Pedagogy is at the core of what we, as a profession, do. And it will be at the core of making T Levels a success. That’s why it is a central element of the Education and Training Foundation’s T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer.
It’s gratifying, therefore, to survey the overwhelmingly positive feedback that the pedagogy-oriented aspect of TLPD has received so far. More than 95% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the workshops they had participated in overall and that the instructor had delivered the session well.
That’s great, of course – we all like a well-planned and executed learning experience – but the rub is whether the activity will impact positively on T Level delivery. If what we have provided for colleagues doesn’t translate into excellent teaching for the students who take T Levels, then the extent to which it can be considered a success will be questionable, regardless of its quality.
While evidence of this success will only emerge over time, the feedback we have already received attests to participants’ confidence that their workshops will be useful. Eighty-five per cent of participants said that participating in the workshops had built their confidence to deliver T Levels, 90% that there would be a positive impact on their T Level professional development, and 94% that their knowledge of T Levels had been improved.
The workshops have been delivered as openly bookable events, as in-house events for specific providers, and as part of wider T Levels focused events such as the Conference we organised in Exeter in December. They’ve explored what the characteristics of excellent technical teaching for T Levels will be, and how they should inform curriculum design. While the workshops were directed at preparing providers to deliver the new T Level courses, feedback also recognised that the pedagogy concepts they discussed will also be beneficial in the teaching of other courses.
That’s pleasing of course, but the main concern of this, and all of the other elements of the ETF’s T Level Professional Development offer, is to ensure that the sector is ready for T Levels. We said from the outset that an essential part of that readiness would be ensuring that teachers and trainers had the teaching skills, subject knowledge and confidence needed to deliver high-quality T Level programmes from the outset. With just six months until delivery to students begins, this feedback adds further to the evidence that TLPD is helping to achieve exactly that.
National Head of Initial Teacher Education