Impact in education through involving teachers in research podcast

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In this episode, three experts discuss how research methods can be integrated into the classroom, the impact gained in education through involving teachers in research, and the obstacles faced along the way.

Our guests will share their experiences and views as well as inspiring stories from around the world.

This episode is produced in partnership with BOLD, a digital platform on children’s learning and development, and the podcast series ‘Teachers Voices’.

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Pete Dudley is Associate Professor in educational leadership and learning at the University of Cambridge.

An education leader, writer and researcher, Pete taught primary and secondary in London and abroad and has held education leadership posts locally, nationally and internationally. He directed the UK Government’s Primary National strategy from 2006-11 and has pioneered the development of local, self-improving ‘networked learning community’ school systems – most recently leading the creation of London’s schools-led, not-for-profit ‘Camden Learning’ where he was Director of Education from 2013-19.

Nina Alonso is an educational researcher and host of Teachers' Voices.

Nina Alonso is an international educational researcher specialized in equal access to learning and culture. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge. Her wide perspective of the field of education was developed thanks to direct experience in school contexts, in informal learning environments, and training teachers. As a researcher she has worked extensively in low, medium and high-income countries for international public and private organizations. She believes in the value and power of successful stories about education and the oral and written transmission of them.

Kathy Bannon is headteacher of Richard Cobden Primary School, an outstanding school in Camden, inner London.  She is also an initiative lead for Camden Learning, a joint enterprise between Camden schools and the council, leading on their education strategy for literacy development.      

In this episode:

  • Why is it important for classroom teachers to be involved in education research?
  • What are the obstacles to involving teachers in research?
  • How can teachers access and apply research, even if they are not directly involved themselves?
  • How can teachers be encouraged to get involved in research?
  • How can researchers be encouraged to involve teachers in their research?

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Impact in education through involving teachers in research

Daniel Ridge (DR): Welcome to the third and final episode of a brand new collaborative podcast miniseries between Emerald Publishing and the Jacobs Foundation. This episode is also produced in partnership with BOLD, a digital platform on children's learning and development, and the podcast series Teachers' Voices. I'm joined by three experts who will discuss how research methods can be integrated into the classroom, the impact gained in education through involving teachers in research and obstacles faced along the way. Our guests will share their experiences and views as well as inspiring stories from around the world. Our first guest is Kathy Bannon, who is head teacher at the Richard Cobden Primary School in Camden, London. We're also joined by Nina Alonso, host of the Teachers' Voices Podcast Series, and an educational researcher. And our final guest is Pete Dudley, who is an Associate Professor at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

DR: All of you have really interesting backgrounds. Perhaps Kathy, we could begin with you.

Kathy Bannon (KB): Yes, I've been in the profession for 27 years and 19 of those as a head teacher. Throughout my career as a head teacher, I've worked for the National College in London, supporting other schools in London, I've been an executive head teacher, I've worked as an advisor for the local authority and carried out projects for the local authority. So I've had a lot of opportunity to work across schools and share expertise and learn from other schools in those positions. The school itself is a large Primary School in the heart of Camden in London. 94% of the children have English as an additional language, and nearly 60% are from disadvantaged backgrounds. And our school is the kind of school that we can't afford to make mistakes, our children need us to get it right, and to really support them out of some very difficult lives into more promising futures. We have Ofsted inspections. If our school went downhill, we would be in big trouble, and we would need to react to that. So you know, we're not risk takers without good reason. But what we have learned is that the best way of making sure your school does the best it can is to be true to the children in the school. And one of the most poignant things that came out of a lesson study was when a teacher came to speak to me about the impact it had on her when she had an interview with children afterwards. And she said she had never thought before about one of the questions she had asked. But the answer she got from the child was so impactful to her, and question that she asked, when she asked a child, "how does the way I teach affect the way you learn? How does the way I teach help you, the way I taught the lesson today, how did it help you?" And the response from the child to be asked that question, and for someone to feel that it was important enough to ask it, changed the relationship that could not have been done in any other way. From all my experience, years of experience, I have, you know, I have sat in the school and worried what inspectors would say, and have taken a big deep breath and taken the plunge and thought no, I believe in this, I'm going to, I'm going to do it. I'm going to give teachers this opportunity. I have never regretted it. I'm still here. And our school has been judged as outstanding on several inspections. So we can't be too far off the mark. I think be brave, because you need your teachers to be the best they can be for you. You have to be the best you can be for them, and be brave and show good leadership and trust in them. And I think that's what I try to hold dear as a head teacher and kind of one of the aspects I never want to lose. And if that doesn't work, I'll walk away from the profession happily. But as long as I'm in it, that's going to be my modus operandi. And I hope any other leader listening to this can step up and be brave as well. Because we have to change our system from within and stop letting external people tell us the best way to meet the needs of our children.

