It turns out that the folk at SHAPE who I had applied to for a post (as an advisor for teaching and learning with MoD schools) didn’t like me quite as much as I liked them, but the upshot, if there is one, is that I am not moving to Belgium any time soon, nor will I have to spend any length of time in the sweltering heat of Brunei (a necessary part of the job). As Bruce Cockburn so eloquently puts it on his 2011 live album, “Choices, huh?”
But the preparation for, and learning about this post that I had to do, has been absorbing. Once again it has put me into the place of having to articulate my own thinking about what best constitutes teaching and learning, and how, when we are talking about innovation, what that might look like when we are trying to subvert the individualistic culture that much school education heads towards. So the following has some common themes with things I have often spoken and written about (the riding of two horses makes a re-appearance as does the idea of pedagogy or curriculum as “harnessing”), but in the context of how a teaching and learning advisor might function in order to enable schools striving for an outcomes-driven version of success might usefully he helped to look at success in another way entirely. Here is the presentation, responding to the title “The role of the teaching and learning advisor in developing innovative teaching and learning across MoD schools”:
It could be argued, since I did not get the job, that this is all tosh. What was interesting, though, in the light of this angle, was that the first “comeback” question from the panel was about the practical applications of the two terms faithfulness and affection. That surprised – and delighted – me.