Education- research paperOrder Description
Task:
Present the results of a personal professional learning journey you began in Assignment
1. Within the time frame and with the resources available, conduct research on a topic
collaboratively identified in Assignment 1. The research process should be closely allied
to your teaching context and grounded in professional reflective practice methodology.
Your research will develop your generative learning focus identified in Assignment 1.
Audience:
Imagine you will present your research as part of your e-portfolio and final exit
interview.
Expected content:
Your submission should include:
? A description of your professional context and (possibly still emerging) rationale for
topic choice;
? A methodological approach to publicly available and non-identifying data
(precluding the need to seek ethics approval) including relevant Codes of Conduct
and Duty of Care;
? Findings from the data and a discussion;
? A visualisation which will aid in communication and word count reduction;
? Recommendations (one or two) based on contemporary educational thinking

EST302- Researching Classroom Practice – Assignment 1
Maintaining professional Learning Coherence

As a teaching professional it is very important to maintain professional learning coherence. This is often accomplished by collaborating with others, at first this could be, other pre-service teachers and your university lecturers.

Then moving into a school and classroom environment it could be achieved by collaboration with other teachers through joint planning, mentoring, PLT (professional learning teams) meetings and observing fellow teachers. As stated in Professional Learning in Effective schools, PLT meetings can be an important part of a teacher’s professional learning. ‘Professional learning teams are an effective means of developing a culture of collaboration and collective responsibility in schools. In professional learning teams teachers remain accountable for individual students. However, they also take responsibility collectively for improving instructional practices to achieve gains in learning for all their students. (Professional Learning in Effective schools, 2015)

Professional learning and collaboration can also be achieved through informal conversations with other teachers in your school. “In a learning community, teachers learn about teaching through daily conversations with their colleagues. In the school staff-room, for example, teachers may share their knowledge of effective teaching practices, complex subject matter, and the learning styles of different students, new assessment practices or strategies for classroom behaviour management. Informal interactions like these constitute an important form of collegial support and learning for teachers.(Professional Learning in Effective schools, 2015)

It can be done within the school environment by collaboration with other grade levels in the schools and the leadership team, the collaboration you do with literacy and numeracy coaches and through collaboration with other teachers in your community and state through organised professional development and curriculum days.

My professional learning journey has just begun. I collaborate with other pre-service teachers through university online discussion board about our current learning in units, our experiences on placement and within our study. We provide advice and feedback to each other.

Outside of university I maintain professional learning coherence by collaborating with my mentor teacher and other staff within the school environment. I attend all Professional learning team meetings, staff meetings and curriculum days, I take feedback from my mentor teacher and I observe other classes and teachers within the school.
In taking part in these practices I can continually improve my teaching practice to meet the needs of my students and the school community. I pair this collaboration with continued research and reading in the subject areas I feel I need more knowledge.

My Teaching and Learning Context
My name is Jane. This is my third year of university but I am currently completing my final fourth year units. I’ve completed two summer semesters and am overloading this semester so I can finish quicker. I find the longer things take me the less motivated I am to finish.
My last placement was in term 2 of this year and was in a small school in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. I was in a 2/3 class. The students at the school were mainly from families with English as a second language and low socio-economic backgrounds. Most of the students were samalian. The attendance of students was low. At the start of the year they had 24 students in the class, by term 2 there was 16 in the class. Most of the students were working at a level below their year level.
I will start my fourth and final placement this term at a reasonably big school in the Northern suburbs in Melbourne. I will be in a year 1 class. I’m very excited as this means I have taught prep to year five with a mixture of composite and single grade classes.
When I graduate I’m looking forward to getting a fulltime job in a classroom. I think I would prefer to teach junior primary but have completed placements in year 4/5 classrooms and have really enjoyed that as well. I’m really happy to teach any grade level but would be nervous to teach grade 6 as I find they can be more challenging.
When I first started the degree I thought I wanted to go onto complete a masters in special education because I wanted to work with students with special needs but as I worked my way through the degree I have found that I enjoy seeing the students make progress and this happens faster in mainstream schools. My decision to teach in a mainstream school is also because I have found that I like the verbal interaction and the connection with students, which I find, is easier to achieve than in a special school.
I don’t really sure I have a specific passion. I enjoy tennis but that is only because I enjoy the involvement it gives me with the younger players. I like to provide support to those players playing at a higher level young and help them cope with the mental challenges this has.
I would like to be involved in the tennis industry and work in a primary school and therefore am looking at further education for next year.
I enjoy watching students learn new things and enjoy watching them engaged in a learning experience. I am passionate about using activities in the classroom, which are engaging to students, as I believe children learn best when they are having fun.
I believe my strengths to be behaviour management and organisation. I worked as a teachers assistant for 3 years before starting this degree and believe the special developmental setting have given me many great skills I can use in the classroom.
I also believe that starting this degree has helped with my organisational skills, which will be an asset in my classroom. Being a teacher means you have a lot of different jobs to complete in one day and to make sure you are giving your full attention to the students in class time teachers need to be very organised.
I would like to know more about assessment and reporting and data collection. These are things that make me nervous working in a school. I am nervous about making the judgements about student learning and being able to mark there work against the Australian curriculum standards.

