Making sense of the SPR (Part 1)…

As individuals entering into the teaching profession, we are required to make ourselves aware of the standards for provisional registration as provided by the GTCS and begin considering what they mean to us and how we might achieve them. I have looked at the four areas covered; Social Justice, Integrity, Trust and Respect and Professional Commitment and given some thought as to what each section may mean. By looking at each are in depth, I have been able to consider what may be expected of me as a student teacher on placement and also as a registered teacher in four years’ time. Assessing the standards has helped me to create clear goals for myself and further consider what type of teacher and professional I would like to be.


Part 1: Social Justice

  1. Embracing locally and globally the educational and social values of sustainability, equality and social justice and recognising the rights and responsibilities of future as well as current generations.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: as a teacher I could be looking at areas such as recycling, renewable sources of energy and sensible use of current resources with pupils. Sparking interest in these areas could help children to understand the part they play in the issues of the world at present and what they can do to benefit future generations. By actively involving children in their learning of these areas, they can start to implement behaviours which are beneficial for both themselves and future generations. For example, inviting pupils to bring in used bottles/packets and looking at how they can be recycled will encourage pupils to adopt these positive practices out with school and in their family homes. A good way to promote this is to look at what plastic bottles, for example, can actually be turned into! There are many areas for consideration when it comes to sustainability, waste of food is another one which may interest pupils as they can look at countries which have food deprivation etc.
  • EQUALITY: looking at different cultures, social backgrounds, genders etc and promoting equality for all. Examples: looking at the progression of women in the work place to inspire girls within the class to have higher aspirations for themselves, areas such as the working effort of land girls during the war could be covered, the suffragettes and so on. It may also be an idea to investigate different jobs which are stereotypically male or female roles, and allow pupils to look further into them and tear down the idea that they are for one gender only. By promoting this now, we give rise to a fairer and more equal society for future generations as the current generation will be more open to equality.
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE: I definitely need to look a bit further into the idea of social justice, as if I’m completely honest I’m not confident in its definition. However, I feel that this would be the area where as a teacher I would encourage pupils to look at themselves within society, their rights and entitlements and how they are governed. I’m not entirely sure on this one so I’m putting a big star here for further reading!
  1. Committing to the principles of democracy and social justice through fair, transparent, inclusive and sustainable policies and practices in relation to: age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.
  • I feel that this point looks into the idea that the teacher should not be seen to discriminate against pupils in any way. They should provide equal opportunity experiences for all and should promote this idea for their pupils. As a teacher I would like to inspire my pupils to see that success should never be defined by the above factors. It might be an idea to look at topical issues here, such as the inspirational story of Malala Yousafzai and her work in promoting equal education for all.
  1. Valuing as well as respecting social, cultural and ecological diversity and promoting the principles and practices of local and global citizenship for all learners.
  • It is important for the teacher to address the idea of the importance of diversity. Big area here is looking at religion and how many people may have different religions but this does not mean one is wrong. While I was getting experience at a primary school prior to university, the teacher I was working with invited 5 of his friends – all of different faiths – into his P7 class to discuss their differences and similarities and focus on how you can learn to be respectful of each other regardless.
  • This point looks at getting pupils involved in being a part of society on a local, international and global scale. I would be encouraging pupils to look for ways to get involved in citizenship within the local community – what is already set up? Can we organise a trip to a project and help out in some way?
  • To create an idea of global citizenship it could be an idea to look at setting up a pen pal system for pupils. Many schools are linked with an international school so this could be relatively easy to do. It would allow pupils to take the initiative to find out about different cultures and what goes on within different societies.
  • I would also encourage pupils to become part of societies of their own; sports groups, drama groups etc to generate the ideas as to what it means to be part of society and how each person has an important role to play.
  1. Demonstrating a commitment to engaging learners in real world issues to enhance learning experiences and outcomes, and to encourage learning our way to a better future.
  • Important that the teacher looks to educate pupils in an unbiased manner as to the issues developing within the world. Often, a child’s view may be distorted by the views of the parents and it’s useful to help children create their own views on topical issues.
  • It is extremely important to encourage children to engage with the news in a positive way. I have always thought that it would be interesting to do this by creating a weekly ‘news bulletin’, mimicking BBC news or the like. This would be held each week by a different pupil/group, they could document the issues they have seen on the news during that week and then they could be discussed openly within class. By providing lots of time for questions and ENCOURAGING pupils to ask questions, they can become better informed on topical news issues.
  1. Respecting the rights of all learners as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and their entitlement to be included in decisions regarding their learning experiences and have all aspects of their well-being developed and supported.
  • This could involve looking at areas of the curriculum to be studied and giving pupils a certain level of autonomy in choosing what they would like to study. This helps pupils to engage in their learning as they are actually interested and involved.
  • This could be as simple as letting a child choose their own reading book from the library based on their own interests.
  • I would as a teacher, look to provide a topic area ie; World War 2 and ask pupils to research this area. Looking at what they already know, what they would like to know and any burning questions they may have.

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