HOW2s are not rigid templates designed for unthinking execution. Rather, they are models that may need a degree of adaptation to fit different classroom situations. The HOW2 Process guides teachers through this series of decisions and actions.
While access to evidence has been welcomed, its adoption has not been without problems. Simply knowing which are the most effective techniques is not enough. Teachers need to know why they are using particular HOW2s and how to adapt them to fit the individual contexts of their classrooms.
The purpose of professional learning is to develop the professionalism of teachers as adaptive experts.
Evidence-based teaching is promoted through its effects sizes and the tens of thousands of studies they summarise. As impressive as these numbers are, the ultimate test, however, remains that which takes place in the individual teacher’s own classroom.
While evidence is presented as context-free knowledge, to become effective beyond the neutral research environment, specific techniques need to be adapted to teachers’ context-specific classrooms.
HOW2s are not templates to be followed unthinkingly. They are models – visual guides if you will – that map out the major steps of specific techniques.
What they can’t avoid, and are not designed to, is the thinking needed by the teacher to ensure their success in their own classroom.
As Helen Timperley points out, the best teachers are adaptive experts. HOW2s provide a clear framework, with a shared understanding among colleagues, from which individual adaptations can be made.
The HOW2 Process is designed for effective adaptation to individual teachers’ contexts. Its steps guide the teacher from initial clarification of goals, via an iterative cycle of review and fine-tuning, right through to the embedding of the technique into everyday practice.
These stages apply equally to individual self study, as they do to supported experiments, meetings, coaching and any other professional learning activity. Indeed, the HOW2 Process provides coherence to a medley of seemingly disparate ventures.
This HOW2 Process guides teachers through this series of decisions and actions.View next