Monday, June 04, 2018

What if ... ?

When I sat down for my first lecture during my PGCE, I realised that I’d found where I wanted to be. There were people telling me stuff I didn’t know about child development, about brains and learning, about cognitive science and neuroscience and about how to help a child understand adding.
I was surrounded by relatively like minded people with whom and from whom I learnt just as much. It was inspiring, thought provoking and fed my curiosity about all manner of things.

After qualifying, I kept going. Kept trying to find out more about this peculiar craft into which I had recently plunged. I did my Masters which involved reading more and trying to find out why sometimes things stuck, somethings didn’t. Why my colleagues behaved the way they did and why they didn’t.

I read the stuff I needed to read and wandered off down blind alleys reading stuff that just intrigued. I read that stuff anyway but it gave me licence to graze on research papers and things that I couldn’t otherwise get my hands on.

And it’s not just reading: Courses, Teachmeets, Twitter, blogs ... there’s so much out there on which to graze, to challenge my beliefs, propose answers to questions I have and solutions to problems I’ve encountered.

At the moment, I’m wandering through the excellent “What if Everything You Knew About Teaching was Wrong?” by David Didau (@LearningSpy) and it’s made me think about so much that I think everyone should read it if only to disagree!

It’s made me think about how I deliver my lessons, how I assess, how I plan. It's made me question my own beliefs, to consider personal biases and think about how they affect my beliefs.

It's made me challenge perceived wisdom regarding the curriculum, to reflect on what I do and why I do it but also to reflect on what the children in my class do and why. It's added weight to questions I already had and has confirmed my confirmation bias ...

It's made me question even more what I do, what my colleagues do, what the children in my class do. What the senior management team do, what the government does and what other ways there might be of doing things.

As I said, I think anyone with anything to do with education should read it, if only to help them justify their beliefs and challenge the status quo, personal, professional or otherwise.

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