Craig Barton interviews guests from the wonderful world of education about their approaches to teaching, educational research and more. All show notes, resources and videos here: https://www.mrbartonmaths.com/blog/
Professor Becky Allen is Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education, co-creator of TeacherTapp, and the co-author of The Teacher Gap. Here we discuss just how happy (or unhappy!) teachers are, and what the very best schools are doing about it. We also discuss the mistakes schools make in terms of Pupil Premium students and measuring progress, both of which may well contribute to teacher unhappiness, with little positive benefits. There is so much in this conversation!
For more information about today’s guest, plus links to the websites, resources and ideas they mention, please visit the show notes page: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/blog/becky-allen-workload-happiness-expertise-progress-pupil-premium/
On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Professor Becky Allen.
Becky is Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education. From 2014-2017 Becky took a period of leave from her academic post to launch a highly successful independent research organisation called Education Datalab. And in 2017 she launched an experimental teacher survey and engagement tool called Teacher Tapp, with Laura McInerney and Alex Weatherall. Perhaps most importantly of all, like me Becky is a closet economist and self-confessed lover of all things statistical. It’s about time we had one on the show.
So, in a wide-ranging conversation, Becky and I discussed the following things, and plenty more besides:
- What is TeacherTapp, and what have been some of the most surprising and important results?
- What impact to “good” teachers make, and how on earth do we tell a good teacher from a not so good one?
- Why do teachers leave the profession? Is it as straightforward as workload and behaviour, or is it more complicated?
- How important is teacher experience?
- How do teachers find “good” schools to apply to?
- If autonomy is motivating, how does this fit in with a move by some “successful” schools, such as Michaela, to provide centrally created lesson plans to their teachers?
- Is teaching suited to deliberate practice?
- How many hours do teachers work and how that time is spent?
- How happy are teachers?
- Why is it so hard to accurately measure student progress, and what mistakes does Becky see schools making?
- How should schools really be dealing with the Pupil Premium gap?
- And then Becky reflects on the piece of research that most surprised her… and it certainly surprised me to
Not only do I think this is a great interview – not because of anything I did, but because Becky is such a super guest – but I also think it is an important one. We tackle some really big issues, confronting some of the immense challenges facing the profession we love, such as retention, workload, recruitment, behaviour, well-being, happiness, and so on, but also offering potential ways forward. I know this will be a conversation I return to again and again, and I really hope you feel the same way too.
Usual two plugs before we get cracking. If you are interested in reading about 12 years of horrendous maths teaching mistakes, and what I have done differently since, then you might enjoy my book How I wish I’d taught maths. And if you enjoy these podcasts, can I ask you to do me two little favours: leave a quick review on iTunes – it helps other people find the show – and introduce the podcast to a colleague, maybe by directing them towards your favourite episode. It just helps the audience continue to grow. Thanks so much for your time, I really do appreciate it.
My usual plugs:
- You can help support the podcast (and get an interactive transcript of all new episodes) via my Patreon page at patreon.com/mrbartonmaths
- If you are interested in sponsoring an episode of the show, then please visit this page
- You can sign up for my free Tips for Teachers newsletter and my free Eedi newsletter
- My online courses are here: craigbarton.podia.com
- My books are “Tips for Teachers“, “Reflect, Expect, Check, Explain” and “How I wish I’d taught maths”
Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!