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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds CHRIS: Working with colleagues in professional learning communities, which can be as small as just two people, can support teachers in making sense of and developing their classroom practices by creating a sense of ownership of the change process.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 seconds Such learning communities could: model and exemplify the different ideas identified within this course; consider the different classroom approaches we have seen and discussed; employ the self-assessment grids to reflect on each others’ practice; engage in dialogue around planning for learning and the underlying learning theories; interview their students and analyse students’ responses; peer observe and coach each other. Collectively and over time, with the appropriate support and access to stimulus materials, teachers who critically reflect upon, and evaluate their practice, in order to develop these evidenced-based professional learning communities, can change pedagogy and impact on student learning.

Working with colleagues

In this video Chris discusses Professional Learning Communities as one approach which can be undertaken by teachers in developing their practice. Such communities, which can exist between just two people, would involve members implementing and evaluating a range of different ideas. For this course these could include you:

  1. Engaging in dialogue together around planning for learning and the underlying learning theories;
  2. Modelling and exemplifying with each other the different ideas seen during the course such as those associated with:

    a. divergent or convergent practices;

    b. planning for learning to identify students’ starting points,

    c. exemplifying success to students up front;

    d. using appropriate questioning approaches to allow sufficient evidence to be gathered, from which inferences can be made in order to tune the teaching;

    e. responding to students in lessons e.g. through purposeful re-grouping;

    f. Responding to evidence gathered across teaching units related to concept and skill development.

  3. Evaluating together how effective the different classroom approaches we have seen are in supporting learning, such as divergent as opposed to convergent approaches;
  4. Employing the self-assessment grids to reflect on each others’ practice;
  5. Interviewing your students and analysing together your students’ responses;
  6. Peer observing and coaching each other.

We would like to encourage you to choose one of the above ideas to undertake with a colleague. If you work in a secondary or FE setting, this doesn’t need to be someone in your department.

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This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre