It is a privilege to be a part of Pedagoo Hampshire 16 on Saturday 17th September. The bottom-up self-improving system in action. Beautiful.

Since I’m one of the new kids on the block at the Eggar’s events, I thought it would be useful for those of you that are thinking of attending my session to be offered a brief insight and some ideas to ponder over the coming week.

As an independent education consultant, one of the cornerstones in my work is the ‘Let’s think in English’ cognitive acceleration programme. See here for the LTE website and here for the Let’s think umbrella organisation.

Let’s Think is a deep and complex intervention with the core aim of developing children’s reasoning ability, within subject specific contexts. There is no pretense that you will walk away from Pedagoo Hampshire with the strategies and materials to teach Let’s Think, but I will provide a window on to its method and how it feels to learn within it.

Ay – ‘feeling’ is the thing. The theme for Pedagoo this year is well-being. In his book ‘Flourish’, Professor Martin Seligman, often referred to as the inventor of the positive psychology movement, disaggregates the strands that contribute to our sense of well-being as follows:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement and interest
  • A sense of meaning and purpose
  • Self-esteem
  • Optimism
  • Resilience
  • Positive relationships

What I explored in my last Masters assignment and subsequently with Let’s Think teacher clusters, is the potential in Let’s Think to develop students’ sense of self-efficacy and self-regulation, elements within self-esteem and resilience.

Self-efficacy? I see the task or the problem before me and feel I can give it a go. Often this is built on memories of having done similar tasks, with some success, in the past.

Self-regulation? An ability to monitor one’s own focus and performance. ‘I’m getting distracted…I ought to…,’ ‘This isn’t working so well, how about if we try…’

These are elements of well-being that sit, not just comfortably, but essentially in the day-to-day business of learning in class. Moreover, they are qualities that teachers need to develop as much as students to secure their own belief that they can and do make a difference. Indeed, Let’s think does, over time, seem to adapt the way that teachers think about their own teaching and the impact they can make.

And on reflection, let’s face it, believing we can make a difference is often why we went in to teaching, and is the source of much or our well-being.

(To take a small side step here, if you have not tried Seligman’s signature strengths test on authentichappiness.org I would recommend it. It admits that for each of us, it is not always the same things, or the same balance of things, that make us happy. By knowing what gives you a sense of well-being, you can try to steer your time, energy and thoughts more towards those things.)

 

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