater economic prosperity. Education is also fundamental to nation building and unity. It provides individuals with the opportunity to improve their lives, become successful members of the community and active contributors to national development. Through interacting with individuals from a range of socio-economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds – and learning to understand, accept and embrace differences – a shared set of experiences and aspirations for Malaysia’s future can be built. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  5. Contemporary challenges? Present results The results from PISA 2009+ were discouraging, with Malaysia ranking in the bottom third of 74 participating countries, below the international and OECD average. Almost 60% of the 15-year-old Malaysian students failed to meet the minimum proficiency level in Mathematics, while 44% and 43% did not meet the minimum proficiency levels in Reading and Science respectively. A difference of 38 points on the PISA scale is equivalent to one year of schooling. A comparison of scores shows that 15-year-olds in Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Shanghai are performing as though they have had 3 or more years of schooling than 15-year-olds in Malaysia. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  6. Contemporary challenges? New ambitions Historically, the Malaysian education system, like others around the world, has emphasised the development of strong content knowledge in subjects such as science, mathematics, and language. There is increasing global recognition that it is no longer enough for a student to leave school with the 3 Rs. The emphasis is no longer just on the importance of knowledge, but also on developing higher order thinking skills. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  7. Contemporary challenges? Equitable outcomes An equally important objective for the system is to ensure that student outcomes are equitable. Unfortunately, to date, the outcomes have been uneven. States with a higher proportion of rural schools, like Sabah and Sarawak, on average, perform poorer than states with less rural schools. The gender gap is significant and increasing. Girls consistently outperform girls at every level – with females comprising approximately 70% of the cohort at university level. The largest equity gaps remain socio-economic in origin. The evidence consistently demonstrates that students from poor families are less likely to perform as well as students from middle-income or high-income homes. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  8. Contemporary challenges? National identity With many public and private schooling options at the primary and secondary levels, the Malaysian education system provides an unparalleled degree of choice for parents. Concern has grown over the increasing ethnic homogenisation of schools, and the reduced opportunities for interaction with individuals from wide a range of backgrounds that homogenisation may lead to. These interactions are important as they help individuals develop a shared set of experiences and aspirations for Malaysia’s future, through which a common national identity and unity are forged. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  9. Contemporary challenges? Investment return Malaysia’s consistently high levels of expenditure on education have resulted in almost universal access to primary education and significant improvements in access to secondary education. However, there remains room for improvement on the dimensions of quality, equity, and unity. Malaysia’s performance lags behind other countries that have similar or lower levels of expenditure per student, such as Thailand, Chile, and Armenia. This suggests that the system may not be allocating funds towards the factors that have the highest impact on student outcomes, such as the training and continuous up-skilling of teachers. (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  10. Aspirations for Malaysian education by 2020 • Access – 100% enrolment across all levels • Quality – top third in PISA, TIMMS, etc • Equity – 50% reduction in achievement gaps • Unity – shared values, embracing diversity • Efficiency – maximising outcomes within budget (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  11. Contemporary challenges? Implementation Shift 1: Provide equal access to quality education of an international standard Shift 2: Ensure every child is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English Language Shift 4: Transform teaching into the profession of choice Shift 5: Ensure high-performing leaders in every school (Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2025, preliminary report)

  12. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  13. Teachers Matter Research on student learning demonstrates: that most variation is attributable to differences in student abilities and attitudes, and family and community background. that “teacher quality” is the single most important school variable influencing student achievement. (OECD, 2005)

  14. (McKinsey & Company, 2007) The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction.

  15. Some influential international research • Bransford, J. (Ed.) (1999) How People Learn. Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Washington DC: National Academy Press. • Hayes, D., Mills, M., Christie, P. and Linguard, R. (2006) Teachers and Schooling Making a Difference. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. • James, M. and Pollard. A. (2006) Improving Teaching and Learning in Schools. London: TLRP. • Levin, B. (2008) How to Change 5000 Schools. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard Eduction Press. • Hattie, J. (2009) Visible Learning. A Synthesis of Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. London: Routledge. • OECD (2011) The Nature of Learning. Using Research to Inspire Practice. Paris: OECD. • Sahlberg, P. (2012) Finnish Lessons: What the World Can Learn from Educational Change in Finland? Boston: Teachers’ College Press.

