Improve Teaching and Learning – Here’s How

How to improve teaching and learning in the classroom?

A Vital Question For Any Training Organisation

‘The importance of consistently good or better teaching, learning and assessment has never been more significant for learners in further education.’
                                                                                                                                      Ofsted Press Release

Improve teaching and learning

Ofsted’s comment is a result of their concern for those learners who have not done well at school and for whom FE and Skills is their last chance before they risk dropping out of education and training altogether.  We would all agree that learners require at the very least good teaching that is appropriate to their needs and that keeps them on track so that they gain the knowledge and skills necessary to sustain employment.

For answers to how this can be achieved there is this report on the Ofsted website (summarised below):

‘Teaching, learning and assessment in further education and skills – what works and why’

 A summary of the report:

Based on the experience of 20 outstanding providers Ofsted highlights:

  • Barriers to providing excellent teaching and training
  • Weak features of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Actions that have had the greatest influence in improving teaching, learning and assessment
  • The most significant factors found in the provision of outstanding teaching and learning comprise
  • The most significant characteristics of outstanding teaching, learning and assessment
  • Recommendations for providers

As you would expect some common themes were identified as contributing to providers teaching, learning and assessment being outstanding.

  • Managers ensure that the link between observing learning and evaluating performance is very strong.
  • The results from observations are used as part of performance management and develop sharply focused action plans that lead to individualised and successful continuous professional staff development opportunities.
  • Managers extend the scope of their observations beyond lessons and evaluate the quality of teachers’ practice by using a wide range of indicators of the impact of their work on learners’ progress and their development of skills and knowledge.
  • Apprentices receive high quality on the job training and employers are involved in planning and contribute to learning.
  • Good practice is effectively shared within and across teaching teams.
  • Quality assurance of subcontracted provision is meticulous, and there are strong links between observations of learning, setting of targets for improvement and the provision of staff development.
  • Teaching of English and mathematics is given a high profile across all programmes.
  • There is a focus on effective assessment and its role in underpinning learning.

The article together with the updated Handbook for Inspection of Further Education and Skills, will certainly help you to find ways to enhance student learning.

Suggestions for teachers improvement

The observation process needs to be aligned with commonly understood, and agreed, guidelines:

  1. The observation criteria you base your observations on.
  2. The range of observations you currently carry out.
  3. What use is made of the information you record from observations.
  4. Evidence of staff development actions plans resulting from observations and the impact that implementing the action plans has had on improving teaching, learning and assessment.For the ‘tool’ to ‘do the job’ effectively and efficiently you will need to look no further than our Observation Manager software.This easy to use, cost effective streamline solution, will free up observer and management time. Observations are completed electronically and automatically update reports and observee’s records. Actions points are logged to show what is being done to improve performance. This web based resource facilitates instant communication between all relevant staff, management control and sharing of good practice in teaching, learning and assessmentObservation Manager ticks all of the boxes when it comes to how to improve teaching and learning.

Improving the quality of teacher education with a “Resource Pool”

This pool would be a resource that is available for all teaching staff,  after being discussed and agreed upon with these pointers in mind:

1) Misconceptions that students often have
2) Images and information sources that are proven to get key ideas across to students
3) What is the core “mission critical” knowledge that needs to be acquired
4) Link it all up to other resources/software the organisation has developed/acquired.

Such a pool as described above would be available to every teacher. It would promote flexibility by allowing teaching staff to share their knowledge and best-practice for the common good, and be a key method for how to improve teachers performance.

To find out more click here:  www.TeachingPlusLearning.co.uk

Click here to get an Online Demo of the Observation Manager software

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