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**Warning**: New Paper Urges Teachers to Spearhead Education Reform

Scottish education reform must be guided by educators to achieve success, as outlined in a new University of Glasgow publication presenting a “radical vision.”

The document emphasizes the ineffectiveness of “top-down” approaches to change throughout history, cautioning against such methods. Professors Chris Chapman and Graham Donaldson, the co-authors, stress the importance of involving those directly engaged in schools in decision-making processes to ensure that educational reforms align with diverse needs and backgrounds effectively.

Emphasis on Locally Determined Learning and Teaching

The authors advocate for a shift towards ownership of learning and teaching by educators involved in the process, rather than adhering to externally imposed directives. They highlight the need to strike a balance between autonomy in decision-making and ensuring consistent high-quality education that caters to individual requirements and reflects national cultures and values.

Reflecting on their previous work from March 2023, which cautioned against short-sighted approaches to reform, the authors express uncertainty about Scotland’s progress in moving away from fragmented educational reforms.

The paper acknowledges various recent developments, including the emphasis on enhancing professional practice and the call for significant improvements in language, mathematics, and science education based on the latest Pisa results.

While advocating for school autonomy, the publication warns against extremes of central control or complete freedom, advocating instead for a balanced approach that considers both perspectives.

The Crucial Role of High-Quality Teachers

Professors Chapman and Donaldson underscore the pivotal role of a high-quality teaching workforce in the education system, emphasizing the significance of continuous professional development for teachers. They assert that the quality of teachers significantly impacts students’ learning outcomes and the overall effectiveness of the education system.

The paper stresses the importance of safeguarding teachers’ professional development opportunities even in times of budget constraints, highlighting the necessity of collaborative environments, access to relevant research, and engagement in self-evaluation for teachers to excel in their roles.

In conclusion, the authors assert that teachers and practitioners play a fundamental role in shaping students’ educational experiences and emphasize the need for continuous support and investment in their professional growth.

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