Learn a little more about technical terms used in this edition.

ACTION RESEARCH

Practitioner led action research in an education context is a form of continued professional development based around enquiry questions which, when answered, benefit the performance of the practitioner. Action research first involves teachers identifying an element of their practice, or their students learning, that they’d like to improve. This is followed by the clarification of the pedagogical theories that underpin it, which are used to formulate research questions. The teacher then answers these research questions by collecting and analysing data showing the impact of a particular approach (for example, data on the performance of their students when taught in a particular new way). The answers then inform their ongoing professional practice, and can be shared with others.

COACHING

A one-to-one relationship between an expert coach and a learning coachee, improving the professional performance of the coachee. The input from the coach should be responsive to the ability and progress of the coachee. The focus is on equipping coachees to make their own decisions and develop their ability to make judgements of their own professional standards.

COMMUNITY OF LEARNING

A group of practitioners with shared learning aims who communicate regularly about their learning and support each others’ learning goals. 

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

The learning and training activities that professionals use to continually improve their work and to remain up-to-date. Vocational teachers and trainers may want to improve and update their understanding of good teaching practice and their industry or vocational knowledge and skills.

JOINT PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT (JPD) 

A form of continued professional development where, instead of knowledge or good practices being transferred from an expert to a learner, two or more teachers or colleges collaborate to learn from each other and mutually benefit. This collaboration is usually focussed on interaction to develop a new approach and is often underpinned by action research.

MENTORING

A one-to-one relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced mentee. The role of the mentor is to support and empower the mentee with advice and guidance around their professional development, wellbeing and integration into the culture of the institution and profession. 

PEDAGOGICAL APPROACHES

Different approaches to teaching, underpinned by different theories about human cognition, development, behaviour and skill acquisition, and adapted to the needs of the student and preferences of the teacher.

PEDAGOGY

The theory and practice of teaching. Specifically, pedagogy refers to the theory and practice of teaching children. Andragogy is the theory and practice of teaching adults.

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