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Pedagogic leadership is present in the person who has a high level of pedagogic knowledge and skills, the esteem of key stakeholders such as teachers, students, parents and the general community, a record of encouraging others to pursue better learning outcomes through appropriate pedagogies and who is recognised by their peers for their abilities in this area. Unfortunatley, in the opinions of the authors, these abilities are not always given their due in the prerequisites required for the principalship. Moreover, they tend to conflict with the manageralist style of school leaders and schools, in which little space is afforded to staff discourse on teaching and pedagogy.
Highlighting successful examples of pedagogical change and leadership in Western Australian school communities, the authors of this article argue that professional development and a reconsideration about the place of pedagogic leadership in school leaders' repertoires are essential to the preservation of pedagogical leadership skills. The report, International Trends in Primary Education , covers 18 countries, and it found that governments' fear of being left behind in an increasingly globalised world has made the comparisons, implicit in the studies, invaluable to reform.
More countries are emphasising the attainment of literacy and numeracy skills, and creating the conditions in which students learn transferable skills and attributes such as creativity, interpersonal skills and independent learning. The use of information technology, smaller class sizes and devolved school management are also attributed to a more student centred and tailored curriculum, one in which those attributes and skills can be fostered.
The authors of this article demonstrate how picture books can be used to scaffold and inspire mathematics lessons. By observing how picture books lead to higher order thinking in children - ie children make links to the social and cultural realities in their lives - the authors suggest that children are developing skills such as classification, labelling, measurement, spatiality, prediction, calculation and analysis, attributes which are crucial to mathematics. The article suggests texts which teachers might find useful in developing children's mathematical abilities, and outlines the mathematical concepts those texts draw upon.
Rogers provides a detailed plan for a whole-school approach to playground supervision. He reminds school leaders that it is important that teachers be mindful of their duty of care outside the classroom, and suggests that all teachers, regardless of whether or not they are on playground duty, adopt an attitude of 'relaxed vigilance'. A whole-school approach includes the following: a provision for student feedback about the playground and relationships within it; a preventative approach which assists student wellbeing through the provision of signage, safe and clean access to water and toilets, and designated 'quiet areas'; a corrective policy which outlines clear, fair and consistent consequences for misbehaviour; and an annual review which addresses the types of incidents, teacher responses and the continued effectiveness of policies.
While Australia's participation in major international studies - such as the Third International Mathematics and Science Study TIMSS and the OECD Program for International Student Assessment PISA - has provided data to compare Australian students with international benchmarks, the absence of a regular national survey has meant that there is inadequate data to make comparisons between student achievement across Australian jurisdictions. In this article, Masters demonstrates that while the results of international studies can be used to make national comparisons between jurisdictions, the conclusions cannot be accepted unequivocally.
He points out that different curriculum emphases and syllabuses, and varying age-grade correspondence between jurisdictions, mitigate against using the results of international studies as definitive data for national comparisons. Carol Swan draws on her experiences of early childhood teaching to demonstrate to teachers how to foster and encourage early learning through 'responsive and interactive teaching'.
As well as having the right equipment and materials, understanding the learning level of their students, and involving parents, teaching support staff and others, teachers need to employ a responsive pedagogy, in which the student leads learning. This is done through allowing students to talk, and listening and responding to what they say and do. Its in listening that teachers are able to discover the opportunities for learning, and the timing which enables that learning to be relevant.
Swan uses the example of how one student's interest in tadpoles opened up a whole world of learning for other students in literacy, numeracy, science and collaborative learning - and it was all in the immediate relevance provided by a jar of tadpoles!
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While in favour of national, external assesment, Jennie Golding is concerned that its overuse can lead to 'superficial learning'. She therefore proposes that mathematics teachers lessen the effects of this kind of summative assessment by 'assessing for learning'. This can be done if they employ the following: ask questions in a more interactive way, and allow more time for students to reply; allow students to get the wrong answer by being more supportive; comment constructively on work and limit the use of grades; encourage self and peer assessment, as well as collaboration; and restrict the introduction of new ideas to just one or two at a time.
Moss subjects Inclusive Schooling policies in Australia to a postmodernist and post-structuralist critique, which highlights their reliance on 'medical, psychological and charity-based discourses' - discursive constructions which rely on predetermined categories of exclusion and difference.
To overcome what she considers to be the dominant discourses in the field of special education, Moss proposes a research method based on 'everyday texts' of lived experience, a method which she uses to expose the paucity of the dominant discourses, and one which she hopes can inform the policy debate in Special Education. New Zealand researchers attached to Waikato University have reported a major divergence in teacher and student perceptions of each other, in the results of a study on factors affecting the attainment levels of Maori students.
The project involved 70 students and 11 schools on New Zealand's North Island. The Maori students surveyed overwhelmingly cited their relationship with the teacher as the most important factor affecting their engagement. Teachers, on the other hand, had very negative dispositions towards Maori students, with many entertaining preconceptions that exacerbated these attitudes. The researchers point out that teachers had more success with students when they used culturally appropriate teaching methods, and that the student teacher relationship far outweighed the student's home environment and school structure as influences on engagement and achievement.
