Research has shown that students improve when they understand the teaching objectives, collaborate, peer review and also self assess their own work. So why do we as teachers work in isolation, rarely see each other teach and rarely evaluate our peers or ourselves for effective teaching strategies. Find out how to change from Bill Gates at TED:
I think you would be right to have some skepticism with the above talk. There is a sense of underlying management and government tones, concern this could be utilised to weed out the poor teachers, even establish pay based on performance. But for one moment I want you to consider what it would be like to empower your own practise. To have a weekly discussion with your peer group about what lessons worked and what could be improved. Maybe film one of your lessons for yourself and watch to see what was effective and what annoyed you. Set your own learning goals, your own professional development, maybe take charge to do your own research and feedback to your peers or school about a new teaching method that you have found effective.
Shown below is only one aspect of the MET (Measuring effective teaching) project from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is the marking schedule for effective teaching in the english language, but remember you can set your own goals. In later posts we will systematically list effective teaching methods proven by research for you to mark yourselves against.
As teachers we should be role models for our students. We should practise what we preach. We should be independent, collaborative, team players, reflective and constantly learning.