Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘Teacher Education’

What can I do for YOU?

In Educational Leadership, ELT and ELL, News & Updates (from the CBO), Our Schools, Our Universities, Uncategorized on 13/07/2018 at 11:35 am

The recent parliamentary and presidential elections here in canım Türkiyem left a lot of the so-called ‘white Turks’ a wee bit unhappy (to say the least). Muharrem İnce put up a brave fight as the CHP candidate…but most of knew it was always going to be a one-horse race!

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 11.45.16

The real surprise came, however, when Erdoğan announced his new cabinet. In the line-up, there was a face that many described as ‘totally unexpected’!

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 11.45.31

No…not that one…the ‘Son-in-Law’ just sent investors running for the hills and helped the dollar make a bloody great hole in my newly-painted ceiling!

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This one…

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 11.46.26

Ziya Selçuk…a well-known Professor from Gazi University…a progressive educational thunker and founder of Maya Okulları (originally in Ankara and now in Manavgat and Diyarbakır)a teacher’s teacher!

A surprise? A surprise?

Shouldn’t every country have a Minster of Education with this type of background… pedigree…sense of humour, even?

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I guess many people thought it was unexpected because ‘Ziya Hoca’ had been the Head of the Instruction and Education Board (Talim Terbiye), a key arm of the Ministry of Education (MEB) when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to power in the early 2000s…at the time Dark Lord Hüseyin Çelik held the reigns of power.

Ziya Hoca walked away.

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Others might have thought it was a surprise that Ziya Hoca agreed to take the appointment!

The MEB has the reputation for changing its ‘leader’ more often than its underwear (5 times since 2002 and the start of AKP rule). Sadly, all these leaders also demonstrated amazingly low levels of Educational Literacy and Turkish Educational policy, some might think, was produced by this type of discussion…

Talking Ass

…and those very decisions then frequently falling foul of…

Baby U-turn

…’revisions’ that totally confused parents, students, teachers…even God herself!

This is not how Ziya Hoca does busyness and his appointment has, on the whole, been met with a lot of praise and given a lot of educators ‘hope’ (whatever you may think about Erdoğan, stupid he is not…not at all)!

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So, why am I writing this post?

Well…on a lot of the Leadership and Middle Management Training programmes I run, we talk about what ‘new leaders’ have to do in their first 90 days in office (regardless of experience, qualifications and ‘personal vision’)…

Top of the list:

  • SHUT UP!
  • ASK QUESTIONS!
  • LISTEN!

Hence, the title of this post…

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I’ve been chatting to a lot of friends on the phone since the appointment (mostly because I can’t leave the house…after a ‘fight’ with a 6cm step left me with 4 fractures in my foot, a ripped calf on the other leg, bruised ribs…and a shiriously red-faced ego! Size really doesn’t matter!!!) and talking about what Ziya Hoca could do to improve the quality of language learning, teaching and assessment across canım Türkiyem.

A few ideas are:

  • Work closely with the Council for Higher Education (YÖK) and Universities with ELT Departments to ensure teachers-in-training are given more opportunities to actually graduate with higher levels of fluency and accuracy (at least a minimum of CEFR – B2+/C1 or GSE 70-78) – via language support across all 4 years of their courses, 6-month exchange programmes with schools in the UK, US or Canada, etc.
  • Ensure every school has access to a Professional Learning Budget for its language departments and has the authority to use this budget to meet the ‘bottom-up’ needs of teachers.
  • Create training opportunities that tackle the serious issues of ‘content-driven’ or ‘activity-based’ teaching that are the product of schools’ obsessions with ‘covering the textbook’ and develop teacher ability to meet commonly-agreed learning outcomes by creating motivating and engaging learning opportunities – not simply turning pages like a burger-flipper at Macdonalds.
  • Remove the current conventional wisdom that language tests have to be dominated by ‘objective’ multiple-choice questions and prepare the groundwork for a fundamental shift towards ‘formative assessment’ in our language classrooms and the use of valid and reliable ‘communicative tests’ which prioritise the importance of speaking.
  • NEVER, everever…repeat the ‘cock-up’ that was the Fatih Project!

There are many, many more…

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If Ziya Hoca asked YOU, what would you tell HIM?

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Tony (logo new) 260316 ACG

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HERE’S the graphic on ‘trust’ that I could not add into the comments section (15/07/18):

Workplace Trust (Jacobs 2012)

 

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 03 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 24/09/2013 at 4:00 pm

Twitter Blog Post 13 (Who are the Twitterati)

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Some of you probably thought my use of the term Twitterati in that last post was a bit “cruel”.

