Keywords: teacher professionalism, professionalism in education
To start this report I would like to explain the importance of professional standards. Based on the LLUK (no date) the professional standards have a purpose. These standards are for all those educators who work within the lifelong learning sector which describe the skills, knowledge and attributes required for many who are in teaching and training roles.
According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (no date) teacher professionalism has relevant significance in education and that it impacts the role of the teacher, which in exchange influences the student's ability to learn effectively. This definition however does not describe what sort of professional should act of their job or workplace.
According to teaching expertise (2006) the post-compulsory education and training (PCET) sector is broad and diverse. Teachers, trainers and tutors who work within the FE sector have all had different experiences. Educators have often gained expert understanding within a specific industry e. g. hospitality and catering. An alternative route is through university and specialising this way.
Values of professional practice, according to Wallace (2009). . . ,
''Our values represent something internal to us - a part at our own moral and ethical guidance system. ''
I think that teaching and learning has an objective to teach learners in the methods to proceed and progress a learners future and career prospects. I believe that a value is a value created on someone's own behalf. The goal of education, I really believe, is to educate and furthermore we need education in our daily lives to survive. The educator has a job which is to aid and provide something whilst at the same time motivating learners. Furthermore, it is important to stress that there should be a link between the educator and learner and that there is a good relationship between them. It is important, as an educator, to communicate effectively. Furthermore, an occupation and a specialist work together in harmony. It should be made clear that a professional person needs values of professionalism. There could be some overlap in conditions of what sort of professional should act or carry out a professional job.
The comments above tie in closely using what makes a 'good teacher'. From personal reflections and thoughts, three distinct aspects came to my attention, that are:
In summary, the values that happen to be distinct and really should be looked at as acceptable values for teaching professionals are being supportive, being a listener and also to respect all staff and students within the institution.
Professional practice can be determined with a set of values. These values are what educators should be following with on-going observation and reflective practice. According to LLUK (no date) there is a group of standards called the 'New overarching professional standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector'. Furthermore, the standards categorised into sub-sections that have specific professional objectives and act as guidelines. It really is these objectives which educators must abide to throughout teacher practice. According to LLUK (no date) there's a set of 7 professional values.
An example would be,
AS 1 all learners, their progress and development, their learning goals and aspirations and the knowledge they bring with their learning
AS 2 Learning, it's potential to benefit people emotionally, intellectually, socially and economically, and its contribution to community sustainability
As mentioned, each point has a value and purpose. From just observing the group of values, purposely constructed for educators within the LLUK sector, these are powerful and strong. I believe there's a problem with the values that educators may not be able to abide to all or any of these due to several reasons.
Firstly, funding, and that some institutes may suffer to provide consistent values. Secondly, some of the values will have significantly more demand than others. It could be argued that these values will change according to the institute. It could be suggested that some institutions would decide to keep their dominant values.
Additionally, the values set by the LLUK are and should be approached with underpinning knowledge and understanding and a professional practice.
For example, referring to LLUK (No name),
The knowledge and understanding:
AK 1. 1 What motivates learners to learn and the value of learners' experience and aspirations.
AP 1. 1 Encourage the development and progression of all learners through recognising, valuing and giving an answer to individual motivation, experience and aspirations
Darling-Hammond (1988) commented that the value of professionalism, when it comes to educators, is fundamental and direction of excellence. The author states that educators need competence which professionalism pertains to three focuses which can be preparation, knowledge of subject area, and defined pedagogy.
Firstly, preparation, prepares the professional for the classroom which examines the language and cultural barriers. All educators face deterrents in the classroom that must definitely be broken down by individualised techniques.
Darling-Hammond (1988 pg. 59) related this to state. . . ,
"Decision making by well-trained professionals allows individual clients' needs to be met more precisely andpromotes continual refinement and improvement in overall practice"
It is to claim that values of professionalism are to be approached correctly. This will encourage the educator to be prepared for the classroom. Furthermore, the values of professionalism exist for grounds. They'll benefit the professional teacher in conditions of motivating and encourage student participation.
