Andreas Schleicher said that “The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers” but also, “The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction”.
However, Jordan Tinney added a different perspective.
“Despite those strengths, I actually believe that the system can become more powerful than the sum of its parts. Why? Here are the other things I have observed:
- While individual teachers do great work, that work is amplified when teachers are provided time to collaborate with each other.
- • I have seen many instances when one teacher’s expertise has become much stronger by the sharing with others.
- • I have seen, outside of teaching, many examples where a collaborative, powerful team has overcome and bested a group of powerful individuals. The notion that we are indeed more than the sum of our parts is at the heart of our beliefs about learning and collaboration.
- • Isolation of individuals within their practice, no matter how skilled they are, does not reveal all that they can be – teachers thrive in collaboration, and I personally believe that they suffer when they are isolated.”
Collaboratively building the professionalism of teachers and schools around a common moral purpose
We believe that schools can be much more than they are and by harnessing the professionalism and spirit of all leaders and teachers can create a successful whole school design for the future.
If we know that every school has elements of excellent practice…
WHY NOT build improvement and development strategies from the inside-out diagnosing how all teachers can deploy such outstanding practice into their reportoire?
If we know that consistent teacher efficacy has one of the biggest impacts upon student outcome…
WHY NOT build a collaborative ethos that drives our network of schools?
The Instructional Core
Modified from: City, Elizabeth, et al. Instructional Rounds in Education, 2009
Impact Strategy is so important. And it is a strategy which mirrors the principles and values of the network of personalsiation, agency collaboration and empowerment.
Ideally this approach represents a two-year cycle with the first year being a time of diagnosis and rekindling of professionalism. There are many aspects of the cycle that draw on the unique approach by Global Spirit Ed – coaching, positive psychology, engagement of stakeholders, collaboration across the network and within the school and teacher and student agency. It will encourage schools to reflect on a different approach to leadership, culture and performance management and professional development.
The pace will vary from school to school.
Vision, Mission, and Moral Purpose.
Most schools have a statement about their vision and mission on their websites. Very often this is not embedded across the school as a driving foundation for teaching and learning. The first step of the strategy is to reflect and work with stakeholders to establish a clear vision built out of moral purpose. There are a range of strategies that we can support with, such as following a future search type strategy that engages with teachers, parents, students, governors, and the wider community to define core objectives and purpose.
Without this clarity, leaders are not able to develop the sort of relational culture necessary for a personalised approach. Similarly, if the school believes in establishing equity for its students this has to be articulated in that vision.
Performance Management: It is likely that this journey will lead to further amendments to practice. For instance, with the coaching cycle and action research, there is a need to think about the impact this might have on performance management structures. This is not just because you have action research evidence of the impact of improved practice but because you will have built a much more collaborative approach to school development.
We have examples and structures to help make this change whilst maintaining a robust quality approach.
Governors Visits and Engagement: It is logical that in a school using appreciative enquiry that governors might also follow such an approach around