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					                                                 NQSF Criteria
                                                  [www.nqsf.edu.au]
Beliefs and Understanding
All improvement is set within a framework of teacher beliefs and understandings about their professional efficacy and the capacity of
every student to learn, given support in an appropriate learning environment.
In Effective Schools:
                                                                                Evidence statements             Practices you would
                                                                              about your own practice like to learn more about
 create a shared whole-school vision and goals;
 have high expectations for all students, teachers and the school;                                           NQSF
 develop understandings and capacities to cater for the specific learning
     needs of all students;
 articulate an educational philosophy to establish the foundations on
     which beliefs and understandings can be aligned;
 engender a positive attitude towards meeting the needs of students in
     present and emerging contexts;
 Integrate theoretical understandings of the way young people learn with
     best professional knowledge

Curriculum, Standards and Targets
The role of schools is to equip students for a life in the knowledge society through a curriculum that addresses cognitive and non-
cognitive student learning outcomes and is aligned with the cognitive developmental stages and needs of students.
Schools set clear standards that are benchmarked to external frameworks of what students are expected to learn and use individual
learning targets to track the progress and report on the learning of each student.
Effective schools...
                                                                                    Evidence statements           Practices you would
                                                                                  about your own practice like to learn more about
 establish explicit high standards for student learning;
 ensure every student acquires the skills and knowledge they need for
     the next phase of their development;
 provide a curriculum that addresses cognitive (including meta-
     cognitive) and non-cognitive (affective, social competencies and
     physical) student learning outcomes;
 measure, monitor and report student learning and progress against
     individual student, school and system targets and benchmarks;
 provide a curriculum appropriate to the developmental stage and needs
     of the students to equip them for life in the knowledge society:
 Years 5–9: programs in the middle years ensure the development of
     cognitive and meta-cognitive capacities to reason and make
     judgements about evidence and arguments;
 Years 10–12: programs in the senior years ensure cognitive maturity
     including deep understanding of conceptual and practical knowledge
     and its social integration in specialist applications and everyday life;
 align curriculum and assessment, based upon current research and
     best practices in education;
 ensure the curriculum articulates across grade levels and stages of
     schooling;
 design the curriculum to integrate skills and knowledge across subject
     discipline areas;
 utilise co-curricular programs to support student development and
     engagement in the broader community;
 develop clear goals for student development in the affective domain
     including dispositions such as caring, citizenship, fairness, respect,
     responsibility, and trustworthiness.
Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting
Regular, frequent and systematic monitoring and assessment of the development of all students is undertaken for the purposes of
assessing the progress of students, monitoring the effectiveness of teaching strategies and reporting to parents.
Effective schools...
                                                                                  Evidence statements            Practices you would
                                                                                about your own practice like to learn more about
 align and integrate internal school-based assessment with external
    assessment and testing;
 ensure that the assessment framework is fully aligned with all
    dimensions of the curriculum and is capable of providing information
    about lower and higher order learning;
 integrate assessment into the learning environment to inform and
    support the learning of each individual student;
 use assessment data as direct feedback to monitor and evaluate the
    effectiveness of teaching practice.
 monitor learning outcomes for relevant sub-groups of students (eg.
    girls/boys, NESB, ATSI, students with special needs);
 involve students in assessing and reporting their progress against
    standards;
 report information about student learning to parents and provide advice
    about strategies for parents to use in supporting their child's learning;
 provide parents with benchmarks and information to monitor and
    understand their child's learning.

Learning
Learning is the process by which individuals acquire new skills and understandings. They achieve this by organising information
according to conceptual frameworks and by recognising patterns and relationships. As a student matures cognitively and socially their
capacity to understand is enhanced.
Effective schools…
                                                                                 Evidence statements           Practices you would
                                                                               about your own practice like to learn more about
 recognise that most learning is ‘goal directed’, even though this may not
    be explicit or obvious;
 engage students' prior understandings as the first step in gaining new
    knowledge and understandings;
 assess and build on the student’s prior understandings — correcting
    misunderstandings embodied in prior knowledge to ensure that new
    learning can be sustained;
 implement learning processes centred on students ‘working’ with
    knowledge to move their understanding beyond their current level;
 provide opportunities for students to 'learn to learn' through self-
    regulation and meta-cognitive strategies;
 ensure that students are provided with access to new information in the
    form of facts, data and theories and are challenged and supported to
    integrate these into their knowledge repertoire;
 provide a deep foundation of factual knowledge organised in
    conceptual frameworks to enable students to develop high-level
    problem solving capacities;
 implement learning processes that support the transition of knowledge
    from short-term to long- term retrievable memory; and
 develop the capacity of students to transfer knowledge from one
    domain to another.




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Teaching
Evidence-based teaching strategies are employed to create a safe learning environment that is adapted to the needs of individual
students and ensures they are challenged to develop the skills and knowledge required for their future.
Effective schools...
                                                                               Evidence statements            Practices you would
                                                                              about your own practice like to learn more about
 Design and create learning environments based on knowledge and
    understanding of current theories of learning and teaching that
    addresses:
     the cognitive and non-cognitive needs of students at different
          stages of schooling;
     students at different levels of achievement;
     across socio-economic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
     the knowledge, skills and personal and social qualities needed to
          equip students for the knowledge society;
 employ a range of teaching practices and strategies, ranging from
    explicit teaching to problem-based approaches and collaborative
    learning, to meet the needs of individual students;
 adapt instruction to the prior learning and learning characteristics and
    styles of students;
 organise and structure classroom activities to maximise engaged time
    for teaching and learning;
 maximise opportunities for engagement in learning through productive
    individual, student-student, student-teacher interaction;
 use whole-class and small-group practices, and tutorials to maximise
    the rate of learning for all students;
 develop students' understanding and control of their learning, including
    choosing what to learn, the pace and methods of learning and involve
    them in planning and assessment procedures;
 embed strategies in all teaching practices to assess their effectiveness
    in terms of the enhancement of student learning;
 provide opportunities for students to gain mastery of their learning, with
    reinforcement by repeating opportunities for learning in a range of
    related contexts;
 utilise a range of teaching strategies based on explicit teaching,
    problem-based and constructivist methodologies;
 organise and manage the learning environment to maximise
    opportunities for teaching and learning;
 maintain a safe and orderly environment in which students learn free
    from discrimination and harassment;
 use ICT to leverage student learning, to develop a capacity to solve
    complex problems, and to reinforce basic skills.




