Successful Teaching 14-19: Theory, Practice and Reflection


Warren Kidd & Gerry Czerniawski

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  • Education at SAGE

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    Gerry dedicates this book to Jen.

    Warren dedicates this book to his son Freddie.

    About the Authors

    Warren Kidd is Senior Lecturer in Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) at the Cass School of Education, University of East London (UEL). He is the Programme Leader for the part-time PCET PGCE/Cert Ed. provision. Previously, he taught both sociology and psychology for 14 years in secondary schools and sixth form colleges in Surrey, Kent and London. Along with Gerry, Warren is an experienced author of sociology textbooks aimed at the A-Level market. For the past nine years, Warren has worked in the multicultural, urban environment of Newham in east London in the Post-Compulsory sector as a teacher of sociology, social science manager of a large sixth form college and as a cross-college manager responsible for Teaching and Learning. In 2007 he completed managing a ‘highly commended’ Beacon Award action research project in transferable teaching skills. He was the teaching and learning development manager of a large, diverse sixth form college, and was an Advanced Teaching Practitioner.

    Gerry Czerniawski is Senior Lecturer in Secondary Social Science and Humanities Education at the Cass School of Education, University of East London (UEL). He has passionately worked in the multicultural environment in the London Borough of Newham for over 10 years teaching humanities, sociology and business studies at secondary and post-16 levels before gradually moving into teaching within Higher Education in both the political sciences and education (The Open University, University of Northampton, London Metropolitan University and London University's Institute of Education). An established author and teacher trainer, Gerry still teaches part-time in a comprehensive school in Hertfordshire.


    We would like to thank our colleagues in the Cass School of Education and our trainee teachers who have been the inspiration for this book. Gerry would like to acknowledge Pat McNeil for his wisdom and guidance, John Hickman for his relentlessly high standards and expectations of what a good teacher is, and Peta Jarmey for the ‘scaffolding’ of his early journey into teacher education. Warren would like to acknowledge Jean Murray, Nina Weiss and Rania Hafez for their enthusiasm and support with changing professional identities and roles. Finally, both authors would like to thank all the readers who have looked at and commented on previous drafts of the manuscript as well as Jude Bowen and Amy Jarrold at Sage for the opportunity to write this text, and for their continued support and guidance.

    How to Use This Book

    Undertaking a teacher training course is both challenging and rewarding. It is a fabulous profession to join, and one full of many diverse learning experiences – for yourself and your learners. The teacher education course you are enrolled on is no different. For some, it will be the hardest period of your life. The transition you are about to make is enormous and the skills you are about to develop will fundamentally change both your professional and private personas. This book aims to support those working within the 14–19 age range – covering secondary schools, school sixth forms and further education colleges.

    The subtitle for this book is ‘theory, practice and reflection’ and these are the essential elements of any teacher training course and all subsequent professional practice. All three interrelate. As a professional-in-the-making you are required to reflect upon your teaching, adopt theory as a means through which to see and make sense of the world of the classroom around you, and choose between theories at appropriate moments on the basis of the type of practice you are doing.

    As a teacher of learners, we recognise that you are also a learner yourself. This is true of all teachers. We see this book as part training manual, part introduction to academic debates around education and teaching and learning, and part teaching techniques, hints and tips. We hope that these elements enable you to complete your teacher training course, while at the same time develop as a practitioner.

    We have divided this book into five sections.

    Section 1 ‘Educational Policy’ looks at your developing professional role and the background to recent educational change and reform.

    Section 2 ‘Professional Skills’ introduces you to the habits of good teachers and good teaching. This section ends with chapters that consider what good teaching is and what your teaching placement and practice will be like.

    Section 3 ‘Theory’ looks at academic and research debates, literature and evidence surrounding effective teaching. We also introduce you to aspects of the sociology of education and the literature on teaching and learning styles.

    Section 4 ‘Practice’, takes you through the mechanics of your practical placement and classroom-based elements of your training. We look at mentoring; understanding your placement institution; planning and preparation. Chapters in this section of the book also provide ideas for you to try in your classroom. It is important to recognise that good teaching is experimental and reflective – it is about trying new things and seeing what works both for yourself and also for your learners. We will look, in turn, at questioning, skills development, group work, starts and ends of lessons, resource creation and ‘e-learning’.