While there is little research to demonstrate that children benefit more from multi-age classes than age-defined grades, some schools in Victoria have, once again, begun to experiment with this form of teaching. Those who support multi-age classes claim that they better recognise and accommodate the varying emotional and social development levels present in an age cohort at any one time, and, in so doing, take a holistic approach to education which is not confined to just teaching the curriculum. Despite the advantages, however, multi-age classes do place a heavier workload on teachers, as the diversity of needs place a premium on teachers' organisation skills, time and abilities to teach across the curriculum.
The Life Skills components of the syllabuses allow a program of work to be designed to meet an individual student's needs and goals, where the usual components of the syllabus are not deemed appropriate. Life Skills outcomes and content will be available in the Years 7 and 8 Mathematics and English Syllabuses in , and in Years 7 to 9 syllabuses by It is planned that the first School Certificate credential will be awarded for the component in New South Wales TAFE institutes have developed a summer schools program to introduce students from disadvantaged backgrounds to various career options.
Teaching quality is the biggest challenge facing the bush
More than students from government secondary schools attended last year's summer program which introduced them to the fields of information technology, automotive industry, visual arts, tourism and hospitality, and horticulture. The summer courses qualified the students for scholarships and advanced standing, should they decide to undertake TAFE courses in their chosen fields in the future. Gregory questions the appropriateness of vocational education and training in schools, citing the fact that many Year 10 and 11 students have very little, if any, idea of the vocation they might want to pursue.
Given that those who are successful in Year 12 and go on to further study are more likely than not to change career and training pathways, Gregory is in favour of equipping students for life by ensuring that they complete 12 years of schooling. He recalls how a secondary school with which he was involved, noticing the retention rate problems in early high school, made the effort to structure their relationship with feeder schools to develop continuity for students in their curriculum. The school also integrated life skills and career guidance programs into the curriculum.
These were not exclusive to pupils 'at risk', and allowed all students to develop a sense of purpose and relevance, virtues which could motivate them throughout their school years. A 'mental model' is comprised of an individual's values, perceptions, personal opinions and views of the world. This action sometimes inhibits change, and some mental models are either dysfunctional, inappropriate or wrong. This article identifies some of the influences on people's perceptions, and canvasses ways in which negative mental models can be identified, unlearned and changed by educator developers.
A school district in the United States abandoned mandatory, 'single-speaker' professional development sessions in favour of allowing teachers to develop their own professional development plans. Teachers, in consultation with the principal, identify their own professional development needs, and plan, design and monitor their learning. They then implement an evaluation by sharing results, producing samples of their work, summarising their activities and reflecting on their growth. The results of this 'teacher-owned' professional development have been more collaboration between teachers across specialisations and better learning outcomes for students, as teacher professional development is targeted at student needs.
This article is based on a British study in which English, Mathematics and Science teachers were asked to provide examples of successful ICT use in their classrooms. The authors grouped the responses into a thematic model to provide organisation and structure to the feedback. The article is based only on the feedback from the Mathematics teachers, and it clearly outlines the advantages that many of them see in using ICT in their classrooms.
Among the advantages are that ICT allows lessons to be carried out more quickly; it allows students to check their work and to make mistakes with impunity; it encourages independence and ownership of the task; it introduces variety; and allows students and teachers to focus on more important 'overaching concepts', as the software does the more labor intensive work such as graphing.
While aimed at the United States Science classroom, this article will be of relevance to teachers in all learning areas. Pratt asserts that co-operative or group learning can be a useful tool in helping students achieve curriculum outcomes. In this article she demonstrates how small group learning can produce a shared and supported learning experience, while still leaving room for individual student assessment.
The advantages of group learning cited by Pratt are that classroom management is less onerous for the teacher, it creates interdependence between students and students learn simultaneously. The article explains in some detail how teachers should go about forming groups never allow students to nominate colleagues , and stresses that all assessment should be individualised so as to avoid the problems posed by collective responsibility.
It also suggests that all assignments be due at the end of the class, so as to avoid students 'socialising' and doing tasks for homework. Wendy Berliner reports that some education researchers have noted a correlation between the size of the population of a country and its achievement on international tests such as the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment PISA. Countries such as Finland, Wales and New Zealand, with comparatively small populations, have done much better than countries such as the United Sates and Brazil.
While there are, no doubt, many other factors influencing these performances, some researchers suggest that 'smallness' may lend itself to less cultural and socio-economic diversity factors which many education systems struggle to overcome ; increased centralisation which aids consistent teaching and education standards; a more intense awareness of language and cultural preservation which leads to better literacy standards; and a sense of connectedness or 'village mentality' that increases the speed at which change is implemented across the system.
Australian Financial Review
David Carter, a member of a group of experts currently examining the teacher workload problem in Britain, has proposed that grade classes in some subjects be merged to enable one teacher to deliver the lesson, while others, who would usually be duplicating the lesson, are freed to take on smaller groups of 4 or 5 students for more intensive work. Carter, the head of a 'pathfinder' school which experimented with the method, suggests that with the help of audio-visual aides student management should not be a problem.
Teacher unions have opposed Carter's idea, and a representative from the London Leadership Centre claims that teachers' workloads had not been reduced in schools where the method was attempted. Classroom management is a precondition for student learning. Without teacher leadership and behaviour management skills, Rogers warns that teachers can start to lose the 60 to 70 per cent of the class who are usually co-operative and ready to learn.