A study to uncover world-class teaching has revealed that even the most inspiring teachers are worried about their working conditions and increasing workload.
Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Worcester set out to understand what makes an inspiring teacher and inspiring teaching.
The study identified 36 inspiring teachers through inspection reports, the Independent reports. The teachers revealed that they are upset about central government interference – although former education secretary Michael Gove insisted that teachers need more freedom from central control for his reforms to succeed.
The researchers found that nearly every teacher they questioned was becoming disillusioned with work and worried that current reforms are reducing their autonomy, increasing their workload and distracting them from classroom work. They had very negative views about recent changes to the national curriculum, assessment and examinations: “They saw these changes as highly political and felt they had produced great confusion and work overload, and lacked clarity,” the researchers said. “The changes were seen to have shifted the focus from engaging students and innovating in teaching to managing change and achieving targets, with too much focus on tests and examination results.”
The teachers also felt that the time they had previously put in to developing resources and planning had been wasted, and that they had been forced to replace expensive texts and materials because of curriculum and exam changes.
Do you think this small study of inspiring teachers reflects the views of the profession as a whole? And what do you think makes an inspiring teacher?