Teacher Professional Learning
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Teacher Professional Learning
News, ideas and events for teachers
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OECD education report shows work to do

OECD education report shows work to do | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
A new report on education across developed nations shows there's still a way to go to reach the government's goal of being among the top five performers, School Education Minister Peter Garrett says.

 

"We know we need to do more to lift our education performance including focusing on teacher quality, more power for principals and helping schools improve their results," Mr Garrett said in a statement.

"The government has made it clear that all governments need to invest more in our schools so that we can reverse the decline in our results and make sure our disadvantaged students aren't being left behind."

 

Go to the OECD's 2012 Education at a Glance report:

http://www.oecd.org/edu/eag2012.htm

 

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Give Teachers More Opportunities to Lead

Give Teachers More Opportunities to Lead | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
An ever-increasing number of school systems are investing in teacher leaders as a key strategy for improving learning for all students. And they should, as research shows that shared and distributed leadership can be found in most highly successful schools.

 

 

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2012 ISCA – AHISA National Education Forum

2012 ISCA – AHISA National Education Forum | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

The ISCA – AHISA National Education Forum, Independent Education: Influencing a Complex Furture, was held in Canberra on 20 August 2012 and provided an opportunity for nearly 300 independent school sector representatives to meet and discuss national education issues.

The following speeches and presentations are available to read in PDF format. More presentations will be added as they become available.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon Tony Abbott MHR, Leader of the Opposition
Bill Daniels, Executive Director, Independent Schools Council of Australia, who discussed past and predicted enrolments to 2020 across all sectors.

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Get Reading | Books you can't put down

Get Reading | Books you can't put down | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
"Get Reading!, formerly known as Books Alive, is Australia’s largest annual celebration of books and reading, which encourages all Australians to pick up a book, put up their feet and get reading!"

Now in its twelfth year, Get Reading!


Get your hands on copies of this booklet for your classroom or library. It looks like a slick bookshop brochure and spotlights books for children, teens and adults which you will find in your school or local library as well.
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Indigenous literacy lapse: Auditor-General calls for greater effort - ABC Western Plains NSW

Indigenous literacy lapse: Auditor-General calls for greater effort - ABC Western Plains NSW | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
"Quite frankly if there is no change in approach then the Government's goal of halving the gap by 2018 won't be achieved."...That is the message NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat delivered to the Department of Education and Communities today in a report on the gap in literacy rates between indigenous and non-indigenous students.
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How Science Can Improve Teaching: Scientific American

How Science Can Improve Teaching: Scientific American | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Teachers need a trusted source to tell fads and fallacies from proved methods...

Daniel Willingham cites ineffective study skills, the downgrading of the importance of teaching content, the fallacy of learning styles, and the belief that boys' brains are hardwired to do better than girls in spatial tasks as just some of the misconceptions which abound. Evidence based practice is the answer, but how do teachers find reliable evidence?

Read more in the September 2012 edition of Scientific American.

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Getting Started with Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

Getting Started with Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy) | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
It's easy to go "too big" when you first start PBL. I have heard from many teachers new to PBL that a large, eight-week integrated project was a mistake. So how do you start PBL in ways that will ensure your success as a learner and teacher? Here are a few tips to consider.

 

Tips include starting small, planning ahead using backwards design, limiting technology to keep the focus on the process, and finally, make sure you are doing PBL not a project. There is a link to a checklist that helps with this last one.

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Why boys' literacy skills lag behind girls' and how to bridge the reading gap

Why boys' literacy skills lag behind girls' and how to bridge the reading gap | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Much of this is what we have been hearing forever, it seems, but make sure you get down to How To Bridge The Reading Gap. Noted literacy researcher, William Brozo, has some sensible ideas that work and are very replicable, including honouring personal choice of reading material.
Via Heather Stapleton, Marita Thomson
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25 Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom By Complexity

25 Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom By Complexity | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Recently TeachThought and Edudemic collaborated to produce the following spectrum for using twitter in the classroom:
- It is roughly structured to increase in complexity from left to right:
- Watch, which is passive.
- Talk, this adds a degree of interaction.
- Produce, which implies an even greater interaction between an audience, a purpose, and a media design–in this case, using twitter to actually produce something original.
Via Judy O'Connell
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Gonski, again | Inside Story

Gonski, again | Inside Story | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
if Gonski doesn’t get up, as seems likely, its failure will represent the most grievous policy defeat of Labor’s two terms in government, not just because of what it would have done but because of what it would have made possible. Gonski is a big reform, and a platform for further reform.
But there are issues, three argued previously, a fourth not.
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Welcome to Visible Learning | Visible Learning plus

Welcome to Visible Learning | Visible Learning plus | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Visible Learningplus is an in-depth school change model of professional learning and development. It is based on the principles of Visible Learning that have developed from John Hattie’s research and his two books – Visible Learning (2009) and Visible Learning for Teachers (2012). It takes the theory of this research and puts it into a practical inquiry model for schools to ask questions of themselves about the impact they are having on student achievement.
 
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Agricultural education review

The NSW Government has announced the terms of reference for an independent review of agricultural education and training in NSW.
The review, led by agriculture researcher Professor Jim Pratley, will consider the appropriateness of agricultural education and training programs in the NSW school and tertiary sectors, the promotion of career opportunities and workforce needs in the agricultural sector, and how NSW government-owned agricultural education, training and research institutions and other facilities can be best positioned to meet future industry needs.
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Reshuffle the pack or try a new game?

The research literature offers little support for the popular (though perhaps unrealistic) rhetoric about technology revolutionising teaching and learning or teachers fundamentally re-working their lesson plans and pedagogy.

