How can we encourage teachers to learn from one another?
Sharing Mark Plan Teach with 30,000 teachers, I often advocated that teaching is a team sport. Experienced teachers must help newer teachers solve complex, classroom problems.
I am delighted to announce the publication of Mark Plan Teach 2.0.
This header photo is an image taken from the very first public event I led, sharing ideas from Mark Plan Teach.
This is an updated version of the first edition, which unpicks the detailed work I completed with 110+ teachers in a disadvantaged school in London. The book explains how we built a teaching and learning policy over 3 years. From 2018, I have travelled to 15 countries and have worked with 30,000 teachers, sharing this work.
Mark Plan Teach 2.0 builds upon how it has translated into a wide variety of contexts – the good and the not-so-good. The book highlights what I’ve learned from others, what works (or not), plus some new ideas I’ve discovered from my research at Cambridge University.
This snippet below is the foreword written by the fabulous Prof Andy Hargreaves. Somone I continue to learn from.
“A few years ago, some of my students successfully nominated me for Boston College’s Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award, which I received in 2015. Yet, at the very same time of my nomination, I had one of my most difficult teaching moments ever.
I regularly receive manuscripts like Ross’s book to endorse or review. Could this be a resource for my students too, I wondered? How exciting it might be to review manuscripts before publication and then send them back to the actual authors for feedback!
My students were not impressed, though. Instead of being excited, they were petrified. How could they possibly present criticisms to world-renowned writers who had given their lives to their scholarship? The students’ reviews were bland in the extreme. They had no voice and very little critique.
After reading their reviews, I entered the next class early. I struck up a sombre tone. All but one of their assignments had failed, I said. I left a long, dramatic pause. Then I continued. If one or two assignments failed, I reflected, that could be a problem with the students concerned. If most had failed it was impossible to avoid the fact that there was a problem with me!
What did I learn from this experience? For one thing, as innovation after innovation had landed successfully in my classes, I just wanted the rush of more of them. I was over-planning due to over-excitement. The classes were becoming expressions of my passions but ignoring theirs. Second, I was a victim (or beneficiary) of my own hubris. Just because I was Teacher of the Year with one bunch of classes didn’t mean I could be Teacher of the Year in all of them.
As Ross tells us, great teaching is partly about getting the context right. And this is a salutary lesson for everyone to remember who gets lucky with a Teacher of the Year Award at some point. Last, I needed to involve my mature students more in both the planning of as well as the assessment in my classes, especially the most innovative ones. So, as if I had already taken some leaves out of Ross’s book, I got back to some good inclusive planning and assessment basics, dropping the next assignment to make space.”
This is not only a book I’ll advise other educators to use. It’s a book I will gladly use myself!
Whether you are an infant school teacher, a researcher and teacher in higher education, or a parent trying to help your child’s learning in virtual school or after school with their homework, this book will have something to say to you. It’s practical and clear but philosophical and inspirational too.
Mark Plan Teach 2.0 publishes on Thursday 21 January 2020.