Professional Development Platform

November 15, 2021 Reading Time: Minutes Contributor:

Great Teaching 2: Responsive Teaching

“A bad curriculum well taught is invariably a better experience for students than a good curriculum badly taught: pedagogy trumps curriculum. Or more precisely, pedagogy is curriculum, because what matters is how things are taught, rather than what is taught.” ― Dylan Wiliam, Embedded Formative Assessment

Research Summary

Responsive teaching is a way of thinking about teaching and learning and in the differentiated classroom connects the learner and the content in meaningful, respectful and effective ways. This way of teaching is grounded in the teacher’s understanding of and connection with each student. Effective teachers adapt their teaching to respond to the needs of the class and individual pupils (OECD, 2015). Responsive teaching does not mean creating distinct tasks for different groups of pupils or setting lower expectations for some (Pashler et al. 2007).Questioning is key and enables us to use evidence of what pupils have understood to allow us to adapt our teaching to better meet pupils’ needs (Wiliam, in Christodoulou, 2017).

Key Takeaways

•Responsive teaching flows from effective assessment

•Responsive teaching elicits responsive learning

•Feedback should be more work for the recipient than the donor

•Questioning is the beating heart of pedagogy Teachers need to understand key pupil differences and prepare for them

Reflective Questions

1 How well do you know each of your learners?

2. How connected are you to your learners? •

3. How much assessment do you do?

4. What types of assessment do you do?

5. What do you do with the results?

6. Does your feedback generate action?

7. How effective is your questioning?

Workshop Resources and Recording

Main Presentations Slides

Gabby De Luca Presentation

Gabby De Luca Recording

Independent Study

Below are a series of key documents and links that will help you deepen your understanding of this component.

Key Resources

Skilful Questioning Blog postAn article by the Chartered College of Teaching on the importance of questioningLINK
What is responsive teaching?Harry Fletcher Wood’s perspective on effective formative assessmentLINK
Adapting Teaching – Ambition ECT module (Instruction)A series of resources from Ambition Institute focusing on general approaches to responsive teachingLINK
Adapting Teaching – Ambition ECT module (Subject)A series of resources from Ambition Institute focusing on subject approaches to responsive teachingLINK
Working inside the black box – AFL in the classroomA follow up article to the seminal work ‘inside the black box’ by Black and Wiliam. LINK

Further Reading

Below we will collate a set of documents and links that also have relevance to this component.

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