It's no surprise if I say that in order to teach something well you need to know it well yourself. And in case my saying that isn't convincing enough, here we have it from the excellent and influential What Makes Great Teaching? report from the Sutton Trust:
"The most effective teachers have deep knowledge of the subjects they teach, and when teachers’ knowledge falls below a certain level it is a significant impediment to students’ learning."
- What Makes Great Teaching? - Robert Coe, Cesare Aloisi, Steve Higgins, Lee Elliot Major
First and foremost it is necessary that you, as a subject leader, have good subject knowledge. Once you've got it, you can use a variety of CPD opportunities (both formal and informal) to ensure that the teachers in your team know their stuff. You can also use your subject knowledge to produce a range of curriculum support documentation so that teachers can swot up on what they're going to teach.
So, if you need it so that you can give it to your teachers, where can you get it?
Books – mainstream and educational, adults’ and children’s
Read up on an adult level about your curriculum content, but also read books designed for children - this will give you an idea as to what is appropriate content for children. There are also an ever-increasing number of subject-specific education books focusing on curriculum and pedagogy being published - these are a great source of information as they are often written by teachers.
Blogs and Articles
The internet, and other published media such as magazines, are a great source of subject knowledge. Many teachers who have not (yet) had time to write a book have written articles full of great ideas about what needs to be taught and how to teach it.
There are Facebook groups for subject leaders and Twitter/X is full of teacher-users who readily share their lesson ideas.
Podcasts are great because you can learn new things whilst you're on the go! There are education specific podcasts...
...and then there are the podcasts which are more generically about different such as history, art, books etc & etc. Just get on your preferred podcast platform and start searching.
There's one out there for every subject! Joining one gives you access to all sorts of CPD opportunities.
Journals & Guidance Documents
One benefit to joining a subject association is the access to their journals and other publications. Other organisations also produce useful documents to support you with your subject leadership:
Subject Leader networks
Schools in your local area may have set up subject leader networks and subject associations will most likely provide this too. If you can't find one, perhaps you could even start one?
If you would like Aidan to work with you on subject leadership you can get in touch using the contact details on this website or using the links below: