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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Newsletter Welcome Finland – CPD models and practice Co-operative learning in practice ACTS Response to the Donaldson Review of Teacher Education Teachers as Researchers ACTS online Using a Credit Union to fund CT SERA Brisard Memorial Prize Upcoming events: Edutalkr next broadcast Conference 2011 ACTS @ Scottish Learning Festival 2010 Join ACTS Gift Aid Contact ACTS


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Welcome to the Summer 2010 edition of the ACTS Newsletter. As the doors of our schools open once again at the beginning of a new session, and the holidays fade too quickly to a distant memory, open the pages of the ACTS newsletter and be inspired by experiences of Chartered Teachers acting on their commitment to professional development. Read details of an important ACTS development, Teachers as Researchers, open to probationer teachers as well as more experienced colleagues. Find out how ACTS is using technology to communicate. And discover a pointer in these straitened times to a source of funding for those on the route. We hope this newsletter marks the beginning of a successful, effective, and confidencebuilding year for all readers and their students.

Finland – CPD models and practice

Lucy Hare ( is a Chartered Teacher at Livingston Village Primary School and is an ACTS Committee member.

Lucy describes her recent visit to Helsinki where performance in PISA comparison studies is very high.


The context for the visit to Helsinki was to examine and reflect upon teacher continuing professional development within the Finnish education system, explore the methodologies which underpin the CPD model in Finland, and the role Universities and Trade Unions play in 2

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 enhanced professional practice given Finland’s high levels of performance in PISA international comparison studies.

Learning Experiences Whilst in Finland I visited the Finnish National Board of Education and was familiarised with the key characteristics of the Finnish education system in terms of national organisational structures, the curriculum and undergraduate teacher education. At the University of Helsinki we explored post-graduate CPD opportunities. A visit to the Viikki Teacher Training School allowed opportunities to see how national policy is enacted within a school setting, through discussion with the Principal and classroom observation. At the Ministry of Education we explored in greater depth educational policy guidelines and implementation.

At the

Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö (OAJ) teaching union headquarters I gained a greater understanding of teacher’s conditions of service. A visit to Torpparinmaen Koulu School allowed for comparison with the Vikkii Teacher Training School. A return visit to the Finnish National Board of Education facilitated peer reflection on the Finnish Education system and comparison with our experiences of teaching and learning in the Scottish system.

Comparison with Scottish education system and practices As a relatively young republic of 90 years the Finns were able to forge a new path when setting up the education system. Culturally and politically, there is a largely consensual view of the direction educational policy should take, therefore, the education system has not been subject to the ideological shifts which have characterised the Scottish system. Surprisingly, given the high levels of performance in international education comparisons, there is less investment in Finnish education as a percentage of GDP than in Scotland, with larger classes and less hours spent in school. In Finland only 10-12% of applicants to teacher training programmes are successful. Given that all teachers must attain a Masters degree before entering the profession, the status of a teacher is greater than that enjoyed in Scotland and there is a great deal of societal trust in the abilities of teachers. As the Masters degree has a research component, newly qualified teachers are more able to identify, explore and address teaching and learning issues. An ethos of teachers as researchers permeates the education system and as such teachers don’t look for instruction or teaching tips. 3

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 The Finnish national curriculum and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence are closely aligned in that each school chooses its own methods and materials, though in Finland individual teachers have more freedom to choose the methodologies they deploy. Interestingly given this extensive local discretion, evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies in terms of pupil achievement doesn’t influence the development of education policy nationally. A truly collegiate culture of improving teaching and learning was evident in discussions with teachers, classroom observations with a focus on peer reflection rather than formal, recorded quality assurance and the fact that there is no national inspection system.

Small scale

sampling of pupil attainment is conducted by the Ministry of Education, the results of which indicate very little regional difference in terms of pupil attainment and achievement. Formal testing does not taking place until secondary school.

In terms of continuing professional development, studies by the OAJ teaching union indicate that 70% of their members are dissatisfied with current CPD provision with many undertaking CPD activities in their own time and at their own expense. There are 3 in-service days per year, two of which focus on pedagogy and are organised by the local municipality. Currently the Advisory Board for Professional Development of Education Personnel is undertaking a review of initial teacher education and continuing professional development given that their own studies indicated in 2007 that 32% of teachers had not participated in CPD that year, evidence that there are large variations in the quality and scope of CPD provision between municipalities and that initial and continuing education don’t support one another adequately. The evidence I gathered during the visit points to the key drivers of strong performance of Finland in international education comparisons being high quality initial teacher education, teachers as researchers, and a trusting culture within schools in which quality self and peer reflection takes place.

