Teacher Education Conferences

The Importance of Subject Expertise in Mentoring and Coaching

Our 2023 conference theme explored ‘the importance of subject expertise in mentoring and coaching’. Dr Cosette Crisan set the scene with a comprehensive key-note lecture which can be downloaded here. Cosette drew on her work as an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education  at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, University College London, UK. Cosette shared her research which relates to the nature of subject knowledge within the school curriculum and teacher education, including for subject specific mentoring.

During her presentation, Cosette shared a link to a downloadable text, ‘What should Schools Teach?’.

The publication considers the design of school curriculums. It argues that the blurring of distinctions between pedagogy and curriculum, and between experience and knowledge, has served up a confusing message for teachers about the part that each plays in the education of children. Schools teach through subjects, but there is little consensus about what constitutes a subject and what they are for. This book aims to dispel confusion through a robust rationale for what schools should teach that offers key understanding to teachers of the relationship between knowledge (what to teach) and their own pedagogy (how to teach), and how both need to be informed by values of intellectual freedom and autonomy. More about the text can be found here

During the remainder of the conference, delegates were introduced to SSTEC’s  subject focussed materials. These are available via this website, and when you scroll down the page, you will find subject specific questions that teacher educators and mentees can benefit from using. During the 2023-24 academic year we plan to create video resources that share how these questions help to develop subject expertise in mentoring and coaching.  

Sharing materials from our 2022 Teacher Education Conference

In 2022 our conference was underpinned by three key themes. These were evidence informed practice, instructional coaching, adaptive expertise. In preparation for the conference, we invited attendees to read each of these 5-minute think pieces. There was one per theme. During the afternoon of the conference there were a number of opportunities to question and engage with both the presenters and each other.  This was done via padlet. The think pieces kick started these inter-actions and can be downloaded or read via the links below.

The following links enable you to find out more about:

Some questions to think about

  • To what extent is Instructional Coaching an approach that can be used at all stages of a teacher’s development?
  • How does instructional coaching compare with other models of coaching and/or mentoring?
  • Is there a risk of instructional coaches favouring a ‘preferred style’ of teaching? And, if so, what are the potential implications?
  • To what extent could mentors be at the forefront of wider CPD for all, and not just beginning and early career teachers?
  • What do you understand by the term Instructional Coaching’?

Conference Presentations and Dialogues

The sketch notes from our visual artist Chloe Breeze are available here.

The video from the plenary panel responding to questions is available here.

The video from the SSTEC Teacher Educator Presentations adressing the 5 themes of the CCF is available here.

Celebrating the role of the mentor, Emma Hollis, NASBTT

Evidence Informed Teaching, Cat Scutt, Chartered College of Teaching

The Educative potential of coaching – exploring promising approaches, Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Collective Ed

What is dialogical coaching? Professor Jim Knight