I have to admit, it’s true that some definitions, like those at the Urban Dictionary – the ones I just pointed you to towards, look as if they could have been written by teenage geeks that secretly want to join the gang of “cool kids” at their High School (or were simply written by homophobes, perhaps).

There are no real secrets surrounding the Twitterati in any field/sector or interest area – they are dead easy to spot.

Twitter Blog Post 15 (The REAL Twitterati)

BTW – I hate the term “follower” with a passion…just so you know!

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Yes, some tweeps might prize their status in an “elite crowd”, they might have an ego bigger than a bus, and…they might even shed a tear when so-and-so manages to gather more “followers” than those in their own Twibe (go on – you know what this is).

It doesn’t matter really – in EDUcation, I define Twitterati as those who use Twitteractively (or like me, over-actively) – regardless of the motivations for doing so.

The “elite” side of things is still there – this crops up because, as Tom Whitby has pointed out (in the case of the USA), there are so bloody few of us!

Now, you see why I asked the question I asked…

Twitter Blog Post 11 (Twitterati mutual masterbation)

…not just because I am a High School “mean girl”!

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Is it only me that finds it ironic that so many of us promote the use of Twitter…to the so-called “unconnected” or “semi-connected”by posting on Twitter?

But, then again – how do we reach them?

Neyse…

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Tom has calculated (or made a “calculated guess”) that there are only 200 to 300,000 “connected” educators in the US (the ones that would probably have a Twitter account and do loads more on-line stuff). This is from a total population of between 7.2m to 11m EDUcators…across the USA – that’s around 4% or 1.8%, if we use the extremes (read his post to find out why no one “knows” how many American teachers there are).

OMG! That ain’t a lot…ain’t many at all!

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Tom’s post also got me thunking – about how popular EDUtweeting actually is.

Taking my lead from him, I randomly selected 8 of my favourite EDUthunkers (and authors) and also 8 of my favourite “connected” EDUcators (people who have a decent digital presence and leave enough footprints to inspire me…and help me LEARN). In truth, there’s a bit of overlap between the two groups – but let’s not quibble.

As these people mean so much to me in my “second life”, I wondered how many other people might feel the same. Yeah, I had to use “followers”sorry!

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Here’s what I came up with:

Twitter Blog Post 14 (Tonys Tweet Roll)

Kinda frackin’ drops off after “Sir Ken”, don’t it? 

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But, take a closer look…and then…compare those numbers with Justin Beiber or Paris Hilton (above)!

Sorry (bw)

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Lady Gaga puts on a good show…I like the way she pushes the envelope in dancelove her views on “tolerance”! BUT, come on – how can she have 40,167,626 more followers….than Howard Gardner?

The man is an eduGOD!

BUT, then again…look at HIS followers.

Even our dear own RTE has more followers than the big, bearded guy in the sky!

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If these numbers are some / any kind of indication of the amount of thunking we are doing (across the planet…yes, the whole bloody world! ) with regards EDUcation, TEACHing and LEARNing….

…we are sooooooooooo screwed!

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When we think about Tom’s numbers…on connected TEACHers, the same type of worry starts to get to me. Of course, many of these non-TWEACHers (yep, you got it!), could be doing loads of other great professional development stuff (reading those “book-thingies” or doin’ some of that there book LEARNin’, for example) – we just don’t know

In fact, no-one knows for sure how many TEACHers are actually on Twitterespecially…in…

Canım Türkiyem (TG Ver 03)

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I tried to find out…let it never be said that I do not go that extra mile for you all…and got a high-priority, emergency tweet to Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter) asking him a (very polite) question…

Twitter Blog Post 10 (Tweet for Dick)

 …the buggar ignored me!

Does he not know who “I” am? At all?

 

Actually, way before this…I did do a bit more hard-nosed research.

Just before Summer, I was lucky enough to be invited to be a co-presenter at a series of technologically-themed professional development seminars. These were held over 3 glorious weekends (on the Island of Cyprusthe Northern bit!) and, in total, around 375-400 teachers (from around canım Türkiyem) participated in these 2-day events (and did a lot of dancing, too…a lot)!

