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The Institute for Teaching

The IFT believes having an expert teacher in every classroom is the best way to make sure that every pupil, regardless of their background, gets a great education.

But teaching is complex – becoming an expert isn’t easy. To improve teaching we must improve the training teachers get. Teachers deserve as much effort to go into their training as they put into their teaching.

 

That’s why they are doing things differently. Re-thinking teacher education and providing a progression pathway to expertise that is taught by a faculty of expert teacher educators.

They are fascinated by expertise and how professionals can keep getting better. As part of their work, they have studied how pilots, elite athletes and surgeons hone and master their craft. Expertise in these disciplines demands both rigour and fluency. Teaching is no different.

Their ‘Masters in Expert Teaching’ and ‘Fellowship in Teacher Education’ courses build on leading research to help teachers and teacher educators develop habits that are proven to accelerate the learning of our students and teachers.

Examples of Programmes Offered

  • Masters in Expert Teaching
  • Who’s it for?
    Proficient, reflective and organised teachers with at least two years of quality classroom experience who:
    – Want their teaching to be informed by the best thinking and evidence from education systems around the world
    – Want to reinvigorate their teaching and are seeking external support and challenge
    – Are hoping to become an example of teaching expertise in their school
    – Are looking to progress their career as a teacher rather than take on wider responsibilities within their school.

    Course overview
    The Masters in Expert Teaching will set you on a path towards teaching expertise and drive improvements in pupil learning.

    You will develop informed and intentional approaches to the most important components of teaching. By the end of the programme, you will be able to do the following with consistency and precision:

    – Curriculum & assessment:
    Represent and sequence the most important concepts and processes you teach in highly effective ways.
    Monitor and track pupil activity, and infer learning from the most salient classroom data.

    – Pupil development:
    Develop a comprehensive picture of the knowledge, skills and beliefs of every pupil in your care.
    Build a refined and complex understanding of how your pupils learn your subject.

    – Advanced teaching:
    Anticipate the consequences of multiple actions/events in advance, select the highest leverage action, and regulate your own thinking and behaviour.
    Create the optimal conditions for learning and be able to catalyse it in efficient ways.

    Programme duration
    Two years part-time study.
    The content is organised into a series of six, termly modules that will help participants develop their expertise in one high-leverage area at a time.

    How many people is this for?
    No limit to the number of participants per school but places are limited.

    Estimated cost
    £6,000 over two years.
    (£3,000 payable by the teacher, £3,000 payable by the school).

    Where and how is this delivered?
    Nationally

    Dates
    The next application window is open from September 2018 for April 2019 entry.

  • Fellowship in Teacher Education
  • Who’s it for?
    Expert teachers who have taken on a teacher educator role within their school or organisation who:
    – Want their work as a teacher educator to be informed by the best thinking and evidence from education systems around the world
    – Want external support and challenge to improve
    – Are hoping to become an example of teacher education expertise in their school or organisation
    – Are looking to progress in their career as a teacher educator
    – Work in a school or organisation that has an existing teaching and learning infrastructure and professional development approach but wants to develop it further.

    Course overview
    The Fellowship in Teacher Education course will set you on a path towards expertise in teacher education and drive improvements in teacher training and development in your school or organisation.

    You will develop informed and intentional approaches to the most important components of teacher education. This course includes:

    – Models of effective teacher educator practice
    – Exposure to models of effective teacher education from the UK and abroad, helping you to develop your understanding of what’s possible and how it can be achieved.
    – Expertise in cognitive and behavioural psychology
    – Understanding the evidence about how people learn and improve, combined with support to prepare you to convey this clearly to your colleagues.
    – Deliberate practice in the skills of teacher education
    – Experience in honing the way you design and lead training, to ensure that every teacher is getting better, whether through changing their actions or their thinking.

    Course structure
    The course moves through logical stages across the two years.

    Year 1 provides the foundations needed to begin planning a series of structured enquiries to develop skills in specific aspects of teacher education, and then provide support to design and implement a major change in teaching and learning in your school.

    – Foundations – pinpointing the most productive developments to support student learning in the school, combining external evidence and internal need and identifying barriers and opportunities to change.

    – Content and contextualization – refreshes your knowledge of cognitive science, formative assessment and committed student classrooms.

    – Designing and delivering training – improves your planning and training delivery: from the highest-level design questions to moment-by-moment interactions with teachers.

    – Supporting and sustaining change – how to enlist support from leaders and colleagues and secure the time and resources needed for effective teacher development.

    – Project preparation – plan and prepare a project to influence teaching.

