What next for the Chartered College of Teaching? What next for teachers who join?
What next for the Chartered College of Teaching?
What next for teachers who join?
Teachtalks asks Kate Hodge, the head of content at the Chartered College of Teaching.
Teaching faces a lot of challenges – with professionals juggling reforms, workload and budget demands. But there is also so much opportunity and enthusiasm. Teaching is life-long learning – and the Chartered College of Teaching wants to celebrate that, and bring teachers, school leaders, academics and others together to make life a little easier where we can.
With the new term upon us, it is a good time to reaffirm what we stand for and what we want to achieve this year. Our mission is simple but ambitious: to support teachers to improve outcomes for young people. The Chartered College does not represent one particular sector, setting or ideology. We want to facilitate learning and discussion across the whole sector, support teachers to be the best they can be, and celebrate the incredible learning that takes place in classrooms every day.
There are three main ways we do this: by providing opportunities for professional development; by connecting the profession to share knowledge and ideas; and by providing access to research and resources to develop practice. We have our work cut out, but plans are in place to make this our best academic year yet.
Continuous professional development and learning (CPDL)
We know that excellent teaching changes lives, and that’s why teachers’ professional development is a focus of the Chartered College. We want to support teachers to maintain excellence in their practice by providing learning pathways for career enhancement.
Through this work we hope to secure the best outcomes for young people, but we also want to raise the status of the profession. Great teaching looks so simple, yet it is incredibly complex. We want to highlight the skill and ability that teachers have, and use this to raise the profession’s position among policy-makers and society more broadly.
September saw us open applications for the pilot cohort of our Chartered Teacher programme. This is an accredited, career-long, professional development pathway that recognises and promotes excellence. There are many aspects to the programme, including a professional principles framework that articulates the skills and knowledge that accomplished teachers have, alongside activities and assessments that improve teachers’ practice and opportunities to network with a broad range of colleagues. In January 2018 will see our first cohort of teachers start the programme.
If we believe in promoting excellent teaching, we need to promote what works in the classroom. Teaching should be informed by a body of rigorous, high-quality research and evidence rather than based on taken-for-granted assumptions, routines and habits.
The complex nature of teaching requires that teachers have access to a broad range of strategies, skills and knowledge which can be adapted and fine-tuned to meet widely-varying education contexts and pupil needs. It is also vital that the teaching profession claims ownership of translating research findings into practice rather than those outside the classroom doing so on their behalf.
Last year we launched our research database. Members can access more than 2,000 journal titles and e-books, and the University of Bristol’s Document Summary Service, which provides monthly summaries of key policy and research publications and a comprehensive archive. In May, we also started a conversation about how we bridge the gap between research and the messy reality of the classroom in our interim issue of our journal, Impact.
This year, all the access to research and evidence remains, and we have also published our first fully peer-reviewed issue on assessment, guest edited by Professor Dylan Wiliam. Two further journals are also in the pipeline as we continue to help teachers engage with research and evidence: in winter we will cover the science of learning, guest edited by Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, then our summer edition will focus on the curriculum.
We’ll be supporting this with journal clubs, where teachers can get together to discuss the findings and how they might inform their classroom practice.
The third pillar at the heart of our vision is building a community of teachers who collaborate, support and share ideas with one another. Our local and regional networks were announced last year, but their work will really start getting underway this year.
There are more than 60 networks dotted across the country, with more being added all the time. Some are local to a specific area, others are regional, while some are thematic. But all these groups are designed to build up the professional knowledge base of teaching, bring teachers together to work on and discuss evidence-informed classroom practice, and create a much-needed sense of belonging among those at the frontline.
We’re recreating this sense of community on our website too. We’re running lots of features to get teachers sharing their ideas and practice, including research summaries, book reviews and an online book club. We’re also celebrating the great moments of the classroom with our new series, Proud To Teach. As our body of content grows this year we are hoping that teachers find it an inspiring, informative and safe place to talk about teaching.
Our events will be another opportunity for teachers to meet each other, and discuss evidence-informed practice. Our annual conference in February this year will see some world-leading experts share their insights with delegates, alongside our ‘third space’ events which are designed to bridge research and practice.
The Chartered College is a once-in-a-generation chance for the teaching profession. It is only through developing and showcasing teachers’ expertise that we will restore pride, autonomy and build a grassroots voice that will be impossible to ignore.
Kate Hodge is the head of content at the Chartered College of Teaching. The Chartered College of Teaching is the voluntary professional body for teachers, which launched in January 2017. We believe that the way to achieve excellent teaching and leadership is by supporting, developing and giving a voice to teachers, enabling them to be the very best they can be.