DR: That's really inspiring. Nina, I would love to hear about your background and experiences.

Nina Alonso (NA): I believe really that the most powerful voices in education are our teachers. And that's why I have this podcast made from the stories of teachers from around the world talking in their own words. And I produce this podcast in partnership with BOLD, the digital platform on learning and development. I have some experience working with children, both in formal schools and informal learning settings like community libraries in several countries. But then I did a PhD and for around 15 years now I work as an educational researcher. So I have been devoted to improving equal access to education, mainly in the Global South, working with University research groups and international organisations such as UNESCO. I'm also a university lecturer. And through my research for Teachers' Voices, I really meet amazing teachers who tell inspiring stories that I think should be shared.

DR: I’d like to bring Pete Dudley into the conversation.

Pete Dudley (PD): I have been in my life a teacher, both in the UK and elsewhere, and a system leader, locally and nationally, but now I am a researcher and teacher at the University of Cambridge and my big passion in relation to teaching has been teacher research. And for the last 20 years, it's been finding out ways of helping teachers to use research to improve their practice, and how to get schools and to get local systems to do that, even national systems to do that. And I've particularly focused on a Japanese approach called Lesson Study.

DR: Well Kathy, you have extensive classroom experience. Perhaps you could talk about why it’s important for teachers to get involved in education research.

KB: To us at our school, it's the fundamental resource for helping teachers to become better teachers, and keeping them connected to children and classrooms. And one of the biggest issues that comes up when we talk about using research in classrooms, one of the obstacles to it, and what gets in the way of it, for me, it's about the leadership gets in the way of it. It's about attitude and commitment and leadership. And if you want to grow great teachers, you have to invest in them. And you have to invest in them at the chalkface, you have to invest in them. In the development with the children they're working with in the here and now. So that they can actually see a direct relationship between what they are learning and what they do the next day in classrooms. And I think if we don't invest in that, we are taking the most expensive commodity we have in schools, putting them in at the best on the first day and accepting that they don't need to get any better than that, that we don't have any growth in the system beyond how good they are on the first day. So when we're looking for teachers for our school, we don't look for teachers in terms of you know, are they advanced skills teachers, A* teachers, we're looking for people who have growth in them, who have an attitude towards growth, and who really are connected with the need to develop themselves. Because no two children or no two cohorts coming into them are the same. You can't teach the same way every year because the children are not the same every year. And if you can't connect to that, and find a way of making yourself an intuitive teacher, then there's a huge loss to the profession. And other people telling you how to do your job never has the same impact as you being able to reflect and think about it yourself with the colleagues you work with day to day, using research and tapping into research that's out there. But actually connecting that to yourself, your children and your classroom.

DR: Well, what does that actually look like, to have research brought into the classroom?