Dissemination In terms of disseminating my learning experiences and reflections on the Finnish system it has been agreed at my Staff Review and Development meeting that I will present my findings next term to the whole staff team and explore and develop with my colleagues aspects of the Finnish model which would enhance our collegiate practice and further improve pupil learning 4

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 experiences within our setting.

Planning for this presentation has been underpinned by

further professional reading and reflection on the Finnish education system. On returning from Finland I immediately began to ‘tinker’ with my own classroom practice based on classroom observations in Finland and had learning conversations with colleagues on the impact of these changes. I have shared my preliminary reflections on my experiences of the Finnish education system with the Head Teacher of the school in which I teach and a Head Teacher within the authority who was able to provide a comparison with the Norwegian education system through the experiences of a member of her staff who undertook a recent visit to schools in Oslo.

Nationally I have taken part in an online Flashmeeting (web conference)

with fellow

committee members of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS) to devise a group response to the Donaldson Review of Teacher Education and my contributions were heavily influenced by my experiences of the Finnish education system. I will also share my findings at the first Teachers as Researchers event organised by ACTS which will take place in Aberdeen in September 2010.

Excellent BBC report on Finland’s education system, featuring one of the schools visited. References Berthelemy, M (2009) Rebuilding teacher professionalism at (last accessed 19 July 2010) European Commission Education and Training (2010) Teachers’ professional development: Europe in international comparison at (last accessed 19 July 2010) Finnish National Board of Education (2010) For Learning and Competence. Helsinki. Ministry of Education Kupiainen, S., Hautamaki, J and Karjalainen, T. (2009) The Finnish Education System and PISA. Helsinki. Helsinki University Print OAJ (2010) Teacher Education in Finland. Helsinki. OAJ OAJ (2010) The Trade Union of Education in Finland. Helsinki. OAJ


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 OCED (2006) Programme for International Student Assessment at (last accessed 19 July 2010) SRN LEADS/Stanford University: School Resign Network (2009) Leadership, Equality and Accountability in Districts and Schools at (last accessed 19 July 2010) Stewart, G (2008) The Teacher Profession and Teacher Education in Finland at - Similar (last accessed 19 July 2010)


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Co-operative Learning in Practice Gus Mackay is a Chartered Teacher of Physics at Dornoch Academy.

Following on from our interview with Chris Ward, Gus writes reflectively on his experience of using co-operative learning in his S1 class.

You know the expression “The devil makes work for idle hands.”? Well it’s true, it happened to me!

In one of those (rare) moments of

comparative idleness I was browsing through Glow when I remembered that I had applied to join the Chartered Teacher glow group. I thought I’d pay the site a visit and found my way to Dorothy’s invitation to collaborate. Like the innocent butterfly of Chaos Theory I flapped my wings and mentioned that I had been trying to get to grips with co-operative learning. A short time later I was idle no more! Could you write a follow up article to the interview with Chris Ward on how you find co-operative learning in practice?

I was fortunate enough to attend a CPD event run by Chris and Highland Council’s own champion of co-operative learning Mark Jones. They certainly practice what they preach, the whole event is run using co-operative learning strategies. You get the opportunity both to experience it as a learner and to practise it.

I’ve had an interest in pupils working together for a long time. Indeed, my CT work based project was on using computer supported collaborative learning to improve the written descriptions and explanations given by pupils in physics. I’ve often had pupils working in groups to conduct experiments, discuss ideas etc. So what changes group work into cooperative learning? Five basic elements are required for co-operative learning; if any one of them is missing then you don’t have co-operative learning you simply have kids working in a group. They are: positive interdependence individual accountability face-to-face interaction social skills 7

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 group processing.

I had come across some of these ideas before but there were two things that were especially interesting to me in this model of co-operative learning. First was the equal emphasis given to both the social and the academic development of the learner. Second was this concept of “positive interdependence” and how to structure tasks to ensure this was the case. I’ll try to show how I incorporated these ideas and explain what they mean.

The task This was an extended (five 50 minute periods) investigation into wind turbines with an S1 class. I aimed to give the pupils an introduction to the scientific concepts of fair testing, recording data (in the form of a table), analysing data (in the form of a scatter graph) forming a conclusion and presenting a report (in the form of a poster). I organised five mixed ability groups of three and four (no more than four in a group is the guidance for co-operative learning) for the task. I asked them to imagine that they were a team of consulting engineers and scientists competing for a contract from a major wind turbine manufacturer to optimise the output from their turbines.

The contract would be

awarded to the team that displayed the best investigation skills.

The first job was to develop a name and logo for the team, with a social task of listening to others. Anyone in the team might be asked to explain the choice of name and logo. They came up with R.D.V.J. Inc (initials of team members), Aeolius Design, T.T.M. (the turbine machine), Windmillz Direct and Cyclone Engineers.

Teams were then issued with model wind turbines, fan, voltmeter, ammeter and leads. I demonstrated how to connect up the turbine and we discussed fair testing – keeping the turbine lined up and square on to the fan, etc. We decided that everyone would do the same first investigation – the effect of wind speed on output. We varied the wind speed by changing the distance from the fan to the turbine. I explained the scoring system for the challenge 5 points for fair testing, 5 for table of results, 5 for graph, 5 for overall presentation, 2 for the conclusion and 3 bonus points to be awarded


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 by teacher if good team work spotted. The winning team would be the one with the highest score for any single investigation.

Pupils were assigned individual roles and responsibilities for the first investigation which were then to be rotated in subsequent ones. Pupil 1 set up equipment and perform experiment, pupil 2 ensure fair testing and write conclusion, pupil 3 table of results and pupil 4 construct graph. For groups with only 3 then the jobs of 1 & 2 are combined.

The five elements of co-operative learning

Positive interdependence This is where all members of the group perceive the need to work together to accomplish the task. There are actually nine aspects to this! The more aspects you can build into the task the better. It is considered the most important of the five elements, although you still must have all five to have co-operative learning.

The group had to produce a single report on A3. Since each pupil was responsible for a part of the report, the success of the group depends on all members (positive goal interdependence). They were in competition with the other groups (positive outside force interdependence) and had to work in the same place as each other (positive environmental interdependence). They were assigned roles (positive role interdependence) which were rotated.

They had developed an identity (positive identity interdependence) and were

involved in a simulation (positive simulation interdependence). Since the jobs were also completed one after the other we also had positive sequence interdependence!

Individual accountability This occurs when each member of the team needs to demonstrate responsibility for learning. In this task, the rotating roles ensured that each member experienced the responsibility for scoring points for the team in each area. They were allowed to get help from the others verbally but had to complete their task alone. Anyone in the team could be asked at any time to explain what was going on and what everybody was doing their response might affect the teamwork score! 9

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Face to face interaction This is as the name suggests – group members are close enough to engage in dialogue to contribute to progress in learning. They were able to make suggestions to each other and peer-assess the product before calling me in to mark it.

My room has a traditional layout with benches in rows and a separate teacher’s desk as shown in figure 1. This was modified as in figure 2 to encourage face to face interaction.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Social skills The social tasks should be chosen to further the academic goals. We mainly used listening attentively and taking turns gracefully.

Group processing As the groups completed each investigation report at different times I had a good opportunity to discuss their work with them. We talked about the good aspects and explored why it was good and also what might be improved next time. This discussion was mainly about the academic task; however, group processing is really about the group members assessing their performance on the social skills.

How did we find it? I think the first thing to point out is do not expect either you or them to be expert straight away! I am very much at the beginning stages with co-operative learning. Indeed, I went against the advice to start small. It takes time for these ideas to become ingrained with you 10

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 and the pupils. I think that the time spent building the team through the logo design and the choice of name was time well spent. This was an aspect that I have never really paid attention to in my past efforts at group work. As I said at the beginning, I found the advice on how to structure the task for positive interdependence very helpful. They worked mostly on task – certainly for the first few investigations. Then interest perhaps began to wane slightly later.

It was certainly better than previous versions of this activity where you tended to get some pupils hogging the equipment and doing all the experimenting without any real regard to fair testing. Some pupils would copy results without thinking and not worry about the technical aspects of drawing a scatter graph.

