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Network of School Planners in Ireland Mark Fennell 28 th April 2012 Implementing effective changes to improve student learning:

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Presentation on theme: "Network of School Planners in Ireland Mark Fennell 28 th April 2012 Implementing effective changes to improve student learning:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Network of School Planners in Ireland Mark Fennell ( 28 th April 2012 Implementing effective changes to improve student learning: the challenge

2 Improving performance in teaching and learning What needs to happen if teaching in my classroom, or my department or my school, is to change for the better as a result of our engagement with school self- evaluation? What happens between making a decision on what to do and actually achieving sustained improvement in student learning?

3 The context of school self- evaluation and improvement

4 Richard Elmore: ‘The (only) three ways to improve performance in schools’  Increase the knowledge and skills of teachers  Change the content  Alter the relationship of student to the teacher and the learning content ‘If you change one, you have to change them all’ (Richard Elmore, 2009)

5 Emerging consensus for improving pupil learning in Irish classrooms?  Integrate new knowledge with collaborative reflection on and through practice (On-site action learning)  Curricular innovation for deep learning and ‘learning how to learn’ (Revised Junior and Senior Cycle programmes)  Active and differentiated student learning (Assessment for Learning)

6 ‘Assessment for learning’ Emerging consensus as knowledge base for better practice  The process whereby teacher and learner inquire into what is known and not known relevant to a mutually understood learning task, in order to focus both on what to do next.  Profoundly re-orientates the relationship between teachers and students: (AFL will) change the culture of your school from teacher led instruction to a partnership of intentional inquiry (Moss and Brookhart, 2009)

7 5 key Strategies of AFL  Publicly shared (sometimes negotiated) learning tasks and outcomes  Strategic and spontaneous questioning for understanding  Self assessment (LHTL)  Peer assessment (Cooperative learning)  Feedback to individual learners on what has been learnt, needs to be learnt and the next steps the learner needs to take. (Differentiation)

8 AFL and School Self Evaluation ‘Delusion of familiarity’: ‘We’re doing it already’ Need to assess current practice accurately (For example, see template in ‘Advancing Formative assessment in every classroom’: Moss and Brookhart, 2009: 144-151) AFL will only ‘take’ if it is grafted onto current practice through reflective inquiry and exploratory practice

9 What’s stopping us?

10 Barriers to introducing AFL into our classrooms through SSE  Limited systematic professional support and guidance: Support and time at a premuim  Current school culture: Lack of motivation of teachers to embrace systematic collaborative reflection and innovation  Absence of systematic development planning: Meeting the conditions known to be necessary to implement sustainable new practice, even when it is willingly attempted

11 What needs to happen? A focus on one key phase of the evaluation and improvement cycle

12 It’s the implementation, stupid! ‘Implementation is conducted as inquiry’ Evidence based requirements for planned pedagogic change that sticks and delivers, using AFL ‘ No exotic processes ensure curriculum improvement – just straightforward work through logical tasks’ (Joyce and Calhoun, 2010)

13 Stage 1 – Engage Staff  Identify strengths (and weaknesses) – ‘greatest benefits to students come from teachers becoming more expert in their strengths’ (Wiliam)  Information / data – gathered and interpreted about own practice and the assumptions that shape it  Knowledge  - know the theory of AFL and the skills and strategies  Demonstration…see how it works (Adapted from Joyce & Showers, 1995: Joyce and Calhoun 2010)

14 Stage 2 – Create ‘Learning Community’  Commitment from Principal and senior teachers  Form a teacher learning community (3+)  Meet monthly  75 minutes optimum length  Aim for at least 2 subject representatives  Brief staff (regularly)  Agree time, resources and ground rules  Embed monitoring and remediation (Adapted from Leahy and Wiliam, 2008)

15 Sample meeting Agenda ‘Keeping Learning on Track’  Introduction (5)  Starter activity (5)  Feedback by each teacher on progress (25)  New learning regarding AFL (20)  Personal action planning (15)  Summary of learning (5) (Leahy and Wiliam, 2008)

16 Stage 3 – Collaborate to explore new practice  Collaborate / adapt – work together in planning and reviewing chosen strategies  Practice...10/12 weeks – 50 classes  Peer observation...observe to learn without giving feedback (teacher is the ‘coach’)  Embed assessment of impact on learning  Evaluate process / share with colleagues  Extend scope of development planning (Adapted from Joyce & Showers, 1995: Joyce and Calhoun 2010)

17 The Training Paradigm (Joyce & Calhoun, 2010: 79) Training Element Effects on knowledge Effects on Short-Term use Effects on long- term use Study of rationale (Readings, discussions, lectures Very positive5-10% Rationale + demonstrations Very positive5-20%5-10-% Rationale + Demonstrations + Planning lessons Very positive80-90%5-10% All the above + peer coaching Very positive90%+

18 What is the gap between this approach and current reality in our schools? How can we close the gap? What changes must we make to our programme and our current practice to make successful implementation happen?

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