Developing a deeper systemic understanding of pedagogy founded on identifiable, effective practice that exists in Wales is key to both supporting improvement in learning and teaching and providing a strong platform for innovation as we plan for and develop our new curriculum. This page provides information on how we want to work collaboratively with practitioners in Wales to develop understanding of pedagogy.
Donaldson (2015) in Successful Futures highlights the importance of a sound understanding of pedagogy in order to realise the new curriculum. Pedagogy is at the heart of curriculum and together we need to develop a deeper appreciation of the pedagogical approaches needed to support learners in realising the four purposes. This involves exploring the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ of teaching.
This exploration will be shaped by the principles that underpin pedagogy, and the research on which they are based. To achieve this we need to discuss and reflect on which teaching strategies will best support learning in a given context, and inquire about the impact of this on learners.
‘Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning’ will provide a digital space to support collaboration within and across our schools to share pedagogy and practice.
There will be three elements to the development of this space.
- Sharing practice and reflection – easily accessible, timely and relevant opportunities for professionals to ‘talk’, share and discuss innovative practice.
- Deepening understanding – developing our understanding of innovative practice in a research-informed way through collaborative activity.
This will need to align closely with:
- the professional learning journey and preparation for the new curriculum
- developing schools as learning organisations
- the National Professional Enquiry Project (NPEP)
- National Evaluation and Improvement Resource.
- Research development – engagement with higher education in developing academic research at national level to underpin the system-wide understanding of pedagogy in relation to the new curriculum.
The COVID-19 crisis has catapulted everyone into a scenario of rapid change which has influenced our thinking and practice as we have all grappled with the challenges of distance learning. ‘Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning’ during the COVID-19 pandemic is therefore being focused to:
- recognise the enormous efforts that staff in our schools and settings across Wales are making in order to support learning and well-being during this pandemic
- provide opportunities for collaborative professional learning by sharing experiences of ‘what works’, and perhaps ‘what has not worked’, which will be of benefit as we move beyond the pandemic.
Well-being of all has been and will remain at the forefront of the agenda and we cannot underestimate the many challenges we face in dealing with the difficulties of the current situation. In among this, there may be potential positives that we can discuss and start to understand, including:
- the developing skills of learners as they engage independently
- the developing skills of practitioners as they engage with distance or blended learning
- the wide range of learning experiences that are being provided for learners
- the development of digital content to stimulate learning
- the engagement of parents/carers in the learning experience
- the new approaches to leadership, communication and collaboration that are developing.
The importance of collaboration and sharing cannot be emphasised enough so that we can learn from each other within and across regions in Wales as we tackle these challenges, while also looking ahead to the new curriculum. Consequently, we will need opportunities to share and develop practice around how we:
- prepare learners and take into account the effect of emotions on learning
- manage learning to adjust to the wide variety of individual learning needs
- effectively use digital tools within a blend of class- and home-based learning
- shift the focus of feedback to motivate, engage and recognise success to ensure learner progress
As we transition from the challenge of the emergency lockdown situation, we need to consider what we have learned and use this as a springboard to influence our work moving forward. Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning provides a platform for practitioners across Wales to work together to support continuity of learning and to reflect on how we use what we have learned to influence our thinking around the new curriculum.
Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning
Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning provides a digital space to share practice and support collaboration within and across our schools to share pedagogy and practice.
You will be able to:
- find out what others are doing and what is working through sharing practice and being able to collaborate
- engage in professional learning opportunities regarding pedagogy and the new curriculum
- engage in conversation about pedagogy in relation to blended learning (as one of the twelve pedagogical principles).
‘Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning’ is a place:
'...where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.'
The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge (Doubleday/Currency, 1990).
Pedagogy, principles, learning and next steps
The importance of pedagogy in realising the new curriculum is clearly outlined in the ‘Pedagogy’ section of 'Designing your curriculum'.
The ‘learning environment’ is defined as a key enabler and this encompasses a whole range of social, emotional and physical factors that affect readiness for learning. This reminds us to reflect on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and consequently firmly places well-being, emotions, health and development as being fundamental to our understanding of pedagogy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the dual realities of ‘lockdown’ and ‘isolation’ have enabled a situation to emerge where the learning environment has been completely changed. Our highly informed understanding of pedagogy and practice in the classroom situation has needed to be transferred into a new situation where limited research currently exists. Very swiftly, with a sharp learning curve, ‘teachers across Wales’ have been required to become the ‘experts’.
Donaldson (2015) in Successful Futures highlighted 12 pedagogical principles to inform our discussions and thinking. These principles, whether explicitly or not, are also emerging as the key principles for effective distance and blended learning.
As we move together into the next few years of education development in Wales and work together to develop a new paradigm based on the four purposes that drive the new curriculum, the role that the transversal theme of technology could have is now clearer than ever. We also need to ensure that we are fully prepared for any future situations that might result in school closure. As we transition from the challenge of the emergency situation with the best achievable, short-term solutions in place we need to consider what we have learned and use these principles as a springboard to influence our future thinking and development about truly blended learning.
Talk Pedagogy, Think Learning will not only recognise the efforts made by practitioners across Wales to ensure continuity of learning but also support our reflections and learning as we embrace a ‘new normal’.