Knowing about Teaching

Helping students, lecturers and practitioners in education become the best professionals they can be.

The 6th TEAN conference was held at Conference Aston in Birmingham on May 13th and 14th 2015. We were delighted to welcome delegates and presenters from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and Australia this year to our first two day conference.

This year’s theme, Knowing about Teaching, celebrated the combined knowledge of all present who showed decisively that they certainly do know about teaching. All were asked what this title suggested to them and we certainly were treated to a wide range of responses to this question. The two excellent keynote presentations and wide range of papers on offer presented a rich diet for delegates who thoroughly enjoyed the inspiration of the day.

Kenneth Muir

To give the opening keynote address on May 13 we were pleased to welcome Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. In his address – Knowing about Teaching: Building Professional Capital – Ken suggested to us that we all faced similar challenges with respect to teacher education, whether we hailed from the UK or beyond. He highlighted: the need to create a world-class, sustainable, future-proofed education system; the need to close the attainment gap; the need to support teachers to deliver high quality learning and teaching; the need to ‘talk up’ the teaching profession; the need to recognise and work with the complexity of teaching.

Download Ken Muir’s full PowerPoint presentation

Biographical notes for Ken Muir

Kenneth Muir was appointed Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland in September 2013. Prior to that, he had worked in HMIE/Education Scotland for 18 years, having previously held various senior posts in schools and education authorities.

Kenneth held a number of senior management posts within HMIE/Education Scotland, from 2005 to until 2009 as HM Chief Inspector having responsibility for pre-school centres and nursery classes, independent schools, pre- and post-registration of schools, and school care and accommodation services. From July 2009 took on the responsibility for the review of Scotland’s colleges, prison inspections and initial teacher education. More recently as Chief Inspector, he had responsibility for the inspection of all secondary school inspections and all-through schools, and he led the last review of the school inspection framework. In April 2012, he was appointed to Strategic Director (Schools) and Director of Inspection, Education Scotland as part of the creation of the new educational body, Education Scotland.

Trevor Mutton

For our second keynote address on May 14, TEAN welcomed Trevor Mutton, Associate Professor at the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Trevor took as his theme: Knowing about teaching, learning to teach and beginning teachers as learners: the challenges for teacher educators. Complexity featured highly again here with Trevor warning us that current trends to reduce complexity to make it ‘easy’ are not what is wanted. Rather than seeing what works, we should ask why it works and embrace the richness of that complexity. Amongst the challenges for teachers that Trevor alerted us to were: the range of knowledge that teachers need of learners and learning, of subject matter and curriculum goals and of knowledge of teaching; and the importance of interpretation and judgement.

Download Trevor Mutton's full PowerPoint presentation

Biographical notes for Trevor Mutton

He also teaches and supervises on the part-time MSc in Learning and Teaching. He has worked at the Department of Education since 1997, having worked previously as Head of Modern Languages at one of the OUDE partnership schools. Trevor’s research focuses primarily on the professional learning of beginning teachers particularly through his involvement in the ‘Developing Expertise of Beginning Teachers’ (DEBT) project, a longitudinal study that has involved tracking 24 secondary teachers of English, Mathematics and Science through their initial training and then subsequently through their first and second year of teaching. The project seeks to examine the beginning teachers’ developing thinking and practice, and their experience of professional learning. He is also a co-researcher on the ‘Learning to Teach in England’ project, led by Teresa Tatto and Ian Menter.

Other Presentations

After the keynotes on each day, delegates were treated to a wide range of presentations, round tables, read and review sessions and workshops. Many thanks to all presenters for the time they gave in preparing their presentations to help create a successful conference. Thanks also to the writers of some high quality posters which were a welcome enrichment of the conference.

You can access some of the PowerPoint presentations and other materials from the day by clicking on the items in the following list, which shows the lead presenter(s) with institution, and the title of the presentation: