At ISC we are committed to improving student learning outcomes through research based teaching practices. Many of the teaching strategies that our teachers have focused on implementing have been recommended by internationally recognised educational research expert, John Hattie. Hattie’s research has found that what teachers know, do, and care about counts for 30% of the variance in student achievement.
Who is John Hattie?
John Hattie is an educational researcher at Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
“Professor Hattie's work is internationally acclaimed. His influential 2008 book, ‘Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement’, is believed to be the world’s largest evidence-based study into the factors which improve student learning.
Involving more than 80 million students from around the world and bringing together 50,000 smaller studies, the study found positive teacher-student interaction is the most important factor in effective teaching.”
As Hattie has noted, excellent teaching is the single most powerful influence on student achievement.
AT ISC our teachers have adopted an Effective Teaching Model that supports excellent instructional quality. An effective lesson structure involves: learning intention(s), mini-lesson, guided and independent practice, student reflection, formative assessment and homework.
A learning intention is a statement that specifically describes what students will learn after a lesson or series of lessons. Learning intentions tell students what they are going to learn and why they are going to learn it. Research shows that well-constructed learning intentions give students: more focus; more connection; more responsibility for their learning; more motivation; more involvement; and more ownership of their learning.
Success criteria are statements describing the extent to which a student has met the learning intention. Success criteria help students to: have a clear picture about how they will be assessed; become independent thinkers and create confidence. Success criteria help teachers and students to provide accurate and useful feedback. Success criteria are written in student friendly language to help students engage and understand.
Our teachers are expected to provide students with regular and timely feedback. This feedback can be written or verbal but more importantly, focused on technical instructional that helps our students improve. Positive encouragement is a healthy motivational tool but the evidence suggests that technical instruction given in a timely fashion is a more powerful tool for improving student achievement.
At ISC our teachers work in teams inside their subject areas to moderate student work samples, assessment tasks and unit plans. We believe that our students deserve to be treated equally by all staff and so by moderating student work and using standardised assessment rubrics we are striving to achieve greater consistency and accuracy of our teacher judgements across the school.
Use of data
Our teachers regularly use student data to plan for and assess student learning. As a PLC (Professional Learning Communities) school, our teachers regularly work together in teams to use data to monitor teaching and learning improvements.
Student Voice Survey-Giving our students voice
All ISC teachers are expected to regularly participate in a Student Voice Survey, where students are asked to consider the teaching program they experience. Teachers are encouraged to closely analyse this data with a view to improving their teaching practice. The outcomes of this student survey then form the basis of part of each teacher’s annual professional review.
Observations and Walk throughs
To ensure that our teacher’s professional learning is being transferred into the classroom, our leadership team undertake regular walkthroughs of lessons to ensure that the benefits of new teaching strategies are being passed on to our students. One of our staff core values is accountability and walkthroughs are one way that we maintain a level of accountability for the professional development of our staff.
A second method of accountability for the transfer of professional learning into the classrooms is peer observations. Our teachers are encouraged to regularly observe their colleagues - a process that is made easier in our new, open plan spaces.
Catering for different learning styles and higher order thinking
At ISC we understand that some students have preferred learning styles and that one way we can engage students more in the learning is by altering tasks to cater for their preferred learning styles. At ISC our teachers actively plan for different levels of thinking in the classroom