A new Pathway revealed

An on demand event jointly hosted by the NAHT and Discovery Education

In this webinar, Lead Author and Series Editor of Pathway, Andrew Hammond, shared the rationale and intended impact of the NAHT Discovery Education Pathway programme, launching in schools this October.

Andrew discusses the reasons why, after twenty years teaching and leading in schools, he devised Pathway: a unique online programme that blends professional development with personal development, focusing on motivation, aspiration and well-being.

Read more about the reasons behind Pathway and the structure of the programme itself.

Teaching is an act of human connection, of kindness – an act of loco parentis. No educator would teach a child exclusively from the neck upwards and expect to be meeting their needs. No teacher would seek to ignore the physical, social and emotional needs that determine how their students perform. Every effective teacher invests in the intrinsic motivation and well-being of their students, as well as their academic knowledge and skills.

Behind every student’s measurable skills and competencies lies a rich seam of motivations, ambitions, character traits and emotional needs, all growing and all subject to frequent change and adjustment. We want to see these human facets come together to perform a symphony of learning in our classroom  – and sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. As Eric Jensen says, ‘How we feel is what’s real; it’s the link to what we think.’

As teachers we view the whole child. We meet the child in their reality, in their context, to enable them to assimilate and accommodate the knowledge we wish to teach them. Ours is a craft that requires facets and faculties far beyond those listed in a job description or captured in performance management targets. Teaching requires body and mind, heart and soul.

It is only right then that the whole teacher is supported. But, is the same holistic perspective that underpins good pedagogy applied properly and fully to andragogy?

Is the development and training of adults – and specifically teachers – an entirely cerebral affair? Are our bodies merely receptacles for getting our brains from one classroom to the next? Does our motivation or aspiration only matter when we’re writing a job application?

These days we hear so much about topping up our ‘professional capital’, raising our ‘professional currency’ and finding ourselves a ‘pedagogical coach’. As a headteacher, I experienced first-hand, many times, the challenge of trying to fill vacant teaching positions. I don’t believe that the 33% of teachers who leave the profession within five years of joining it are doing so because of a lack of opportunities to raise their professional capital. No exiting teacher whom I’ve said a reluctant goodbye to cited a lack of CPD for their early departure; something else was going on. Increasing what you know about teaching won’t stop you feeling demotivated. It just won’t.

That’s because it isn’t just what you know that matters, it’s about what you can do, or choose to do, with what you know; and that is inextricably linked to how you feel.

We are not, as some would like us to be, automatons. You cannot fill us up with professional skills, keep topping up our professional capital, and expect us to deliver a flawless service every lesson, like a regularly tuned engine. Why? Because teaching is fundamentally an act of human connection. It relies on our students’ capacity to receive, and our capacity to deliver, the hidden curriculum of attitudes, behaviours and competencies which lie beneath the data radar. ‘They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel,’ as Maya Angelou said – a quote as pertinent to teaching as to any other profession that requires a deep human connection.

When we accept that teaching is predicated on human understanding and connection, then we acknowledge the importance of preserving the same human facets in teachers that we wish to see in students. That is to say, the personal development of every teacher is as important as the personal development of their students. Our personal development should not stop once we hit adulthood, to be replaced by professional development instead. To maintain our love for this important craft, we need both.

The Pathway Programme blends personal and professional development together: supporting teachers’ motivations, wider interests, ambitions and well-being – as well as their professional skills and competencies.

Pathway is the culmination of twelve months work, during which I have had the privilege of working with so many great people across the UK – all experts in their field and all passionately committed to supporting and empowering the whole teacher.

I am looking forward to this webinar, where I will be able to share my experiences of building the Pathway programme and give a preview of the shape and scope of the platform itself.

If you would like further information about the Pathway programme please visit: www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/NAHT



Andrew Hammond

Senior Director of Learning at Discovery Education

Andrew served in schools for over 20 years, as class teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Head Teacher and Head Teacher in both independent and maintained sector schools. A prolific author, Andrew has written numerous titles for a range of educational publishers. He has a BA QTS from Bath and an MA from King’s College London. He is currently studying for an Ed.D at Buckingham, researching the power of culture to deliver character traits and attitudes in schools. He is interested in how schools turn values-based platitudes into practice and how we best support pupils’ personal and cultural development by supporting the personal development of their teachers. Andrew joined Discovery Education in September 2019 as Senior Director of Learning. He designed the Pathway Programme and is series editor for its content. He is passionate about supporting the whole teacher.