Brad's Blog

Applying Ofsted 2019

Wednesday 31st July 2019

over the past decade, in particular, although in the case of the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) we are going back to Shulman 1986, the Pygmalion Effect dates back to1968 and the Ebbinghaus 'forgetting curve' the whole way back to 1880. However, it is the more recent research findings arising from neuroscience in relation to learning and memory that have influenced the inspection and wider education agenda. In 2007 the OECD report, Understanding the brain: the birth of a learning science stated, "Today, it is useful, even essential, for educators and anyone else concerned with education to gain an understanding of the scientific basis of learning processes." By 2017 the OECD was more direct with the firm recommendation, "make it (neuroscience) a fundamental part of teachers' pedagogical knowledge both through pre-service teacher education, as well as through on-going professional development." Ofsted has accepted the distinction between engagement and learning. In 2000 Fenstermacher warned against conflating positive student engagement with learning and stated, "successful teaching is teaching that yields the intended learning." This was followed by Robert Coe's publication of 'Common proxies for Learning' in 2003 which confirmed that learning cannot be observed within the span of a lesson. Learning takes place over time following multiple retrievals to encode and 'lock' new learning into long term memory. Ofsted quotes Sweller in that regard, "if nothing in the long-term memory has been altered, nothing has been learned." Ofsted's 'overview of research' statement, published alongside the new inspection handbook, identifies the following aspects of evidence-based research underpinning the new 2019 inspection criteria:
• Applying adaptive teaching rather than differentiated tasks - hopefully the end of all, most and some!
• Applying spaced practice
• Interleaving as opposed to massed practice
• Dual coding
• Cognitive Load Theory (CLT)
• Paired and group collaboration to deepen and elaborate learning
• Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)
• Time on task allied with regular summary reviews
• Effective questioning as the core of teacher interactions
• Retrieval practice