KB: For us, it's through lesson study. So we have lessons study integrated into our school system. So it becomes part of your performance management. It is part of your professional development. And it's also an intrinsic part of our recruitment. So when you come into our school, it's made very clear to you that to work in our school and be part of our team, you need to have a commitment to developing yourself but being part of the research team that does that. So every teacher in our school, over the course of two years would be entitled to a programme of lesson study. So joining up with two other colleagues, and taking one of our school improvement questions and testing that out in the classroom with children in the here and now. So planning the lessons around our research question, executing those lessons, talking to the children and coming back out and being given the time and genuinely given the time to then interrogate what they find and learn lessons from it. Which they then come back to the whole team and they let us all know basically what's happened. And out of that there will be quick fixes that might be little things that we can do that can be fixed, within a week, or there may be bigger questions that we need to tease out, which become more of our school improvement priority points for the coming year, which will take more resource and more thinking about. But they are part of the improving system. So if they feel connected to it in that way they buy into it in a very real way. And, you know, for me, I find the biggest obstacle to it can be a lack of connection, if teachers are not connected with other teachers, and collectively not connected to all the children we have, and if the leaders are not connected to the teachers, then anything we decide that we're going to do as the school improvement target, we have to really ask ourselves, well, how do we know that that's the right target? What is our evidence of that? If the connection isn't there in a very real and systemic way, how do you really know that what you think you need to do is actually what you need to do? We have to have ways of connecting that in real time.

DR: Pete, you have worked on the Japanese lesson studies approach which seems aligned with what Kathy is talking about. Could you tell us about that?

PD: The Japanese lesson study approach involves teachers getting together and trying to figure out how to improve the learning of students. And this particular version, which has taken off more in the West, was designed for the situation that Kathy was describing where, you know, if there are two professionals in the classroom, in this country, it generally means one of you is being inspected, or one of you is being performance managed. And that's not a great place to try and solve problems together about children's learning. So what lesson study does, it gets groups of typically three teachers into a room where you identify the things that you're not happy about that you want to improve, and it could be to do with the curriculum, or it could be to do with, there are some children who aren't making the progress you were hoping and it's puzzling you. And so you plan a lesson, informed by what you can find, research wise, that suggests it might make a difference, and you, you plan a lesson together, and then one of you teaches the lesson and the other two observe. But you observe the children's learning, you don't observe the teacher. You all plan the lesson, you all learn the lesson. And what happens is quite extraordinary, and it happened to me back in the 80s, when I was working with some people who had studied in Japan. You suddenly start to see your students, your pupils, with new eyes. Because you, you get to study them and you don't normally when you're a teacher, you're so busy trying to work out what to do next, how to deal with a problem over there, you know, listening to three different things at once, that you rapidly begin to internalise what you do in the classroom. It’s the only reason we survive. When I was in my first year teaching, in my first term teaching, I used to fall asleep on the bus on the way home. I was only 24, I was fit and healthy, I was exhausted because I was hyper vigilant all the time in lessons. But by the end of the year, you know, it was normal. But what was happening was I was internalising all this stuff and my tacit knowledge, my tacit knowledge systems, were doing it for me. And so if I needed something that had worked in the past, it would just come to me. And that's a big problem if you're trying to improve teaching, because you don't know what you do and what you know, as a teacher. And it's very hard to improve it. But lesson study has a knack of, because you're working with colleagues and you start to imagine the children in the next research lesson that you do, what happened last time and thinking, well, maybe if we set it this way, or if maybe if we put it that way, or we, we turn the thermometer on its side or you know, whatever your goal is going through your mind, you'll be imagining the children together and imagining their responses. And so you can draw on this tacit knowledge as if you were in the classroom together. And teachers very, very seldom work in classrooms together. And when you sit down and say 'So, how was, how was Daniel doing at this point in the lesson?' you pick out certain children as your kind of key reference pupils in the lesson meeting, what did we predict he would be doing at this point? And what was he doing at this point? Oh, I thought he was doing this. Oh, I saw him do this. Anyway, none of it was what we predicted - 'What? What happened there?'. And so you have to kind of rethink and you kind of discover what your pupils are really like. And that enables you to plan a much better lesson right next time. It's not like it's something you've got to bed in and all that kind of stuff, you can immediately respond to those things.

PD: Yeah, that's really interesting. I wanted to bring Nina in because I'm sure she'll have something to add to some of the comments that you've made.

NA: School management really needs to be aware of the relevance of investing in teachers. The fact that for many teachers, the obstacles that they might see in investing in research within the profession is about lack of access to training and resources.

