THROW BACK to the Thinking School with Dr. Kulvarn Atwal
How do you facilitate teacher-led change in the classroom? In this throwback episode Dr. Cyndi Burnett and Dr. Matthew Worwood revisit their interview with Dr. Kulvarn Atwal, an executive headteacher of two large primary schools in East London and author of The Thinking School.
Listen in to hear Dr. Atwal share his thoughts on educational leadership and how to facilitate teacher-led change in the classroom. He sheds light on the importance of trial and error in school systems, how school leaders can support the creativity of teachers, and ways administrators can spark curiosity and professional development in tenured teachers.
Dr. Atwal also gives advice for teachers who crave professional development but don’t have opportunities to foster it. Then, he talks a bit about his next book for empowering teachers, The Thinking Teacher.
“The greatest single factor that impacts upon the quality of children’s learning in school, students’ learning, is quite straightforward. It’s the quality of teaching.” - Dr. Kulvarn Atwal
Dr. Atwal’s Tips for School Administrators:
Give teachers more opportunities to collaborate with other teachers and engage in dialogue without having to report back or hit a target.
Create culture in which you actively inquire or ask about what your teachers are good at and what they’d like to improve in. This works well if you lead by example.
Express your school’s values, mission, and goals. Don’t deviate from those.
About Dr. Kulvarn Atwal:
Dr. Kulvarn Atwal was born and educated in East London and has been headteacher for nine years of the school he attended as a child. in 2018/19 he was Executive Head Teacher of two primary schools; both of which were graded Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. His doctoral thesis, completed in 2016, examined the factors that influence teacher learning in schools. He has recently published his first book, ‘The Thinking School – Developing a Dynamic Learning Community’.