Alongside preparation, a specialist educator with a strong understanding of his/her subject area will create opportunities to be creative around the topic taught. As a result, Lesson planning and resource preparation time will be less because the educator will already understand the subject. This will reduce enough time researching material.
It is worth commenting that it might be an advantage to know a topic inside out and would reflect and portray confidence in his/her teaching. In addition, the educator should have a wealth of experience which would benefit his/her practice and enhance their teaching.
According to Lunenburg and Ornstein (2000), developing such expertise and knowledge may take years to develop such knowledge.
As a result of this, I believe frequent reading and information seeking is important to teaching an expert subject. It would be beneficial an educator spent some time working and gained enough experience within the industry in order for them to teach or become specialists in their profession. I also believe that this would improve and develop opportunities as it pertains to being creative.
It is helpful to outline the wider context within which FE practice and values of the professional educator.
Notwithstanding, the tutor groups in FE who were not previously contained in the FE (e. g. colleges 14-19 diplomas), colleges have become 'livelier places'. Lecturers' activities have finally geared more to ensuring that students stick to courses and that students pass qualifications' (Hyland and Merrill 2003 P. g. 86).
To summarise, I'd like to comment that professional values assist the educator and that they should be utilised all the time during his or her practice. Guile and Lucas (1999 P. g. 204) suggested that clarification in terms of describing the FE educator is needed. It is worth suggesting that society decides and determines professionalism and the values of professionalism within reason to how the educator should be.
With regard to the concept of professionalism, Humphreys and Hyland (2002 P. g. 06) argued that,
". . . the concentration on performance in teaching and professional development is usually to be welcomed, so long as 'performance' is not defined in purely technicist or instrumental terms. . . "
In other words, there is a purpose for performance in teaching that ought to not be confused or misinterpreted. The criteria, the role and tasks of a teacher have and are becoming increasingly more centralised. The questionable scenario/point to highlight here is that of the educator and how they are to overcome this challenge.
According to IFL, a professional Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status is recognition for newly qualified teachers within PCET. This highlights the identity of teachers in post-compulsory education and training. All new teachers need to accomplish a Level 3 teaching qualification. Third, , new teachers have five years to attain a Level 5 teaching qualification which contributes to the QTLS status. The QTLS status is recognition of the teaching qualification to be able to instruct within the PCET sector. In working towards a new profession, the IFL raises the value for continuing professional development (CPD) which ensures that educators remain specialists in their chosen subject/s.
According to Millerson (1964), you can find conflict and discussion to how the teacher should perform their professional role. This relates to the nature of professionalism. Millerson (1964) mentioned that professionalism concerned a lot of attention to sociologists in the 1950s. The primary approach at that time centered on establishing the features that an occupation should have in order to be termed a profession.
Within context, this questioned how professions such as medicine and law should be perceived. On the other hand, Hanlon (1998) highlighted that there is research on professionalism. The author stated that people see professionalism in an occupation. The author has highlighted the point that teaching is a profession and that the role of the teacher is professional.
To critique quality assurance within PCET it would be appropriate to define quality assurance.
To summarise, quality assurance is a system which prevents too little professionalism and through regular control standards and values can be maintained. This makes certain that the needs of the user/s are satisfied. The main purpose is to control assessment and also seeks to improve performance.
In addition, quality assurance controls and really helps to benchmark against existing qualitative and quantitative results/feedback. Professionalism and quality assurance are two complex areas which overlap and must interact. Both areas concerned are of high importance to the teacher, the course team and the college/Institution.
The quality assurance process is closely linked with being truly a professional teacher and that the professional values should aim to assist and facilitate a direction. Being truly a professional teacher requires continuous professional development which is carried out by completing research within the specialist subject, faculty and institution.
According to the LLUK (no date), student feedback is valuable. You will discover two types of feedback, formal and informal approaches. It really is essential that the PCET teacher considers regular peer observations which will help to improve teaching skills. Observations can help to critique teaching styles/approaches within teaching. Through regular peer assessment and observation, the PCET teacher/tutor must demonstrate effective and appropriate organisational skills which should be evidenced through lesson planning.
