This HOW2 Process guides teachers through this series of decisions and actions.
What am I trying to achieve in terms of student learning?
Consider which aspect of learning is your main focus:
Orient: learners prepare for their learning by directing their attention towards it.
Encounter: learners face, and start to address, the new content to be learned.
Organise: learners make sense of the new information by manipulating it in various formats.
Practice: learners elaborate and absorb the new knowledge and skills through repetition.
Feedback: learners improve and don’t reinforce mistakes.
Recall: learners place newly learned content into long-term memory.
Consider the source of the target:
Directed: does it come from lesson observation, department plans, or performance management?
Personal: have you decided to work on weaknesses, strengths, or an area of interest?
What needs to fit?
Consider aligning these aspects:
Purpose: does the HOW2 help address the target?
Complexity: is the HOW2 within your competency and comfort range?
Familiarity: have you used a similar HOW2 before?
If you are unsure, consider getting support from a colleague listed in the Skills Exchange. You can choose a colleague who is at one of these three stages with the particular HOW2 you have chosen:
Considering It: maybe start working on the same HOW2 together?
Working On It: or get support from someone in the middle of mastering the HOW2.
Embedded It: or maybe get support from someone who is now using the HOW2 as part of their everyday repertoire of techniques.
Will it work as it is?
Consider any potential problems:
Age: are your learners sufficiently developed for the demands of the chosen HOW2
Experience: do your learners know how to work cooperatively and independently?
Skills: can your learners read, take notes, explain and present their ideas to peers?
Knowledge: do your learners know enough content to engage with the activities?
Culture: does the class have a sufficient level of trust, sociability and diligence?
Logistics: are there any time or space constraints?
What can I tweak?
Consider these possible solutions:
Prepare: do you need to teach your learners any necessary skills?
Simplify: would reducing the number of stages reduce complexity?
Elaborate: would adding to the number of steps provide necessary scaffolding?
Modify: would changing the order of the steps or detail within a step supports its introduction?
Redesign: do you need to alter the constraints of neither time or space?
Rethink: would it be better to start with a simpler HOW2 as a build-up?
Involve: would walking through the HOW2 with your learners help in adapting it to their needs?
What supports me?
Consider these factors and options:
Introduction: would showing the HOW2 to your learners at the start help them to understand what is required of them?
Collaboration: would asking your learners to identify any pitfalls when introducing the HOW2 be more likely to create a sense of partnership?
Notes: are you planning to capture your plans and progress with the notes tool for later review and sharing with colleagues?
Evidence: would videoing your lesson help your learning?
Persistence: are you aware that new habits take time to become established?
Practice: are you aware that it takes repetition before new skills become fluent?
Errors: are you comfortable with the idea of errors being part of the learning process?
Did it work?
Consider a variety of evidence:
Video: what does the video reveal?
Observation: what did an observer notice?
Behaviours: did you follow your plan? Did you make any changes?
Learners: how would you evaluate their engagement and learning?
Feedback: what did your learners think of the HOW2 trial?
Evaluation: do you need to fine-tune your HOW2 plans and re-trial, or embed the HOW2 into your regular practice and move onto a new HOW2?
How can I share?
Consider these approaches:
Volunteer: change your status for that HOW2 as Embedded It on the Skills Exchange and wait for colleagues to contact you.
Capture: use the notes tool to capture how you went about your plans and share it with colleagues.
Comment: cooperate with your colleagues by commenting, and making suggestions, on their plans in their notes.
We learned in the professional learning and development best evidence synthesis about the importance of constructing knowledge socially.
An unprecedented tool for social learning
The new Skills Exchange offers new possibilities for autonomous and collaborative learning among teachers.
Scan and Select
Teachers can easily see how many, and which, colleagues have worked on particular HOW2s. Their participation is spread across three statuses, allowing teachers to choose a colleague to support them who is either considering working on the HOW2, is actually working on it currently, or has worked on it and has now embedded it into their daily practice.
Contribute and Upload
Updating their status for each HOW2, makes teachers available to their colleagues for support and collaborative learning. In the near future this contribution will include the uploading of video and documents.
Special Interest Groups
Within a large organisation, specialist groups will naturally form, sharing their particular contexts in which to apply the HOW2s. Plans are in place to extend this super-learning facility to include a national network, followed by global links.
Personalised and Autonomous
The Skills Exchange puts real power in the hands of teachers to lead their own development. They can ensure that their learning is:
Just in time (no need to wait for training days or coaching sessions)
Just for me (no need to listen to content not aimed for a teacher’s individual needs or agenda)
Just enough (no need to take on board material not immediately needed)
Not just once (no need to risk overload in the one-pass learning pressure of day training events)
Survey the State-of-Play
Managers and leaders can glance at the Skills Exchange and get an accurate and comprehensive summary of teachers’ skills throughout the organisation. This is a wonderful basis for planning and will delight any inspection team.