Can a CPDRevolutionput practitioners in thedriving seat?The Community of PracticeTeaching & Learning StrategyConsortium for PCET Annual Conference 28/06/13 University of HuddersfieldMaire Daley & Joel Petrie (Liverpool Community College)
Presentation outline • Outline underpinning research • Describe faculty T&L Strategy development • Evaluate LSIS T&L Strategy implementation • Identify barriers & opportunities emerging from findings • Conclusions
Underpinning research: why teach? • Greatest source of variance in relation to student achievement is teachers – greater than other key factors; such as home, peers, school, or principal (Hattie, 2003) • Teacher Ed interview: “Why do you want to become a teacher?” • So far we haven’t had the response: “I’d really like to subordinate real education to economic imperatives.”
Responses fell into three categories: • Love Teaching (always wanted to teach) • Love of Subject (share passion) • Career Development (natural progression)
Expert teacher • When students enter into teaching it is reasonable to assume that they will have the support to develop into expert teachers. • The characteristics of what makes an ‘expert teachers’ is open for discussion – Hattie and Coffield suggest they: • Make deeper representations of subject their organisation and use of knowledge of subject links previous and future learning; • able to change – combining and adding to the curriculum (knowledge); • develop critical thinking – problem solving; • Anticipatory – plan and improvise as required; • good decision making; construct a learning climate and develop effective scanning of classroom behaviour; are context dependant; • assessment of students is ongoing; • respect for students is high and independence is developed; • provides a challenge (Hattie 2003; Coffield 2008) • And we would add ‘passionate’.
Faculty T&L Strategy to LSIS Project 2011-12 • Participation of lecturers – focus on self identification of CPD • Consulted students • Draft T&L Strategy collated from results • A/Os not contentious, but a radical participative process? 2012-13 • LSIS / 157 Group whole college project • Attempting to maintain revolutionary / subversive project ethos…
Historic CPD approach top down and hierarchical • T&L CPD Strategy: • SMT at bottom – underpinning • Pillars supporting learning • Students at the top • Organisational structure “v” college community of learning?
Learned helplessness in time & space… • People may fail to respond even though there are opportunities to avoid unpleasant circumstances or to gain positive rewards • It results from a perceived absence of agency / control over the outcome of a situation • Professional agency is intrinsically linked to availability of time & space • Similarly when a culture fails to achieve desired goals, perceptions of collective ability suffer White (1992) Identity and Control • Organisations can have “fundamental learning disabilities... which operate despite the best efforts of bright, committed people.” Senge (2006) The Fifth Discipline - The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation
The T&L Strategy planning process did help individuals and groups to identify their CPD needs but the biggest barrier to actioning any CPD is time – for many of us timetables are full (over contract hours in many instances), plus the challenge of duplicated college bureaucracy and overburdening systems. (Colleague with T&L role) It was positive to have space to sit as a group within teams to discuss CPD – this has never happened before in my professional experience in any other context, except informally. I was involved in an early pilot of the initiative in my former faculty before the recent restructure, and that was a much more positive experience. Sufficient time was dedicated to the process and it resulted in interesting cross-fertilisation of ideas for CPD and curriculum changes. I didn’t feel the process gave me the space to identify individual specific CPD needs effectively due to time constraints. For this process to have its true potential value what is needed is more time and space for reflection to make it a genuinely developmental initiative. (Colleague with T&L role) I think there are a lot of lecturers with excellent practice who entirely support innovations like this initiative, but the college needs to recognise that culture change needs to be supported with the time, space and resources to make teaching staff feel it is worth sacrificing time in the classroom to reflect and think about what they do. (Colleague with T&L role)
The process moved CPD a little closer to centre stage, and began to shift control to staff. However, there was a feeling that staff were holding back - would there be a genuine response from what they identified? Staff have had very limited time and space to do anything like this together; they need to develop strategies for engagement and to see how CPD fits as a potential solution to problems identified. There is a problem with a blame culture and a lack of ownership of the CPD agenda, learned helplessness is a good phrase for this. I would hope that this initiative could contribute to staff having more faith that there is now a potential for CPD to be more progressive than it has been in the past in college. (Colleague with L&M role) The T&L strategy gave staff ownership of the CPD agenda for the first time. For me as a manager the amount of information gained about CPD was huge compared to via the Appraisal process - the emphasis was on T&L rather than on the individual teacher. I do not know what response there has been to any self-directed CPD identified as a result of the T&L Strategy planning process - the AdLs are dealing with CPD resulting from the process – I would have to check with them. It is also absolutely crucial that the input of agency staff is supported: they are part of my team, they teach the same students in my School as FT staff, and they should be paid to attend these sessions. People were very positive about the strategy as a genuinely new way of looking at CPD, but they ended up feeling disappointed that sufficient time was not set aside, and there were too many other new initiatives. (Colleague with L&M role)
I have struggled to get hold of the CPD requests or the Teaching and Learning Plans, and my Heads of School report that they have not seen them. I think in the future it would be useful for the Heads of School and associated Advanced Lecturers to meet with their Curriculum Assistant Principal to collate the CPD deriving from the process; personally I have felt too many steps removed from it. We need to ensure that space and time are dedicated to initiatives like this. As part of this college needs to seriously consider paying agency staff to attend planning meetings and CPD like this – we should value their input to the T&L Strategy. CPD has not been a strength in college in recent years. It has felt like a management imposed system. My hope is that things will change the more self-directed CPD is encouraged. (Colleague with Strategic role) We have to establish meaningful ways of allowing both time and space for people to identify staff development and attend CPD. Otherwise it won’t work; or people will attend and be enthused but this won’t find its way into T&L strategies. The other critical issue is agency staff, who often may not even have desk space – the initiatives like the T&L strategy may be the least of their worries when they face greater physical professional barriers. (Colleague with Strategic role)
Input from Professors Coffield & Williamson • The report describes an innovative attempt to develop CPD against the background of a busy college with a lot of students and a very varied staff team, nearly two thirds of which is part-time (BW) • Time & space recur in this project as big problems - space is the easier solved of the two. Time of staff is the key resource in FE. How many contact hours do staff teach a week - 23, 24? (FC) • How can you maintain or enhance quality with such a large percentage of PT and agency staff? SMTs have used them to cope with wild fluctuations in funding, but at what point is the quality of TLA jeopardised? What is this policy doing to the career prospects of young staff who want FT jobs to get a mortgage and start a family? (FC)
Opportunities - conscious professionals • Second order professionalism - Subject / pedagogy but single reflective being • Peer observation – mutuality of process • OTL / Quality Observation - Dialogue / opportunity for narrative & no grades
Opportunities - CPD • Research Day • T&L Strategy Pillar CPD Plans • Beginnings of Communities of Practice • Emerging peer narrative around professionalism…
References / Contact Details • Coffield, F. & Williamson, B. (2012). From Exam Factories to Communities of Discovery. London: IOE Publications • UCU. (2012). Towards a UCU Policy on Professionalism. Available at: http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/q/j/Towards_a_UCU_Policy_on_Professionalism_Full_Text.pdf • 157 Group. (2013). Curriculum redesign in further education colleges: exploring current challenges and opportunities. Available at: http://www.157group.co.uk/files/curriculum_redesign_-_157_project_reportcurriculum_redesign_in_further_education_colleges_exploring_current_challenges_and_opportunities.pdf • email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org