Teacher Demoralization

Posted on 23 September 2019 by Kevin Smith

As teachers are placed under greater levels of scrutiny and “accountability,” there are less and less opportunities to discuss the values, beliefs and philosophical considerations of teaching that serve as the foundation for their practice and sense of purpose in their work.
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My dad and I assembling the Millennium Falcon, 19, Dec. 1980

Suicide Prevention and School

Posted on 9 September 2019 by Kevin Smith

Suicide and self-harm are a growing problem among young people. This post discusses research with pupils in Wales regarding their sense of happiness, self-esteem and sense of self, as well as the importance of addressing mental health and well-being in school curricula
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Priorities, purpose and efficacy: How identifying aims/purposes in education can make us better teachers.

Posted on 5 August 2019 by Kevin Smith

Efficacy is the belief in our ability to achieve the results we hope to achieve. The outcomes of our efficacy are normative based beliefs that our behaviour will lead to a desirable outcome, and efficacy expectations are our own belief that we can perform those behaviours. Understanding our values, beliefs and specific conceptualisations of our outcome and efficacy expectations can lead to a richer learning experience for pupils and a greater sense of satisfaction among teachers.
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Best Practices vs Enacted Values

Posted on 20 July 2019 by Kevin Smith

“…rather than empowering teachers when we claim to offer them “best practices” for the 21st century classroom, we are, in fact, disempowering them. First, it makes them “objects” of other specialists’ research and reduces them to mere consumers of pre-packaged products that someone else in the edutocracy created and will profit from. This perpetuates a cycle of consumerist desire, a constant and regenerating market for education consumption. Second, it also fails to equip teachers to live fully into their calling and, especially, to do the very things we so often say we value, namely to improve the lives of the young people in our charge.”
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Aphorisms & Axioms: Finding Purpose in Teaching.

Posted on 8 July 2019 by Kevin Smith

What do we mean when we say we want to help young people “achieve their full potential?” Often it seems this phrase is used when we as educators can’t articulate our purposes, aims and priorities. To empower our pedagogy, perhaps we should focus less on achieving “potential” and more on specific, achievable aims for us and our learners.
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A Pedagogy of Place

Posted on 5 July 2019 by Kevin Smith

Curricular and pupils’ perceptions of place can often be incompatible. However, “pedagogies of place” can empower young people to better understand their understanding of and relationship to their “place.”
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