  16. Modern societies and economies have experienced a profound transformation from reliance on an industrial to a knowledge base. Global drivers increasingly bring to the fore what some call “21st century competences”. The quantity and quality of learning thus become central, with the accompanying concern that traditional educational approaches are insufficient. Similar factors help to explain the strong focus on measuring learning outcomes (including the Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA) over the past couple of decades, which in turn generates still greater attention on learning. To move beyond the diagnosis of achievement levels and shortcomings to desirable change then needs a deeper understanding of how people learn most effectively. OECD (2011) The Nature of Learning.

  17. Learners are recognised as core participants. Active engagement in developing understanding of their own activity as learners is encouraged. The learning environment is founded on the social nature of learning and actively encourages well-organised co-operative learning. Learning professionals are highly attuned to learner motivation and the key role of emotions in achievement. There is acutely sensitivity to individual differences among learners, including their prior knowledge. There is clarity of expectations and consistent assessment strategies, including strong emphasis on formative feedback to support learning. “Connectedness” is promoted across areas of knowledge and subjects as well as to the community and the wider world. • OECD (2011) The Nature of Learning

  18. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  19. What is professionalism for the future? The essence of professionalism is the exercise of skills, knowledge and judgement for the public good. But teacher expertise is poorly understood.

  20. ‘Pedagogy’ is the practice of teaching framed and informed by a shared and structured body of knowledge and combined with moral purpose. • By progressively acquiring such knowledge and mastering pedagogical expertise – through initial formation, continuing development and reflective experience – teachers are entitled to be treated as professionals. • Teachers should scrutinise and evaluate their practice to make rationally defensible professional judgements beyond pragmatic constraints and/or ideological concerns.

  21. ‘Routine’ Vs ‘reflective’ action

  22. Problem Issue Reflect Dilemmas Collect evidence Evidence Judgement Analyse & evaluate

  23. Three judgements What aspects to investigate and why? What evidence to collect and how? How should the findings be analysed, interpreted and applied?

  24. How is evidence to be collected? • Analyse (and improve) routine evidence on pupil learning outcomes • Develop specific methods to provide evidence on particular issues • Use occasional, but explicit, enquires as reflective learning experiences • Work collaboratively with colleagues if possible • STUDYING – LOOKING- LISTENING- ASKING (C3)

  25. How are findings to be interpreted? Problem Issue Reflect Dilemmas Collect evidence Evidence and interpretation Judgement Analyse & evaluate

  26. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  27. Main features of TLRP 2000-12 • £43m, 100+ investments, 700+ researchers projects up to £1.5m each, often with large teams • All sectors of education (pre-school to elderly learners) • UK-wide (England, Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland) • Directors’ and Office Teams, • with developed organisational infrastructures • Capacity building for researchers and research users

  28. TLRP’s overarching aim: • ‘to lead to significant improvements in outcomes for learners ... • ... at all ages and stages in all sectors and contexts of education and training, including informal learning settings, throughout the United Kingdom’.

  29. TLRP PROJECTS 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Early Years Education Phase I Primary Education Phase II Secondary Education Across School Phases Research training fellows Further & post 16 education Scottish extensions Higher Education Workplace Education Welsh extensions Professional Learning Lifelong Learning Phase III Northern Irish extensions Associated projects WP in HE TEL

  30. Political, economic and cultural contexts Informal and formal learning contexts TLRP THEMES Learners and learning through the lifecourse Teachers, teaching and training Curriculum and domain knowledge Interaction and pedagogy information technology Assessment and learning Learning outcomes Educational issues International comparisons

  31. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  32. Why ‘evidence-informed principles’? • affirms a holistic approach to teaching and learning or pedagogy • represents cumulative evidence and experience • supports contextualised judgement by teachers, tutors, practitioners and policy-makers

  33. 1. EQUIPS LEARNERS FOR LIFE IN ITS BROADEST SENSE Effective teaching and learning ....

