Proceedings 2013 - 2014
A bi-annual publication by The Teachersâ€™ Guild of New South Wales
Proceedings 2013 - 2014
A bi-annual publication by The Teachersâ€™ Guild of New South Wales
PROCEEDINGS 2013 - 2014
Introduction by the President ................................................................................... 5 Mrs Frances Fleeton Editorial ........................................................................................................................ 6 Mrs Leanne Claringbold Presidents of the Teachers’ Guild of NSW ........................................................... 12 The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Annual Report, 2013 ...................... 14 Mrs Frances Fleeton The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Annual Report, 2014 ...................... 23 Mrs Frances Fleeton Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening Reflection Report, 2013-2014 ... 33 Dr Frederick Osman Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening Contributed Papers, 2013- 2014: The Ideal and the Reality: Teaching Indigenous Perspectives and Catering to Gifted and Talented Students Through the Science Curriculum .......................................... 37 Nicolette Hilton The Cultural Architecture of Schools – A Study Investigating the Relationship Between Design, the Learning Environment & Learning Communities in Schools 46 Dr Kate Bertram In Search of Success: Equation For Girls in Mathematics… Towards Equity .......... 54 Angela D’Angelo 3
Enhancing Learning Through 3D Printing and Digital Fabrication ........................ 56 Janson Hews Stimulating Students’ Proportional Reasoning through Experience with Concrete Materials……………………………………………………………………………..58 Christine Mae The Implications of Science and Mathematics in Australian Classrooms…………..59 John Kennedy Supporting Students’ Argumentation Skills in Science in the Science Classroom ... 68 Lee Liao The Power of Teacher Leadership ................................................................................ 78 Thérèse Turner-Jones Annual Dinner and presentation of Awards, 2013 ............................................. 84 Mrs Frances Fleeton Annual Dinner and presentation of Awards, 2014 ............................................. 85 Mrs Frances Fleeton The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Annual Dinner Address, 2014 ...... 86 Mrs Helen Hughes, FTGN Teaching and Learning Forum Report on Fresh Approach to Education 2014 ... 97 Dr Frederick Osman
INTRODUCTION TO PROCEEDINGS 2013 – 2014
Mrs Frances Fleeton President, The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales My special thanks are extended to Mrs Judith McMurrich and Mrs Leanne Claringbold, without whom this publication would not be possible. Mrs McMurrich had been the sole driving force behind its development during 2013 and Mrs Claringbold has ably taken on this mantle in 2014.
Teachers’ Guild is also indebted to Dr Frederick Osman, who has provided much of the photographic evidence for every event and whose time and energy we value in the production of this publication. The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales, while it remains a small educational organisation, continues to deliver a suite of opportunities that enhance the professional development offerings for teachers in Independent Schools. The Guild has been able to attract notable educationalists to present at its various forums, and looks forward to continued support for it to remain in the forefront of educational professional development. I commend the following articles to you and hope that the material will stimulate discussion, provide insight and affirm you in your most important role – educating the youth of Australia.
