Vision 4 Learning – Session 2 Friday 5th October 2012

The second meeting of the V4L task group – Friday the 5th October at LCOM.

At the start of the session, the group recapped on the outcomes from Session 1. It was agreed that further work is required to better define ‘outstanding, exceptional and inspirational learning’ as this is key to providing a focus and outcome for the V4L strategy. The other issue not resolved in Session 1 is whether or not LCC requires a new set of professional standards for practitioners. The group unanimously agreed that this would be of benefit to the college, practitioners and be key to delivering the V4L. It is recognised there are many possible models and approaches for developing professional standards,  but there was broad agreement that the approach adopted by Hay McBer (2000) has some merits in that it reflects the overall intent of the V4L – with the caveat that they do not sufficiently reflect digital literacy.

Hay McBer identify three interrelated aspects of effective teaching which lead to student progress:

  • Professional characteristics:  the underlying dispositions and patterns of behaviour that drive what teachers do – these are related to the fundamental values, committment and attitudes;
  • Teaching skills: the ‘micro-behaviours’ or the specific skills of teaching – these can be identified and learned
  • Classroom climate: an ‘output measure’ of the collective perceptions of student learning in a session – this relates to  motivation to learn and work to the best of their ability

The professional characteristics identified by Hay McBer are shown below.

Link to the Hay McBer Report – Full

This research by Hay McBer was completed in 2000. Whilst there is merit in considering the approach when the emphasis is on ‘teaching skills’, it seems to miss the point to some extent about ‘digital learning’, and a significant focus on ‘skills for learning’!

Bradley Lightbody (2009) in his book Outstanding Teaching and Learning 14-19 [Collegenet] summarises additional evidence:

McKinsey 2007

  • high level skills and attributes of individual teachers
  • Staff CPD
  • Student targets and early interventions

Robert J Marzano (2003)

Marzano et al in his book Classroom Instruction That Works (2003) identifies 9 strategies for effective classroom practice:

John Hattie (2009)

Hattie’s work is well known, and the importance of action research and using ‘effect size’ for evidencing what works (and why, how, when etc) cannot be ignored in considering what strategies will form a basis of V4L.

It is Hattie’s number one of his top 10 influences on student learning that is most relevant for our V4L; in essence it is referring to student self-regulated learning.

‘Learners self awareness of their own progress against course and exam standards and seeking and acting on improvement guidance’

There is an interesting ‘Pearltree’ here which links to some of Hattie’s work.

Lightbody’s summary of what outstanding teachers do, is as follows:

Outstanding teachers focus and put their energy into three key domains of effective practice:

  • building  (student) self-belief
  • building rapport
  • building learning

Outstanding teachers address these three domains through 10 key actions which are shown below:

For more information on Bradley’s work, visit the Collegenet website

What does all this mean for the LCC V4L?

The LCC V4L will:

  1. Clearly define the professional characteristics that practitioners need to have to deliver the vision.
  2. The LCC V4L will define what is meant by ‘outstanding’, ‘exceptional’ and ‘inspirational’ learning. It is likely that ‘outstanding’ will be as defined by Ofsted; ‘exceptional’ will be a college measure and ‘inspirational’ will be a student measure.

A ‘statement’ of our vision

The group discussed the working definition of the LCC V4L

‘The Leeds City College vision for learning is where staff and students co-create an inspirational learning community’ (Option 1)

There was much debate about the correctness of the statement (grammatically) and whether either of the alternatives, which are grammatically correct are better?

“The LCC vision for learning relies on the co-creation of an inspirational learning community by staff and students”. (Option 2)

“The LCC vision for learning is committed to the co-creation of an inspirational learning community by staff and students” (Option 3)

Which of the options do you think is best?

How many know what a ‘copula’ is? This is the key to the grammar in the vision statement!


The first activity of the afternoon required the attendees to work in small groups to discuss what changes were required at LCC to realise the V4L.

  • What are the boosters and blockers for LCC to achieve the vision?