As usual, some groups gelled better than others – you need to emphasise the need to be able to get along with everyone in order to complete the task. You will not modify behaviour overnight or even over a couple of weeks. I don’t think I spent enough time on, or sufficiently rewarded, social skills. Chris often used a phrase on the course that has stuck with me “What gets measured gets paid attention to”. If you make a point of measuring social skills then they will have increased status in the eyes of the pupils. I should have spent some more time modelling the required social skills and discussing with them what we would expect to hear and see in a group working well together. I should also have awarded more points for team-working.

Overall I was much encouraged by this early step and I am convinced enough by the methodology to continue to develop my expertise with it. I won’t use it all the time but I can see it becoming a much more prominent feature of my practice.

I would thoroughly

recommend the course, if you get the chance to experience it. Further Reading: 

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1994). Leading the cooperative school (2nd ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. J. (1993). Cooperation in the classroom (6th ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

The Cooperative School 11

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010


A1) What do you believe are the MAIN overall strengths and areas for improvement within teacher education as a whole in Scotland today and why?

Overall strengths:  Chartered Teacher programme  Coherent progression from student teacher to Chartered Teacher  Proper probationer period now with time out of class for prep and mentoring Overall areas for improvement:  Placement teachers should be taking more responsibility for linking student experiences to theory/policy whilst on placement  Secondary students go to the same school in their second and third terms. Would giving them different schools not widen their experience?  Consideration of future routes and learning for established Chartered Teacher  A clearer understanding of CPD and its benefit to teacher / school development needs.

A2) When thinking specifically about initial teacher education in Scotland today what do you believe are the MAIN strengths and areas for improvement and why?

Strengths  Focus on enabling reflective practice and sharing of practice  Positive experience of action enquiry in the classroom and building of the skills underpinning evidenced based practice 12

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010  Good knowledge of new technologies and ICT in particular Areas for improvement  Certain B.Ed course has no tutor visit at all in first year so student could do over a year before being formally assessed  Lack of basic input on courses about the Developing Person (what was Child Growth and Development), the Child in Society (what was 'Childhood Studies'), current broadly used Pedagogies and Philosophies of Education and generative studies on 21st Century Culture and its implications for education  Lack of input on developing early the competencies and character required for 'teacher leadership', especially the ability to influence colleagues and help make changes to established practice in schools.  Lack of support for the growth of a mindset that looks beyond the tips and techniques to more fundamental underpinning pedagogical approaches. Without this new teachers lack the ability to plan and prepare units of work for CfE with more creativity and autonomy (rather they just continue picking up published resources and implementing them with little thought as to their appropriateness or effectiveness).  Opportunity for universities to work with students in schools to encourage classroom based action research. A3) When thinking specifically about probation/induction in Scotland today what do you believe are the MAIN strengths and areas for improvement and why?

Strengths  More emphasis on peer mentoring and peer observation as a stimulus for professional dialogue and reflection  More encouragement for NQTs for to demonstrate teacher leadership in areas they are most competent  CPD differs from school to school and Local Authority to Local Authority. Perhaps a more consistent approach Areas for improvement 13

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010  There is more weight now to the time in school/ on school opinion of the student and only one crit lesson per placement. Is this a positive move? Obviously not an issue for a good student, but what about a student who does well when their tutor comes out, but is finding the rest of the placement hard.  Reduced management time in schools means that some may not be getting the support they need.  More help for teacher mentors who are not managers.

A4) When thinking specifically about continuing professional development in Scotland today what do you believe are the MAIN strengths and areas for improvement and why?

Strengths  Organised CPD for probationers  Commitment to 35 hours  Standards frameworks for whole career  Rich knowledge base amongst practitioners  Beginning to be many new professional learning communities established around certain areas of the curriculum or around particular approaches and strategies for teaching and learning Areas for improvement  CPD provision can be random  Some teachers never take-up opportunities  Supply cover costs can prevent or limit access to relevant CPD for some  Means to access and share existing rich knowledge base  Linking of CPD opportunities offered to the Establishment Improvement Plan can limit personalisation and choice 14

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

A5) How do teachers’ learning needs change as they progress through their career and how well does the current Scottish system cater for these changes?

 Do learning opportunities need to be more individualised (in respect of self and school setting) as teachers become more experienced/have more responsibility?

