What is meant by Teaching Excellence?

This blog has been convened by Fred Garnett and Nigel Ecclesfield in order to discuss what is meant by Teaching Excellence as requested by the current UK government consultation in 2018. As founder members of the Learner-Generated Contexts Research Group, we think we should be looking at what is meant by Learning Excellence, or rather, what dimensions of education enable good Learning to take place. Unfortunately both the government, with its education policy hat on, and academics, with their traditional elitist view that Universities are the only aspect of education that matter, are using the dreaded Research Excellence Framework as the framing metaphor in trying to discuss what Teaching Excellence looks like. 

We don’t think that educational policy makers are the least bit interested in what teaching excellence might look like, we think they want to both increasingly control the education sector and further limit the degrees of freedom by which teachers might practice their profession. For a start you certainly wouldn’t model teaching excellence on university practice where academics are recruited for their academic ability and concerns about not their teaching practice come a poor and distant second.

As authors of work on what we call the “Craft Professionalism” of teaching we think that there is much to discuss on what constitutes good practice in teaching. Furthermore we’ve been involved with the Digital Practitioner research, along with Geoff Rebbeck, which has identified fresh ways of looking at good teaching practice in the digital age. So in terms of both our historic practice, knowledge and expertise, along with emerging good digital practice, as seen with the new enabling tools of “personal” technologies, we feel we have a lot to contribute to any debate on “teaching excellence”.

Fred, having taught in both the USA and the U.K., developed an approach to teaching that he calls “brokering” which is both teaching and enabling the learner to understand the educational framework within which they are attempting to learn. Nigel, as an Inspector for ALI & OFSTED, has great experience in both teaching and in reviewing the teaching practice of others. 

The issues we hope to address are;

  1. What is the purpose of education
  2. What is the role of a teacher within an educational Instituion
  3. Who defines the role and “craft professionalism” of a teacher within an educational institution?
  4. What are the rights of the learner within the educational system
  5. How is the emerging digital practice changing the traditinal the role of the teacher 
  6. To what extent is the understanding of teacher limited to pedagogy and to what extent does it also enable Andragogy and heutagogy within the learning process?

This is  draft post to initiate discussion…