As part of my sessions, I did a few quick straw-pollsyou know:

A.   How many of you have a Twitter account?
B.   How many of you use Twitter to develop yourself professionally?
C.    How many of you use Twitter with your students (as part of their learning opportunities)?

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The responses:

Twitter Blog Post 16 (My data)

Didn’t fill me with confidence!

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But, at least…a lot of people who came over to the Island (in Summer) said they would give it a try – many have tweeted me (yeah!)…lots have “friended” me on Facebook (I share a lot there, too).

This is how we reach our semi-connected or unconnected TEACHers…on Cyprus, in the Summer, while dancing!

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We collaborate (face-to-face),

connect (face-to-face) and

care (face-to-face)…too!

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I’m gonna need a “Postscript”

– ain’t I?

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NOTE from the CBO:

If you are interested in following some great EDUcators and TEACHers on Twitter, why not take a look at some of these lists:

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And, give these ones a quick gander, too:

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I’ll be honest, I do not follow all of them – and there’s a couple of them in there that I wouldn’t be seen dead tweeting (or twerking) withthe choice is all yours!

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

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P.S: If you have found these last posts useful, why not print them out…”adopt” a non-TWEACHer…take him for coffee and “walk” him through the Twitter process (tell him about your experiences, show him your account & favourite tweets (& tweeps), let him ask his own questions…play around together!)  😉 

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 02 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 23/09/2013 at 11:36 am

Now, I know that some of you might have thunked that those questions were a bit “silly“…certainly not the stuff of a serious scientific inquiry into TEACHer LEARNing.

Especially, that last one…Number 04.

I’ll come back to that later, promise!

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The thing is, you see, we need to remember that:

Questions (Joseph O Connor quote) Ver 03

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Question number 01 was prompted by a recent report (sent to me as a Twitter “attachment” no less) – a report that tells us that Twitter is actually making today’s kids (our “dumbest generation” ever, many have suggested – people like Miley Cyrus as you might have seen in the first part of this series) …“smarter”.

Yes, I said “smarter”!

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This report is based on the work of Andrea Lunsford (a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University) – and she suggests that the increase in writing (in terms of both quality and quantity) that her research has uncovered is down to the fact that students are doing more “life writing” (the social, fun variety that blogs and social media sites, like Twitter, encourage).

Now, there might be some academics out there that want to tear down Andrea (you go girl!) – but her work is adding weight to similar, earlier work. The work of Gary Small – work that has been picked up and made more “digestible” by guys like David Weinberger (yes, you can “click” on these little red links…and crawl further down the rabbit-hole)…

…as well as a few of my favourite (paper-based) BEDtime READing over the past few years (you HAVE TO read these books):

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The bottom line is that there is now a tidal wave of thunking (and research) that is showing us that TECHnology (and Twitter) is helping kids and young adultsLEARN faster – and, inşallahbetter.

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I guess the question I was really toying with is…

Twitter Blog Post 09 (Is it the same TEACHers)

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There’s certainly a great deal of interest in helping TEACHers get better at “doing” Twitter – more tips and hints than you could shake a stick at:

 

Then, TEACHers can go “PRO” – with Social Media (non-TEACHing, yani) Gurus:

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Blogger (still ignore you)

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Some of my favourite ELT bloggers have done some excellent posts on the benefits of Twitter for teachersVicky Loras did a great post in her recent “PD in Focus” series. 

However, it does not stop there – Primary Teachers, like Karen Lirenman, have done the same in posts likeUsing Twitter in a Primary Classroom 

Work in the College or H.Ed arenaNo worries – try Suzanne Holloway’sUsing Twitter in the College Classroom“. 

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The SECRET (Expletive)

 

We even have stuff for kindergarten TEACHers

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All great stuffGR8 stuff!

but...

…and some of you (them…) are gonna “hate” me for this!

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Remember what I was saying about the type of 21st Century LEARNing Culture…you know, the one we all need to “live within” to LEARN, GROW…and get off the planet (as quickly as we can):

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

It’s a bit more than “pretty graphic” – designed for a pain-in-the-ass friend of mine!

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There’s certainly a lot of LEARNing to be had from these tweets and posts!

The other question here (of course), to borrow Tom Whitby’s lovely turn of phrase

Twitter Blog Post 11 (Twitterati mutual masterbation)

Yani, how many semi-connected or unconnected TEACHers “read” this stuff?

