11 Comments

Don't hate. I was once an architect who designed those open classrooms.

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That was the problem from the start.

Architects did not have the knowledge on learning and teaching practices. What group of educators allowed architects this significance.

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Mar 20Liked by Rebecca Birch

We were just following directions. Post-occupancy evaluations revealed the need for additional acoustic treatment in places but generally, teachers adapted and there wasn't much fuss. It should be noted these schools had strong discipline policies.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21Liked by Rebecca Birch

Interesting article Rebecca. I was an English teacher who officially left teaching last year (well, I couldn't renew my registration). I loved teaching but struggled with many of the aspects of it. A lot of this was to do with my own attitudes and insane perfectionism, which I can see now I've had a bit of distance from everything. But now I'm starting to believe a big part of it was that my teacher training was just entirely inadequate. I think I subconsciously recognised this when I was teaching, but my lifelong tendency to blame myself for everything meant I didn't give it the thought or weight it deserved. Although I could tell you all about educational philosophy and analyse data to within an inch of its life, I was often frustrated that I didn't seem to be able to 'teach' kids and judged myself for not knowing how to do this naturally.

I feel sad that I gave up on my career- one that I was always so passionate about. Do you have any recommendations as to how to 'retrain' ourselves if we feel like this? I haven't had access to many of the resources being out of schools and I really have no idea where to start. The research doesn't seem accessible to the lay person.

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I can relate. Not entirely, but in the sense, once I read about cognitive load theory and the evidence around it I knew why things weren't working. But it took another 6 years of trial and error to get anywhere. Particularly in English.

Michaela School's book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teacher is a good starting point.

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Thanks for the recommendation! I think I started reading that book onfe but had to give it back to someone. Will look out for it again

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author

Hi Lou,

That’s a shame and I completely understand. I recently read a Substack where an ITE provider was basing their course on Carl Hendrick’s How Learning Happens. That seemed to be a great idea. Might work for you.

Perhaps you will consider coming back to us. It’s not your fault.

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Mar 21Liked by Rebecca Birch

The AITSL standards are so very open to interpretation.

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As an educator with 34 years experience, please allow me these two points:

1. I agree, vociferously, with just about everything you say here, and

2. Please, PLEASE avoid jargon. (For example, "Having said that, while there is no real hierarchy of priorities embedded within the Standards, the emphasis on differentiation and ICT is concerning.")

When making points about education, I know you are speaking to educators, but speak as if you are educating the layman. As educators, we spend far too much time and energy making our concepts indecipherable to the common man/woman.

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author

Thanks Brett. Are you referring to acronyms or the whole sentence?

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Good question. Broadly, I would say both. The overall theme of jargon, and acronyms, tends to communicate an air of mystery to the layperson.

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