Mrs Leanne Claringbold Chief Editor ‘Proceedings’ and The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales The Annual Reports of The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales for 2013 and 2014 are included in this edition of ‘Proceedings’. The reports reflect major changes in how the Guild is interacting with its members and the broader community on Social Media and initiatives such as the Guild Educators’ Network. The Guild has established a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, along with an upgrade of the website. This has fostered the growth of a greater understanding of the work being carried out by the Guild, as it continues to provide ongoing support for teachers in Independent schools, while broadening its reach to teachers in Government and Catholic Systemic schools. The outstanding work of the Guild is indicative of its ability to adapt to the changes occurring across the teaching profession. The breadth of professional development opportunities offered by the Guild over the past two years has ensured that teachers are informed of major changes and issues that are impacting the teaching profession. The seminars that have been presented have ensured that current trends in educational pedagogy and practice have been addressed. The Guild Quarterly Bulletin was also initiated in 2014 and it provides updates on upcoming events to the Guild members. The Guild strives to celebrate and reward teachers through the many and varied professional development opportunities that it provides. This has been enhanced through the generous support given by Smart Teachers and Co-op Bookshop to APPLE, Fresh Approach to Education (FATE) and the Annual Awards Evening. The ‘Annual Presentation Poster Lecture Evening’ (APPLE) has continued to develop and expand. This initiative by Dr Frederick Osman has allowed teachers to showcase the exemplary research that they have undertaken across NSW. It continues to be a dynamic and interactive way to highlight action research in education. The APPLE Report for 2013 includes contributions by category winners: Nicolette Hilton, Dr Kate Bertram and Angela D’Angelo. 6
Nicolette Hilton’s research presentation related to, The Ideal and the Reality; Teaching Indigenous Perspectives and Catering to Gifted and Talented Students Through the Science Curriculum. It provided a range of stimulating ideas for teachers in the inculcation of Indigenous perspectives through Science. Dr Kate Bertram’s research project on, The Cultural Architecture of Schools, highlighted the relationship between school design, the learning environment and learning communities. Angela D’Angelo explored In Search of a Success Equation for Girls in Mathematics. She researched the different ways to bring about equity for girls in Mathematics. The Annual Awards Evening for 2013 was a celebration of the achievements for the year. Award winners, their families, friends and Guild members, attended the dinner. The presentation of awards acknowledged and honoured the winners for their contribution to the teaching profession. In 2013, the Guild honoured Mr Milton Cujes. Mr Cujes has been the Head Master of Trinity Grammar School since 1996, having previously served as Head of Brisbane Boys’ College and Foundation Head of the Wheeler’s Hill Campus of Caulfield Grammar School. Mr Cujes is thus one of the most experienced Heads of Independent Schools. Since his return to Sydney to take up his present position, he has been a strong supporter of the Teachers’ Guild ad the work that it does for teachers in the non-government sector. Mr Cujes is an old boy of Trinity Grammar School, and began his teaching career at Trinity as a young teacher of History and Economics. Under the guidance of James Wilson Hogg, the then Head Master of Trinity, an active member of the Guild and one-time President of the Guild, his career developed rapidly. He served as Head of Economics and also as a Boarding House Master, positions which prepared him well to take on the challenges of headship which have been the focus of his career ever since. Mr Cujes is known as a highly motivated head. His many initiatives at Trinity have included an imaginative restructure of the school’s academic year; the development of a second primary school; a ground breaking program of vocational education, unique among Independent schools such as Trinity; pioneering the introduction of tablet computers for students’ use and the foundation of both an academy of Music and an Academy of Sport. Despite the heavy demands of his role, Mr 7
Cujes has found time to take active roles in the Association of Heads of Independent Schools in Australia (AHISA), the Head Masters’ Conference (HMC) and other professional associations. He also served one term on the Senate of the University of Sydney. In 2012, Mr Cujes was created a fellow of the Australian College of Educators, in recognition of his lifetime of service to Education. In 2013, the Centenary year of Trinity grammar School, the Guild Council was pleased to honour Mr Milton Cujes, a committed professional and fine educator, in the naming of its Annual Awards. At the Annual Awards Dinner in 2013 the following Awards were presented: AWARDS FOR TEACHERS IN THEIR EARLY YEARS OF TEACHING Primary Schools Division Winner Sarah Wood (Abbotsleigh) Certificate of Excellence Emily Ross (International Grammar School) Senior School Division Winner Leighton Corr (Arndell Anglican College) Certificates of Excellence Philippa Janu (Abbotsleigh) Lauren Kenny (Arndell Anglican College) Ellen O’Connor (Patrician Brothers’ High School Fairfield) THE GUILD SCHOLARSHIP Winner: Elaine Johnstone THE RESEARCH AWARD Winner Nicolette Hilton Highly Commended Dr Kate Bertram Commended Angela D’Angelo 8
The APPLE Report for 2014 includes contributions by category winners: John Kennedy, Lee Liao and Thérèse Turner Jones. The overall winner and recipient of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Research Award and prize of $1000 was judged to be John Kennedy for, “The Implications of the Continued Decline of Science and Mathematics in Australian High Schools”. John impressed the judges through his exposition of and response to the lack of data held at the national level on subject choices made by students. He was able to convey the significance and implications of this with an engaging verbal presentation and accompanying poster that showed national trends over time. In the question and answer session it became clear that whilst he still has some work to do in developing his conclusions, the sheer effort and initiative taken in tackling the problem has been substantial and further, he is applying the findings to the promotion of student engagement in his own school. He is to be commended for bringing the issue to light and for the significant potential value and worth of the research. The winner of the Smart Teacher Award and prize of $500, and a Co-op book voucher for $150 is Lee Liao. Lee’s presentation and poster entitled, “Persons of Eloquence: Developing Students’ Argumentation Skills in Science” were clear, succinct and highly organised. Lee impressed the judges with her purposeful and logical approach in developing a classroom intervention that can be shown to make a positive impact on the higher-order skills of her students. She was able to effectively describe the work and conclusions to the audience and through questions and answers. The judges commended her for the impact of her work but also for her willingness to extend the initiative elsewhere within the school and into other subjects. Highly commended and the winner of Co-op book vouchers to the value of $350 is Thérèse Turner-Jones for, “The Power of Teacher Leadership – reflections on a study tour”. Her work on leadership and autonomy by the teacher was shown to have direct consequences for the quality of student learning and has clear implications for how teachers are empowered to lead within the school environment. Thérèse’s passion for her work was infectious as demonstrated by her exuberant verbal presentation and the judges were able to appreciate how her enthusiastic drive and determination is likely to influence and inspire the work of those around her.