 There is now excellent provision beyond induction and into the early phase, but very little that really challenges teachers past those stages to move on in their learning and understanding (apart from adding new techniques or learning about new initiatives to keep up with current changes). How do we encourage teachers to engage with deeper learning ? Which structures, experiences and opportunities will sustain them as they grapple with the complex and diverse challenges of the classroom and seek to improve the quality of their formative interactions with children and young people ?

 Is there room in the career stages for emphasising the vital provision needed for teacher leaders to receive support and sharply focussed input on how to lead innovation and change from the classroom outwards.

A6) How can the impact of teacher education (specifically continuing professional development) on improving young people’s progress and achievements be evaluated?

A7) What do you see as the MAIN characteristics of teacher professionalism and how can these be supported by teacher education?  Teacher judgement being used more in assessments linked to professionalism  Exemplifying impact  Sharing practice  Collaborative planning for school improvement 15

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010  All teachers taking responsibility for their own learning and development  Involvement in collaborative professional enquiry as a vehicle for the promotion of greater autonomy and for encouraging more effective articulation of teachers' professional 'voice'

Section B – Future Challenges

B1) Thinking about these challenges, what qualifications/ skills/ attributes and qualities should we be looking for when selecting people for initial teacher education in the future?

 Some work experience, researching and presenting evidence, group tasks which are observed  Evidence of ability to reflect on own learning  A passion for learning, a 'growth' mindset, resilience, reflexivity and creativity in the face of challenge  A passion for people and for education as the 'practice of freedom'  Increasingly emotionally, intellectually and spiritually intelligent  They need to embody all 4 capacities so that children and young people can see what it means in practice

B2) What transferable skills/ attributes/ qualities will teachers in all or specific sectors need to successfully meet future challenges?  Be lifelong learners  Bring wider experiences  Websense  Critical awareness 16

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010  A love of community, huge relational awareness and competence  An ability to use what they 'know' in new and novel ways  A deep affection for engaging with, participating in and enabling positive human centred activity  A love of change, paradox, mystery  Gardner's 5 minds !  Must be 'cultural creatives' - they should be apprentices in the 'art of graceful subversion'  Ability to 'surf the edge of chaos' with courage  An enterprising spirit  A vibrant and resourceful global citizen

B3) In what ways does teacher education as a whole need to adapt to ensure that all teachers are able to meet future challenges?

 Consider Standards and CPD Frameworks for right through teachers' careers  At the moment, there is no follow- up - leads to the topic of reaccreditation!  To become local, specific and personalised  Peer support is essential in sustaining improvement and growth  Establishment of many more local networks for educators from a range of sectors/contexts/establishments  More informal and energising involvement from universities stimulating professional engagement in praxis  More help with provision of ICT hardware that makes it easy and affordable for teachers to stay professionally connected


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010  Opportunities to work with universities. Teachers mentoring colleagues or observing lessons are often teachers who have not been involved or are not aware of recent research in pedagogy and this can hinder professional dialogue. Section C – Further Comment

C1) Are there any other comments that you would wish to include that have not been covered by the questions shown above? Please detail here:  Because of increasing numbers of teachers being offered and accepting early retirements, in order to make room for newer teachers who have been guaranteed positions (and who often happen to be cheaper to employ) there is a loss of the voice of experience in schools. Can a balance be ensured?  The major pedagogies that support our approaches to teaching and learning with children and young people (including the fundamental values that they espouse and promote) should support our approaches to teaching and learning with adults too ! If we believe that learning is participative, active, relational, engaging, life affirming and adaptive, we need to help our teachers become learners that have those qualities, skills, dispositions and abilities that will best enable them to engage in learning of that nature.


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Teachers as Researchers

Have you ever thought about doing some research? Do you want to find out more about what happens in your classroom or about how your pupils learn? Or have you already dipped a toe into the waters of educational research, completed a research project or studied for a masters degree?

The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS) is developing a new series of Teachers as Researchers events. The first of these will be hosted by the University of Aberdeen on Saturday, 18th September, from 10am to 3pm. It will be open, not just to ACTS members, not just to Chartered Teachers and those on the route to Chartered Teacher, but to any teacher with an interest in research and enquiry.

Teachers as Researcher events aim to: 

share and celebrate teacher research

provide an opportunity for teachers researchers to discuss their research with peers;

develop support networks amongst teacher researchers.

A feature of the day will be research discussion group sessions, which will give time for each participant to talk with colleagues about their own research ideas (whether these ideas are completed projects or still at the stage of ‘I’d really like to find out more about …).