    Section 5 ‘Reflection’, ties the various sections of the book together and presents issues and debates that you might take forward into your first year in the profession. In light of the government's plans for teaching to become a Master's (M)-level profession, we also present a chapter on academic debates looking at the M-level issues that many teacher training courses provide.


    Good teaching is about good communication. We feel the same could be said for good writing. To enable you to get the most from this book, we have adopted the following features. They are designed to aid your reading of the text and to help you choose more easily which ideas to try and when.

    ‘Objectives’: each chapter starts with learning objectives. We do this as we are very conscious that a great deal of effective teaching involves clear instruction and communication to the audience so that the learner understands at all times where s/he is.
    ‘M-level thinking’: from time to time you will see this icon running through the text of the book. This is so that you, the reader, can see the importance of these themes running through the text as a whole. These ideas are then taken up in the final section, in Chapter 19. It is a consideration and awareness of these vital and contemporary debates that will really raise the levels of your critical awareness and evaluative writing.
    ‘Discussion points’: these enable us, the authors of this book, to really speak directly to you about our own experiences of teaching and learning to teach.
    ‘Case studies’: we use this feature as a means through which we can allow the story to shine through of various practitioners that we have met in our working lives as practitioners ourselves, managers and teacher educators.
    ***‘Ease of use’: a large part of this book is made up of practical ideas. The majority of these are contained in the chapters in Section 4, ‘Practice’. We recognise that teaching is both academic and practical – it is both informed by wider academic discourse and yet at the same time has a feel of a ‘craft’ about it as practitioners are in their classrooms teaching their learners. We have rated out of five stars each teaching tip and idea for its ‘ease of use’ by the teacher. For each of the ideas and techniques we present in Section 4 of the book, we ask ourselves the question, does the successfulness of the learning being generated outweigh the practical and logistical considerations of planning and preparation? In a sense, this is a ‘cooking book’ approach to lesson preparation – how long does it take and what ingredients are needed? How can you, as the teacher, create something from the elements you draw together?
    ‘References’: we keep our references and guide to further reading to a minimum, but urge you to invest some time reading around the debates contained within this book. Good teaching is about the interplay and interface between the academic literature and how this impacts upon the classroom experience of the learner. See the suggested further reading for useful next steps in your professional learning.

    Entering into teaching – becoming a classroom craftsperson and understanding the theories and research behind your practice – is a demanding and challenging endeavour. It is one that we have really valued and one that has completely changed how we viewed the world of work, young people and our own learning, and we sincerely hope you discover these things too.

    We hope you enjoy this book and hope you enjoy your new career and professional role.