According to LLUK (No Date),
The department and staff should be measured by using a variety of ways that ought to include and involve statistical data such as attendance records, grades, percentages, student profiles, student surveys and lesson observations and even more. This data can interpret and help to benchmark against information. This should assist the control and assessment of quality assurance as mentioned above.
The institution has a reputation to uphold and an excellent status to accomplish through goals and action plans. It is area of the PCET teacher to ensure that regular contributions and efforts are made which are then measured through internal audits, college records, league tables and every child matters policies.
Lastly, external bodies, as they help mould the product quality together. Maybe it's stated they are the 'back bone'. External bodies such as, LLUK or Ofsted Inspectors signify what can be done. It is an important part for guidance and that these external bodies are to help and enhance the PCET teacher, college/institution and department.
According for the University of Bath (2005) there would be a board or an excellent assurance committee who be responsible for the staff teaching. Internal and external examiners are also utilised to create reports which help to evaluate and review the teacher, department and institute.
All elements of the product quality assurance system within PCET are essential to the mix of an overall quality performance. The chosen aspect for critical evaluation is observation.
Reasoning for my decision is that there is plenty of research and information about this issue.
Observations assist educators and institutions in conditions of learning and teaching. It should be made clear for what purpose the observation has and will this benefit the teacher or the institution or both.
Bains (2006) highlighted two main categories, formal and informal observations. These must be an agreed after before it takes place. Bains (2006) stated that Formal observations are those for Performance Management e. g. Ofsted. Informal observations are those used for professional development. These participate of internal monitoring systems. Peer observations, for example, for informal feedback.
The University of Sussex (no date) highlighted the value of peer observation of teaching and that this enhances the status of teaching and learning and also strengthens quality assurance processes. The University of Exeter (2005) explained peer observations to be an assessment of teachers by teachers. Furthermore, pairings may be experienced by mentor/novice or experienced teacher. It could be argued that peer assessment can alternatively evaluate on various levels in terms of teaching experience.
It is also questionable whether the observation criterion assesses appropriately against the observed teacher. The peer observation should help the teacher to develop teaching skills by undertaking observations with colleagues. It should be highlighted that the main objective is to provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on his / her teaching.
The QAA (2000) stated that peer observation provides educators with opportunities to learn from one another in a 'non-threatening environment'. This may suggest that teachers would share ideas constructively to his or her professional benefit and within regards to professional values.
In summary, it could be argued that peer assessment is for the educators benefit. It really is debatable how institutions guarantee that students learn effectively and constantly all the time throughout their education. Peer observations are to boost teaching practice which can be seen as good for newly qualified teachers. It can be commented that peer assessment assists less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.
Pagani (2002) commented that educators must have the freedom to choose peer assessor/observers. This process could be argued as vague due to various reasoning behind fairness, equality and also being critical.
In agreement, Pagani (2002) mentioned that institutions should identify a location of focus for peer observation.
In summary, peer observations are useful and appropriate. There is certainly some overlap and a lack of decisiveness to a concrete definition of observation. Furthermore, peer observations have to be carefully planned due to professionalism.
I believe peer observation shouldn't be considered as an informal practice. It might be fair to comment that it is a formal in-house procedure which adopts formal guidelines. In agreement, Partington and Brown (1997) discovered that peer review is an essential process for reviewing ideas and identifies where mistakes could occur if action is not followed through carefully. It could be commented that improves the quality of a product/service. The authors argued that it's an possibility to criticise and that it's an aspect of creating one's confidence and teaching.
The course, for me, has been beneficial and an enjoyable experience. It's time to think about my teaching practice. There were some difficult stages which I have highlighted and times where improvement and action have been considered. According to Brookfield (1988) critical thinking is a process on recent experience with a past experience and should create a location or topic for discussion.
Brookfield (1988) mentioned that critical reflection should include distinctions and or any relationships which can be highlighted. The aim of critical reflection is to build up critical thinking skills which will determine specific and realistic outcomes.
On many occasions throughout the course I've reflected and it would be difficult to think about the complete course due to such varied matters and vast complexity of discussion.
Hatton and Smith (1995) designed a crucial reflection model which determined a framework for writing and identifying different varieties of reflection. The model will be used to help help with my critical reflective practice. The framework will also determine stages in my teaching practice where I believe it is worth discussing.
