Mick Healey’s article
‘Developing the Scholarship of Teaching in Higher Education: a discipline-based
approach’ (2000) uses ideas posed by Martin, Benjamin, Prosser and Trigwell
(1999) to point out a series of steps, which enable someone to use research as
part of their everyday teaching practice.
The flow of ideas suggest that a teacher must engage with research, use
the resulting ideas to develop their teaching, critically reflect on their
practice and then share and circulate their ideas (Healey, 2000, p171).
Research is a broad
topic. Consider the research useful to a
classroom teacher as per my practice.
Being a ‘science teacher’ it is asked that you teach three subjects,
whilst you are only typically a specialist in one. A solid grounding in unfamiliar content is
needed to meet the expectations set out by the teaching standards in section
1.3 (Department for Education, 2011). In
addition to the curriculum research, research into the students is needed. Information extracted from the data, for example
reading ages, targets or SEN status, can help identify what drives the
students, and what possible barriers to learning may exist. It is only after this time intensive task,
that a lesson can be prepared, delivered, assessed and reflected upon.
The long-term impact of a
specific lesson cannot be measured quantitatively until a formative assessment
is carried out. In most cases in the area of science, this is a few weeks
later, during an end of topic test. At
this point, a reflection of the impact is measured. To do this a comparison of achieved grade
against target is used. If there is
success, the next step is sharing the techniques used with the department. If not, then further reflection and research
occurs, prior to providing an intervention with the students.
In sharing your success there
are concerns or questions that can be raised by the other staff in the
department. What if this topic had been taught for the year? Is sharing your
findings with others still going to have an impact based on the different
learning styles and abilities of students in each class? Or would skills and
techniques used need to be written about and disseminated, prior to the topic
being taught next time around.
The evidence provided from
these formal assessments is more frequent and provides a measure of the overall
impact of the teaching. These outcomes
are used for performance management, where to “Promote good progress and
outcomes by pupils: Teachers will be accountable for student progress; aware of
their capability and prior knowledge and plan lessons with this in mind. They
must also show that they understand how pupils learn and encourage them to do
their best” (anonymous, 2013, p4), showing that a quantitative success is
measured against a quantitative standard.
Finally, an article titled ‘Do
Teacher’s Matter?’ by Slater, Davies and Burgess provides quantitative evidence
linking the impact a teacher has, directly to pupil performance in their GCSE
examinations. In addition, Healey’s conclusion continues to support Slater’s
findings. Slater’s research has also
shown that “The same student, bringing to bear the skills derived from her home
and family, can systematically score significantly different marks in different
subjects given different teacher quality” (Slater, 2011, p644). The quality of teacher and of the lesson does
have a much larger impact the home or family.