Pedagogy: from Inputs to Impact

I am very fortunate to be over in University College Dublin on a two-week Erasmus Teaching Fellowship. The Master of Teaching cohort at UCD are not so fortunate as they have to listen to two lectures by me on pedagogy over the fortnight. The first lecture was yesterday and the theme I took from a great paper just published by my colleagues at the University of Tasmania. The paper discusses the change in teacher education from the discourse of inputs (plans, schemes of work) to impact upon students. I obviously endorse this shift in the focus of teacher education but not in the spirit of the corporate Big Data, Deus Ex Machina machismo of the Global Education Reform Movement.

Photo of lake at UCD
Lake at UCD

Instead I examined what it is to be responsive to student learning in the classroom, to be a dynamic designer instead of a scripter.  A dynamic designer in my lexicon is an adaptive teacher reviewed here by a very smart colleague and myself and beautifully explicated in this paper by my Finnish colleagues.

I spoke about a key aspect of moving from a script to dynamic adaptation is the adoption of planning models that allow for a teacher’s pedagogical repertoire to be employed when and where and to what student that requires it. These might resemble tree diagrams or if-then flow charts rather than the traditional introduction-body-conclusion genre.

The UCD MTeach students were a generous audience and I look forward to talking to them again next Monday about generating and telling a story about the evidence of your impact as a teacher on your students.

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