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…and then, we have the matter of my second question:

Twitter Blog Post 12 (FQ #02)

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 01 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 23/09/2013 at 5:56 am

Twitter Blog Post 01

A few days back, I re-introduced my “model” of what 21st Century LEARNing Culture might…should look like.

You know, the type of organisational or institutional climate that might…could create the working / learning environments that would allow us all to be the best possible versions of ourselves.

I did the original version around 30 months ago but decided it needed an upgrade…

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I was well-proud of myself…these things take ages to create!

Twitter Blog Post 02 (21C Culture ver 03)

…that was till a dear friend of mine got me some “feedback”!

 

Feedback via Twitter (in three or four DMs, of course)!

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The feedback went something like this:

“I love the way you put your rose-coloured glasses on when you do posts”

BUT

(I knew what was coming)

“…there are just too many ideas there…too many thunks, as you would say – couldn’t you just give us a simple version…a snappier version that we could all remember”!

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He had a point (buggar) and I had a go:

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

Not too shabby…if I say so meself!

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Snappy, sexy…and…grounded on the communicative power of the number “3”.

A politician’s wet dream…

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Then, I smelled the coffee!

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Why was I doing this?

Why was I “dumbing” down what I believe in – for an “audience”…of one?

Why was I aggreeing with someone that it is OK to drag our thunking down to the lowest common denomitator…or wordbite?

WHY (joker Face)

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Because, sadly, we live in a world that has become addicted to “solving” its problems in one of four ways:

Twitter Blog Post 04 (the Twitter EGGS)

Sometimes all four at once!

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…and the little Twitter bird tells us this is OK.

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Not just “OK” but a prerequisite…if you want to be “liked” or “followed”…

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Time for a RANT

Oh, deary-me…me-oh-my

is Tony getting ready for a rant, acaba?

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Nooooooo – when have you ever heard me “rant”?

This post has been in the pipeline for a while – I wanted to look at how we (as TEACHers) are using Twitter to help us LEARNADAPT to the rapidly changing eco-systems that we live in…and use the tools that these systems are giving us.

Oh, yes….and share a few useful links!

The rant (that never was) was an after-thunk…I might come back to it later.

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Twitter (bird announce)

Those of you that know me and connect over twitter, know that I share….big time! Twitter has become my main vehicle for sharing things I stumble across…I am interested in…I am sent.

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I read a LOT.

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I signed up for Twitter in February 2011like most men, I was a late developer.

I wanted to use my Twitter account to share good stuff on LEARNing, EDUcation and TRAINing – and 99.99% of my tweets are about these things (the rest are about my dog….Dexter and my favourite “guilty pleasure”….Dexter)!

Since that time, I have clocked up around 11,400 tweets95% of which carry a bit of “bedtime reading” – a link to a blog post, an article or report, or an infographic….even a video or podcast (from time to time).

Twitter Blog Post 05 (Tonys stats)

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HELLO! My name’s Tony and I’m a tweep!

HELLO, Tony!

Well, I haven’t tweeted for 2 hours, 37 minutes and…

DAMN! …fell off the wagon, again!’

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That’s around 1.6m characters (each tweet allows you 140 of those) I have thrown into the tweetiverse (you can guess this word, yes? I’ll be doing this a lot in this mini-series).

Trust me – I am not the “worst”…there are many other tweeps out there far worse than I (and not just Miley Cyrus…and all the parental tweeps she upset recently with her “twerkingnot tweeting)!

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BUT, and…as I saidI read a LOT!

Because of my love of “BEDtime READing” and my talent for wishing to inflict it on others – that means that there are, approximately, another 11 to 13 million words I have communicated to my other tweeps…through the tweets I have sent over the past 30 months!

Twitter Blog Post 08 (Total Novels)

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Now, on the whole – my bouts of tweetery have been greeted “warmly“. Many of them are RT’ed (retweeted)…a lot of them are “favourited” (I’m guessing to be saved for laters…as we TEACHers are often in a class when the little twitter ringtone kicks in).

Every now and again I get a lovely little tweet or DM (direct message) saying something like:

Twitter Blog Post 06 (Yasemins comment)

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Yasemin’s comment, BTW, could be roughly translated as “These links are sick“! (“sick” in teenage-speak, yani…meaning “so cool”)! OK – so she actually said “I am sick about these links of yours”! – but that does not translate as well…

Just so you know!

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But, what got me thunking…was whether I had done the LEARNing that 13 million words (of READing) seemed to suggest. Whether my tweeps had also done the same amount of LEARNingor (even) READing…as I had done.

