Systems thinking

Friday 3rd February

8.15-9.30 Education Officers Meeting

9.30-10.45 Sub-group of our authority wide 3-18 Assessment is for Learning Group

Our task is to work out how we capitalise upon the Learning Team and Motivated School initiatives which are proving to be so successful in some of our schools. Some of the barriers facing any attempt to improve teaching and learning can be characterised by the following:

Exclusivity – “I haven’t been asked to participate”

Lack of confidence – “I'm not a good enough teacher to take part”

Overconfidence – “I know I’m a good teacher and I don’t need to get involved in any of that nonsense”

Bandwagon avoidance – “I don’t want to do it that way”

Anti-Sookery – (great Scottish word) Sook – to ingratiate . Someone who sucks up “Yurra wee sook, so ye are” —- “They are only getting involved to sook up to …………..”

Initiative overload – “There are lots if initiatives around, all seeming to do the same thing and we have to be involved in all of them”

Help us develop a strategy to overcome these barriers at our new
Exc-el Wikispace. As you’ll see we’ve identifed a number of alternative “entry points” for teachers. The challenge is to create a strategy which enables people to choose their point of entry. This would give some coherence and shape to the direction we are taking. If we create a series of seemingly discrete teaching and learning developments then there is a risk that they all go off at tangents. We could also create groups of teachers who talk about teaching only from their perspective, e.g. “the only way to improve teaching is to employ our techniques” – sometimes referred to as

The key to developing a successful strategy perhaps lies in the notion of
systems thinking Our challenge is to identify the inter-connections and overlaps which exist beween the various approaches that teachers and schools can use to improve the teaching and learning process.

11.00-11.30 Met with Maureen Jobson

12.30-4.00 I was invited to speak at a
SCSSA event at the Manor House Hotel. The title of my talk was
“External Inspection and Quality Assurance”

I think I tried to cover too much ground, as I explored the topic from two perspectives, i.e. Head Teacher and Head of Education.