A report of the OECD with a plea for more pedagogy in thinking about education, great but…

There is a new report by the OECD called Teachers as Designers of Learning Environments: the Importance of Innovative Pedagogies, and a Teaching In Focus summary that can be read here.

The bottom line is the following:

Identifying clusters of innovative pedagogies is the first step in developing a broad international consensus of pedagogy across the teaching profession. Such a framework needs to start with the argument that teachers are high-level professionals whose professionalism revolves around collaborative pedagogical expertise. To call for a pedagogical framework is to recognise the key role of pedagogy, not to ask policies to dictate the best teaching methods. It is a matter of widening the skills of teachers to promote more interactive, horizontal and caring relationships with students. In focusing on the role of teachers as creative professionals, a framework for pedagogies calls for a form of teaching that retains a deliberate form of lesson planning that promotes student centredness and active participation.

Finally, by starting to think about the relationships of teaching and learning around natural learning inclinations, such as play, creativity, collaboration, and inquiry, the clusters of innovative pedagogies consciously promote the engagement of learners and match the fundamentals of learning to improve the professional competences of teachers.

I know there is often a confusion between didactics and pedagogy, something the authors of the report also are a bit blurry about, but in this report there is another mistake being made imho. This report is not a plea for more pedagogy in education – which I think would have been correct – but for more of a certain vision of pedagogy in education. If you read the recent work by Biesta or Furedi, one could think that present discussion in thinking about pedagogy are already a bit further than the Rousseau-influence one still can taste in this report (I wrote an academic paper on this new line of thinking, but sadly enough I wrote it in Dutch). Recently Simons and Masschelein wrote a book (again in Dutch, I did try to convince my publisher to translate the book into English) in which they looked at what student- or pupil-centered actually means and they end up with much more questions.

But there is more. Again in my personal opinion, I do think that pedagogy and pedagogical innovations shouldn’t be blind for insights from didactical – evidence-informed – and cognitive psychological or epistemological research – the distinction between primary and secondary learning processes – , or even research by the OECD themselves showing that inquiry based learning does have issues.

I know there seems to be a polarization – again – in thinking about education, but everybody who thinks that it is centered around two poles, is making a mistake. E.g. an author such as Biesta has questioned both PISA and the OECD as evidence-based education that has been adapted by people who are at least regarded by some as more conservative. I do think there is an interesting but broad field of thinking about education, and while I’m certainly pro evidence-informed, I also see the need for relationship and subscribe the importance of thinking about the why of education.  That’s why I do think this report is too one-dimensional in its approach. Btw, I also read the working paper related to this report and blimey couldn’t find a Hattie, Biesta, or other Furedis being mentioned at all. They do refer to a lot of work on ICT in education.

One thought on “A report of the OECD with a plea for more pedagogy in thinking about education, great but…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.