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Challenges and opportunities in Education Queensland

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1 Challenges and opportunities in Education Queensland
In this session we will take a high level look at the challenges and opportunities that are in front of Queensland state school teachers and students of science, technology, and mathematics. In particular… We’ll examine the history of achievement levels of students across the state. We’ll reflect on what the research tells us about improving student learning outcomes. We’ll explore the strategic approach being taken to ensure we are united in our pursuit of excellence… …and the practical support being provided including resources and services to help teachers and schools focus on the drivers that make the difference for learning in Maths, Science and Technology. Mark Campling Assistant Director-General State Schooling Implementation

2 The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for all state and non-state school students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN is designed to be a test of skills rather than content. NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, and numeracy. NAPLAN tests skills in literacy and numeracy that are developed over time, through the school curriculum. NAPLAN is made up of tests in the following four areas, or ‘domains’: Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) Numeracy. Here we focus on the trend for numeracy results over the last four years. The chart show the mean scale scores for numeracy in Qld, compared to the two jurisdictions we are most often compared to (NSW and Vic) and the national means. Qld has been tracking close to the rest of the country across the last four years at each year level except year 3 – you can see the trend for our first full cohort to participate in Prep is on line to overtake the national average.

3 We’re also focussed on the distribution of these results across achievement bands. This charts show the proportion of students achieving in each band relative to the National Minimum Standard (NMS) A key challenge for EQ is the relatively static proportion of students in the Upper Two Bands (U2B) – shown as 3 or 4 >NMS – over the last four years, in Years 5, 7 and 9. A key opportunity is the U2B improvement of our Year 3s - how we can maintain this improvement and scale it throughout the system. 2009 Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) Results To give this some international context, the NAPLAN results – which show good outcomes in terms of equity but insufficient improvement in excellence – are reflected in PISA results. In 2009, Queensland performed above the Australian mean in all strands. Compared to other Australian jurisdictions, Queensland ranked 3rd in reading literacy and numerical literacy, and 4th in scientific literacy, based on average scores. With regard to the proportion of students at level 2 or above, Queensland ranks 3rd in each of the test areas. Queensland’s performance has generally remained stable since PISA However, other high performing Australian jurisdictions have generally declined in PISA 2009. Queensland’s students performed well, with averages above the OECD average in all areas assessed. Although Queensland’s performance is lower than countries such as Finland and Korea in all three domains, Queensland was above the OECD average and scored higher than other OECD countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

4 Research base The problem with every reform in education is that they have all stopped at the classroom door (Ashenden) Students’ performance is influenced by … , the school (~10 per cent) and teachers (~40 per cent) (Hattie 2003, 2009, Hill & Crevola) We are implementing a range of reforms to improve school performance across Queensland state schools. These reforms are about developing collective capacity amongst principals and teachers around what is taught in schools and how the curriculum is taught given the range of student abilities in classrooms Our efforts to move inside the classroom are based on a significant body of research showing that teachers and school leaders make a significant difference for student learning Ashenden reminds us that education reforms rarely focus on what happens in the classroom To Hill and Crevola - teachers make the greatest difference to student performance after the students own efforts Hattie’s research highlights that what teachers do and what students do matters - feedback, instructional quality and direct instruction make significant difference to student learning Fullan says us that growth in collective capacity is essential Levin’s reminds us that improvement required a steady, unrelenting, consistent focussed effort The difference to student achievement is made in the classroom through feedback, instructional quality and direct instruction (Hattie, 2009) For the entire system to be on the move you need leadership that focuses on the right things and that above all promotes collective capacity (Fullan, 2012) There are no silver bullets and no shortcuts – just steady, unrelenting, consistent, focused effort (Levin, 2010)

5 The right alternatives
Getting the right drivers The wrong drivers The right alternatives Accountability using test results and teacher appraisal to reward or punish teachers and schools Capacity building Individual teacher and leadership quality promoting individual solutions Group quality / solutions Technology investing in and assuming that the wonders of the digital world will carry the day Instruction / pedagogy Fragmented strategies Integrated or systemic strategies Fullan warns about the wrong drivers for educational reform. He nominates four wrong drivers, and the third one is “Technology”. Or a particular attitude to it: “investing in and assuming that the wonders of the digital world will carry the day”. Fullan describes these wrong drivers as “culprits” that have undermined reform efforts. They have an important role within the “reform constellation” but systems should not lead reform with them. Michael Fullan (2011) Choosing the wrong drivers for whole system reform Seminar Series Paper No. 204, May 2011 Centre for Strategic Education