All the nominees presented work of a very high standard and were able to elaborate on their work under questioning. All the posters were well produced but would benefit by being able to promote their message and findings more succinctly and directly for the audience. The judges recommend adhering to the advice in the guidelines to avoid overcrowding the poster. Overall, the recipients were each able to present and discuss their work with confidence, enthusiasm and integrity. They are a credit to the profession. The Annual Awards Dinner for 2014 honoured Helen Hughes FTGN has devoted her life to Education as a teacher of Languages, Executive staff member and Principal in a number of NSW and Victorian schools. She is an exemplar of the committed professionals who are the strength and soul of the teaching profession. Taking a Bachelor’s degree in French and German language at the University of Sydney in 1970, Mrs Hughes completed a Diploma of Education in 1971 at the University of Melbourne and taught for eight years in suburban Melbourne. A move to Sydney in 1980 saw her take on leadership roles at Meriden School, as Co-ordinator of Modern Languages, as House Mistress and eventually as Assistant to the Principal. From 1991 until 2000, Mrs Hughes was Deputy Principal at Pymble Ladies’ College, one of Sydney’s largest schools. In 2001, she returned to Melbourne to take up the reins as Principal of Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School, a position she has held with distinction now for over thirteen years. Mrs Hughes has overseen and managed the development of the school as one of Melbourne’s leading Independent girls’ schools. She has recently announced that she will retire from this position at the end of 2014. In 1993, following its Centenary year, the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales faced major challenges around membership and focus. A motion at the Annual General Meeting to wind the Guild up was defeated, and Mrs Hughes was elected President, a position she held for two years. Her vision, hard work and enthusiasm saw the Guild turned around, find a new direction, and lay the foundations for its current position as a small but highly active professional organisation. The very awards, which we present tonight were Mrs Hughes’ initiative. In honour of this service, the Council named her a Life Member in 2000. Mrs Hughes has also actively contributed to a number of other professional associations, for the benefit of the profession of which she is an honoured member. in this year of her impending retirement, the Guild is pleased to honour Mrs Helen 10
Hughes FTGN. At the Annual Awards Dinner in 2014 the following Awards were presented: AWARD FOR TEACHERS IN THEIR EARLY YEARS OF TEACHING Primary School Division Winner: Sophie Poisel (MLC School) Certificate of Excellence:
Saskia Hancott (Canberra Grammar School)
Senior School Division Winner Katrina Harte (Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer) Certificates of Excellence Kristen Bailey (Arndell Anglican College) Radell Carlson (Brigidine College St Ives) Alex Johnson (Wenona) THE GUILD SCHOLARSHIP Winner: Gillian Brooks THE RESEARCH AWARD Winner: John Kennedy (St Andrew’s Cathedral School) The SMART TEACHER Award Lee Liao (St Aloysius College) Highly Commended Award Thérèse Turner Jones (Trinity Grammar School) The Council Members of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales continue to endeavour to provide the most informative, challenging and topical professional learning for educators. I would like to thank Mrs Frances Fleeton and Dr Frederick Osman for their support and assistance in bringing the 2013-2014 edition of ‘Proceedings’ to you. 11
PRESIDENTS OF THE GUILD 1892 - 2014 1892-93
Professor W Scott
Professor MW MacCallum
Reverand FT Perkins
PR le Couteur
Reverend CJ Prescott
Mrs M Stiles
Professor GA Wood
Reverend CJ Prescott
Reverend Dr Harper
Professor TW David
Reverend CJ Prescott
J Wilson Hogg
J Wilson Hogg
Reverend P Stacy Waddy
Miss Dorothy Knox
Miss Dorothy Knox
Reverend CJ Prescott
Professor J Mackie
J Wilson Hogg
J Wilson Hogg
Brother George (Died in office)