The first point of the model is descriptive and aims to create a starting point. For the attention of past reflections and practice it is a wise and a proper decision to reflect upon the micro-teach (pttls). The micro-teach was carried out within the early stages of my teaching practice. This is my starting place for teaching and reflecting.
The second point will highlight descriptive reflections which attempts to provide reasons based upon personal judgment. I realised that an active method of my hospitality students was required and that the VAKs strategies improved my lesson planning and time management.
Gradually, as the course continued, lesson planning developed to become more structured and defined in conditions of my aims and objectives.
Throughout my reflective practice, to my attention, a number of students didn't respond to how my lessons were planned. Considering this, this is down to the amount of functional skills put on the particular level delivered.
To my attention, I needed to improve my skills on delivery. I had a need to understand how I should apply them appropriately and effectively in lessons.
The forth action point within the model must relate to a broader historical, social and/or political context and what better than my experience and knowledge gained throughout the independent study of the curriculum module. The study helped to create some valuable points on social, political, economical and technological factors within context to my teaching practice.
Brookfield (2001) described critical reflection to be a systematic effort which discovered and found out material. Brookfield (2001) developed the four lenses model which helped to analyse and assist teaching practices.
The four lenses are our very own activities as learners, students, colleagues, and reading the professional literature. These help reveal the assumptions behind those practices and call them into question. The style of reflection will analyse my teaching practice within the points discovered above.
My micro-teach was an experience and made me feel nervous and apprehensive as I have never taught before in my life.
Due to my nerves, I wanted to make certain which i was delivering correct and appropriate information. I researched around my chosen topic which reassured my teaching delivery. I also found that this became useful while i was using the question and answer technique. I found i was applying teaching techniques and strategies that I had learnt in the first couple of weeks of the course. Having applied these teaching strategies they helped boost my confidence.
The question and answer technique was adopted to aid my delivery. I believe that this engaged my learners. I applied the VAKs strategies to help all learners. The students engaged well to my micro-teach and I now assume that I need to consider a dynamic learning approach as I teach hospitality students. Personally, i found that the micro-teach went smooth great deal of thought was my first-time. Having now reflected, I feel that more literature could have been used to aid other learners.
To summarise, the micro-teach was certainly 'a stepping stone' towards learning to be a successful teacher within the PCET sector. I found this a leap forwards and was extremely beneficial prior to going to my placement.
After Christmas Personally, i felt under a lot of pressure when i was accumulating my teaching hours as well as working towards my assignments. Most of my lesson reflections identified that my teaching technique and style was too relaxed. A few of my students started to misbehave and use this to their advantage in class. I realised, after many lessons and observations which i had a need to deliver my lessons with a dynamic approach which would then control and manage my class.
As a teacher trainee, I came across i was spending lots of time on my lesson plans. They were not seeking the best out of students. I revisited my approach and consulted my mentor who kindly assisted my lesson planning. I found that this helped tremendously on paper and structuring my lessons. I found myself researching around activities and being creative as it pertains to teaching. I researched and functional skills which closely linked with my VAKs and as result, I eventually found that students were learning effectively through their preferred methods of learning and my classroom management skills improved.
About half way through the course there have been several problems with respect to my lesson planning. My mentor assisted me to boost my aims and objectives. I needed to ensure that my aims and objectives were measurable and considered direction towards my classroom approach and student benefit.
As a teacher trainee, Personally i think that lesson planning is something that can only just come with time. Actually, I realised which i needed to ensure I could plan a lesson now to ensure that I could deliver a lesson. My mentor and other colleagues supported me by letting me take a look at their lesson plans. My mentor and I agreed that I would submit my lesson plans before delivery. This helped me to comprehend and or rethink my aims and objectives. My lessons improved when you are realistic about the aims and objectives and, because of this, improved student learning and teaching skills.
The course has certainly been a learning curve. Probably one of the most challenging reports was the curriculum assignment. Personally, i found that the report involved a lot of reading around political, economical, sociological and technological topics. The curriculum models were difficult to understand therefore i tried to refer to them in an authentic context within my placement.