Many people think that research and enquiry is an important aspect of teacher professionalism in the twenty-first century. The first Teachers as Researchers event is being 19

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 hosted by the University of Aberdeen and sponsors include the GTCS and Scottish Borders Council. Plans are already underway for future events at universities in various parts of Scotland. You can become part of this new network of teachers as researchers.

To register for the Aberdeen event go to For more information about ACTS Teachers as Researchers events go to or email


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

ACTS online David Noble is a Chartered Teacher at Hillside School, Fife. He is Vice-chair of ACTS.

David details some of the ways ACTS is using online media to facilitate collaboration and communication with members and the wider professional community.

Within ACTS and with wider and faster internet access, and the development and availability of a variety of free online communication tools, teachers and other educationists are able to engage in dialogue, learn from, and collaborate with colleagues across traditional boundaries.

Multimedia content, including

lesson planning documents, tutorial videos, presentations, and publicly-visible conversations, can be shared via blogs and other social (professional) networking sites.

Since prior to its formation, those involved in ‘steering’ the association have tried several online ICT tools, many of which are now established as part of our toolkit for communicating and collaborating within the geographically-spread committee and wider membership.

I will now outline seven such tools;

explaining their functions and giving examples of how ACTS and others are using them. I hope that this will help you to consider how you engage with ACTS and the wider Chartered Teacher community; and how online tools may be used to enhance teaching and learning.

The main online resource is the ACTS blog (


articles, documents and details of events are published here. ACTS members 21

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are able to download posters, membership forms, and the latest newsletter. Details of the 2011 conference and how to book a place can also be accessed. Presently, ACTS are developing an area of the site which will contain details of academic papers (including theses and dissertations) written by members and other Chartered Teachers. The blog is provided by Edublogs; an organisation run ‘by teachers for teachers’. Any educator can set up a blog for free at The next three tools are embedded in the ACTS blog.

Twitter ( is a free micro-blogging service that allows users to easily publish text messages and other media content comprising up to 140 characters. Messages can be posted from computer or phone and instantly appear on the ACTS blog (near the top-left), as well as being sent to those Twitter users who are ‘following’ ACTS. Presently, we are using Twitter to provide new association news, brief details of forthcoming Chartered Teacher events, and calls for participation. If you have a message that you would like to share, send it to And it will be published on our Twitter account that day.

Qik Live ( is a website and iPhone application that enables users to broadcast and record video online.

In addition to being

streamed and saved in one’s online account, live video is embedded near the top-right of the blog. At this years conference, two speeches from the main hall 22

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

were broadcast live, enabling those who could not attend to ‘tap in’ to some of the proceedings. It is hoped that soon, office bearers will record brief accounts of committee meeting etc in this format; one which compliments formal minutes.

The third resource which links directly to the ACTS blog has enabled the association to create an online library. Delicious ( is a free online bookmarking tool that allows users to save relevant web-based resources in one location. These are categorised (tagged), making it easy for others to access and browse content.

The library can be found down the right-side of the blog. The latest additions are listed by title nearer to the top. Typically, these will include: updates from ‘providers’, education news, policy documents and academic papers relating to Chartered



existing categories can be found further down the blog. The larger the word, the more articles can be found within this category. Clicking on the word brings up a list of related articles within the library. To contribute a resource to the library (note that it does not need to be currently online), email details to


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

ACTS use Google Alerts ( to receive notification of new web content containing the phrase “Chartered Teacher�. Each week we receive an email detailing all new instances of this. Google Alerts can help schools to track mentions of the establishment, or teachers to access new resources on a topic. Scholar Alerts ( provides a similar service relating to academic key words.

The ACTS committee comprises classroom teachers, spread across Scotland. In order to maximise the opportunities to communicate and collaborate, we use email and a wikispace ( A wiki is an online document to which those with permission have access. Content on a wiki can be edited, added to, and discussed. to


This enables work asynchronously

between meetings.


and responses to consultation documents, for example, can be constructed, and updates from office




committees can be posted. Minutes of previous meetings and event details can be reviewed and comments made. Wikispaces are available free to educators. 24

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

The ACTS wiki is presently open only to committee members, though we are exploring providing public access to certain areas.

A further way of keeping in touch, discussing, and making decisions is to run web conferences.

