In the first module of the PGDE programme, Emerging Philosophy of Teaching and Learning, you developed essential skills in planning and assessment, and you reflected deeply on what was influencing the decisions you made in your classroom. At this point in your practice, it is likely that you have begun to consider the wider context of your work. Some of you may already have a considerable body of knowledge about the community your school serves, while for others this may be an emerging aspect of your knowledge and practice. Whatever your starting point, in this module you will develop your understanding your school's community and what you can do in the classroom to maximise the progress of your pupils.
Pupils usually spend a lot of time in their 'local' community, and they may also be members of many other interest– or communion–based communities. These shape each pupil's identity and affect how they access education. In this module, you will be encouraged to consider your own identity and how this interacts with that of your pupils. As Kate Picket puts it, "we should train our teachers to reflect on the society they live in and the ways in which that shapes their relationship with pupils" (Institute of Education 2017).
Community contexts and pupil identities are acknowledged and respected by some schools, ignored by others, and even used as an excuse for under-achievement by a few. An understanding of how evidence can be put into practice also varies between schools and individual teachers. This module offers a frame of reference through which you can look at your school's community and your pupils' identities and take an informed and active approach in response. It will support you to further develop as an evidence-informed practitioner, guiding you through the stages of designing, implementing, and evaluating an intervention in your classroom.
There will be several elements that contribute to your learning and development in this module. These are:
- The taught, face–to–face content from Teach First and your University
- Your wider reading
- Your research into your school's community
- Your design, implementation, and evaluation of an intervention
- The support you receive from your tutor, mentor and PDL
- Your ongoing reflection on all of the above
The content for this module is divided into three parts:
Areas of Greatest Need
You will explore the literature on communities, including Teach First’s research into the UK’s Areas of Greatest Need. You will analyse and critique concepts such as community, identity and social mobility. You will then return to the conceptual framework and consider where community and identity sits within it.
You will connect your community research with your classroom practice by designing, implementing and evaluating an evidence–informed intervention.
Reflection and Next Steps
You will reflect back over the work you have done and further discuss, debate and shape your thinking about some big issues in education. You will consider how this work has influenced your motivation and sense of purpose and where you may wish to take your focus and practice in the second year of the Leadership Development Programme.