Professional development: from answers to problems

Evidence for Educators

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I’ve worked as a teacher educator now for almost 7 years. Here’s an account of how my mental model of training teachers has developed over that time, peppered with italicised realisations I wish I’d known sooner.


I started coaching teachers who were new to the profession. These teachers (like me when I trained) were placed in schools that often lacked the systems, processes, culture and leadership necessary to be effective places for pupils to learn and for new teachers to learn to teach.

Behaviour management was high on the agenda for their teacher training. For the most part, these teachers were pretty novice. This led me to coach in a didactic way where I gave the new teacher the answer:

I saw what was wrong in their lessons (at first, usually behaviour related).

I set them an action step (a small technique aimed at…

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