We had a great conversation this week with author, educationalist and Ofsted inspector, Mary Myatt. We talked about why high challenge and low threat are a good combination and we also answered an email question about noisy lunchtimes!
Mary works in schools talking to pupils, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. She advises, writes and trains and she supports schools to think imaginatively about learners’ progress.
Mary explains that high challenge high threat closes us down from our best possible work.
High threat starts pushing the buttons for fear, for retreating and for a lack of clarity of thinking.
What about high expectations? Are those sometimes a threat?
Mary believes we are programmed to want high challenge, high expectations but our responses need to be seen as separate from ourselves. We mustn’t be led to believe that we are foolish or wrong for attempting to rise to the challenge of high expectations – it’s all down to how the challenge is expressed and reacted to by schools and leaders. It must be effectively modelled by them themselves.
Senior leaders need to open up to their vulnerabilities as well and show where they haven’t always got things right.
This helps to make them stronger leaders.
Mary also points out that…
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