Final Week

The past ten weeks have flown by, and now we are approaching the final session back at Moray House.

Reflections on Returning to Teaching (RTT) Course

As a teacher who was trained at the University of Exeter's School of Education the RTT course has been really useful for highlighting the differences between the English and Scottish systems.

Professional Values - GTCS

Having a professional body that is actively involved in the on going professional learning of teachers is important, and one of my reasons for leaving the English education system was due to the English GTC being disbanded by a Minister for Education that neither understood pedagogy or professionalism.

Learning for Sustainability

This was an interesting concept that rightly should be embedded in the learners approach to both learning and life. It was an approach that I have not come across as an approach to be embedded within the educational context although it is fundamental to creating a world that will continue to sustain an enormous population.

Outdoor Learning

This is another really innovative approach to enhancing learning, by making use of the environments in which the schools are based to improve the connections with the local communities and including the context in which schools find themselves.

Curriculum for Excellence

The idea's and reasoning behind CfE was really useful and inspiring, the idea of building curriculum based on outcomes and experiences and the idea of a Broad General Education (BGE), should be the building blocks of all educational systems.

Although in secondary education it all becomes irrelevant as we are stuck in a world that only values University Education - as a result everything beyond S3 is based around exams and exam achievement to fulfil the perceived needs of University - who want an easy measure of attainment to make their student recruitment processes easier. Exam's do not demonstrate learning or ability they only demonstrate a persons ability to correctly plan and be prepared for the examination.

Planning for Learning

It was really good to understand the approach of inclusive for developing both the curriculum and the lessons in a school context.

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)

The idea's behind GIRFEC should not even need to stated - if as teachers we are not doing the best for every child then their is a systematic failure with the system. Having said that the implementation added to support GIRFEC such as the named person may well not have the intended effects, and may not protect every child as the system should.

Equality, Race and Diversity

This week covered the important legislation that is in place to ensure equality and diversity.

Inclusive Pedagogies

This week continued the idea's from the equality, race and diversity approaches in the previous week, by emphasising how the curriculum and learning is an important factor in ensuring inclusivity. Are our approaches to teaching embracing and enhancing, and making use of the diversity that exists in the classroom.

Positive Relationships and Restorative Approaches

Building positive relationships and a restorative approach to discipline, was truly inspiring, this is what education should be about - if we are not in the lesson to learn, then why are we there at all? Developing and building mutual respect makes the learning process much for fun and enjoyable for all.

Assessment is for Learning

It was good to go over the importance of Assessment for Learning - a key tool in ensuring that what is being taught is actually being assimilated by the students.

Experiences and Outcomes

This course has been really useful, and has been a great help in understanding the great philosophies that underpin pedagogy here in Scotland.

With regard to Returning to Teaching, and my experience of interview process here in Scotland is that I will not be returning to classroom teaching.

Without the opportunity of an actual work placement where I can demonstrate not only the great idea's and learning that I have come across in this course, but my style and approach to ensuring that those students fortunate enough to learn from my teaching, and for me to benefit from their unique skills and insights. None of this can be demonstrated in an half hour interview against 4 or 5 set questions. As a result I will not be returning to classroom teaching.