Research Practitioner

Friday 28th April

8.15 – 9.50 Education Officers’ Meeting – we all update each other on matters arising from the previous week. It’s a very useful way to ensure that we are aware of emerging issues.

10.00 Departmental Briefing – I updated the department on matters of interest and relevance.

10.15-10.30 Quick chat with Derek Haywood about the translation of our service improvement plan into the format being used by the council to ensure a corporate approach.. We have ensured that school plans do not need amendment.

10.45-1.15 Out to DunbarGrammar School to accompany Peter Peacock, Education Minister, who was visiting the school to announce that DGS is to become a
school of ambition. The school’s
plans centre around the performing arts. The only problem with this initiative is that it has the potential to set one school against another – through the preferential funding arrangement. We are exploring a strategy to enable all our clusters to become “Communities of Ambition”. Alan Blackie spoke to me about it briefly this morning and we will be trying to identify some funding for such a plan. The idea would be to identify a characteristic which the schools in a community could use as common point of focus, e.g. performing arts, languages, design, etc, etc. I wonder if the idea of Wittgenstein’s notion of
family resemblances might be helpful here. It’s not that we are trying to create identical schools but that within a community there might be family resemblances underpinned by a common focus.

2.00-4.00 Quick drive into Edinburgh to meet with Lawrie O’Donnell to pick up on our conversation from Wednesday. We’ve come up with the job title – Research Practitioner. the traditional term is, of course,
practitioner research – but by turning the words around we create something quite new. Reseach Practitioner captures the purpose of the job and also links the ideas of theory and practice – a common theme on this weblog. A Research Practitioner would innovate, experiment and with emerging practice whilst attempting to embed it in classroom practice. This concept also picks up on our
grounded strategy approach which underpins exc-el We see the job in East Lothian focusing upon the synthesis between, curriculum for excellence, digital literacy, and learning and teaching. We want to focus attention on the P6-S2 age stages (10-14 – now that sounds familiar!!) Lawrie is interested in our idea about project work and referred to Queensland, Australia who have redesigned their curriculum around the concept of
rich tasks – watch this space.