6 United in our pursuit of excellence
Elements The what The how Teaching practice School curriculum As all state education systems do, we have developed a clear strategic plan that includes a focus on consistent curriculum, planning and implementation to improve learning as well as high quality teaching focussed on the achievement of every student Our “agenda for improvement” is called United in our pursuit of excellence What makes our agenda distinctive is we have been explicit in our expectations of schools We are shifting the focus of teachers work from deciding and planning ‘what’ to teach. Instead, we want teachers to focus on the ‘how’ of delivering the curriculum - the core business of teaching, monitoring student learning and sharing practice Principal leadership & school capability School and community partnerships The who The capacity 6

7 Curriculum into the Classroom
Our initial focus has been on establishing a coherent and sequenced plan for curriculum through implementing the Australian Curriculum Foundation to 10 English, Mathematics, Science & History providing a range of planning materials and teaching resources recommending that the materials be adopted or adapted to suit the school context and student learning needs recommending that training, professional development and coaching in schools, on day-to day work needs is required We are providing curriculum planning materials for P-10 English, mathematics, science and history. This includes year level plans for to provide schools with a map to show what content of the Australian Curriculum needed to be taught unit plans, lesson overviews, assessment tasks and guides to making judgments (where applicable) a complete sequence of lesson plans (single-year only) individual learning materials and parent support materials. The C2C materials are linked to an innovative range of digital tools, resources and eSpaces available through departments eLearning platform - the Learning Place. Teachers have access to a rich environment for teaching and learning, accessible via the Internet, 24 hours a day. The materials are provided to teachers through OneSchool -an integrated student, curriculum and learning management system that enables monitoring of student progress

8 Graduate capabilities
EQ schools need graduates who: can challenge and engage students in learning know how to use student data to determine teaching strategies have a deep understanding of what to teach can teach reading, writing, numeracy & science are familiar with the Australian Curriculum Expectations of Education Queensland teachers: EQ schools need graduates who can: use basic teaching strategies in classrooms make lessons attractive and engage students work as a team ask questions of their mentors, supervisors and colleagues admit they don’t know it all and want to learn better ways of teaching and learning. EQ schools need graduates who: understand what curriculum is and the purpose it serves have a deep understanding of what to teach are familiar with the Australian Curriculum have read and deeply understand the Australian Curriculum know how the elements of the Australian Curriculum fit together – the learning area content descriptions and achievement standards + the general capabilities and cross-curricular priorities EQ schools need graduates who know how to and can teach: reading, writing including spelling, grammar & punctuation Numeracy, science schoolwide positive behaviour EQ wants graduates who are passionate about teaching and student learning creative flexible, confident and resilient organised, collaborative and dependable dedicated to excellence and ongoing learning EQ schools need graduates who are: passionate about teaching and student learning creative flexible, confident and resilient

9 STEM initiatives Initiatives to support greater student engagement
Student ICT Expectations Australian Curriculum Curriculum renewal in Qld To finish I would like to highlight a sample of some specific opportunities in Maths, Science and Technology that Education Queensland schools are seizing. EQ articulates the ICT skills, knowledge and capabilities students should have the opportunity to develop. The Student ICT Expectations help students to create, inquire, communicate and operate with ICT as well as using ICT safely and ethically in Science, Maths, Technology and all other curriculum areas. As well as implementing maths and science in Phase 1 of the Australian Curriculum, Education Queensland is consulting with the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on syllabuses for Design Technologies and Digital Technologies with an anticipated implementation of 2014. In the meantime, Queensland has Senior Syllabus for Engineering Technology developed in by the Queensland Studies Authority as well as a re-release of Technology Studies, Senior Syllabus scheduled for 2013. EQ provides professional development through it’s innovative eLearning environment – the Learning Place which supports curriculum and professional learning for over half a million staff and students across one of the most geographically diverse education jurisdictions in Australia. EQ partners with a range of industry, cross-sector and community organisations to develop authentic and real-world opportunities for student learning including High precision manufacturing – a multidisciplinary competition run by the Re-engineering Australia Foundation in collaboration with schools to design and create the fastest F1 model racing car. My invitation to this conference is to explore how a program such as IEEE’s TSIP can contribute as a partner with EQ schools to the development of capability in teachers and learning outcomes for our students. Teacher capability Partnerships Initiatives to support greater student engagement

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