Continuing to develop
In Hattie’s typology of expert teaching, we have the descriptor ‘Expert teachers are passionate about teaching and learning’. But how far does this passion extend to their own learning? One of the themes of this book has been its counterintuitive message that we need to make teaching more teacher centred, at least for some of the time. This is absolutely not in contradiction to teachers being student centred. All Hattie’s characteristics describe expert teachers in relation to their students. However, it is appropriate to recognise a creative tension for teachers around the notion of being more teacher centred at times. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the Cinderella that is professional development. Chapters 1 and 2 devoted much space to the notion of teaching as a profession and to new models of teacher recognition such as the advanced skills teacher and excellent teacher in England, the chartered teacher in Scotland and Wales and the highly accomplished teacher in the US. What is surprising is how rare these models are and how few teachers have a chance to gain these recognitions. Hattie makes the point:
Expert teachers do differ from experienced teachers – particularly in the way they represent their classrooms, the degree of challenges that they present to students, and most critically, in the depth of processing that their students attain. Students who are taught by expert teachers exhibit an understanding of the concepts targeted in instruction that is more
integrated, more coherent, and at a higher level of abstraction than the understanding achieved by other students.