To Grade or Not to Grade? by @TeacherToolkit

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This is quick follow-up blog to this post; A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning that I presented at @Optimus_Ed conference last week and at the @PiXLClub national conference today. In the is blog you will be able to download my full presentation and seek clarification (or at least my view so far) regarding a future landscape without lesson gradings.

Conferences:

  1. Here is a link to the Growing Excellence training organised by Optimus Education on Wednesday 26th November 2014. My blog is here, called ‘Perfection is a Myth, but Excellence is a Habit.’
  2. Here is the full PiXL 2014 National Conference programme, held today – Monday 1st December 2014. I presented in zone 2, apparently the largest room in the QEII centre!

PiXL 2014 National Conference

Questions / Context:

Ofsted have freed us from the burden of lesson gradings, and more specifically judging individual lessons and teachers. However, many schools
(or at least individual teachers) are reporting no changes. Allow me start with the following question in this image below …

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

.

The current landscape for teaching and learning is divided. The challenge for us all, is a move away from one-off classroom performance towards a more sophisticated model of gathering reliable and valid sources of evidence (without a lesson grade) over time … I have shown this in several tweets here on lesson gradings and here, regarding the marking frenzy which may be an outcome of progress over time – an alternative to one-off performances and possible Ofsted interpretations that in turn, lead to myths …

Thank goodness Ofsted continue to dispel myths and publish this clarification. You’d be surprised how many teachers and school leaders have still not yet read this!

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

The full background to my presentation can be read here in this blog; A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning. It will explain much more of the slideshow presentation I have added below. The crux of my presentations asked the following questions of the audience. You can click on the 3 tweets below to reply/comment.

PiXL 2014 National Conference tweetClick to open

PiXL 2014 National Conference tweetClick to open

and finally,

PiXL 2014 National Conference tweetClick to open

Prediction:

I have explained before that the current landscape for an Open versus Closed process for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in schools. Given that we keep or use one or the other mechanisms, in the words of @KevBartle from one of his great blogposts, here is another useful reminder;

“There is no progress within lessons. There is only learning. The Ofsted framework talks about ‘gains in their knowledge, skills and understanding’ in lessons. They are things that inspectors will be looking to see from the students. Where progress is mentioned, it is not something that inspectors will be looking to see from the students, because it is about the effectiveness of monitoring that they will be looking to see from the teacher.” @KevBartle – Canons Park Headteacher

This should clarify 20-minutes progress within lessons nonsense that has circulated around schools for the past year … Progress is based on teacher-tracking and not students making rapid progress in a one-off single lesson!

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

.

… On non-grading lesson observations, using a formative model for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning over time, and not one-off performances, I am predicting that … that this will become the predominant factor for assessing the overall quality of teaching and learning in most schools (throughout 2015).

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

.

Reminder:

Remember, that all is of this is just my own suggestions; what works for my school, may not work for your school  and vice-versa. This means that no matter if we do judge (or not judge) teaching or individual lessons, or even lessons over time, schools will always be held to account on their overall performance.

This doesn’t mean that teachers shouldn’t be judged / assessed too, but that we should move towards a more reliable and fairer method for doing this over time (and not all of the time); so that teachers are supported to develop to be the very best that they can be. I believe we are moving in the right direction. This is my current suggestion.

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

Presentation:

You can click the image below to download my full presentation. The file is 62MBs in size and in Powerpoint format.

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

Feedback:

Here are some of the kinds words colleagues said about the session today …

PiXL 2014 tweetClick to open

PiXL 2014 tweetClick to open

and

PiXL 2014 tweetClick to open

To Grade or Not to Grade?

So, where are you and your school?

TT.

A Valid Landscape for Teaching and Learning by @TeacherToolkit

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

7 thoughts on “To Grade or Not to Grade? by @TeacherToolkit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.