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What Research/Theories should Teachers have a Working Knowledge of at their Various Career Stages? #UKEdResChat

This will be the first time I’ve engaged with #UKEdResChat; I’ve been an occasional lurker but this week I will be hosting it.  The chat is on Twitter, using the #UKEdResChat hashtag, on Thursday 8th November 2018 from 8:30 – 9:00 pm.  It would be great if you joined us either as a lurker or hopefully to contribute.

I’m interested in, “What Research/Theories should Teachers have a Working Knowledge of at their Various Career Stages?”

The temptation with this type of question is that we tend to include everything all at once and at the beginning of someone’s career.  I’m not sure that’s desirable and even more confident it’s not possible.  Not desirable because we need to think about the sequential development of a teacher’s knowledge over her/his career and crucially give time and space for the application and embedding of theory in classroom practice.

It would be really interesting if you would think through what would have been really useful to know at various stages in your career and why?  The challenge is always what to leave out; there are so many potentially useful pieces of research and theories.  Not everything can be included.

Thinking about the initial phase of teacher training, I’d say Cognitive Load Theory is an absolute must.  It was actually proposed by Sweller around the time I was first training to be a Science teacher but I didn’t actually hear about it until over twenty five years later.  As a way of understanding about how pupils learn and implications for my teaching it was a big miss.  It also helps underpin other important work, for example, Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction.  I wonder though whether this might be subject or phase specific?  There surely needs to also be something around behaviour and classroom management in a teacher’s initial training programme; any thoughts?

Thinking through what to include and in what order will allow us to start developing an underpinning rationale for a professional development curriculum for teachers.  In 5 Evidence Based Papers All Teachers Should Read I included the two papers mentioned above.  However, three other really useful papers by Coe et al (2014), Dunlosky et al (20??) and Teacher Development Trust (20??) would all have to wait.

What do you think more experienced teachers and those looking to become expert should be studying and seeking to apply in practice?  There may be time to think about research/theories that teachers should have a working knowledge of if they wish to specialise in different areas or leaders.  Have a think about blockers too; what would get in the way of a school or the school system developing this approach to improving teaching and leadership?

Hopefully see you on the 8th November 2018 at 8:30 pm.



One thought on “What Research/Theories should Teachers have a Working Knowledge of at their Various Career Stages? #UKEdResChat

  1. I loved your previous post regarding 5 evidenced based papers and have always enjoyed learning, that said there have been times in my career, where sadly my time to read has taken a back seat. For that reason this question strikes me with great interest and is something I have spent much more time on recently. No so much of a theory but more of an approach is FED by Steven Radcliffe that to me is a simple must read for all leaders. Andy Buck references much of his work too in Leadership Matters and its certainly given clarity to what can be an overly complex area when used with our middle leaders. Would love to see what others offer.

    Posted by Will Teece | November 7, 2018, 1:01 pm

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