£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

Top Task: Innovate

Innovation is what good, effective teachers do; so it’s what college managers need to do.

I looked out  a PowerPoint from an old workshop on teachers and target setting.

My workshop always started with John Hattie’s work. He collated research from all over, involving huge numbers of students, and compared the size of any effect on learning. His heartening conclusion was that it is what teachers do in the classroom that makes the biggest difference.

Innovation, giving feedback and setting goals [yes, in that order] had the biggest effects.

[The Cambridge Regional College Teacher’s Toolbox site has the table of effects]

Task 1 on any college manager’s to-do list should be “Encourage Innovation”

Do we do innovation well? I’m not  sure but I am going to keep my eyes and ears more open for the signs. There are all sorts of education “innovations” around, and I have started sifting through them

  • Some are about learning, backed up through college services. eg microfinance : students loan small amounts to students in the developing world through a broker . Sounds great for business enterprise students, who must get sick of sitting in corridors with piles of organic sweets or photo frames to sell. The long-term benefit for a college would be the ethical buzz; and creating an alumni group with a mutual network maintained by their group loan.
  • Springwise has another – treating student canteens / learning resource centres as “being spaces” on the model of Starbucks “commercial living-room-like settings, where catering and entertainment aren’t just the main attraction, but are there to facilitate small office/living room activities like watching a movie, reading a book, meeting friends and colleagues, or doing your admin.”. One example is of language tutorials being available in a coffee lounge – and yes, the dreaded and unused “drop-in centre” does spring to mind. But it would be creative to take an existing resource – the coffee lounge – and use social networking to graft in teaching/tutoring/coaching and learning resources. You can see a flavour of this in many colleges, and in an even more extended form, in public libraries.

Task 1: Promote innovation – it is more effective than what is happening now


January 19, 2010 - Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] an earlier thread about the vital importance of teachers, I dug out Kinsey’s survey of the top school systems in […]

    Pingback by Smart cut : pay teachers more « Neil Wallace's english education | January 22, 2010 | Reply

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