Deliberate practice for teacher educators: a handbook


By Harry Fletcher-Wood, Associate Dean of Learning Design at Ambition Institute


How can teacher educators best prepare teachers to change their practice?

We believe that deliberate practice is a promising approach to supporting teachers to master new teaching techniques. This handbook, developed as part of our Teacher Education Fellows programme, shares our Fellows’ experiences introducing and refining deliberate practice in their schools. We share it to offer teacher educators usable models of deliberate practice in schools, and to stimulate further debate about the best methods to improve teaching.

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What is the Deliberate Practice handbook?

Participants on our Teacher Educator Fellows programme learn and apply the principles of deliberate practice as part of the programme, and apply it in their schools.

Fellows’ responsibilities range from supporting a few teachers in one school to designing training across multiple schools, and from mentoring novices to supporting school leaders. We asked Fellows to describe their attempts to apply the principles of deliberate practice and what they had learned. This handbook shares their thoughts on, and experiences of, testing and refining the technique.

We do not pretend that this is the last word on deliberate practice or teacher education. Instead, we hope to add to the fund of credible models in teacher education, and provoke further debate about the role of deliberate practice in improving teaching.

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If you’d like to engage with our research as a Teacher Education Fellow, you can find out more or submit interest.

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Contents

Acknowledgements
Summary
Introduction

  • A framework for deliberate practice in teacher education

Making practice happen

  • How can we protect planned practice?
  • How can we prioritise what to practice?
  • How can we align goal and practice type?

Making practice shine

  • How can we create a culture of practice?
  • How can we structure practice?
  • How can we ensure teachers receive effective feedback?
  • How can we promote teachers’ insight?

Making practice matter

  • How can we monitor the effectiveness of practice?
  • How can we monitor the impact of practice?

Making professional development work in practice
Conclusion
References

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