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Schooling Improvement: What do we know? Helen Timperley Professor of Education The University of Auckland New Zealand.

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Presentation on theme: "Schooling Improvement: What do we know? Helen Timperley Professor of Education The University of Auckland New Zealand."— Presentation transcript:

1 Schooling Improvement: What do we know? Helen Timperley Professor of Education The University of Auckland New Zealand

2 Teachers Make the Difference – but they can’t do it on their own

3 Source: OECD (2010). PISA 2009 Results (Vol. II), Figure II.3.3, page 58

4 Source: OECD (2010). PISA 2009 Results (Vol. II), Figure II.3.4, page 59

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6 Today’s Focus Teachers make the difference Teacher learning as developing adaptive expertise Inquiry and knowledge-building as formative assessment What this means / doesn’t mean - but they can’t do it on their own Weaving evidence, inquiry and standards to build better schools

7 Adaptive and Routine Experts Adaptive experts: Flexibly retrieve, organise and apply professional knowledge Recognise when old problems persist or new problems arise and seek new information Routine experts: Apply a core set of skills with increasing fluency and efficiency Based on notions of novice to experts The Challenge: Shift from thinking about routine to adaptive expertise

8 What knowledge and skills do our students need? What knowledge and skills do we as teachers need? What has been the impact of our changed actions? Deepen professional knowledge and refine skills Engage students in new learning experiences Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes

9 Framing some Formative Assessment Questions Where am I going How am I going Where to next

10 Where am I going For teachers this means: –For their students What vision of what they should know, do and be? Specifics of that context e.g. Numeracy –For themselves As a professional In that context e.g. An effective numeracy teacher

11 The Challenge How explicit are these kinds of vision for your students and yourselves –E.g. If you use the inquiry cycle – do you relate it to a bigger picture vision of the kind of professional you want to be? –Do you refer to students as underachieving or those whose learning needs are not being met? What problems might arise from leaving these bigger picture ideas under the surface?

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13 How am I going Teachers two levels in a formative assessment framework –Themselves - Their students

14 What knowledge and skills do our students need? What knowledge and skills do we as teachers need? What has been the impact of our changed actions? Deepen professional knowledge and refine skills Engage students in new learning experiences Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes

15 Some Challenges Beliefs about the purposes of assessment –Students’ capabilities or teaching effectiveness? Current levels of satisfaction with how well students are learning Difficulty of assessing teachers’ knowledge and skills –self-perception unreliable It’s an emotional exercise

16 Principal and two teachers’ talking about a group of Samoan Year 4 students [meeting in May] Principal: When you saw the writing results for the group what was your first reaction? How did you interpret that data? Teacher: It reinforces what I had seen in their first writing assessment - there was little structure in the surface features … so it was in my opinion very low but predictable. What is the teacher’s theory of action? How could the principal/facilitator challenge it?

17 Linking the Ideas Adaptive experts Assessment is about the effectiveness of teaching Investigating teaching effectiveness is essential to improvement The inquiry cycle provides a framework Emotionally exciting – sometimes uncomfortable Routine experts Assessment is about how well students learn Investigating teaching effectiveness undermines professionalism Inquiry cycle is a series of steps to endure Emotionally threatening

18 How do you deal with the emotional stuff in your school? Work with the willing and leave the unwilling alone? Skip the bits that might push someone’s buttons? Don’t push the boundaries too hard? OR SYSTEMATICALLY DEVELOP ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE Unpack the level at which your ideas are in competition with theirs and why they are feeling threatened? Debate the competing ideas?

19 Where to Next Students Teachers Deepen knowledge Learning experiences Impact

20 Where to Next Based on analysis of first two parts of cycle –Driven by teachers “need to know”, not someone else’s “desire to tell” you Grounded in evidence about teaching and learning in the particular situation Systematically builds theoretically informed knowledge and practice –Parr & Timperley (2010) r=.685, p<.01 Fundamental difference from reflective practice

21 What it means and doesn’t mean What it means Start with student outcomes Integrate assessment, curriculum and how to teach it Integrate theory (why) and practice Assessment is about teaching effectiveness What it doesn’t mean Start with a new idea about teaching Have separate courses on the three areas Just focus on the practice Assessment is about students’ capabilities

22 What it means and doesn’t mean What it means You need multiple opportunities to learn and apply new knowledge Approaches are responsive to your learning needs Those who work with you have expertise and understand you as a learner What is doesn’t mean Going to one-off workshops and forgetting it all the next day Approaches based on the “one size fits all” principle Those who work with you expect you to immediately understand and get it right

23 Where to Next Students Teachers Deepen knowledge Learning experiences Impact

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26 If we are to make a difference The national problem becomes a school problem and a focus in your classrooms Your schooling improvement focus is to teach those students under-served in our schools in a supportive school environment that develops your adaptive expertise Then your “need to know” drives the learning agenda to meet the needs of all the students in your schools


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