    WarrenKidd, GerryCzerniawski
  • Glossary

    • Academies A private sponsor is given control of these types of school, which may be an existing institution, or a newly built one and usually located in ‘inner-city’ areas. The remainder of the capital and running costs are met by the state.
    • Achievement What learners obtain as a final measurable outcome (often based on national examination).
    • Action research Practitioner (teacher)-based research where the researcher adopts transformative actions – often based on reflection and experimentation – with a view to developing aspects of their practice further.
    • Andragogy In contrast to the term ‘pedagogy’ this implies that adults learn in different ways from children and that teachers ‘facilitate’ more with adults than child learners. The assumption being that good teachers should be ‘adragogic’ in their approach to children.
    • Assessment for learning The view that assessment practices (especially formative) should be structured in order to enable learners to extend their learning in the future.
    • Behaviour for Learning Underpinning the ‘Behaviour for Learning’ approach is a commitment by the teacher to establishing positive relationships and a learning climate that enthuses and supports all learners, thereby diminishing the need for more pejorative strategies from the teacher.
    • Behaviour management The strategies teachers adopt to ensure learners are demonstrating approved behaviour.
    • Behaviourism A school of psychology that has influenced educational approaches to teaching and learning. In particular it focuses on the variety of ways teachers can transfer knowledge to learners.
    • Blended learning The merging of ‘traditional’ and digital means of teaching and learning where emergent technologies exist alongside and interwoven into other types of methods and approaches.
    • BTEC The initials stand for Business and Technology Education Council and refer to the body that awards a variety of vocational qualifications. Vocational qualifications come and go but BTECs have managed to retain a high status with learners, employers and teachers.
    • Building schools for the future (BSF) A New Labour policy that aims to renovate or rebuild all secondary schools throughout the UK.
    • Classroom management The strategies used to manipulate the learning environment to ensure learning takes place with the maximum efficiency, including behaviour management strategies.
    • Cognition Thinking.
    • Cognitive growth Refers to any sort of change in thinking that is brought about by events either internally within the brain (for example, the development of the frontal lobe) or externally (for example, certain forms of interaction, life events).
    • Communities of practice Learning groups within organisations which develop mutual learning and support practices among members performing similar practices.
    • Competencies Competencies are general descriptions of the abilities needed to perform a role in a profession. Applied to teaching they are often used to refer to the national standards expected to be achieved if a teacher is to become professionally qualified.
    • Consortia These are the bodies (made up of employers, schools, colleges, training providers, and so on) that the government uses to roll out the Diploma programme. Based on a competitive system, successful consortia gain funding to offer specific Diploma pathways.
    • Continuing professional development (CPD) Support, training and skills enhancement undertaken by professionals to keep in good standing with the development of their profession and their own professional expertise.
    • Cross-curricular The variety of ways in which formal learning can extend beyond traditional subject disciplines (for example, through the teaching of functional skills, citizenship).
    • Cultural capital The norms and values associated with a particular cultural group.
    • Differentiation Accommodating difference in learners and learning; ensuring that all learners are supported and developed.
    • Dual-professionalism The view that many teachers in further education (FE) are both a teacher and another (vocational) professional at the same time – thus giving them a dual professional identity.
    • Economic capital The financial means (money, property, and so on) associated with a particular cultural group that can be used (in education) to increase the educational attainment of learners.
    • e-learning The adoption of new (and increasingly digital) methods to enhance learning.
    • Emotional intelligence A term associated with American psychologist Daniel Goleman to create a wider understanding of what intelligence means. In particular he argues that self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills are as valid indicators of intelligence as more traditional understandings that tend to privilege logic and rationality.
    • Exclusion A contested term used to refer to the removal of learners from their learning environment. The term can refer to the temporary exclusion of a child from a lesson up to the permanent exclusion of the learner from a school/college.
    • Formal curriculum This refers to everything that is formally taught in the school or college, that is, the range of subjects on offer. It is often contrasted with the term ‘hidden curriculum’ used to refer to the informal ways that teachers and institutions ‘teach’ certain norms and values (for example, lining up, putting hands up, use of the term ‘miss’).
    • Formative assessment Regular assessment designed to help support learners with the next steps in their learning journey.
    • Further education (FE) The term that is used for any education beyond secondary education up to, but not including, degree-level studies.
    • Higher education (HE) Refers to adult education that offers degree-level studies.
    • Gifted and talented A contested term that many institutions use to describe the top 10 per cent of pupils who perform academically better than their counterparts.
    • Globalisation Global forces and patterns that interconnect and lead to a spread of influences across and between nations, continents and political and geographical regions.
    • Habitus Regular pattern and routine: the shape culture and norms give to practices.
    • Humanism An approach to education that embraces among others the works of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rudolf Steiner. Priority is given to the development of the whole person and not just the intellect.
    • Hyperactivism Rapid and continuous expansion (and flood) of political policy.
    • Identity Who you think you are.
    • Institutional racism The unintentional ways in which schools, colleges and other institutions marginalise learners as a result of their ethnicity, race and culture, etc.
    • Ipsative assessment Learner assessment of their own learning, illustrating through reflection directions to take to increase learning further.