DR: So it sounds like Kathy has teachers working in groups to bring research into the classroom. I'm wondering if you use external people that come into the schools to work with teachers?

KB: We're very lucky in our local authority because we have schools connected with each other. So it is possible to actually work across schools. But in our early stages of developing lesson study, Pete, with colleagues from Cambridge, carried out a project in Camden, with, across Camden, primary and secondary schools, where we carried out a joint lesson study across schools. So with triads in each school carrying out lesson study around the same area. At the time, it was fractions, looking at fractions in mathematics. So in that situation, you had a lot of schools undertaking a similar project and coming back together and feeding back on it. And that gave a kind of a cross fertilisation of ideas. And there is a very valid point in what Nina says; you can put three people together and get very little out of it, you have to select people carefully. And you have to have a very good framework around it. And Pete introduced the UK Lesson Study Handbook, which actually provides a really sensible framework that keeps people focused on what they're there to do, and keeps them moving along the research project to get the outcomes that are required. So it stops it from going into a loose, let's sit in the classroom, look at children and have a chat about it, and becomes a much more focused activity that teases out the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself, that really draws you in on your own teaching your strategies, how you communicate with children, and how they interact with you. So it does need careful thinking, it's not just about putting three people in the class, you do need a framework to work to. And we found the lesson study handbook to be that perfect framework.

DR: I'd like to follow up with Nina again and find out more about what you have to say about bringing research into the classroom in terms of maybe some concrete examples.

NA: I think that, in general terms, I think that teachers are always receptive to the new ideas and perspectives that educational research can bring. However, many teachers as they are very busy and are not motivated maybe to participate in what they could see as additional administrative work, might see research as, as an obstacle rather than something that they don't really want to do. However, when teachers suddenly discover that they are being researchers in its own right, so I mean, outside any kind of really structured and well designed methodology, so I'm talking about many in many parts of the world, as I say access to training is almost non existent or access to resources is very limited, and still, they manage to really start new projects, connect with other colleagues even from other countries. And yes, I can, I can tell many, many stories that I've been told from even quite remote locations of teachers trying new things, with their own local knowledge. For instance, I can speak for instance, about a teacher in Nigeria, who just watching their likes, and thinks that they, his students, like started a new research about how to improve their speech, their English articulation through a local dance with tapping and rapping. And that became a project in its own, because then he reached out to global funders, and then other teachers around the world joined him and he has now started, for instance, kind of a global project with more teachers. So I think this is the kind of, I suppose the very clear methodology that some teachers can either afford or have or know about. I really do think that there's other more spontaneous ways to do research in the classroom that are happening, and that need to be recognised.

DR: Well, I'm wondering about some of the obstacles that you encounter. Kathy, you mentioned that it's really important that you select the right kind of people because if someone's not going to be engaged in this type of activity or interested in this type of growth, it's not going to be the right fit for them. So Kathy, maybe you can begin by telling us some of the obstacles that some of the teachers face and then how you overcome some of these obstacles.