Maybe, they had done even more!

And, perhaps more importantly…how had we used that LEARNing for ourselves – and to add value to our classroom practice and LEARNers.

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I realised I needed to do some research….#crowdsourcing even!

Twitter Blog Post 07 (Crowdsourcing FQs)

How would YOU answer these questions?

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Teacher LEARNing, PD, CPD, Training….wotever! When are we going to get it ‘right’?

In Adult Educators, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Teacher Learning, Teacher Training on 13/07/2013 at 8:06 am

TEACHer THUNKS on CPD

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As you can see from those little images, all is not well in the State of Teacher LEARNing, PD, CPD, Training (delete as you “prefer”) – and not just in the sense that I outlined in my last post!

Indeed, when we try to speak to many TEACHers about their PD or professional LEARNing – more often than not, we get a response like this:

Dont make me use my TEACHer voice (TG ver)

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But, maybe…that’s half the problem?

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When we do ask TEACHers to use their voice on allthingsCPD, we tend to find that many of them are split into TWO camps:

CPD (two camps)

…but this is to the “untrained” ear!

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When we dig a little deeper (and I’m more interested in the “unsmiley group” – that is the problem), what we actually hear them saying is things like this:

PD is crap 01

…and a couple of other things, too:

PD is crap 02

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To put it quite bluntly – many of the “solutions” are thereright in front of our eyes!

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason…proportionate use is the key.

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Sure, there many be issues with money and funding (isn’t there always?) – get creative with sponsors! If we really value LEARNing (of the TEACHer variety – and we should), we’ll find a way to trim some “fat” and inject it where it “matters”. Yes, and there might be one or two malcontents out there (in our staffrooms) who will give us a hard time…whatever we do.

Hey, that’s life…deal!

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but...

…the fact remains that…most TEACHers are human beings, too (!) – they too are imagineered for LEARNing…they love LEARNing new things…new stuff…new ways of promoting student LEARNing

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The LEARNing opportunities we provide them just need it to be “fit-for-purpose”…to be convenient…to be useful…and FUN (but not just a “laugh-and-giggle show”)…

Gamification 02

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There’s been a few really good posts thrown into the blogosphere of late – many of them offer some great THUNKS on how to get it right:

Blogger (still ignore you)

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Adam Bellow did a lovely post based on FOUR critical wordsPD: Four Ways to Start Changing the World This Summer

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Josh Round did one some time back (but I only found it this week) – What to Put in the CPD Pot – full of sensible practical ideas.

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Med Kharback (aka @medkh9) put an EDtech and DIY “spin” on professional development in his post – Top 8 EdTech Tools for Teacher CPD.

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Laura Conley gets us to think about “flipping” (no, not THAT type !) with her great post – 7 Steps To Flipped Professional Development (first appeared on gettingsmart.com).

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@WhatEdSaid (aka Edna Sackson) made a storming return to the blogosphere with her – 10 Principles of Effective Professional LEARNing… – a post that stretches us to be “thunking doers” not just “PD delivery boys” (and girls)!

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LEARNing (cannot be delivered) Ver 02

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…and….ONE more:

Susan Lucille Davis gave us her – What Teachers Really Want – a post that every PD Coordinator, Training Manager or EDUboss should take note of (TEACHers, too)!

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All good stuff!

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But, then again…it’s always better to hear the voices of our own TEACHers!

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Questions, questions, questions…(Guest Post by Laurence Raw)

In Adult Learners, Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Guest BLOGGERS, Teacher Learning on 08/11/2012 at 7:55 pm
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Well, give a man an inch…on a blog, and he’ll want a bloody mile!
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A couple of days ago, Laurence did a super guest-post for us. He must have known it was pretty well-received…’cos he asked me to give him another one.
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Not a “rant” this time…but one of the most honest posts I have read for a while on “real LEARNing”!
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So, I’m going to shut up…and let him tell the story.
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Are you sitting comfortably?
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I’ve been fortunate enough to take on a class of graduate learners – the first time I’ve done so in many years.  It’s a pleasurable experience, but also a tough one.
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The reason is this: I’m continually being asked similar questions by learners.  “Is this right …?” “Am I doing it right?” “Do you approve of what I’m doing?” “Can I do it better?”
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My stock answer to such questions is: “I don’t know.  What do you think?”
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However…this often leads to even more confusion.
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I recently came across a site explaining why learners find Top-Down Learning so congenial: it’s because they are “given the ‘Big Picture’ first, and then, maybe, the details of what’s involved in the process.” This may sound acceptable at first, but how do we know precisely what the “Big Picture” is? Is it defined by the educator, the institution, the learner, or a combination of all three?
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My graduate learners seem to be in no doubt: it’s the institution and the educator who determine their agenda
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In my spare time, I devote a couple of hours each week to teaching my thirteen-year-old niece.  Hitherto she has found the task of learning English a difficult one: many of the activities assigned to her have proved difficult for her to complete, and her grades have been correspondingly low.  However this summer she made the effort to improve herself through immersion: watching films, reading books, and trying to converse with as many people in English as she could.
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The results have been fascinating: now she is more than happy to communicate in English, but more importantly, she wants to ask questions – about my life, about her own life, and the different ways in which we were brought up.
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Asking questions is the key to all learning.
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Children learn by asking questions. New recruits learn by asking questions. It is the simplest and most effective way of learning. Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this is the best way to gain deeper insights. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, has said: “We run this company on questions, not answers.’ He knows that if you keep asking questions you can keep finding better answers.  
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My thirteen-year-old niece has understood that asking questions lies at the foundation of improving her language abilitiesInstead of completing endless assignments, ask a question. Intelligent questions stimulate, provoke, inform and inspire. Questions help us to teach as well as to learn.
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Top-Down Learning may be safe for my graduate learners, but it discourages them from asking questions.  Everything is nicely prepared and packaged for them, just like packets of frozen food in a supermarket.  The only way I can encourage them to learn is to ask questions of them, and encourage them to ask questions of themselves in response
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Maybe, just maybe…I should get my thirteen-year-old niece to come and give them a lesson in learning.  If she had sufficient self-confidence, I would certainly do so.  It would be an interesting reversal of accepted wisdom: the further you advance up the educational ladder, the more you are supposed to ‘know.’
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I wonder how it would work in practice?
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Laurence Raw
(aka @laurenceraw on Twitter)
Baskent University – Ankara, Turkey.
Editor: Journal of American Studies of Turkey
http://baskent.academia.edu/LaurenceRaw
http://www.radiodramareviews.com

The 21st Century Teacher Trainer…

In Adult Educators, Teacher Training on 14/01/2012 at 12:34 pm

…or even TEACHer EDUcator!

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Twitter Blog Post 02 (21C Culture ver 03)

 

It seems you can’t throw a rock into the blogosphere these days without hitting a post or article on the 21st Century “something-or-other”.

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Teaching is no different, teacher training is no different…so, and because I obviously have my “teacher educator” hat on these days, here’s my two cents on “trainers” of the present and future.

21st C TRAINERS

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To be honest, I have done my own fair share of promoting the concept of the “21st Century Teacher”…but, and in my defense, I have also maintained that being a 21st Century teacher involves more than just the skills and tools peddled by “edtech visionaries”.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at a couple of earlier posts:

See, told you so!

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Teaching, good teaching, has always been about authenticity, values and educational literacy (fluency, too).

OK – it is true – technology will play a larger and larger role in the lives of learners and teachers (and trainers, too) – and teachers and teacher educators will increasingly have to have the very same 21st Century technological skills and digital literacies that their students are expected to have.

Fair cop, guv!

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…But, 21st Century education and teacher learning will never be all about the tech n’ toys. Well, it shouldn’t be…

I am not alone…and I’ll step on the shoulders of a “giant” to prove it:

Na, nah, na, na, nah – no talk of EdTech from Mr. Multiple Intelligencies himself.

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A more recent “study” from another (very) tech-savvy edu-commentator, Meris Stansbury:

Told you so – last on the list and more about “knowing the difference” than “using the new and different”.

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Tony, you are still on “teachers”…look at the “title” of the post, darling!

OK, OKgetting there. In a minute!

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This week, Educational Origami also did a nice post on the 21st Century Teacher – and, surprise-surprise, my man Andrew did the same:

Like most sensible thinkers in education, I doubt if many of you will disagree that both teachers and trainers need to have many of the same “human” characteristics:

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And, both teaching and training rely on the same basic “facts of life”what we know, what we do with what we know and what we do to improve what we do with what we know (yes, I know it’s a mouthful)!

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So, and taking inspiration from all these sensible chaps and chapettes mentioned here today…

here’s my list of “roles” for the 21st Century Teacher Trainer:

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OK – OK! And, you want to know what they actually do on a day-to-day basis, too?

Is there no pleasing you, at all?

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I’m going to go out on a limb here (why change the habit of a lifetime) – and say exactly what I said about the 21st Century Teacher…

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The 21st Century Teacher Educator…will (still) need to think more about the headware, the heartware and the careware – not just the hardware, the software and the webware everyone is trying to flog us!

I openly admit that these things can help us get the job of “teacher training” done…but they cannot replace what is at the heart of the job – teachers and how we make a real and significant difference to their lives (and the lives of their “kids”)!

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That is unless YOU have anything you’d like to add to this little diatribe!

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So, you wanna be an ELT Teacher Trainer…huh?

In ELT and ELL, Teacher Training on 04/01/2012 at 7:28 pm

Those of you that know me intimately (well, maybe not “that” intimately) will know that I spend some of my “free time” working with teachers and school leaders on various development programmes and LEARNing opportunities (gotta plug the blog – it is, afterall a brand new year)!

Right now, I’m getting ready to work with a bunch of ELT teachers – who have taken the “leap” and are planning the “transformation” into the role of ELL Teacher Educator (sounds so much better than “ELT Trainer”, dunnit)?

I was pulling together some on-line “bedtime reading” resources together as pre-sessional prep – and actually went back to one of my very first posts (almost a year ago to see what had changed – to see if I have changed)!

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In that post, I made a few observations – as have others before and after me:

 

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  • There is no one best “route” for becoming a teacher educator – and sometimes many of the so-called “trainer-training” programmes that have sprung up over the years are a waste of time!
  • There is no one best “trainer profile” – trainers and teacher educators come in all shapes and sizes (but many of them are “rounder” than most – and, not sure why, a large proportion of them still smoke)!
  • Teacher training or educator LEARNing, as a job, is about “service” – to teachers and the profession. It’s about“serving” – not being “served”.
  • Teacher-training is really about who you are, what you know, what you stand forand how you share all of that and get others to “find their voice” and share what they have to offer.
  • It’s bloody hard work – not just about “winning the crowd” or “having a laugh” (what I call the “ka-ka-kee school of teacher training”) – and requires a lot of varied and multiple experiences if you really want to add value to the LEARNing and teaching of others.

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NONE of these have changed – over the past 12 months!

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What had changed for me, however, was the resources I was recommending to people. In my early days as a teacher trainer, I focussed vey much on “content”. If I was working with ELT professionals, all my recommendations were about ELL – if I was working with engineering lecturers, all my stuff would come from the literature about “engineering education” (go on, I dare you, try and find that kind of stuff)!

With the recommendations I have been making more recently, there’s much more of a “variety” – much more “transdisciplinarity” (is that a real word, acaba)! This has got to be a good thing and it made me realise that I have another area in which I am walking-my-talk.

Yes, reading is good – and sexy – but reading outside of our disciplines, our comfort zones is sexier!

 

Anyways, I thought I’d share the most recent “bedtime reading list” with you – especially, if you are thinking of taking the “leap”:

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REFLECTION, REFLECTIVE PRACTICE & REFLECTING 


BECOMING A TEACHER TRAINER 


PLANNING WORKSHOPS & TRAINING EVENTS 

 

What I will say, to wrap up, is also that a few other of my ideas and bits of advice (from last year) also remain unchanged.

Just as we are starting to realise that “intelligence is learnable” (finally), we are starting to see that teacher training abilities can be learned – but require Disraeli’s “three pillars”.

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So, what does all this mean for teachers who are thinking about moving into teacher training (or educator LEARNing):

  • Watch a lot – go to as many training sessions as you can, check out as many conference papers as you can, get on the web and find other presenters. LEARN like your hair’s on fire!
  • Reflect a lot – think about the sessions you go to and draw up a list. Think about the “best” training sessions you have been to – ask yourself: What worked? What mattered most? What did the presenter/facilitator “do” and how did that make you feel? – DO IT! Also, think about the “worst” sessions you went to – ask yourself: How did I feel? What got in the way of my learning? What stopped my engagement? DON’T DO IT – EVER!

Most importantly:

  • Get your hands “dirty” a lot – as a wise man (I actually thought it was a woman last year) once said:

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You will LEARN more by doing “teacher-trainer-type” things and “failing” than by reading a bookand you will figure out how to make it happen, if you really want it!

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