    • Labelling The ways in which learners perceive themselves and how others perceive them based on a particular identity marker, for example, ‘stupid’, ‘boffin’, and so on. Often used to explain the process in which teachers attribute educational potential based on class, gender or ethnicity.
    • The marketisation of education The marketisation of education involves the belief that competition at all levels should provide a higher standard of education. By adapting business principles to education the idea embraces the notion that the market should allocate resources where required.
    • Meta-cognition Thinking about thinking, or, learning about learning.
    • Methods Tools adopted; in this case, it could be tools to aid teaching and learning (strategies) or assessment practices or, even, research tools.
    • Methodology The underlying and underpinning way of going about a practice; in this case, the practice of teaching and learning or the practice of educational research.
    • M-learning Branch of ‘e-learning’ adopting mobile technology and portable devices.
    • Motivation for learning Phrase associated with the Assessment Reform Group denoting the preconditions needed to enthuse learners to enable effective learning to take place.
    • Multiple intelligences An idea most famously associated with American psychologist Howard Gardner. In contrast to the nineteenth-century conception of intelligence as singular, logical and rational, Gardner argues that we have a variety of ‘intelligences’ that include mathematical, musical and intrapersonal.
    • Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) Bandler and Grinder's (1981) complex sets of beliefs, skills and behaviours revolve around the notions of: ‘neuro’ referring to, what they argue to be, a nervous system where experience is received through the five senses; ‘linguistic’ representing innate verbal and non-verbal language capabilities and ‘programming’ referring to the ways in which people can be ‘trained’ to think, speak and act in new ways.
    • Neuroscience This emerging field of interdisciplinary study owes much to the leaps in medical technology over the past 20 years and offers new understandings related to how the brain functions in relation to learning. This biological understanding and its application to educational theorising is problematic for teaching as it challenges many existing theories (for example, accelerated learning). It is nevertheless a welcome addition to educational studies.
    • NEET This acronym stands for ‘not in education, employment or training’ and is often used pejoratively to refer to the 250,000 British 16–19-year-olds who for a variety of reasons find themselves outside of mainstream education and training.
    • Pedagogy Pedagogy refers to a science of teaching embodying both curriculum and methodology.
    • PISA The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), through its surveys of 15-year-olds in the principal industrialised countries, assesses how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society. Their surveys are carried out every three years.
    • Plenary The activity at the close of a teaching session allowing learners to draw together the main points from the lesson.
    • Profession A body based upon codes, regulation and standards drawn together by virtue of offering an expertise and a specialism in knowledge and its production.
    • Professional identity Professional identity refers to how teachers view themselves as teachers; how teachers, view others that they professionally engage with and how teachers believe they are perceived by those ‘others’.
    • Professional socialization This refers to the variety of ways that teachers become teachers. It acknowledges the many different processes, for example, learning the norms and values associated with a particular department, institution and subject discipline. It can take place both within and outside the institution the teacher is employed in (for example, by joining a teacher association and/or trade union).
    • Psychometric testing This has its origins in the nineteenth century and, drawing on psychological traditions, it refers to the ways in which intelligence and aptitude can be diagnosed through tests. One example being the 11+ test that some children sit to determine the type of schooling they might receive.
    • Pupil referral unit (PRU) These are educational institutions run by specialist staff who deal with learners with emotional and social difficulties. Many of these learners have been excluded from mainstream education. In most cases learners spend a short period of time (for example, two terms) in PRUs before being integrated back into mainstream schooling.
    • Reflection The act of thinking about one's practice with a view to developing it further.
    • Reflective practitioner The view that good teachers are constantly engaged with the self-assessment and evaluation of their own practice as a key aspect of their ongoing professionalism.
    • Scaffolding The building of layers of support to enable learning to take place. Slowly this support is reduced and may be completely taken away, leaving learners more independent.
    • Streaming This refers to the ways in which schools group learners based on ability. In contrast to ‘setting’, groups of learners study the same subjects together but are grouped into ‘streams’ (for example, high-ability streams, low-ability streams).
    • Setting Similar to ‘streaming’ but students are grouped together depending on how well or badly they perform in a particular subject discipline. This means that it is possible to be in a ‘top set’ for French and a ‘bottom set’ for history.
    • Summative assessment Assessment and testing that summarises the learning that has taken place.
    • Underachievement What an individual obtains in education relative to others of the same age cohort to indicate a lower rate and level of obtainment.
    • Vocational education In Britain, historically, a dividing line tends to exist between ‘academic’ subjects and ‘vocational’ subjects, the latter referring to more ‘work’-related subjects (for example, hairdressing, business, design and technology). However the lack of parity of esteem in Britain between the ‘vocational’ and the ‘academic’ is often associated with hierarchies in the social background of learners.
    • Widening participation A commitment and drive to include more and more individuals and groups within educational settings and processes drawn from previously excluded or marginalised groups.
    • Zone of proximal development A term associated with Vygotsky, which refers to the zone between what pupils' level of development is (their actual level) and the level of development they could reach with suitable teaching (their potential level).

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