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When you watch a great teacher, you can’t see the strings

Professor Andy Goodwyn

Thu 8th June, 2017

The Head of the University of Bedfordshire’s School of Education & English Language argued that the UK needs to celebrate its expert teachers at his inaugural lecture (Wednesday 8 June).

Newly appointed Professor Andy Goodwyn gave his lecture at the Bedford campus and explored the questions: Are there such things as ‘expert teachers? And if there are, what do you call them?

Prof Goodwyn, who has taught English in secondary schools for 10 years, argued that developed education systems around the world face two problems: how to attract the best graduates into teaching and how to keep them in the classroom.

“Day to day, it is the individual teacher that makes the difference in the classroom, not the management or the building itself,” said Prof Goodwyn, who then highlighted that the rewards and status of teaching lead to career paths outside the classroom, typically management.

Prof Goodwyn presented models elsewhere in the world, including Singapore and China, where teachers are rewarded for their skills and abilities with higher salaries and opportunities for professional development that keep them in the classroom, doing what they do best – teaching.

He then suggested that it may be time to introduce a new model of expert teaching which could be supported by the new Chartered College of Teaching, and argued that adopting the term ‘Chartered Teacher’ would give the best teachers the important public recognition and esteem that is enjoyed by other high achieving specialists across many other valued professions.

Prof Goodwyn urged his audience to remember that teaching is a highly skilled profession and the very best teachers should be celebrated, saying: “Great teaching looks easy. When you watch a great teacher in the classroom, you can’t see the strings.”

Bedfordshire University

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