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Professionalism and Pedagogy: a contemporary opportunity

20 May 2010 - 30 August 2010

Cloudscape created by:

Andrew Pollard
3 May 2010

This Cloudscape provides discussion facilities to support the evolution of a new way of thinking about teacher expertise.  The holistic complexity of expertise is represented by a 'conceptual framework' in which curriculum, pedagogy and assessment are related to enduring issues associated with aims, contexts, processes and outcomes in education. 











1. Society’s educational goals

What vision of ‘education’ is the provision designed to achieve?

Breadth: does the curriculum represent society’s educational aspirations for its citizens?  

Principle: is the pedagogy consistent with established principles for effective teaching and learning?

 Congruence: are forms of assessment fit-for-purpose in terms of overall educational objectives?

2. Elements of learning

What knowledge, concepts, skills, values and attitudes are to be learned in formal education?

Balance: does the curriculum-as-experienced offer everything which each learner has a right to expect?

Repertoire: is the pedagogic expertise sufficiently creative, skilled and wide-ranging to teach all elements of learning?

 Validity: in terms of learning, do the forms of assessment used really measure what they are intended to measure?



3. Community context

Is the educational experience valued and endorsed by parents, community, employers and civil society?

Connection: does the curriculum engage with the cultural resources and funds-of-knowledge of families and the community?

 Warrant: are the teaching strategies evidence-informed, convincing and justifiable to stakeholders?

 Dependability: are assessment processes understood and accepted as being robust and reliable?

4. Institutional context

Does the school promote a common vision to extend educational experiences and inspire learners?

Coherence: is there clarity in the purposes, content and organisation of the curriculum and does it provide holistic learning experiences?

Culture: does the school support expansive learning by affirming learner contributions, engaging partners and providing attractive opportunities?

 Expectation: does the school support high staff and student expectations and aspire for excellence?



5. Process for learners’ social needs

Does the educational experience build on social relationships, cultural understandings and learner identities?

Personalisation: does the curriculum resonate with the social and cultural needs of diverse learners and provide appropriate elements of choice?

 Relationships: are teacher-pupil relationships nurtured as the foundation of good behaviour, mutual wellbeing and high standards?

 Inclusion: are all learners treated respectfully and fairly in both formal and informal interaction?

6. Processes for learners’ affective needs

Does the educational experience take due account of learner views, feelings and characteristics?

Relevance: is the curriculum presented in ways which are meaningful to learners and so that it can excite their imagination?

Engagement: do the teaching strategies, classroom organisation and consultation enable learners to actively participate in and enjoy their learning?

 Authenticity: do learners recognise routine processes of assessment and feedback as being of personal value?

7. Processes for learners’ cognitive needs

Does the educational experience match the learner’s cognitive needs and provide appropriate challenge?

 Differentiation: are curriculum tasks and activities structured appropriately to match the intellectual needs of learners?

 Dialogue: does teacher-learner talk scaffold understanding to build on existing knowledge and to strengthen dispositions to learn?

 Feed-back: is there a routine flow of constructive, specific, diagnostic feedback from teacher to learners?



8. Outcomes for continuing learning

Does the educational experience lead to development in knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes?

 Progression: does the curriculum-as-delivered provide an appropriate sequence and depth of learning experiences?

 Reflection: is classroom practice based on incremental, evidence-informed and collaborative improvement strategies?

 Development: does formative feedback and support enable learners to achieve personal learning goals?

9. Outcomes for certification and the lifecourse

Does the educational experience equip learners for adult and working life, and for an unknown future?

Effectiveness: are there improvements in standards, in both basic skills and other areas of curricular attainment, to satisfy society’s educational goals?

 Empowerment: is the pedagogic repertoire successful in enhancing wellbeing, learning disposition, capabilities and agency?

 Consequence: do assessment outcomes lead towards recognised qualifications and a confident sense of personal identity?

The conceptual framework has been introduced in a Commentary by Andrew Pollard on behalf of the UK's Teaching and Learning Research Programme ( and produced in collaboration with the General Teaching Council for England (  A pdf of the full Commentary, in all its design glory, can be viewed at:  Taking a look at this may help in understanding the overall intentions of this initi\ative.

Within this Cloudscape, the first two introductory Clouds explain the rationale and background to the work.  Most of the remaining Clouds relate to cells in the conceptual framework and are coded by Row and Column (R1C1, for instance).  Both the rationale as a whole and the content of specific cells is contestable of course - hence posting in this Cloudscape to facilitate debate.  It is nevertheless hoped that there may be sufficient substance in this type of representation to make it a useful device for professional and academic discussion. That is its status - it is not seeking to be definitive in any way.

Comments are invited on any of the elements - now presented as Clouds. Flash debates are anticipated .....

Outcomes of such discussions will be used to develop the framework further and to enhance the underlying evidence-base.  Improved versions will then be made freely available under a Creative Commons license at  They are expected to underpin future development of Andrew Pollard's materials on reflective teaching (see which already incorporate many TLRP findings and insights.  This work will take that process a stage further to maximise the impact of the research programme as a whole. 

Consultation on this conceptual framework is taking place during 2010 through both Cloudworks and also in more conventional seminars and presentations.  The work is funded by ESRC and the Institute of Education, University of London as part of a Programme Fellowship award to Andrew Pollard.

Clouds in this Cloudscape

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