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FEATURE: SHARING BEST PRACTICE


Sharing best practice inside and outside of the classroom


changes, the role of the teacher seems pretty relentless and even isolating at times. In his classic 1975 book, Schoolteacher, Dan Lortie described teacher isolation as one of the main structural impediments to improved teaching and student learning. In fact, various surveys over the years have shown that teachers spend approximately three per cent of their school day collaborating with other teachers. Taking an 8-hour day as an example, that’s a mere 14 minutes – for many, the ironic excuse for not finding enough time to collaborate is that they’re simply too busy. At HES, we’ve been working with schools for


several years to support teacher collaboration to not only improve their effectiveness by tapping into various perspectives and ideas, but also with the aim of reducing their workload. So, let’s take a look at a handful of examples for helping teachers to share best practice both in and outside of the classroom.


I


n our first feature in October 2019 on sharing best practice, Dave Smith, from


HES, explored the importance of finding more time to collaborate and the benefits that come from sharing ideas and best practice both in and outside of the classroom, all of which helps to raise standards and enhance teaching and learning.


It comes as no surprise that the education sector is facing a number of challenges; from budgets and workloads, to inspections and framework


Peer review and collaborative workshops It’s often the case that you stick to what you know, even when it might not always be the best or most effective way. Therefore, it can be helpful to ask a colleague to either observe a lesson, or for you to observe their lesson and then both share feedback on areas where different techniques, resources or tools could be used to improve practices. It might only mean small tweaks to a lesson plan, but the impact it has on outcomes can be significant. On a wider scale, it may be a good idea to


26 www.education-today.co.uk Editor’s Choice 2020


dedicate occasional staff meetings to sharing ideas and highlights from their week and for others to ask for thoughts and advice. Initially this may be relatively informal but could develop into a more established collaborative workshop or personal learning community. These workshops or networks are essential


when it comes to sharing best practice and shouldn’t just be limited to departments either. There are lots of techniques that can be applied


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