nextPRACTICE Value Proposition

Core purpose

To support teachers’ inquiry, and help them link this to strategic planning in schools. The methods and software are intended to help teachers who have been inspired by their class or colleagues; who want to explore and idea; who want to share what they find with colleagues in an easy and accessible way; and who want to know how to work with the senior leadership teams in schools in order to get support with this.

Narrative overview

A Geography teacher, responsible for preparing a Year 10 class for their final year of secondary school study, questions whether her students’ independent learning skills are of an appropriate standard. She also queries whether her teaching practice provides suitable opportunity for their development. This provides the kickoff for her inquiry. She uses the nextPractice method and software to plan and record her inquiry.

She uses the software to record her pre-existing assumptions about her learners. These include a notion that Year 10 students do not want to engage in independent learning, and prefer to be lectured by the teacher.

Using the nextPractice method, she begins to refine the focus of her inquiry. First, she identifies what independent learning skills currently look like in her classroom, and what high-level independent skills would look like specifically for her students. She reviews her scheme of work to identify opportunities for alignment with her research method. As the learners are undertaking a controlled assessment with a pre-seen case study on tourism, she plans to conduct her inquiry around their preparatory assignments that focus on tourism trends. She decides to record her own written notes on class work for reflection, in addition to obtaining student feedback in focus groups for qualitative analysis before the summer term.

For her previous classes, this assignment had included creating written essay plans and analysing graphs provided by the teacher. She changes teaching practice to allow for independent learning skills to become part of the focus for the activity, with students preparing podcasts that introduce tourism trends occurring in their local area. These are shared with other classes for revision and exam preparation.

She assesses the learning outcome according to assessment objectives, though also reflects on her own notes and focus group findings to assess the independent learning skill development of her students. This feedback is used to decide what will change as a result of her inquiry. Her focus group findings include that though learners were happy for their work to be shared with their class peers, some felt anxious about their work being accessed by other classes. She also found from her own reflections that some of her learners prefer working visually. As a result, she changes her practice to include sharing of material only within her own class, and plans to use video for her next preparatory assignment. These findings are recorded and shared with colleagues using the nextPractice tool, and can be used to inform broader school-initiated change.

Trends

  • Educators are being asked to work in evidence-based ways
  • Teachers can develop their own agendas to develop their expertise and professional practice
  • Schools can help teachers build links between their innovations and strategic priorities

Possible approaches to teaching and assessment

Because of the personalised nature of teacher inquiry, nextPractice provides a tool and method that can support research on a range of teaching and assessment approaches including:

  • Active learning
  • Applying new ICTs in educational practice
  • Co-operative and collaborative learning
  • Peer and self-assessment of learners

Environment

  • Outside of the classroom: teachers plan for and share the results of their intervention
  • In the classroom: teachers change their practice and gather evidence about its effects

People and roles

  • Teachers: design an intervention, plan the evaluation, undertake the intervention, gather evidence, analyse it and share it with their peers
  • Senior leadership: negotiate and support links between individual teachers’ innovations and strategic priorities

Activities

  • Plan evaluation
  • Plan the intervention
  • Negotiate the fit between the intervention and school strategic priorities
  • Undertake the teaching intervention in the classroom
  • Gather evidence and analyse it
  • Share practice with senior colleagues and peers

Resources

  • Planning and documentation
  • Software packages (TISL and SPICE) to support planning and share documented practice

The nextPRACTICE Value Proposition is available as a German PDF file too.

The ready-made software bundle for this NEXT-TELL package will be accessible here in Q3 2014.