New Zealand Teachers’ Greatest Challenge• High average achievement• A big gap between the middle / top and the low achievers – Stratified along socio-economic and ethnic lines
A Question to discuss with the person next to youWhat is your greatest challenge in relation to outcomes for students (that you or your school can do something about)?
Overview of research on Professional DevelopmentExtensive research project:• Analysed 97 research studies on professional development with improved outcomes for student learning• Mapped the characteristics of professional development on a spread sheet• Identified characteristics associated with improved outcomes for student learning• Tried it out in 300 schools
Professional Developmentin literacy in New Zealand – 300 schools – On average 2-3 times expected rate of progress on deeper features – Lowest achieving 20%: 3-5 times expected rate of progress – Sustained improvement for at least three years after the external support stopped
Many Non-Academic Examples• Secondary schools: – Managing student behaviour – Helping students become independent reflective learners• Primary schools – Inclusion of children with special needs – Integrating immigrant students
A Disciplined Inquiryapproach: TheEvidence Base
What does NOT workTwo extremes:• Teachers are treated as professionals and left to construct their own learning experiences• Experts develop recipes for teaching, shown how, then closely monitoredLearning is more complex than either of these alternatives
What does work? Section 1What is it that teachersneed to learn to makea difference to theirstudents’ learning?
Principle 1: Focus on valued student outcomesProfessional learning experiences that focus on the links between • particular teaching activities and • the student outcomes desiredHave POSITIVE impacts on those outcomes
Which means that -• Improving student outcomes must be the reason teachers’ engage in professional learning opportunities• Success is determined by impact on students – not changed teacher skills• Teachers must believe that their students can learn faster and better – And usually do so when this happens
Principle 2: Worthwhile ContentThe knowledge and skills developedare those that have been established as effective in achieving valued student outcomes
Principle 3: Integration of Knowledge and Skills The integration of essential teacher knowledge and skills promotes deepteacher learning and effective changes in practice
Which means that -• Professional learning opportunities need to deepen knowledge about – The curriculum (and relevant discipline content) – How to teach it effectively – How to assess students’ learning• And to integrate theory and practice – A ‘what to do tomorrow’ practical approach does not work
Principle 4: Assessment for Professional InquiryInformation about what students need to know and do is used to identify what teachers need to know and do
Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes What knowledge and skills do our students What knowledge need? and skills do we as teachers have and need? What has been theimpact of our changed actions? Deepen professional knowledge and refine skills Engage students in new learning experiences
For you to complete and discussAssessment for Professional Inquiry (see separate sheet)
Section 2What are the conditions that promote teacher learning in ways that impact on student learning?
Principle 5: Many Opportunitiesto Learn and Apply Information Like students, teachers need many opportunities to learn and apply newinformation in a trusting and challenging environment
Principle 6: Approaches are Responsive to Learning ProcessesDifferent approachesare needed depending onwhether new ideas are,or are not, consistent withteachers’ existingbeliefs
Principle 7: Opportunities to process new learning with othersTeachers working together and focused onstudent outcomes can help themintegrate newlearning intotheir practice
Principle 8: Knowledgeable ExpertiseExternal expertise is necessary to:• Challenge existing beliefs about how to teach• Develop new knowledge and skills
Which means that -• Experts need to be very knowledgeable in the area;• Need to know how to make the knowledge relevant to the teachers – In ways that integrate other principles – And promote teachers as professionals rather than technicians
Principle 9: Active Leadership Leaders play a key role in promotingprofessional learning of their teachers for the benefit of their students
FIVE DIMENSIONS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIPDerived from Quantitative Studies Linking Leadership with Student Outcomes (Robinson, Hohepa and Lloyd, 2009) 1. Establishing Goals and Expectations 0.42 2. Resourcing Strategically 0.31 3. Planning, Coordinating and Evaluating Teaching and the Curriculum 0.424. Promoting and Participating in Teacher Learning and Development 0.84 5. Ensuring an Orderly and Supportive Environment 0.27 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Effect Size
Task for you in pairs / small groupsIn relation to your challenge identified earlier, design your own professional development around the inquiry cycle• How would you assess the students to obtain a deep understanding about this issue?• What do you need to learn in order to address the student challenge?• Who can help you?• How will you know that you are making a difference?
Figure .3 Keeping it all Going through Ongoing Inquiry Refocusing New challengesStudents’ Professional Students’ Professional needs inquiry needs inquiryChecking Knowledge Checking Knowledgeoutcomes Skills outcomes Skills Student Student opportunities opportunities