ACTS do so, on an ad hoc basis, using Flashmeeting

(; an intuitive, web-based conferencing resource, available free to educators. Many teachers involved in the British Council’s eTwinning programme use Flashmeeting to connect classes across Europe. Many face-to-face ACTS events, including some committee meetings, have a Flashmeeting connection. This means that those on the committee and other members not in physical attendance can still listen-in or even contribute through the built-in chat facility.


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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Using a Credit Union to fund Chartered Teacher studies Paddy Miller is a Chartered Teacher of Home Economics at St Andrew’s High in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Paddy looks back at the options she considered in order to fund her Chartered Teacher studies.

On taking up my position as an EIS Learning Rep, I looked at options for funding my Chartered Teacher studies. A Local Authority grant would not be available because teachers’ salaries start above the threshold for such a grant, and there were no obvious benevolent funds or charities that I could approach. I then looked at different lending systems and repayment procedures.

1. Finance Department of the provider of the course: This needs to be paid back before graduation, and may be paid as a one off payment or subdivided into regular monthly payments for the duration of the course with the final date aligned to final submission date.

2. Bank or Building society personal/professional development loan: terms and conditions as per individual company.


Credit Union: A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and

controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members. Many credit unions exist to further community development or sustainable international development on a local level. Most local authorities have a link to the credit union system. A person is known as a shareholder and the money is known as shares.

Having completed and paid for module 1&2 of the Chartered Teacher programme, the teacher can use the increase in salary to make a direct payment into the Credit Union, thus becoming a member of the Credit Union. At any point members have access to their money 26

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ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 and can withdraw it. However they may also draw down on their saving to a level of three times the amount. So saving ÂŁ1,000 for example would enable a loan of up to ÂŁ3,000. The monthly payment would be divided to provide 60% to pay off the loan and 40% to continue to build the share dividend. The length of time it will take to pay back the loan is arrived at by dividing the amount borrowed by the monthly payment. The application asks members to give a reason for the loan. Shares may not be removed below a certain level until the loan is repaid.

This information was gathered a few years ago but current information about Credit Unions can be found at the website of the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd together with a list of Credit Unions in Scotland.


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

SERA Estelle Brisard Memorial Prize


SCOTTISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION Memorial Tribute to Estelle Brisard (1973-2006)

Estelle worked in Scotland first as a doctoral student at the University of Stirling, from 2000, but then as a Research Fellow and later as a Lecturer at the University of Paisley from 2002 until her death in November 2006. At that time, she had accepted a new post at Liverpool John Moores University which she was due to take up from January 2007. She served on the SERA Executive Committee, representing the University of Paisley, during 2004/05.

Her field of research was teacher education and she was very much a comparativist. The study at Paisley was a study of ITE policy and practice in Scotland and England. During her research career she had made many friends and had established a strong network of contacts in Scotland the UK, France, Europe, as well as in the USA and the antipodes.

She was a member of the Editorial Board of Scottish Educational Review and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Education for Teaching. She was well known within the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET).

In 2007, in recognition of Estelle’s outstanding contribution to educational research in Scotland, SERA created an annual award in her memory. Submissions are now invited for the 2010 award. Details are provided below.


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

The Estelle Brisard Memorial Prize for Educational Research This annual award is made by SERA to an early career educational researcher for excellence and promise in their work.

The prize is awarded for the best research paper written by an early career researcher based in Scotland and is presented annually at the SERA conference. The prize is awarded following open competition. For the 2010 award, submissions should be made by Tuesday 31 August 2010.

The award consists of a certificate and a cash prize of £250, to be presented at the SERA conference in the Stirling Highland Hotel, Stirling in November (25th – 26th). Arrangements may be made (if appropriate) for the paper to be presented at the Conference. If the paper has not already been published, the winner will be encouraged to submit it for consideration by the Scottish Educational Review (SER).

Eligibility: the competition is open to all those who are at an early stage in their educational research careers. This is likely to include research students, educational practitioners working in schools or in adult and community settings, college and university tutors. Candidates would not be expected to have published significant amounts of research work, but would be expected to aspire to this in the future.

In addition to the research paper, submissions should include a statement of up to 100 words outlining the candidate’s research experience, current activity and aspirations.

The judging panel will consist of four members of the SERA Executive Committee, including a member of the Editorial Board of SER and the convenor of SERA’s recently established emerging researchers’ network.


