Presentation on theme: "Unley High School Practitioner Research Project How could staff and students co-construct the curriculum? What are the perceived impacts on teaching and."— Presentation transcript:
Unley High School Practitioner Research Project How could staff and students co-construct the curriculum? What are the perceived impacts on teaching and learning?
A proud history and tradition dating back to 1910 Large proportion of students from medium to high SES, 20% of students from LOTE background, international students Staff have been exploring areas of innovation to meet our two strategic directions, increased student engagement and community involvement Programs implemented recently include parent funded 1:1 Ipad program for Middle Years and Parent Voice program Unley High School
Recognition that students achieve well academically, but are they really engaged and achieving as well as they could be? Success from Parent Voice initiative lead the school to focus on a more democratic environment Increased accessibility to technology has opened the learning environment and increased opportunities for task re-design and student feedback about their learning experiences Unley High School
How could staff design and implement co-constructed learning experiences with students? What are their perceptions of the process and its impact on learning tasks? 4 exploratory classroom case studies (4 x teachers and students) from a variety of subjects and across two year levels Data collected 1.Recording of initial of teacher planning meetings 2.Teacher and student journals 3.Anecdotal notes 4.Photos of co-constructed work products 5.4 x teacher interviews The Practitioner Research Project
We talked about how you actually design tasks and it was interesting for the students to learn that teaching process… [Students] liked having their own choice and to interpret something in their own way, but they preferred having a list of options to choose from and then putting their creativity in deciding how they would respond to those tasks, rather than constructing those tasks themselves from scratch. I enjoyed the process, I thought it took longer than it should have… Next time the teacher should make the criteria and the tasks should be completely different. (Student) It was a really good learning process for me… it taught me to loosen up and not be so traditionalist. I’ve become more patient in a way, for kids to respond… I’ve become more comfortable with silence rather than just jumping in. Now I’ll let them get there in their own way. Findings : English
Co-construction means to me, the students and the teacher participating and developing the work and the outcomes. But as I say it depends how ‘co’ you are. I saw it as more of a partnership, us working together as in, “Here’s a problem, how are we going to solve that?” I had to find my balance between how much input I had and how much standing back I did. I managed to do more standing back. At the start I was having more input, but then I just backed right off. Because I thought – let’s just see what happens. It also goes back to the idea that you have to teach these skills… and we just threw them in the deep end. You have to learn how to negotiate; how you are going to learn… those skills have to be taught. Findings: Drama
It’s more than negotiation… It’s about the kids having an idea of what they are learning, not just what they are doing but the concepts that relate to them. The kids were very locked into their understanding of what P.E is. Taking them away from that was really tough. That’s not necessarily the best way to teach it but they just relied on their own experiences of how to learn things and then regurgitated that up to me. It highlighted that we really need to look at what we are doing [in practice]. We started early this term unpacking what the curriculum says kids should be learning in those subjects. We’ve had some really deep discussions about the notion of sport, about education and about the notion of being teachers rather than coaches. I was able to use that example with the other teachers, use that feedback from the kids about that task. Findings: Physical Education
I was focused on the product, with the flexibility of them doing what they wanted to find out and how they would get there…. Not only focused on the outcome and in terms of the task it was more the methodology… the methods that students used. They struggled with going outside the boundaries that they are usually limited by and depending on the personality of the student, they either embraced that or they struggled. But then kids are coming in with this headset of, “You tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.” They really struggled to think outside the square and be creative because it’s so ingrained in them that they have to do it a certain way. Findings: Health
I loved it. I mean, I pushed it in a direction that suited my needs as well, because the conversations, the challenging…. I wanted the kids to look at it in a different way and I really enjoyed that…. For some kids, the process and the conversations really helped them to get to the bottom of things better than I had in the past with this topic. It’s actually made me think about trying to make a difference in breaking down those barriers and giving kids a lot more opportunity to talk about the why and how rather than just going through the process of doing this and that for three weeks and then moving on. It’s reaffirming that I like the way that this works, but it’s difficult when you come up against barriers [to do with] what schools are about… Findings: Health
This project was our first Professional Learning Team using the Action Research as a method for inquiry The model is now in use across PLTs in a school-wide focus on Professional Learning and Action Research Building skills in reviewing the literature, devising focus/research questions for Action Research Learning how to collect and manage data that answers the research question Collecting data using methods which don’t create too much extra work Managing the tensions between “teacher” and “researcher” Learning about Action Research
Planned school-wide PLTs established all undertaking Action Research on a specific area of inquiry – purpose Using data to build evidence of what is working and what is not, in order to inform future directions Building a culture of professional learning and inquiry Continuing exciting professional conversations that are meaningful for teachers and leaders, ie. What is essential about this learning? What is the purpose of the learning area? What do the students really think about our teaching and their learning? Encouraging questioning, critical thinking and creativity in teachers and students about learning, knowledge, understanding and success Next steps and future directions
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