    Year 2 – you will design and implement a project to influence teaching across the school. The IFT faculty will provide continued support during this time alongside support from peers. This will be followed by a final assessment.

    Programme duration
    Two years part-time study.

    How many people is this for?
    No limit to the number of participants per school but places are limited.

    Estimated cost
    – £4,000 over two years (£3,000 payable in year one and £1,000 in year two).
    – Typically course fees are shared between a participant and their school. The size and nature of this fee-share are for a participant and their school to agree.
    – Bursaries are not currently available for this course.

    Where and how is this delivered?
    Nationally

    Dates
    Applications Open from September 2018

Delivery location

The Institute for Teaching delivers programmes nationally in the UK.

Impact

Impact to date

The Institute for Teaching’s courses launched in April 2018 and their first cohorts will complete in Summer 2020. Externally led impact studies are currently being undertaken with this first wave of participants.

Impact measurements used

The Institute for Teaching has partnered with Education Datalab and The Teacher Tapp to gather robust, externally validated evidence of the impact of its courses.

They employ a range of instruments across their courses to enable this to happen, including use of The Teacher Tapp app to gather benchmarkable and longitudinal data around the self-reported impacts of taking one of their courses.

External assessment of impact

All of the Institute for Teaching’s assessment of impact is externally led via their strategic partnership with Education Datalab. Results of this are pending course completion by the first cohorts in 2020, although it is expected that leading indicator results may be publishable en-route towards this milestone.

Expertise

Programme design philosophy

When designing their programmes IFT think about four questions:

1. What do teachers need to know and be able to do and in what order

2. What is the best way to teach teachers?

3. Who should teach teachers? What do they need to know and be able to do?

4. How do we know that teachers are getting better?

They think teaching is a performance profession, like ballet, sport or the elite armed forces, with expertise developed over time through sustained learning and deliberate practice.

Using these principles their curriculum designers have created a rigorous suite of courses, to which up to date research of learning, cognitive and behavioural psychology are central.

The Masters in Expert Teaching programme sets participants on a path towards teaching expertise and drives improvements in pupil learning. Participants develop informed and intentional approaches to the most important components of teaching including: sequencing the concepts and processes they teach; monitoring and tracking pupil activity; developing a comprehensive picture of how their pupils learn their subject; anticipating consequences of actions/events in advance and selecting the highest leverage action; and catalysing learning.

The Fellowship in Teacher Education course develops participants’ expertise in teacher education thus driving improvements in teacher training and development in their school or organisation. Teaching teachers requires learning new knowledge and skills, but many teacher educators learn on the job and are left to improve through trial and error; models of best practice teacher education are often elusive and there are very few colleagues to call upon for advice. Participants develop informed and intentional approaches to the most important components of teacher education. This course includes: Models of effective teacher educator practice, Expertise in cognitive and behavioural psychology, Deliberate practice in the skills of teacher education.

Team experience and expertise

IFT’s leadership and course design teams have substantial experience.

Matt Hood, Founder and Director, is a former economics teacher, school leader, government policy advisor and North East Director at Teach First. Matt is also a trustee at The Brilliant Club, an alumnus of Teach First and a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow.

Harry Fletcher-Wood, Associate Dean, leads on their Fellows course. He is a former English and history teacher and has taught in Japan, India and London. He has been head of careers, head of history and head of professional development in school and has trained new and existing teachers for Teach First, Teach for Sweden and Teach First Denmark. He has studied exceptional teachers and local educational needs for Teach First, and has published ‘Ticked Off: Checklists for Students, Teachers and School Leaders’.

Peps Mccrea, Associate Dean, leads on their Masters in Expert Teaching course. He is a former Fasttrack maths teacher and Senior Lecturer in mathematics education. He has been a National Curriculum Advisor for the DfE, External Examiner at the OU, and is the author of ‘Lean Lesson Planning’ and ‘Memorable Teaching’. Peps has three Masters degrees (in Engineering Design, Educational Leadership, and Educational Research) and holds Fellowship Awards from the University of Brighton and the Young Academy.

Marie Hamer, Founder and Dean, is a former English teacher, school leader, National Curriculum Leader for the Teach First programme at Canterbury Christ Church University and Head of Teacher Training at Ark. Marie is also an alumnus of Teach First and advisor to Ark International Schools.

Testimonials

First cohorts complete programmes in 2020,

First cohorts in training – testimonials to follow on completion

First cohorts complete programmes in 2020,

First cohorts in training – testimonials to follow on completion