Group 1 – Staff CPD

  • the ‘basics for learning’ are not sufficiently covered in the current approach to CPD, especially when reflecting how student needs have/are changing
  • rooms and resources (pedagogic spaces) do not promote innovative pedagogy; this is not paid sufficient attention…….
  • there is a difference between ‘creative teaching’ and ‘teaching creatively’ which needs to be understood!
  • students are often ‘risk takers’ but we seem to be very risk averse ourselves; this is compounded by the OTL process which portrays a sanitised picture of TLA
  • there is a need to address the attitudes and attitudinal barriers of staff; a significant cultural shift is required if LCC is to realise its V4L
  • the current approach to performance management does not sufficiently recognise, reflect, reward or address good, bad or indifferent staff performance
  • should we consider the balanced score card approach?

Group 2 – Technology – most of the discussions focused on the TEL Passport…….

  • the TEL Passport whilst good and ‘fit for’ its intended purpose needs redrafting (and renaming) in line with the V4L
  • the suggestion is that staff progress through the TEL Passport (renamed) in sequence with the LCC V4L ie years 1 – 3
  • need to make much better use of pilots and action research to learn from what works best and share best practice
  • there is mixed impact from the first year of the LIMs; need to identify why some have had more impact that others; it this an organisational issue?
  • there is a need for minimum standards of technical support; the current approach using footprints can detract (miss) fundamental issues
  • the different roles need to be clarified i.e. LIM, AP, MMAAT etc
  • Moodle is not being used effectively – the usage statistics show this; it needs to be used more as a blended and if possible flipped platform as opposed to a digital repository
  • following on from Frank Coffields research, why are we still using learning styles! If we are going to assess approaches to learning, the tool needs to better assess modern day approaches to learning

Group 3 – Wider issues

  • Unit of CTLLS delivered by APs to support staff
  • Programme of development on emerging themes from OTL
  • OTL Action plan – must, should, could
  • Need professional standards for teachers
  • Outstanding T&L – transfer of info at highest level – transformational
  • Componential model of creativity
  • Involve staff and students in outstanding T&L
  • Look at curriculum design
  • Differentiation – giving responsibility to learners.  Most staff feel uncomfortable doing this.
  • Staff development for facilitating learning/peer tutoring/ ‘navigational’
  • Sharing best practice – learning exchange
  • Accidental outcomes important

The second activity focused how to better establish a learning culture at LCC

The group was asked to consider the current culture for learning at LCC and suggest what changes may need to be made to realise the V4L using the model shown below.

Whilst perhaps the best model given its commercial focus, the activity resulted in some very useful discussions as to the cultural shift required to realise the V4L.

The picture shows one of the completed activity sheets.

The third activity focused on assessing the risk and impact of some of the measures needed to realise the LCC V4L

Example of a completed activity which considered the following:

1. Improved mechanism for recognising staff contribution to ‘inspirational’ teaching and learning

2. Improved use of the VLE

3. Increasing student access to mobile devices

4. Investigating new learning styles inventory to better reflect digital literacy

5. More structured approach to CPD reflecting the outcomes from OTL

Next Steps

1. Confirm the vision statement

2. Identify the key components of the vision, these will form the basis of the three year strategy

3. Draft the LLC V4L 3 year strategy

4. Clearly articulate ‘outstanding, exceptional and inspirational’

5. Draft the new LCC professional characteristics/standards for tutors

6. Refine the LCC Learning Model

7. Obtain feedback from further stakeholders

8. Agree a timeline of achivement  for the strategy approval, communication and staff training in 2012-13

The draft LCC V4L Learning and Assessment Model is shown below.

Please post comments below – we would like some debate and feedback …………………………

Additional Resources:

AOC Learning Technologies Report


Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

Bradley Lightbody – Update October 2012

Bradley Lightbody – Update ofsted 2012

Draft new LCC grid for TLA based on the 2012 Ofsted CIF

Observation of Teaching 2012 Draft Grid 16-10-12


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