This blog is the third of a three part series entitled “NEVER STOP LEARNING”. Part one pleads for education to “put the personal back” arguing that the key for any recovery is relationships. Part two asks for labels not to be used arguing that “Every child deserves a Champion“.
A Position of Knowledge
We recently wrote a blog about Marginal Gains where we looked at the theory created by Sir Dave Brailsford within cycling both at the 2012 Olympics and onwards with the SKY or INEOS racing team.
The 1% principal is based on the small changes that TOGETHER make a big change.
As Brailsford said, Speaking to the BBC…
“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together. There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34247629
He believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end up being hugely significant.
The key principle behind this idea was knowledge.
Over many years, he and his team built up a real understanding of what was required to ride a bike both from a technical and personal point of view.
By studying the details of aerodynamics, his team was able to design the perfect bike.
By studying the timings charts and areas of acceleration, his team was able to build the perfect profile for training and peak condition.
Then, by studying the abilities, limits and mannerisms of his cyclists, he was able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his athletes and what would help them reach peak fitness and performance.
He embarked upon marginal gains from a position of knowledge.
But What is Knowledge?
A study of leadership in the American military discovered a link between leadership across learning environments and the importance of four types of knowledge.
Declarative knowledge is a true understanding of the facts – like knowing how a bike works.
Procedural knowledge is pushing the boundary, looking for that new and unknown idea that the facts will achieve for you – experimenting if you will.
Contextual knowledge places the strategy in context – knowing the material’s limitations and understanding what is possible to create the outcome – putting the matter in context.
Somatic knowledge places an emphasis away from the direct but onto more understanding. Why? How does this help? What will it create? What will it affect?
Dave Brailsford understood every part of his team and equipment. He knew their limits and capabilities. He understood what it would take to reach his goal and was then able to search for the marginal gains to push for Gold.
He embarked upon a push for success from a position of knowledge.
A Position of Knowledge is vital for teachers to teach in a classroom.
Teachers are the experts in their field and the correct people to be leading their pupils on their learning journey.
However, lockdown has brought many difficulties and challenges in education.
For the first time, many teachers will be walking back into the unknown.
There is always a mixture of anticipation and trepidation coming back after the 6-week holidays and starting to teach again, yet here we are asking colleagues to pick it up after 5/6 months out of the classroom.
The pupils they teach will also have changed.
They will all arrive with unknown issues from lockdown, some challenged, others empowered. Some will have thrived, others not. Depending on your school and catchment, some will be able to pick up learning, others will have stopped and will need to be re-integrated back into a school way of working with its rules and integral dynamics.
Teachers need to know their pupils to help them succeed.
All research has shown that pupils learn at different rates and will respond differently to different tasks. A teacher takes these points and brings them together allowing each pupil to learn in their own individual way.
The whole of education is underpinned by the relationship between the teacher and pupil.
So as we head back into our schools and classrooms, are we really in a “position of knowledge” or hoping for the best in these unknown times??
Do our teachers have the pupil knowledge to make the difference required?
Are we putting our teachers in a position of strength to help their pupils realise their potential?
The Way Forward
The most important first step is to put the personal connection back into the education system.
We need to begin where children are, rather than focus on where we would like them to be, and how to get them all to that same point as quickly as possible.
We need to understand them, get to know them once more and enable them to pick up their learning at a point that is right for them and continue working towards realising their true potential.
The second most important step is ensure we are always striving for the best in our pupils.
We must not allow ourselves to expect less of them in the long run because of the situation of Covid-19.
If the 2020 exam fiasco teaches us anything it is that every individual is important, valued and should be allowed to reach their potential regardless of background, the area they live, personal circumstances and more.
We cannot give them the label or the excuse of “covid-19” to stop them realising their true potential. We cannot allow ourselves to lower our expectations. Every child deserves a Champion.
The third most important step is to put your teachers in a position of knowledge.
There is a great call for the use of data to help teachers and school leaders understand the amount of learning lost and where to start once students return.
Accurate, valid and reliable assessment data can provide valuable information after a gap in school-based teaching.
The data will help schools target resources, guide the creation of a new and differentiated curriculum and give valuable instruction for the future – whatever that may be.
Here at DAISI Education, we are committed to supporting schools and pupils and working hard to find ways of handling learning loss through our Question Level Analysis for both Primary and Secondary Schools.
We have created one hour baseline papers for use in school with Year 6 and Year 7.
- All questions taken from previous SATs papers.
- Carefully designed and chosen to provide full KS2 curriculum coverage.
- Each paper arrives ready to use including a full detailed mark scheme.
- Package also includes Full Forensic Analysis of the Results
Our analysis includes
- Individual Pupil Profiles showing you a detailed look of your students so you can start working with them from a position of knowledge.
- Bespoke Cohort Analysis allowing your different teachers to focus lesson plans to reach as many students as possible.
- Forensic Topic Insight to show clear topic strengths and weaknesses in the key areas of English and Maths.
These papers are available now for Mathematics and Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar. Click here for more information..
Early analysis can put your teachers in a position of knowledge and able to help your pupils pick up their learning at a point that is right for them and continue working towards achieving AND realising their potential.
Thank you for reading this blog.
It is the third and final part of a three part series entitled “NEVER STOP LEARNING“.
Part one pleads for education to “Put the Personal back.”
Part two states that “Every child deserves a Champion.”