At the end of this post Dean Groom poses the question: “What makes a strong learner?” An important question to get things in perspective.


Ideas on evidence based effective teaching methods from John Hattie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pD1DFTNQf4
What Katie Salen does at Quest to Learn:
http://www.macfound.org/videos/152/
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Can't you learn about the world through fiction? 

Can't you learn about the world through fiction?  | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

"The Common Core standards for English Language Arts call for a significant dose of non-fiction reading, in support of reading comprehension, a finding I’ve discussed before . That requirement has led to some puzzlement (and occasional indignation). Can’t kids gain knowledge of the world from fiction as well? Information about science, history, technology, civics, geography, etc?"

 

Daniel Willingham gives an interesting "yes and no" answer to this, based on the research.

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Latham’s list was a hit in the polls | Inside Story

Latham’s list was a hit in the polls | Inside Story | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Mark Latham’s private school funding policy is usually seen as having been an electoral minus for Labor. The polls suggested the contrary, writes Peter Browne

 

On reflection (and analysis) things are not always as they seem.

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My top ten iPad tips for people starting out! | The Spectronics Blog

My top ten iPad tips for people starting out! | The Spectronics Blog | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
"Learning to use the iPad effectively and efficiently doesn’t happen immediately. You can take it out of the box and start using it, sure, but there are so many cool tricks and tips to make it faster and easier.  Where is the manual to read up on that? And are you getting the most out of your iPad?"


After nearly a year and a half of iPad use - heavy use at that - I found a few useful tricks I didn't know. An excellent, easy to follow list for beginners.
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A hard marker - The Sun Herald

A hard marker - The Sun Herald | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

"SCHOOLS will have to produce performance plans outlining how they will improve students' results in exchange for increased funding and control over their own budgets under the Gillard government's blueprint to boost the education system."

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Design Thinking for Educators

Design Thinking for Educators | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
"Design Thinking is a mindset. Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education." 


"This toolkit contains the process and methods of design, adapted specifically for the context of K-12 education. It offers new ways to be intentional and collaborative when designing, and empowers educators to create impactful solutions."
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Power Searching with Google

Power Searching with Google | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

"Google Search makes it amazingly easy to find information. Come learn about the powerful advanced tools we provide to help you find just the right information when the stakes are high." -- Presented by Daniel Russell, Senior Research Scientist, Google, Inc.

 

Google presents here a series of six classes, each delivered via your choice of video, text document or slides. Use all three to really get the message. It is well structured with optional activities after each lesson, and mid-course and end of course tests.

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Coaches Are the Multipliers That Schools Need

Coaches Are the Multipliers That Schools Need | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
"In her book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Liz Wiseman describes two types of leaders. The first, diminishers, are those who drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them or those who always need to be the smartest person in the room.

"On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. These leaders are known as multipliers. They inspire others to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations."

A good rundown of the actions which identify teacher leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the abilities of those around them. 

 

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Novel approach to literacy | The Sun-Herald newspaper - 29/07/12

Article by Keeli Cambourne on school libraries being transformed to support literacy development in students. Features the changes school libraries are making to accommodate the needs and interest of 21st century learners, incoluding ebook collections, students creating book trailers, National Year of Reading initiatives and supporting struggling and reluctant readers. Also features the benefits of recent refurbishments to these school libraries.


Features three Sydney schools: Roseville College, PLC Sydney, Mount Annan Christian College Currins Hill.
Via lyn_hay, Marita Thomson
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Stars, Sparkles and Praise: Motivation in Kids' Apps?

Stars, Sparkles and Praise: Motivation in Kids' Apps? | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

As the education director at KinderTown, I have looked at a tremendous number of apps that use stars, stickers and praise as the method of keeping kids engaged and active on the app. In contrast, as a teacher, I see more value in educational apps modeling lesson design, content and activities that are engaging with leveling for decreased frustration. The challenge for me has been to find apps and games which develop any kind of intrinsic (internal) motivation.

Carolina Nugent questions her own assumptions and presents a thoughtful piece on the place of feedback and motivation in teaching and apps.
Via Edutopia
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Great Teaching, Inspired Learning

Great Teaching, Inspired Learning | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it

"NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has launched a discussion paper designed to seek advice about what can be done to improve the quality of teaching in NSW schools."

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John Hattie, Visible Learning. Pt 2: effective methods.

Edited highlights of a talk by John Hattie where he outlines some of the most successful methods to promote learning. The video runs 15 mins and is a good guide to key teaching practices informed by Hattie's research on effective pedagogy. Support with this copy of Hattie's slides: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/guestlectures/pdfs/tgls-hattie.pdf

Compare to Katie Salen's approach in Quest to Learn: http://www.macfound.org/videos/152/
Create a need to know.
Create a context where the kids have to learn how to do something.
Create a context where kids need to share knowledge, ideas, skills.
Build in a need to share and a context to do so.
Create ways for kids to export their knowledge outside of their immediate environment.

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About Quest to Learn — MacArthur Foundation

About Quest to Learn — MacArthur Foundation | Teacher Professional Learning | Scoop.it
Katie Salen discusses Quest to Learn, the nation's first public school based on the principles of game design. Based in New York City, it is testing a new approach to teaching and learning that could become a model for school innovation.

(Video, 5 mins) Find out more at: http://www.instituteofplay.org/work/projects/quest-to-learn

 


Compare with John Hattie's effective teaching methods:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pD1DFTNQf4
Key overlaps relate to peer teaching and sharing, and the benefits of high challenge to learning.
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