Gavin Williamson’s view that live online lessons are the “best” way to teach during the lockdown are at odds with the view of Ofsted, the TES reports.
Mr Williamson said in the commons this week: “What we do want to see and we do want to encourage is as much live teaching as possible, which [is] shown to be the best way in terms of delivering teaching.”
But only last week, Professor Daniel Muijs, Ofsted’s deputy director of research, said it was an “unhelpful myth” that the best way to deliver remote education was through live lessons.
Many independent schools have already been mixing and matching their remote learning, with a combination of live lessons, recorded material and independent projects.
Lorne Stefanini, assistant head of Felsted School in Essex, recently wrote on Independent School Management Plus that providing pre-recorded lessons for students to watch independently freed up live lesson time. “Teachers were able to use this time to give much needed attention to students,” she wrote.
Other independent school heads have said that their staff and students found days packed with live lessons were too intense, and that a combination of approaches was more effective.
Professor Muijs said: “Some think that a live lesson is the ‘gold standard’ of remote education. This isn’t necessarily the case.
“Live lessons have a lot of advantages. They can make curriculum alignment easier, and can keep pupils’ attention, not least as the teacher has more control over the learning environment.”
But he added that there were times it was better to use a “flipped learning” approach, where new material is introduced through a recorded lesson and pupils used live lesson time for tutoring and feedback.