My mentor was supportive and guided me through some of the curriculum models. From past reflections, I think that curriculum models and understanding them are vital towards delivering specific courses such as the BTEC national diploma course. This is a course I used to be assisting to deliver. This helped me to understand how I will approach my delivery.
It would be appropriate to describe and define reflection prior to making assumptions and critical comments. Reflection can be an everyday sense which assists and looks back on past experiences.
Osterman and Kottkamp (1993) explained that critical reflection is known as a vehicle. This can be used by educators to judge and analyse experience within a classroom environment. Brookfield (1995) mentioned that critical reflective practice is an activity which is employed to analyse experiences. For instance, curriculum development or theories. It could be explained that reflection is a process which analyses a point or action.
In addition, critical analysis could be utilized to comprehend why a spot or action is how it is. Within reason, critical reflection will be used. To be a metaphor, the reflective practice could be the foundations of a house. The goal of reflection is clear. Consequently, reflection does not indicate who, what, where, how and or why practitioners should perform reflections and that it is left to the educator.
This leads to the work of Brookfield (1995) and mentioned that critical reflection can be broken into a number of dimensions which address or at least suggest a route for reflecting.
2. Descriptive with some reflection
3. Dialogic reflection
4. Critical reflection
Reflective practice, according to Brookfield (1995), stated that practitioners can form self-awareness if they evaluate their performance/s by using an on-going basis. The writer explained that teaching practice can be improved by focussing on the encounters and activities used.
Within agreement, reflective practice is meaningful and it improves skills and knowledge. It can be argued that point and patience can be an issue and not to forget how experienced the practitioner/educator is. I mean that reflective practice could prove more meaningful for a trainee teacher than an experienced teacher of over 10-20 years.
There are many angles which could be argued which reflective practice boosts over time rather than starightaway.
Hatton and Smith (1995) agreed that self-awareness is meaningful whenever we want to boost teaching practice. Various teaching methods and skills permit the professional to consider alternative avenues.
This could have a positive impact on their teaching by increasing their degree of self-awareness. It can be argued that teaching practice and professionalism can only be developed with time.
In addition, personal activities and the encounters of colleagues should create a host that enhances student learning. This shows that the experienced practitioner is valuable and they should help trainee teachers to improve their teaching. Because of this, the student, department and institution will benefit.
Bruner (1990) highlighted that critical reflective practice can be an ongoing process which enriches curriculum. I would agree that educators strive to be effective and students desire to be creative. This shows that curriculum should reflect both parties concerned. There seems to be contrast and overlap to authors' opinions on reflection and being critical.
It is to suggest that all practitioners have aims and objectives which determine enhance teaching practices and students performances. Curriculum awareness is highlighted and reflective practice should aim to achieve and improve the educator in terms of the teaching practice, student's grades, the university league boards and attendance and reputation.
Bruner (1990) would advise that teachers engage in critical conversations with colleagues which would enhance and determine educational philosophies, instructions, and obligations to students' growth. To summarise, it can be commented a practitioner should reflect on their experiences. Reflective practice would eventually re-shape his or her teaching practice. It ought to be expressed that reflection pays which is compulsory towards becoming and or reaching higher standards of teaching practice for the practitioner, the students and the institute.
In addition, I think that the professional teacher/educator should think about and value students' comments. This would engage the students more and would assist the practitioner to understand the students better.
Reflective practice develops professionals and enables us to study from our very own experiences. Although, I would argue that more experience does not guarantee improved learning. Furthermore, I don't assume that two decades of teaching is two decades of studying teaching. It could also be the truth that one year repeats over twenty times without reflections made. I would consider this as poor teaching. It really is worth commenting that reflections are honest and effective which should, with time, improve teaching skills. From reading, it offers drawn to my attention that additional research is necessary around critical reflective practice.
ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) (2009) mentioned that since September 2007, all educators within the further education and skills sector in England came under new regulations which revised teaching qualifications. Continuous professional development (CPD) for any teachers are now required which is requested by the Institute for Learning (IfL).
To gain and create opportunities within PPD and CPD action will be looked at. To begin with, up up to now, a review of my skills will be summarised which will help and assist the development opportunities.
