Tag Archives: quality teacher

Moving Forward

I attended the inaugural Primary Teachers Network (PTN)  professional learning event, “M.E.S.H. Mapping:  Your GPS to the new curriculum” which focussed on an integrated approach to teaching and learning Maths, English, Science and History in the primary classroom.

The opening speeches by Christine Taylor, Consul General of India Sydney, Amit Dasgupta and Jane Caro were very inspiring as they challenged us to think about teaching in a new light.

Claude Bernard’s quote “it is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning”, along with remembering that once flying was thought to be impossible, arsenic was good for us and the world was flat, were used to reflect on the beliefs in the past.

As teachers we need to be challenging what has been done in the past and embrace the ‘what if?’ If we have a new idea, we need to try it and give it a go.

We should be asking ourselves “what do we need to be giving our students to strive in their future?”

We need to be teaching our students how to think rather than what to think. We need to challenge their learning and help them to discover who they are. We need to let students discover that there may be an alternate path that may not have been discovered yet.

Christine Taylor outlined that we need to be helping our students to;

  • be literate
  • be numerate
  • critically question
  • use imagination in all KLAs
  • be life long learners
  • think
  • be open to possibilities
  • problem solve
  • play and have fun
  • be resilient and stand up for what they believe in

Amit Dasgupta used the analogy of a 1500 piece puzzle box containing 2000 puzzle pieces. The 500 extra pieces will fit, but will not help you to solve the puzzle. Therefore you need to discard the extra 500 pieces. What pieces are you holding onto that you need to discard?

In order to move forward, we need to do some unpacking. It is a time of rapid unlearning. How much do you have in your mind that you can throw out? Jane Caro affirmed that we do not know what is going to happen tomorrow and we can only anticipate the future from the past, however when you see the evidence showing that something new is working – what do you do?

Do you change your mind or remain stuck in the past?

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Student Learning & Achievement

Research has identified six factors which impact on student learning (not in order):

  1. Principals
  2. Students
  3. Peers
  4. Home
  5. Teachers
  6. Schools

Consider for a moment which you believe has the most influence on student learning.

Research has found that teachers have a significant influence on student learning, as can be seen in the pie chart below.

This leads to the question, what aspects of teaching contributes most to student achievement?

  • Instructional clarity?
  • Quality of teaching?
  • Teacher expectations?
  • Subjects knowledge?
  • Student-teacher relationship?

Research found:

Influence

Effect Size

Overall Rank

Teacher clarity

.75

8

Teacher-student relationships

.72

11

Quality of teaching

.44

56

Teacher expectations

.43

58

Teacher subject matter knowledge

.09

125

 

This clearly illustrates that teachers play a critical role in student achievement via their clarity and relationships with the students.

A quality teacher needs to be seen in terms of what the teacher does and the effect they have on the students.

Teachers need to have a greater focus on communicating clearly and developing quality relationships with their students. Simple things such as addressing the students by name, picking up on their personality traits, noticing when students are not themselves, being there for the students, being approachable and giving students compliments.

These small things make a huge impact on student achievement.

How do you foster teacher-student relationships in your class?

Hattie, J (2003) Teachers Make a Difference ACER

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Filed under Student Learning, Teaching Strategies