KB: Yeah, I think the main obstacle is teachers not seeing themselves as researchers, so believing researchers to be professors and people who work in universities and, you know, organisations that carry out research projects outside of the school system with taking evidence from it. So the first thing you have to do is to actually get them to understand - they are researchers in their own right on a day to day basis, they can see the evidence and impact of what happens in a very dynamic way. So you need to grow a culture in your school where they feel valued for that they feel valued for what they know what they do, and how they respond to what goes on in their classrooms. And you use experience. So you connect more experienced staff with less experienced staff, but each come into it with an equal footing. So there are protocols set up to make sure that the right kind of respect and appreciation of everybody's views and opinions are part of the protocols of your lesson study or any research activity you undertake. So whether you are the new teacher in your first year of experience, or the deputy head in that situation, you have an equal opportunity to contribute and you will be heard. And you often find that actually, the less experienced teacher has some very pointed questions and observations that can be the stimulus for the discussion, that brings out the best thinking and learning. And once people are in that environment, and they are trusted in it, there isn't somebody in the monitoring them doing it, it's a valued process in school, where you three in the room have your protocols, which set up the respectful relationship for it to happen, you then feel more able to talk about things that you find difficult, you feel more able to talk about things that don't work, and to be honest about what happens. And if you can do that without somebody taking note and holding it against you later, as you know, the former lesson observation system might have kind of set up in our schools, if you can feel that that's not, you're not being held accountable, it's not a black mark against you to say these things, you become far more open to discussing, you know, your challenges and what you can do and far more open to taking onboard new ideas and trying new things out. And as a leadership team, we have to set up the environment where, when you’re in that lesson study, you have the opportunity and you have the go-ahead to try things out and make mistakes because you're learning on behalf of all of us. We've sent you in to learn on behalf of all of us. So within that situation, you can make mistakes, and nobody is going to hold you accountable for them because you're trying to find things out for us. The alternative for us was the old lesson observation system, where you know, the senior leaders would go and sit in your classroom, frighten you, make you feel nervous, make you feel uncomfortable in your own environment, decide what they knew about your teaching and spend 10 minutes telling you about it afterwards. Nobody learns anything from that. Nobody does. Because I've seen the best teachers crumble under that system. And I don't want that to be part of how we develop our teachers. Because I know from experience, from many years of experience, it doesn't work. I need teachers to feel that they are valued within the system that is there to develop them and to hold them accountable and to monitor them. But there's nothing to say that that system can't be one and the same thing. And if you grow the respect around that they know that you are being genuine in your, in what you've set up for their development, if you can help teachers to really see that it's a genuine professional development tool, then they will reciprocate that and they will be honest about the findings and what they can and can't do. And work because there's a collective approach to sorting problems out, you're not on your own in your classroom, trying to, you know, unpick the next thing that you need to learn to do, or you might be lucky enough to get sent out on a course for half a day. I've never seen that kind of system work without more of a school-based approach attached to it. So I think it's about getting teachers on board, making them feel brave enough to take the first step and then respecting them enough to set up the culture that allows them to be vulnerable, and to be able to talk about the vulnerabilities and to feel a collective sense of doing something about that.

DR: Would you like to add something Nina?

NA: That is the ideal setting. I'd like to say that is a super supportive educational setting, in which of course, teachers I think that's the like the dream of any school and any teaching profession is that you can really learn with your peers and learn, because you have, as Kathy just mentioned, that the school management needs to really be supportive, and everybody's really on board with this method. However, I think this is not always the case, in actually, in most parts of the world, it isn't. So I'd like to know how can we also use research or data from, created by teachers, make them believe, as Kathy says that they are researchers in their own right, help them to be active actors of the educational transformation, and maybe create different kinds of venues where they can share their own experiences. Maybe that's something that we try to do with the Teachers Voices' podcast is create a repository of qualitative data, that are stories from teachers talking about successful experiences, so that other teachers can learn from them. So I'm really fond of the lesson study methodology. And I really hope that Peter can really also explain more about the methodology because we have here the point of view of Kathy, who knows very well about the implementation of this, but I'd like to just maybe act as a devil's advocate in just saying that making teachers researchers, it is not very easy in many parts of the world, and in most educational systems, because they are a very rigid educational systems. So of course, we can learn from Lesson Study. But maybe I would like to know more about ways in which that can be simplified mainly in places where the rigidity of the curriculum or the rigidity of the educational system, or the lack of motivation of teachers, or the lack of resources of teachers, is really a problem.

PD: I've been out in rural Indonesia, with teams of Japanese and other developers working with schools where the teachers are paid by the hour, one teacher to a very big class, it's very difficult to create a lesson study environment. But the government there is absolutely determined that they will change the practices that Nina was talking about, which really make it hard to do teacher research, but it will take, you know, it will take time for school districts and for head teachers to begin to believe in it.

DR: Well, so does this take extensive training and resources? Where does the drive to do this type of work come from, if a teacher wants to get involved in this?

