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Motivating Learning

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Helping student teachers to establish and maintain good standards of behaviour in the classroom when they go into their first job and beyond is fundamental to promoting effective learning. ‘Tips for teachers’ may afford useful ideas for the moment, but embracing the deeper challenge of motivating children and young people by developing learner autonomy offers a long-lasting way forward to this perennial problem. Two TEAN workshops were held in 2012; on February 23rd in Lancaster and June 15th in London. TEAN was delighted to welcome Professor Barry Hymer and Deborah Michel to lead these workshops on Motivating Learning. The events explored the classroom implications of research in the area of learner-led learning: how do we support student- and newly-qualified teachers to create classroom environments which promote pupil autonomy and intrinsic learning motivation as the most effective way of managing behaviour?  Do 21st century classrooms really need to go 'beyond freedom and dignity'?

Delegates very much appreciated these events and the opportunities afforded to discuss the issues behind ‘Behaviour Management’. We questioned the myths behind this much used phrase and investigated the role of autonomous learning and intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation. Above all, delegates felt they were challenged by the day and encouraged to reflect on their own practice.

The following downloads from the day are available here:

Group discussions were excellent with a wide range of ideas and suggestions for moving this debate forward. Extracts from the group discussions can be accessed here.

Links suggested by delegates can be accessed here:

If you know of any other useful sites, please let TEAN know and we will add the links here.

Professor Barry Hymer Barry is a former primary and secondary school teacher and educational psychologist, currently practising as a freelance educational consultant and author.  A commitment to inclusive, holistic and child-centred approaches to education underpins Barry’s writing, teaching and his in-service presentations, and he eschews quick educational fixes and a focus on teaching in favour of deep learning experiences and a focus on learning. Barry’s belief that performance follows a commitment to learning – not the other way round – underpins his devotion to learning-led educational approaches (e.g. Philosophy for/with Children, Dilemma-Based Learning, Logo-Visual Thinking) and to his reputation as a freethinker in the field of gifted education. :

From February 1st 2012, Barry started his new role of Osiris Professor of Psychology in Education in the Education Faculty at the University of Cumbria.

Deborah Michel has long and varied experience within education having taught in primary, secondary and special schools before becoming an educational psychologist. She was Senior Adviser within the National Strategies, leading on Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) in both primary and secondary school. She was a key contributor to the development and writing of both Primary and Secondary SEAL.

Since leaving the National Strategies she has been a freelance educator. She edits Social and Emotional Learning Update for Optimus Publishing and supports local authorities to develop social inclusion policy and practice.

She has now decided to devote more time to develop her long standing ambition to support the development of wise education through the Centre for Wise Education.

Delegates at Barry Hymer and Deb Michel’s events discussed the work of the Teaching Agency (TA) and Charlie Taylor in the TEAN events reported above. The TA has subsequently sent the following information to TEAN which is of interest to our community. (July, 2012)

Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour, a paper developed by Charlie Taylor, Expert Adviser on Behaviour in conjunction with outstanding providers and schools, has now been launched. Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour (This site is available from the Teaching Agency).

Improving teacher training for behaviour has been developed by Charlie Taylor, the Government’s expert adviser on behaviour, to complement the new Teachers’ Standards that all teachers have to demonstrate from September 2012.

It sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding that trainees will need to demonstrate in order to be able to manage children’s behaviour successfully. It also reflects the new Ofsted inspection framework for Initial Teacher Training ( ITT) providers, which will come into effect at the same time. It has been informed by the practice from outstanding teacher training providers, Ofsted and some of the best schools who are involved in training teachers.

You can download Improving teacher training for behaviour, which also contains examples of how ITT providers, including teaching school alliances, have developed their own practice around behaviour management.

TEAN is grateful to Terry Haydn from the University of East Anglia for sending this useful addition to this page:

A 10 point scale about the working atmosphere in the classroom which encourages student teachers and teachers to reflect on what factors influence classroom climate.