December Blog: Practice Beats Theory
“Wow! Just loving your book! A very easy read packed with great ideas and an insight into your teaching experiences over 50 years! Just brilliant. Great memories pop up as well when you talk about some of your experiences, then I am amazed at what you also experienced”. (Cath)
“What an accomplishment! Completing the 50 years of service and a publication that reflects on your experience and passes on knowledge to upcoming educators. It’s timely in a mixed context where we have appreciated educators and the challenges, especially during COVID and homeschooling for parents. Yet, we don’t acknowledge this by inappropriate remuneration (including early childhood educators) and making teaching accessible via low TER scores”. (Tric)
The above feedback has been similar to all feedback I have received to date. It’s easy to read, full of practical advice, and full of wisdom for aspiring teachers, leaders, and even parents and students.
As mentioned throughout The Teaching Guarantee: Every Day is Different, I enjoy professional reading on a daily basis. I like to read about success stories, current schooling issues and the latest research. Each can inspire me with new ideas to investigate and follow up.
But what stops me in my tracks, and puts me to sleep very quickly, is any document that is very theoretically based or is purely academic writing. For me, the practical implications are often lost, or well and truly hidden within the research.
Don’t get me wrong. Theory is important, but it must be readable and relatable. How can I use this in my classroom or school?
The key message for all school research is in the book’s title, The Teaching Guarantee: Every Day is Different! Just like every student, teacher and school is different. No one size fits all.
Great educational research will only fit neatly in few schools. It will usually require adjustments to meet a school’s cultural, contextual and learning needs. This is why practice shines over theory. Demonstrate how a theory works in various school environments, then schools will have a practical option for consideration.
The extra requirement I point out in The Teaching Guarantee: Every Day is Different, is experience. Having widespread experience across different school systems in other countries, across P-12 schools in their various forms, will be invaluable to any school seeking continual improvement in its quest for quality education.
Enjoy each day.