Today I was participating in my first official IB PYP workshop being held at our school. The workshop leaders have both brought different perspectives and experiences to share with us, and assist us in developing a deeper understanding of the PYP, teaching through inquiry, and “best practices”.
At the beginning of the workshop the term “best practices” was used multiple times and it reminded me of a conversation that happened about the phrase “best practice” at EdCampTO last month. The term “best practice” can sometimes evoke the idea that this is the best way that things can be done, and that there is no better way to do it. I think that it is important when using this term to remember that “best practices” are continually evolving and improving, and just because it seems like the “best” way to do it today we need to keep an open mind about how practices can change. The workshop leaders did a good job of referring to the fact that the documents we were reviewing are frequently updated. At EdCampTO one of the phrases that was used instead was “promising practice” or “evidence-based practice” because these terms may seem more open-ended than “best practice”.
I found the following image about “best practices” that I think helps to show that best practices are continually evolving, and the assessment process is important when we examine our teaching methods.