Sunday, June 11, 2017

Notes from Dr Graeme Aitken Presentation

The good thing about our cluster of schools working all together and working online, is that even when you are not present at a great presentation, you still get to join in when it is shared!!
Dr Graeme Aitken came to talk to the school leaders (in the case of the college, this was the middle management) and the presentation was recorded.

These are my notes from the video recording ...

My main take out from this was to share and learn from each other ..

"We can do it wrong, we just can’t keep doing it wrong.
We can’t keep doing it wrong when the person next door is doing it right."

Here is the Google Slide presentation that went with the talk...

Notes from Dr Graeme Aitken video

Collaborative inquiry is not about travelling through the process and not being changed on the other side.
Integration around key challenges leads to collaborative inquiry
Inquiry is not about a way of teaching but an approach to teaching

Fundamental key stages from the curriculum document :-
What difference do you want to make - focussing
How are you going to teach in order to achieve that?
What evidence have you got that you made any difference at all?

Look at what needs to be changed in you not the class / students in order to achieve what you want to happen.
How can you manage inquiry so a few teachers work together around a common idea? Then there will be more cane of solving the stickier problem that you come across.

Teaching has 3 goals -
Enjoyment and interest in what the students are doing,
Build confidence in the students that they can do it.
Raise achievement.

Collaborative inquiry needs to cover all three  elements and not just the last one to the detriment of the other 2.

Scan - get your hunch - what is the problem
Why you think that this is a problem will have a huge influence on the plan and resourcing that you come up with to try and solve it - your proposed interventions will alter enormously depending on where you see the source of the problem.
This is where collaborative inquiry between teachers has a big impression to make as you can work together to nail down which of the many things that you have thought of could be the cause of the problem.
A lot more ideas come from the discussion of a group of teachers about the problem.
Honesty and trust is required by the teachers involved in this.
“We think it’s probably this one”...we only have a best guess at the time.
We can afford to make mistakes but we can’t afford to keep making the same mistakes.
We can try things out and test things and analyse the outcome.
What do we as teachers have to learn / do in order to do this best guess?
Try different hunches, but you don’t all have to try the same solutions even if working on the same issue.
As teachers, why are we so bad at learning from the good stuff that others are doing?
Modesty stops us and saying that others have better students than you. If medicine worked like this we would all be dead. Doctors share treatments and what works. Teachers are bad at doing this.
We have to build a culture of trust and learning from each other, not shooting down or hiding.
Sharing stories of success and failure are both equally important.
Being honest and open about what absolutely did not work is of so much help and interest to other teachers.  This is real collaborative inquiry way to go but it needs trust that you will not be judged and it will not be used in appraisal.

We can do it wrong, we just can’t keep doing it wrong.
We can’t keep doing it wrong when the person next door is doing it right.

Are you making enough of a difference?
How are you measuring the difference you are making?

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