Many of the middle leaders I’ve spoken to recently are uncertain about what’s happening with the college of teaching, what it means for them and how they might get involved. There have been various announcements by government, including some start-up funding and a front-runner group to set it up. There’s also a lively debate happening via blogs, Twitter and beyond.
To set the scene and encourage discussion, I’ve listed 10 questions below for you to answer about what the college of teaching may look like in time and the benefits it could bring to the profession.
- What would encourage you to join such a voluntary association of teachers?
- Are there useful approaches that work in other countries or walks of life?
- How could the college of teaching include both middle and senior leaders without being dominated by them?
- What would create a genuine grassroots movement that’s authentic and accessible to teachers everywhere and not just to those in the Westminster bubble? TeachMeets, ResearchED and the various Twitter chats are good examples of how this could be done
- Who would ensure the college of teaching is independent of any particular organisational interests, including government, unions and others?
- How could it be as transparent and consultative as possible, and engaged with and answerable to a broad membership base across the profession?
- How could it be funded in time and would this create the right incentives?
- Should it be focused first and foremost on classroom practice and explore leading teaching and learning in time?
- What would ensure it’s informed but not dominated by research, data and other forms of evidence? [What gives doctors and their colleges clout is an unassailable grasp of the evidence about what works in their profession. This doesn’t mean they know everything, but it does mean they know best (and certainly more than politicians) .]
- How could it raise the standards and capacity of the whole teaching profession?
(a version of this blog first appeared through my former day-job)