  34. SOME TLRP EVIDENCE Broad conception of ‘outcomes’ to include, for instance, engagement with learning (Ainscow), learning how to learn (James). Learner identities studied longitudinally, related positively to self-confidence, resilience and outcomes but demonstrated significant processes of social differentiation (Pollard, Biesta). Promotion of thinking skills (McGuinness) shown to have a positive relationship with attainment and effort, although the effect needed time to build and was not uniform across all learner groups. Most projects show the importance of developing learning awareness, explicit learning practices, positive learning dispositions, and learning autonomy (Nunes, McGuinness, James, Blatchford, Hughes).


  36. SOME TLRP EVIDENCE In numeracy, understanding of rational numbers (proportion and ratio) is important but difficult for primary pupils to master. Relatively small teaching sequences can boost achievement (Nunes & Howe). In literacy, spelling improved through explicit teaching about rules of morphology (units of meaning) (Nunes). Bilingualism, when embedded, enriched teaching and learning in FE (Martin-Jones). Teacher review of assumptions about prior knowledge and experience of certain groups of children often led to improvements (Ainscow - inclusive practice; Hughes - home-school knowledge exchange; Plowman - ICT in early years; EPPE - pre-school settings).


  38. SOME TLRP EVIDENCE Projects showed the importance of the way teachers plan and structure activities during lessons, negotiate goals, support classroom dialogue and provide feedback. Teacher roles in scaffolding learning with ICT were crucial (Plowman; Sutherland). Use of ICT can produce gains in achievement (Bevan), but only with effective mediation (Kennewell). Testing that focuses on factual recall often overestimates students’ understanding of key concepts (Millar). Assessment for learning in the classroom is most effective when supported by whole-school collaboration and leadership (James)


  40. SOME TLRP EVIDENCE Group work projects (Blatchford & Christie) show the benefits of efforts to improve the quality of group work and children’s mastery of cooperation and collaboration. Pupils made significant academic gains (effect sizes up to 0.6) which were seen across schools in different social contexts. Consulting pupils enhances self esteem and agency and improves learning opportunities (Rudduck, Leitch). However some pupils have more communications competence and are ‘heard’ more than others. Young people draw on school experience, and develop it at home, and bring home experience into school e.g. computer expertise (Sutherland). Home/school knowledge exchange activities impact positively on outcomes (Hughes). But this impact is mediated by social class, gender and attainment factors so there is need for sensitivity.


  42. SOME TLRP EVIDENCE Levels of professional commitmentand resilience are crucial to teaching quality and learner outcomes (Day). Through reflective inquirywith colleagues, teachers develop knowledge and beliefs about learning - as well as skills (James, Dudley). Visits from teachers in other schools, or from other departments/classrooms are valued for questioning assumptions (Ainscow). When senior management support innovation, it becomes more sustainable (Hughes). Consistency between national, local, school and classroom policy in teaching and learning is not always apparent. If policy was more congruent with pedagogic principles and supportive of contexualised teacher judgement, then school and teacher effectiveness could be improved.

  43. Enhancing learning outcomes? TLRP’s evidence-informed principles are intended as a contribution to a scientific foundation for policy and practice The emphasis needs to be on the quality of contextualised professional judgement

  44. How are findings to be interpreted? Problem Issue Reflect Dilemmas Collect evidence Evidence Understanding of enduring educational principles Judgement Analyse & evaluate

  45. Contemporary challenges? • International evidence • Professionalism for the future • TLRP • Making sense through principles • Making sense through conceptual tools • Looking to the future?

  46. What do we talk about? Curriculum Pedagogy Assessment So, what happens if we compare and contrast the concepts used to discuss curriculum, pedagogy and assessment?

  47. Concepts in HMI’s The Curriculum from 5 to 16 (1985) • Breadth • Balance • Relevance • Differentiation • Progression • Continuity

  48. So, a key contention: Maybe …. that pedagogic concepts can be organised in terms of their function (the work that they do) and that, by making this logic explicit, we could create a more robust and sustainable conceptual framework for the professional expertise of teaching?

  49. Concepts are to do with: