Starting a new job as Vice Principal at a new school, doing my NPQH, reading profusely and collating 9 years of blog posts into this one site have made me realise how my views on education have changed over recent years. Without blowing my own trumpet this post struck a chord. I've always tried to stand firmly by my beliefs but been open to challenge and open to changing my outlook. Some views I've changed over the past 9 years:
- Technology is no panacea for education. It sure has a place in 2015, it is frequently used badly, the culture of a school has to be just right for successful widespread adoption.
- Teaching does not need a paradigm shift in pedagogy (I actually wrote that in a job application a few years ago - cringeworthy!), 'traditional' methods often work and work well. My own classes frequently take the form of
model > practice > stretch > repeat. It works.
- Excellent teaching can not cure school behaviour issues on it's own. Schools need robust systems and support teams (leadership and associate staff) that work to allow teachers to teach (whilst still owning their own classrooms).
- Teacher talk is no bad thing. Some of the best lessons I've taught and observed have involved a subject expert being a sage on the stage. If the passion and enthusiasm is there then students will lap up the learning.
Have I become more traditional and less progressive? Maybe, but it's a silly dichotomy. More than anything I've reflected on my own practice and realised that some of the more progressive propaganda that I was fed throughout the early years of my teaching was a little over the top and never took root in my own classroom.
I'll continue to stand by what I believe in, but reserve the right to be proved wrong and change my tune in the future.