Thursday, April 14, 2005

How do teachers develop their ideas?

Where do our ideas come from? Posted by Hello

There is a whole educational industry dedicated to providing professional development for teachers. Every school is bombarded with curriculum documents, contracts, and advisory visits, all with the aim of transforming teaching and learning for the better.

Hundreds of curriculum experts, consultants and advisers are making careers out of this provision, but to what effect?

Maybe we have been looking in the wrong direction to transform schools?

I would be interested in what teachers say where they gained their educational philosophies? Who, or what, influenced your thinking? How do ideas get known and shared amongst teachers? What would be ideal ways to share ideas?

Let’s know.


Anonymous said...

When I see another Ministry Contract I run for cover. In my experience few of the people who deliver them have ever actually put them into practice.

Anyway little of what they 'deliver' sticks!

I have no faith in their 'grand plans'!

Bruce said...

I intend to write how I think teachers gain and share ideas in a day or two but I would love to hear from a few people first.

Anyway I am off tomorrow to work with a group of schools - maybe I should ask them at the end of the workshop what they intend to make use of.

Might be better not too!

Anonymous said...

Ideas and influences come from various sources. Personal interests and beliefs develop through the years. The influence of parents and the environment and circumstances that you grow up in. Childhood school experiences- people who found their own school experiences unpleasant or frustrating tend to be driven in different way to those who were happy. The former, tend to be motivated with a stronger desire to change, to improve things.

Personally I found much of Training College of little help. Was able to follow my interests more easily at University. On finishing my training was very fortunate to be able to spend time in Bill Guild’s class. Very inspirational – able to see what was possible.

After many years of trial and error, support from some colleagues, was able to develop a particular passion and style for teaching in a particular way. Ed Board advisers in those days, such as yourself Bruce, were very helpful, as much on a personal level as an advisory level. Initiatives were encouraged. In-service courses seemed more focused on the art of teaching rather than simply translating and monitoring curriculum. The Primary Arts magazine promoted a sense of community for some in Taranaki and beyond. Similarly the regular encouragement from some colleagues was important. There seemed to be more collegial support in the past.

Always it seems that the most important ideas and strategies were developed in the classroom interacting with children and learning the ways to teach that are personally the most effective for you. You have to be yourself. It always seems to come back to being allowed to develop your own particular interests and enthusiasms and an ability to empathise with and understand the needs of individual children. Initiative and originality seems currently to be undervalued.

Anonymous said...

You are right.We have spent too much time trying to implement the 'grand plans' of the so called experts when we should have been mining and sharing the collective wisdom of creative teachers.

Anonymous said...

Creative teachers have always learnt best from each other - trouble is creative teachers have been devalued in this technocratic measure everything ( except love of learning) environment.

Teachers are always attracted to like minds or people who help them rediscover their passion for teaching.

Anonymous said...

I think how enlightened and courageous a school's principal is can make a big difference in terms of how creative and imaginative a classroom teacher can be.

Anonymous said...

The ideas come from - solving problems, beating a crisis into a managable situation, discovering how to make fire in "wet wood". It's not always the most trying issue that initiates the most profound strategies and methods - its the ones that are nagging at the back of your mind.