Annotated Bibliography

Reading 1:
Davis, B., Sumara, D., & Luce-Kapler, R. (2015). Engaging minds (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Davis, Sumara and Luce-Kapler discuss the emergence of standardised education in chapter one of the book Engaging Minds. Davis, Sumara and Luce-Kapler discuss the beginning of schooling or formal education, how it was aimed at the elite in the ancient world and mainly males from families who were financially well or military families.

The chapter then goes onto discuss how the focus of education varied from school to school depending on the students attending, the founder of the school and who was financing the schools existence. The common focus in all the schools though seemed to be literacy and mathematics.

The authors discuss the emergence of standardised education beginning in 1700 and 1800 due to the industrial revolution and the opening of factories in England. When the industrial revolution started schooling changed and became out teaching the necessary skills needed to be skilled to work in the factories and this is where standardised schooling began.

In chapter one part one the authors go onto discuss the rise of middle class education. In the early 1800’s the Western world had a large population of middle class families who demanded the same level of schooling as the elite. This eventually meant that secondary school became available to all children and made mandatory of all students in the 1900’s.

Reading 2:
Davis, B., Sumara, D., & Luce-Kapler, R. (2015). Engaging minds (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Davis, Sumara and Luce-Kapler look at the teaching in standardised education in chapter one part three. In the years of standardised education the teachers job description was described as telling, informing, presenting and conveying. The authors believed that at this time the teacher was perceived as the expert of the given subject and they would pass on the information to the student through lecturing and telling.

Chapter one part three also states that there is no support to accommodate the need to support different learning styles like visual, auditory and kinaesthetic as this can be restricting to students rather than challenging them to improve on those areas they aren’t as talent or comfortable in. ‘Not only is no empirical support whatsoever for this notion, its advice may actually constrain learning as it caters to familiar habits rather than challenging underdeveloped abilities.’(Davis, Sumara & Luce-Kapler,2015)

The chapter then goes onto describe how teacher effectiveness is judged by the achievement of students in their class. The authors believe that these practices of evaluation and accountability also come from the industrial revolution and the idea of quality control. The ideas of grading and scoring also come from the time of standardised education and the industrial revolution where manufactured goods were ranked according to quality (graded) and things were ranked according to quality (scoring).

If this is true isn’t the education system in a similar situation, we push students to achieve to a specific level as decided by curriculum outcomes rather than pushing them outside the boundaries of the prescribed curriculum and schooling system.

As a teacher our success in the profession is marked by the results of our student’s and where they are achieving on set curriculum indicators and national testing, what if our student’s learning is better pushed outside these boundaries?

Reading 3:
Professional Learning in Effective Schools. (2015) (1st ed.). Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/teachers/profdev/proflearningeffectivesch.pdf

The authors of Professional Learning in effective schools – The Seven Principles of Highly Effective Schools discuss teachers being at the very centre of learning and how the quality of the teacher is an important part of student success in the classroom. The author’s go on to suggest the importance of quality professional development for teachers to make them effective within the classroom environment.

The authors go onto suggest there are many ways for schools to create an effective professional learning environment and these can include, professional learning teams, informal chats between colleagues and development through curriculum days and professional development opportunities outside of the school. The Information booklet suggests; “In a learning community, teachers learn about teaching through daily conversations with their colleagues. In the school staff-room, for example, teachers may share their knowledge of effective teaching practices, complex subject matter, the learning styles of different students, new assessment practices or strategies for classroom behaviour management. Informal interactions like these constitute an important form of collegial support and learning for teachers.”(Professional Learning in Effective schools, 2015)

Reading 4:
Why NAPLAN is failing our kids. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/why-naplan-is-failing-our-kids/story-fngqim8m-1227474774150
The editorial published in the Herald Sun on August 5th 2015 titled ‘The latest NAPLAN results reveal the need for Gonski-style funding’ outlines the concern for the ‘stagnation of numeracy and literacy results’ over the past few years and how this will affect the future of our economy.