PD: The research lesson study approach, the lesson study approach sorry, does not take extensive training and the handbook that Kathy was talking about, these are kind of designed for people who haven't got lots of time to train, but who want to have a go. It's a deliberate process that you go through. It's a bit kind of join the dots or follow the steps, but what it forces you to do is to see, is to go through this process of suddenly, by predicting what you think the children will do in the lesson and having to first of all agree that with your colleagues, and then, and then discovering that, well, only two out of the three did anything like what we thought. You know, this, this is, it's transformational. And so you suddenly start to have to kind of rethink the confidence that you've got, but by then you're probably a reasonably confident teacher, or you're a teacher who's in a supportive environment where the leadership is saying, look, we kind of teach blindfolded a lot of the time and providing the feedback we're getting from the class is alright, we assume that everything's going okay. But what lesson study does is, is allows us to suddenly get a very, very intense picture of our students. And that informs our knowledge of them for some time afterwards. A colleague of mine said, it's almost like you get an injection, that raises your sensitivity to what the students are like. And for a while you, you can live with that new sensitivity, and you see what they're doing but rapidly after a while you begin to internalise again, because that's how we're designed. We're designed to conserve energy. And, and so you have to do probably one a year, I think, to keep your eyes open in that kind of critical way. But it does make a difference. And the results in that big study that we did in London, showed that it made a difference to the pupils' results. And in fact 60 of the 90 schools that were involved across London, project funding ended after two years, so we want to carry on. And I think some of them probably still carrying on 10 years later that we asked them to send us their data, you know after another two years and you could still see it was making a big difference, their predictions for what the children would have done if they'd done what they'd always been doing, compared with what the children did after the lesson study constantly showed that the number of children who were struggling, they predicted would be struggling at the end of the piece of learning, dropped by 18%, the number of children who are achieving what they hoped the children should achieve when it by 11%. And then the remaining 7% of the 18 was seen in the increase in children who were actually exceeding expectations. And it's very cheap, as I've said, you need to just - and it enthuses teachers. So I think that there are very important ways - the frustration, I think, Daniel is that, for me, teacher research does not impact on educational policy. And if you know in the medical profession, surgeons and doctors, when they discover a new set of symptoms, or they discover a new way of performing an operation, they will log it on a database, you know, people will study it, it will be tried out, and then it will either make the grade or not. But it constantly informs the development of medical practice. What teachers do when they do research in the, has always been really to do the research, they'll go on a course they'll do an inquiry in their classroom, they'll get good marks or they'll get a masters. And then nothing really happens to the research, it doesn't often get published.

DR: I'm wondering, Kathy, is there a way that teachers can get involved if they don't have this type of leadership?

KB: I've done many talks for Pete to teachers on the subject of lesson study. And this question comes up a lot. And what I have said to teachers is, make the change happen in a small way, do something small in your school. And sometimes that might come down to using the valuable little bit of free time you have one week to join up with one or two like minded colleagues, and do something that you can prove to other people works. If it's sometimes small things happening in corners of schools grow, without people having any control over how they grow, they blossom into things. People hear conversations, they look at people who are interested in something and they know they're getting on with something and then they want to know, they become nosy. So sometimes it's about one or two people growing it together, finding a like-minded person in your school, doing it as a voluntary thing initially, and then try and gauge the interest of a leader to get in through the door. And it's a shame it would have to be done that way. I think there's a huge piece of work to be done, certainly nationally in this country, about changing the mindset of how we grow great teachers and how we grow great leaders. It's not an easy task, Nina's right, it takes a committed leadership, it takes some bravery. And it takes you making an initial investment of resources to get it up and running. But once you do get it working in a school, it's such a pleasure to see teachers grow in that system. And as leaders, you get to step back and watch them grow and watch the school grow, as you know, at their hands, and the confidence that brings and the leaders that grow out of it. But it does take a breakthrough in a school, if the leadership team are opposed and are not on board. And that usually can only happen with a couple of good people inside who are willing to put their time and energy into proving it works. And that can be small scale, it doesn't have to be a large thing. It can be small scale. But if you can unpick one of the, you know, challenges the school has, and you can make something happen that adds value to sorting that challenge out, then leaders will listen to you because you're helping them to do their job.