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010 Submissions should be in the range of 3000-6000 words and will be judged against the following criteria: 

Significance of contribution to educational research and/or professional practice

Being based on original work

Methodological rigour and/or professional relevance

Clarity of written presentation

The winner will be notified by the end of October and invited to attend the award ceremony at the SERA Conference.

If you wish to enter this competition, please submit your research paper (in Word and as an attachment) and brief statement, as indicated above, together with full contact details, by email to:

Closing date 31 August 2010


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Upcoming Events of interest

The 3rd show takes place on Thursday, 26th August 2010 from 8.15 - 9.00pm BST The panel will comprise: Professor Stephen Heppell, Tess Watson, Ian Stuart and Douglas Blane


Making education relevant for 24-7 learners 1. In what ways might formal education be irrelevant? 2. Which aspects of pupils' lives might we make education relevant to? Might it be future economic, present enjoyment, lifelong learning, personal development? Can it be all of these? Do we have to sacrifice some to get best effect for learners? 3. How can education systems provide opportunities for testing, assessing, or otherwise recognising or encouraging progression in learning beyond school? 4. Are Activity Agreements a scalable model for groups other than pre-NEET?

To find out more, visit Listen to the live broadcast at


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

The 2011 ACTS Winter Conference will bring together two-hundred and fifty Chartered Teachers and other educationists with an interest in Chartered Teacher. The aim is to facilitate dialogue around the title of ‘Inspiring Leaders of Learning’, and within our three themes of: professional learning, leadership, and the curriculum.

The conference will focus on the roles and the learning of Chartered Teachers, within the context of the new curriculum, and the Donaldson Report on Teacher Education in Scotland (which by February 2011 will have recently been published). There will be opportunities for open discussion, reflecting constructively on experiences across stages and contexts.

Providers of professional development courses, including those who run a Chartered Teacher programme, will be invited to present details of what they offer, and to discuss appropriate paths with Chartered Teachers and other delegates. Further details of our 2011 conference are at: 32

ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Visit ACTS at the GTCS stand on Wednesday 22nd September 2010.


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

Join ACTS Join by completing the form below and returning it to: ACTS, 6 Monar Court, Dalgety Bay, DUNFERMLINE, KY11 9XJ, AND either: Making a BACS payment to Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland. Sort Code 80-06-55. Account Number 06033226 Or: Sending a cheque to the address above



o o o o

I wish to become a member of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland. I am a full Chartered Teacher (£25) I am following the CT Programme, having completed at least Module 1 (£15) I am a Chartered Teacher no longer registered with the GTCS but continuing to follow the Code of Conduct (£15)

o o o

I have made /will make a BACS payment I have enclosed a cheque Please treat this payment as a Gift Aid donation and all future payments that I make from the date of this declaration as Gift Aid donations.

If you are a taxpayer, ticking the Gift Aid box will allow ACTS to claim back 28p for every £1.


ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

ACTS Newsletter Summer 2010

View the ACTS website at giftaid it - Make your subscription go 28% further! As an ACTS member, you will know how hard we work to ensure that every penny we collect goes as far as it can.

Through Gift Aid and Transitional

Relief, you can help us make your subscription go 28% further and it won’t cost you a penny more! How does it work? So long as you are a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid enables you to boost the value of your subscription by 28p for every £1 you pay (25p in Gift Aid and a further 3p in Transitional Relief). So, for example, if you pay £20 to ACTS, we will be able to reclaim an extra £5.60 from HM Revenue & Customs. This is a significant amount, and the more members who enable this, the more we can benefit. What is more, if you are a higher rate taxpayer, you are entitled to claim tax relief on your donations, enabling you to reclaim as much as 25p from every £1 donated to ACTS. What do you need to do? To donate through Gift Aid, all you need to do is complete a simple declaration (orally or in writing) confirming that you are a taxpayer and that you are happy for us to claim tax relief on your donation. Just one declaration can apply to all payments that you have made to us over the past 6 years and to any forthcoming gifts you make, until you notify them otherwise. It is that simple. Contact the Treasurer, Christine MacGregor to find out more about Gift Aid.

Contact ACTS at The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and do not represent ACTS, or any other organisation. 35

ACTS is a Registered Scottish Charity - Number SCO41390

Newsletter 07 Summer 2010  

ACTS Summer Newsletter

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