The article goes onto suggest that NAPLAN doesn’t provide an accurate result of how much students are progressing from past years and doesn’t provide any relevant data about student backgrounds including natural ability or can’t pinpoint any of the underlying issues of student achievement in the test.

The article goes onto suggest that NAPLAN results sound only be used of one of many diagnostic tools to help pinpoint potential difficulties in student learning and nothing more.

It is also suggested that schools should not be judged on NAPLAN results but rather the progress they are helping the students within their community make.

The authors believe that results of students in NAPLAN can also be affected by different factors including; cultural background, home life and socio economic situation, “You certainly cannot blame the children for disappointing NAPLAN results, either. Every child can reach their potential given the chance. Yet many come from backgrounds where education is not valued or where families do not have the skills to help with homework or the money for tutors.” (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2015)
The conclusion of the editorial suggests that the government needs to take responsibility for the long term education of teachers by investing in university and training, as well as taking responsibility education funding by making sure it is being directed to the correct areas.

Reading 5:
Why NAPLAN is failing our kids. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/why-naplan-is-failing-our-kids/story-fngqim8m-1227474774150

Loakes, Simpson and Wigglesworth take an in-depth look at the issues with NAPLAN in Indigenous Northern territory communities. The article discusses the poor results from the 2008 NAPLAN test in rural communities and remote rural communities. The results show that Northern Territory students in all grade levels that NAPLAN was taken preformed worse than all other Australian States. This was also true for the results from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The authors explain how they have examined the NAPLAN tests from 2008 and the problem with using it in indigenous communities and in schools with a large number of students who use English as a second language. The authors explain that the reading passage assumes that the student would have some cultural knowledge. They go onto suggest that students from different back ground and family situations won’t have the same experiences to make the required connections and therefore have trouble making meaning from the tests text.

The article mainly focuses on remote indigenous communities and how their cultural knowledge varies as their life style differs greatly from students in other parts of Australia and therefore won’t have the same understanding of the questions and exercises.

Strategies for ongoing learning

To make sure I progress in my career as a teacher it is important that I continue to grow and learn. This is important in many aspects including progressing from graduate to proficient and to make sure I am giving the students the best leaning environment possible. To make sure I continue to grow and learn professional development will be an important part of my teaching career.

As outlined above professional development can be undertaken in a number of ways including; communication with other teachers, professional learning teams, further education and training, professional development workshops and my own continued research.

Within this unit my plan for ongoing learning is to research the implications of NAPLAN testing on teaching and learning in the classroom environment and how much emphasis should be placed on these results within the education system. This topic directly results to the following AITSL graduate standards:

• 1.2: Understand how students learn – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.
• 5.1: Assess student learning -Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.
• 5.3: Make consistent and comparable judgements – Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.
• 5.4: Interpret Student data – Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.
Bibliography
Aitsl.edu.au,. (2015). Standards | Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Retrieved 10 August 2015, from http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-for-teachers/standards/list?&s=2

Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Assessment. Retrieved March 20, 2015 from http://www.acara.edu.au/assessment/assessment.html

Davis, B., Sumara, D., & Luce-Kapler, R. (2015). Engaging minds (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Galton, M., Hargreaves, L., Comber, C., Wall, D., & Pell, T. (1999). Changes in Patterns of Teacher Interaction in Primary Classrooms: 1976-96. British Educational Research Journal, 25(1), 23-37. doi:10.1080/0141192990250103

Muijs, D., & Reynolds, D. (2000). School Effectiveness and Teacher Effectiveness in Mathematics: Some Preliminary Findings from the Evaluation of the Mathematics Enhancement Programme (Primary). School Effectiveness And School Improvement, 11(3), 273-303. doi:10.1076/0924-3453(200009)11:3;1-g;ft273

NAP National Assessment Program. (2013). NAPLAN. Retrieved March 25, 2015 from
http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/naplan.html

Professional Learning in Effective Schools. (2015) (1st ed.). Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/teachers/profdev/proflearningeffectivesch.pdf

The Sydney Morning Herald,. (2015). The latest NAPLAN results reveal the need for Gonski-style funding. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/the-latest-naplan-results-reveal-the-need-for-gonskistyle-funding-20150805-girt7u.html

Why NAPLAN is failing our kids. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/why-naplan-is-failing-our-kids/story-fngqim8m-1227474774150

Wigglesworth, G., Simpson, J., & Loakes, D. (2011). NAPLAN LANGUAGE ASSESSMENTS FOR INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES: ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.Australian Review Of Applied Linguistics, 34(3), 1-9. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/aral/article/view/2280

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