Session Title: Given the chance, what would you keep, change, adjust or improve in our Education system, and why?
Date: Thursday 2nd August 2012, hosted by @MrLockyer
The Power of ChangeThe theme for the chat was simply, if you could change something in Education, what would you change and why? I stated that this was an opportunity to have some reasoned and balanced debate if at all possible, whilst celebrating what is awesome about our jobs, schools and pupils. Although I offered a rough guide to areas for discussion, it was clear from the outset that many people had strong opinions on lots of Education Policy! I have tried to condense tweets to groups where possible. Assessment and testing
@JanP65 felt that National testing needed examining “As it stands puts so much pressure on learners and not convinced it gives a true picture of learning.” @danielharvey9 believed that “teachers and school leaders need to develop new assessment ideas/approaches that capture key audiences.” @ICTwitz was vocal in their support of aspects of AfL, suggesting it could hone in on what pupils have learned. OFSTED
@nickotkdIV felt there was a need to change OFSTED Observation, suggesting that “if schools have good management why is OFSTED needed? get rid of them! more supportive role!” @lizdudley wanted Ofsted to be “a supportive system, with real teachers being seconded to be inspectors,” an opinion much supported and retweeted. @cherrylkd believed that Ofsted should be supportive and be there for good of pupils’ education; “it was never meant to be judgmental or harmful.” Curriculum
@JanP65 suggested that all careers involved different curriculum knowledge, and that as a reflection of this “should we not be encouraging these skills in schools by combining?” @Stephen_Logan felt that quality careers information advice and guidance, employability and enterprise was vital to support students with their future. @vausekatie believed that there should be “enterprise education across all levels so that we can create a future generation of entrepreneurs.” @brynll drew on the current wave of enthusiasm for the Olympics Legacy. He said we should “develop interest in games, physicality…not just football and other traditional sports.” @Jon_Torbitt argued that one skill – learning and applying fundamentals to changing situations – was “vital in private sector business.” CPD
@MrG_ICT wanted to see CPD adopt Teachmeet format. He hated spending time at one day training that could be summed up in 5 mins (at most). @lizdudley Believed that giving teachers time to get out into other schools/ classes to share good practice provided best CPD ever, while @GeographyCarrie said that she liked “practical CPD where I’m shown new ideas, activities, techniques and have a chance to try and feedback.” @EmmaAbuDhabi wished that “staff meetings were conversations and not lectures, two-way traffic is surely better,” while @vausekatie wanted to abolish the “negative notion in schools which judges other teachers. Schools should be supportive of learners & staff.” @HilaryNunns gave us the best analogy of the night, stating “Pointless CPD time is the same as drinking water in a champagne bar!” QTS
@eslweb thought that getting QTS is a test of your commitment to the profession.This was echoed by @cherrylkd who felt that “QTS is vital. There is more 2 teaching than subject knowledge. Need 2 now how ch learn, order 2 teach subj & behaviour.” @lizdudley stated that “having QTS doesn’t magically make you a brilliant teacher, there are many out there that don’t have it and are great.” @TheBenHorbury suggested that “QTS gives us a benchmark, Just like dr’s solicitors etc, constant badgering of our profession has devalued it from the outside!” Observation
@GeographyCarrie wanted “more time to observe other teachers, develop collaborative links with them to make progress in my career.” This was also raised by @benniekara, who stated that they would like mentoring of beginner teachers to be accredited for those who strive to do it well, feeling that there was not enough focus on mentors in schools. @dailydenouement also stated “I’d like to change the observation process so it is about developing practice & not judging.” General
- @oldandrewuk was quick to say that he would keep A-levels, subject specialism, faith schools and comprehensives, but would happily get rid of: dumbing-down, several layers of management, inclusion, paperwork, student-voice, calculators in maths, among many, many other things.
- @ICTwitz lamented the building schools programme being cut, feeling it was was taking school building in “the right direction.”
- @dailydenouement suggested introducing an “exchange-style scheme, so all teachers got to spend a year in a different school every few years.” This is of course possible if links are found with schools on other countries.
- @nicoladarling78 Asked about flipping classrooms, a question that surprised this moderator, but highlighted that in the teaching twittersphere, we can forget that there is something of an echo chamber to ideas.
- @SwayGrantham felt that classrooms were really at the top end in terms of size and space.
- @jennyfer37 suggested many teachers were “trying new & innovative ways to engage students through technology, but felt that many were too scared to try something new.
- @dailydenouement thought that “parent/carer involvement needs to be changed. I’d like to see real partnership.”
- @Jon_Torbitt made a very supported point about wanting to “stop the ripoff culture that pervades education suppliers who deliver poor products.” This clearly struck a note with several others!
- @cherrylkd believed that “No one refuses a new initiative I take to school from twitter yet there’s reluctance to join. Odd!”
- @GeographyCarrie felt that every school should have a fully funded breakfast club, to help “get children started well for a day of learning.” This was underlined by@eslweb who said “The biggest change I would make to schools is simple. 3 square meals a day. No charge and no questions asked.”
- A revolutionary idea came courtesy of @MichelleDhillon who said “Should there be 24 hour schooling? Bit like Asda but way more fun! ‘Softly’ encourage kids to learn/work around the clock :)” – this was jumped on and retweeted, with her finishing the night by saying “That seals it! 24 hour teaching ahoy! Shift working. Online working too. Lots of cakes. What could go wrong?”
- @Monty_Math, who said “Big thing to transform teaching – smaller class sizes.”
- @MrsFfriedland simply stated that “I taught before obs and perf. man. It has made no difference whatsoever except paperwork and irritation.”
I am @mrlockyer, a dangerously young-looking Deputy Head who lives and works in Kent. I have a deep love of teaching, learning and technology, and feel I should blog/tweet/write more, but life tends to get in the way! I completed my MA in 2010, which looking at learning online versus offline learning, and am currently saving up to pay for a Doctorate, with which I hope to explore the impact of pupil feedback on teaching. I have four children under seven and have not had a full night’s sleep for seven years, co-incidentally. I blog at www.classroomtm.co.uk
Archive from the Session: