Date: Thursday 25th July 2013
Session Title: What is progress? How can we achieve it?
[pullquote]Progress: making lots of mistakes -> making less mistakes -> making no mistakes -> new challenge.” @Evgenymilyutin[/pullquote]
This evening’s chat was focused on process, what is actually is and how we can achieve it. the first session to take place during the summer holiday and we had a pretty good turnout.
The discussion began with a general discussion of the definition of progress in the classroom / school setting. The possible difficulties and differences between progressing in knowledge and understanding was explored. A number of people expressed the need to keep things simple and having a clear starting point and end point in mind to ensure progress was made. The importance of teachers realising what the student is going through during the lesson was explored. Some shared that as adults they have been the students in areas outside of school and shared the that is made them realise how complex the learning process, and progress, can be.
Explicit discussions about progress were spoken about by a few teachers during the chat. Some felt it was a sad fact that we a teachers are expected to ‘show’ progress and get them taking about it. Others felt it could have benefits as it makes the learning visible to the students too.
The discussion touched upon the differences between progress over time and progress within a lesson. Some felt quite strongly that progress over time, not in a lesson, was the important thing. Others expressed the view that progress in a lesson mounts up to progress over time so it just as important. A few of teachers expressed their exasperation with the fact that teachers are trying to show progress in 20 minute slots, they felt it was a myth that this is what OFSTED were looking for. The fact that progress has always been important, preOFSTED, was spoken about.
There were multiple discussions on different types of progress and how we assess it. The importance of dialogue in books between teacher and student was mentioned a few times. The fact that progress can take may forms, not just academic was also stressed. Knowing the individual students was thought to be key to ensuring progress of all types. The enjoyment of learning was spoken about, we all want to see this, but it is essential for progress to take place. Motivation was discussed, students who are motivated to learning and help themselves, but how do we create this environment.
They joy of the eureka moment was celebrated.
The importance of success criteria and lesson objectives and the part they play in enabling progress was explored in some detail. Many felt that lesson objectives were essential to this as it gave focus and direction. Others felt success criteria and the goal was more important. Some felt the two were, or should be intertwined as learning objectives should lead to success if achieved.
Tweets of the Week:
@Evgenymilyutin – Progress: making lots of mistakes -> making less mistakes -> making no mistakes -> new challenge.
@jamestheo: They [OFSTED] don’t look for ‘sustained progress over time’ in a lesson, they look for evidence of it.
@jillberry102: Progress should be about how you compare to your former self, not compare to others.
About your Host:
@MsFindlater is an Assistant Principal in a large London Secondary School. English and Media Teacher. Digital Learning Coordinator. Writes for Guardian Teacher Network & TES English. Lifelong learner & happy teacher geek.