The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland is the statutory, independent body for the teaching profession and is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice.
GTCNI is committed in fostering good practice and developing a culture, which feeds into the thinking of teacher professionalism. Year-on-year changes in the education sector; sees teachers increasingly having to up skill to stay at the forefront of change in the education sector.
From a professional stand-point, GTCNI supports and strengthens the quality of teaching through its ongoing Research Lesson Study (RLS) programmes. Recently, the Council in collaboration with RTU attained overwhelming support at their RLS Evaluation Conference held in Stranmillis University College.
More than 70 teaching professionals from schools across the country attended the conference, having subscribed to this follow-up session from previous dissemination conferences held in 2011 and early 2012.
Dr Anne Heaslett, Principal of Stranmillis University College and Dr Pamela Moffett, Senior Lecturer there, opened the Conference, followed by a progress review articulated by GTCNI's Senior Education Manager, Gerry Devlin. Gerry has crafted the format of these study projects to bring a deeper professional focus forward for all teaching communities here on RLS activities. Tom Hesketh Director of RTU also spoke succinctly, characterising the value of the work as it moves forward.
Nominated speakers from different teaching sectors presented and shared their RLS experiences. Common to each teacher presentation, their experiences described and emphasised the investment gained and achievements made, in developing their own tailored lesson plan strategies. They used case-study examples to illustrate their approach and method. An afternoon session followed with a group-style workshop, in which all those participating, collaborated to further shape ideas for ongoing development. Teachers related throughout the day; that the RLS programme was one that galvanised their teaching confidence, encouraged creative and joint solution processing, in terms of open, collaborative participation and the opportunities it presented in evolving their very own bespoke brand of lesson framework.
Further feedback from the Conference Series clearly revealed that RLS effectively nurtures the values in practicing a reflective approach, providing teachers with the tools required in which they can draw upon to support their professionalism in the context of a modern-day classroom situation.