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Professional Learning
All teachers actively engage in professional learning by 'working' with knowledge to construct enhanced understandings of how to
improve learning so that all students achieve their potential.
Effective schools...
                                                                                  Evidence statements          Practices you would
                                                                                about your own practice like to learn more about
 embed teacher team-based learning in professional practice and utilise
      it as a driving force in school innovation and development;
 allocate significant time and opportunities for staff to engage in
      ongoing, professional learning and reflection, individually and as
      members of teams;
 establish a collaborative and supportive teacher culture;
 can articulate understandings of contemporary theories of student
      learning and teaching practices;
 place a high value on teachers' acquired pedagogical knowledge and
      actively build on this through the design of professional learning
      environments that challenge all teachers;
 construct and apply 'new' knowledge and contextual understandings of
      effective learning environments and student learning;
 place evidence about student-learning at the core of professional
      dialogue and practice;
 utilise teacher appraisal processes to identify and support the specific
      learning needs of individual teachers.

School and Classroom Organisation
School and class organisation is sufficiently flexible to enable learning environments to maximise the opportunity for students to
engage in learning in a range of contexts.
Effective schools...
                                                                                   Evidence statements           Practices you would
                                                                                  about your own practice like to learn more about
 ensure school organisation and scheduling maximise the time available
    for teaching and learning;
 flexibly adjust grouping to enhance learning at each stage of schooling,
    by integrating whole-class, small-group and one-on-one learning;
 utilise team-based learning and cooperative learning in middle and
    senior schooling;
 use small-group and individual tutoring for students requiring additional
    support;
         integrate the use of ICT to support both individualized and team-
based learning;

 restructure time to meet the learning needs of students – such as
    uninterrupted learning blocks in the early years
 literacy books, integration of time inside and outside school in the
    middle years and in vocational learning;
 use ICT to extend beyond the classroom to access resources and
    provide access to expertise via virtual learning environments.




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Intervention and Special Assistance
All students who experience difficulty in mastering learning in normal classroom contexts are identified through the diagnostic analysis
of assessment data and special assistance is provided through appropriate intervention strategies that support them to participate fully
in classroom learning.
Effective schools...
                                                                                  Evidence statements             Practices you would
                                                                                about your own practice like to learn more about
 narrow the gap between actual outcomes and standards expected for
     all through early and continuing intervention programs and practices;
 undertake diagnostic analyses of achievement data, develop specific
     learning plans and set improvement targets for individual students
     requiring special assistance to reach standards expected for all
     students;
 frequently assess student progress as a basis for adapting teaching
     practice to the learning characteristics and needs of individual students;
 construct learning environments that provide the range of contexts
     required to meet individual student learning needs and styles;
 adapt the use of ICT in the learning environment to support the special
     learning needs of students.

Home, School and Community Partnerships
The school provides parents with professional advice about effective ways to support their child's learning through an interactive and
co-ordinated relationship between the home, school and community.
Effective schools...
                                                                                Evidence statements              Practices you would
                                                                               about your own practice like to learn more about
 provide parents with the information and professional advice they
    require to enhance and support their child's learning;
 facilitate opportunities for parents to undertake training and share their
    experience of strategies for supporting their child's learning;
 encourage and support parent involvement in their child's learning
    activities;
 report regularly to parents in a readily understood language and format
    that provides interpretive comments about their child's progress in
    academic and non-academic areas and against school and statewide
    standards, where available;
 enhance student learning networks through partnerships with
    community networks, including business and industry;
 understand that parents select schools on the basis of their
    understandings about a combination of student well-being, academic
    outcomes, curriculum offerings, teaching methods, proximity to home
    and convenience for travel;
 develop a sense of shared responsibility and ownership with parents for
    student learning, underpinned by common understandings of
    educational goals;
 recognise that individual teachers are generally involved in each child's
    educational development for a relatively short period of time and that
    co-ordination of programs across teachers and over time is, therefore,
    an important element of the relationship between parents and the
    schools their children attend.




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Leadership and Management
School leadership creates a focus on effective teaching and learning through the development of an efficient school with a focus on
student and teacher learning and sustainable school development processes that are responsive to student needs. Effective schools...
                                                                                 Evidence statements           Practices you would
                                                                               about your own practice like to learn more about
 create and maintain a shared vision and goals for student development
    and learning;
 commit to a process of school development that responds to and
    manages the processes that lead to sustained improvement;
 hold high expectations of students, teachers and the school, with an
    unrelenting focus on learning outcomes for students;
 support and monitor professional learning through distributed
    leadership;
 develop and maintain high-level knowledge about curriculum and
    instruction;
 efficiently manage the school's curriculum, teaching, management and
    organisational practices to support highly effective monitor and respond
    to external forces, such as, technological and regulatory changes, and
    competitors;learning;
 initiate innovation through a focus on action, culture building and
    organization-wide learning;
 flexibly deploy and target financial, physical, human and intellectual
    resources to support teaching and learning;
 create strong expectations about student behaviour in the school and in
    the community




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Description: beliefs and understanding