DR: So leadership is really key here. Pete, what has your experience taught you?

PD: You need the support of your colleagues. You want to tell people what you've learned. So if you've got the leadership, harnessing what people are discovering through the lessons studies and also maybe saying that our focus this term is going to be writing because that's a priority for the school or whatever it happens to be you know, but it's up to you what you decide you're going to do your lesson studies on, but it's got to be about boys' writing, because that's what's a real problem. People will be interested in what you're doing because it's an interest for everybody. But you do need, you do need leadership to create the space, give you the interest and the encouragement. In fact, because, because in a lesson study group you can all, you kind of take a vow of equality in order to create the safety to say crazy things sometimes or ‘maybe it could be so-and-so, I mean, am I, am I being mad?’ To create that kind of space, you have to say, look, in this group, we're all together as equals, we're all learning together. We won't necessarily agree with each other, but we will respect what each other says, we won't laugh at each other. And anything that we discuss in the group only goes outside of the group with everybody's permission. And that way you kind of create a, an atmosphere where you can operate beyond your roles and head teachers can become equal with newly qualified teachers in a lesson study, and the moment you step out, you're back to wearing your normal managerial hats or being in your positions.

DR: Nina, I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your podcast, the Teachers' Voices Podcast, I mean, you're talking to teachers, if you tell us maybe a little bit about some of the lessons, you've learned some of the goals that you have with the podcast?

NA: So literally, maybe that would explain my point of view here, is that I interview teachers from the Global South and the Global North, try to have a good balance. And then what I what I see is really, the differences in the educational systems, which at the end do not have such a huge impact in the way that teachers act in their own way when they are motivated. So I think really, what Kathy said, about starting your own change, be, you know, the change that you want to see, start it yourself. I really see I get very inspired mainly by teachers, who live in places with low resources and still manage to do their best. And I'm not only saying in really, countries from the Global South, for instance, I've interviewed this amazing teacher from the Bronx in New York. And sometimes you have people from socially deprived areas in the Western countries too. And with a lot of focus on conflict activity. And I think that the best stories that I hear about, and probably the best lesson that links to this necessity of working together, teachers working with teachers in teams rather than being observed, and how they do things is like teachers listen to teachers, when they connect with other teachers. Magic happens, then they exchange practices, they become even more devoted to their students. They are creative, they are inventive. It's true that once, talking to Pete precisely, we were saying, you know, the teaching profession is like riding a bicycle, it is not really something that you can have a clear recipe, you, you learn by doing. But it is always great to have inspiration and ideas from other teachers, and then talk together, learn about them. What works well, what does not work well. And that can be done, of course locally, that can be done regionally and even at global level. And that has a huge impact in the students. I've seen this with, for instance, kind of a spontaneous network of teachers that was created around a project that is about climate change and climate action. And there's this network of teachers from all the countries around the world, who when they connect between them, and they're so passionate about what they do in that they really, this enthusiasm is contagious. And their, their students are really passionate about these projects, too. And then these students reach out to other students in other countries, they want to do better for the natural environment. In this case, I'm talking to a group of teachers that go together every year to the COP, to the United Nations summit for climate change. And so what I really see is that teachers need connection and need ideas from other teachers. Of course, if we can give them a structure, methodologies, and guidance it's great. But for places where that is not possible, I think hope in the fact that if you have internet connection, or you can manage to exchange messages by whatsapp with other teachers, all that counts.

DR: Well, it's true. I mean, teachers are some of the most passionate people. Well, good teachers are passionate people. Yeah, thank you so much for joining me. This is really fantastic.

DR: Thank you for listening to today's episode. You can find a transcript of our conversation and more information about our guests on our website. I'd like to thank Sharon Parkinson and Annie Brookman-Byrne for their help with today's episode. And Alex Jungius of This Is Distorted.

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