As area of the PPD and CPD, IFL membership is required to be able to complete the CPD. Based on a job following the course, full-time teachers should undertake at least 30 hours of CPD per year for professional development. CPD is a disorder of retaining the IFL membership and aims to improve teaching skills. IFL made CPD compulsory for newly qualified teachers and permits them to teach within FE colleges.
Examples of informal CPD might be to work shadowing, peer observation, attendance at subject-specific conferences, reading journal articles, or gathering up-to-date information on new curricula and or helping on qualifications such as 14-19 diplomas.
A skills audit was completed for WBE 1 file which discovered various weaknesses that could potentially be made into positive outcomes. In addition, WBE 1 and WBE 2 files were compared using the reflective practice gained throughout the course. The abilities audit discovered some weaknesses and also strengths. One of the key highlighted weaknesses was maths/numeric skills which consideration would be focussed to embed these into lessons. This was a smart target objective to accomplish before finishing the course. Secondly, writing and literacy skills and was more closely related to proof reading documents before submission. Alternatively, the audit highlighted which it and communication skills were high which confidence developed.
Action was considered using smart objectives that have been defined to attain in a step by step process however I still feel discomfort with my literacy and using maths in the classroom.
Reflective practice was collected towards the end of WBE 2 which announced that my confidence and teaching ability has developed in conditions of lesson planning, time management and also subject knowledge through regular reading.
Reflective practice was progressive and that can compare with a rollercoaster, especially in WBE 1. To summarise, my reflections discovered that the VAKs strategies were well embedded into lessons and they helped my hospitality students. I carefully reviewed my activities to be sure that my students were being active in theory lessons. Furthermore, an improvement was highlighted that my teaching style was becoming more decisive and direct towards my students. This assisted my classroom management approach.
Improvements still needed to be made. Towards the end of my teaching practice, it was reflected that we became too patronising and enthusiastic about teaching. I am a separate person and I love teaching and being around teenagers. I try to be level-headed which includes benefited my teaching style. I've good organisational skills that have helped me to prioritise my resources and lessons. My own skills and knowledge have encouraged my students to approach me easily.
In conditions of PPD and CPD, an action plan will be looked at to build up my teaching practice further. Another steps within my role as a specialist front of house hospitality tutor/lecturer will consider many peer observations. I really believe this can help me focus on how to provide maths/numeric effectively. I believe that team teaching and assisting in numeric geared lessons would improve my practice.
Writing/Proof reading is something has been a permanent problem for me. As an academic it was believed that I've dyslexia. It was not proven that I have dyslexia. To any extent further I will try to gain some further assistance within the literacy department who may support my writing and reading skills. Proof reading has proved beneficial and I still seek for a second opinion.
Throughout my teaching practice, IT and communication skills worked to my advantage. I would like to work with some specialised on-line equipment which will help to embed IT skills within future lessons.
The new curricula 14-19 diploma is new to FE colleges and I would like to participate tutoring a course for example, food and beverage service for 14-19. I'd like to have my own personal tutor group as this might provide me with the chance to liaise with other colleagues, the curriculum manager and be able to focus on my CPD for future years.
I can embed my organisation skills in lessons and be able to communicate effectively. Dealing with the 14-19 diplomas will also encourage me to embed functional skills as the diploma courses have significantly more focus on them. This might be an possibility to improve my own functional skills at the same time.
To conclude, professionalism is important and really should be approached in a professional manor. I believe that the professional values serve a purpose for focus and that we, as practitioners, should react and work collectively to providing a worthwhile education. The report highlighted that we now have some conflicts to what professionalism is due to its complex nature. It was discussed that quality assurance can be an important feature towards the entire contribution of the practitioner. Furthermore, quality assurance benefited the educator, the department, students and the institution. I personally found that reflective practice is considered to be good teaching practice and that assists with the entire quality of your respective teaching and of the institution because of this matter. Overall, the report was beneficial to understand the idea of being a professional and being a reflective practitioner. The report in addition has highlighted that there surely is a need to constantly review and reflect. I will now continue my journey to be a specialist and I am going to seek to complete my CPD.
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