I have had the great fortune to be introduced to Teaching HOW2s. This compendium of pedagogical tools has impressed our department with its ease of use and breadth of scope. Specially, in our California teaching credential/master’s degree program. Teaching HOW2s have facilitated:
Collaboration to develop professional learning — faculty assign sets and create sets to align with the content student teachers are learning Consistency/standardization — Teaching HOW2s provide a common language for faculty and novice teachers alike Filling the gap of lack of knowledge across the college particularly for online teaching techniques — with the shift to online learning, Teaching HOW2s quickly became an invaluable resource to support effective and rigorous teaching in virtual K‑12 classrooms
Ask Nicky, our fabulous office manager, what she hears more often than any other phrase when she’s onboarding our customers. And she’ll say that the buyer (assuming, of course, they were once a teacher) will say “Where was this when I did my teacher training?”.
It’s used as part of the training and, at no extra cost, as part of outreach support provided by our subscribing universities for teachers new in post.
Nico (the teacher in the video) says “Where was this when I did my teacher training?” as well. Be careful you may end up saying it too.
If you haven’t watched the video, you’ll have missed the fact that we give graduates from ITT universities free access in their first year. Why would we do that? Because teaching is hard. Especially when you are new to it, and not least because we want to do our bit, (and because our CEO, Ian Harris, was a teacher).
The visual element of the How2s offers a direct path into what a teaching technique IS about, its core pedagogic intent. The fact that the image is paired down and devoid of too much contextual information facilitates teachers to focus on the teaching and learning inherent in the activity and then adapt it to their context to meet the needs of their students (rather than having to work out’ /‘guess’ what to do). The universality of the images and the ideas they represent provides a focus for professional dialogue (visuals put everyone on the same page — not open to misinterpretation ) and for dialogue between teachers and students about what worked in the classroom.
These factors combine to make the complexity of teacher training and development quicker, easier and more effective.