Miss Dorothy Knox
HS Dettmann (Acting)
Miss D Whitehead
Reverend W Lockington SJ
Miss D Whitehead
Mrs Jan Nash
Miss Dorothy Knox
Miss Phyllis Evans
Mrs Helen Hughes
Miss Phyllis Evans
Mrs Helen Hughes
Miss Phyllis Evans
J Wilson Hogg
Rex H Morgan
Rex H Morgan
Rex H Morgan
AJ (Tony) Rae
AJ (Tony) Rae
Miss Jeanette Buckham
Dr T Visser
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Dr T Visser
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mrs Frances Fleeton
TEACHER’S GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES ANNUAL REPORT, 2013
Mrs Frances Fleeton President, The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales PERSONAL STATEMENT It is my pleasure to present my report as President of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales. 2013 was a highly successful year, due largely to the continued support from our strong and capable Council, including an outstanding Secretary, Mr Alan Harper and Vice President, Dr Frederick Osman, without whom I could not have performed my role. I am willing to be elected again to be an office bearer in the new year and I hope that I can continue to count on the support of the members of the Council during the coming year to support the newly elected Office Bearers. It is imperative that Council members be encouraged to take on more significant roles of leadership of the Guild in 2014. ANNUAL REPORT In 2013, the Teachers’ Guild proudly celebrated its 121st year and continued to make a significant contribution to the professional development of teachers within the Independent sector. COUNCIL The Guild is led by its Council. In 2013, the Council comprised: 1.
Mrs Leanne Claringbold
Mrs Noelene Callaghan
Rooty Hill High School
Mr Mark Connellan
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Educational Consultant 14
Mr Peter Green
Trinity Grammar School
Mr Alan Harper
Trinity Grammar School
Mrs Irene Holt
Mr Damien Jamieson University of Technology
co-opted in September
Dr William Kneprath
Mr Kenson Low
Trinity Grammar School
Mr Colin May
Al Sadiq College
Mr James Martin
Trinity Grammar School
co-opted in September
Dr Frederick Osman
Trinity Grammar School
At the AGM, the Guild accepted the resignations from Council from Mrs Deryn Smyth and Mrs Judith McMurrich, both of whom had contributed significantly to the Guild over many years. Mrs Smyth and Mrs McMurrich will be sorely missed as their years of their service has been valued, particularly in their assistance with the shortlisting and interviews for the Early Career Educators’ Awards. In particular, Mrs McMurrich’s sole responsibility for the preparation and subsequent publication of the biannual Proceedings will be missed. In August, the Guild co-opted Mr Damien Jamieson and Mr James Martin into the Council to undertake responsibility for the development of the Guild Educators’ Network. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS Our Treasurer, Mrs Irene Holt has ably undertaken the management of the Guild’s accounts and they have continued to show assets that we can draw upon to enable the Guild to deliver our various programs. In November, it became apparent through a series of emails that our Accountant was 15
experiencing difficulties after changing the name of the business and it was resolved to seek suitable alternative Accountancy services. MEMBERSHIP Our membership has remained quite static and the Council resolved to explore ways to expand our membership base by offering both Corporate and Student membership levels in addition to regular membership. The Corporate membership level has been taken up by a number of large independent schools, who have supported our seminars strongly. The Guild continues to provide a range of opportunities for educationalists across a broad range of institutions and is strongly supported at these events. We hope that the new Student membership level will be strongly supported in the new year as we target this group with appropriate activities. Additionally, our Secretary wrote to each of last year’s Award winners inviting them to join Council, with no positive response. We value the continued support of our members and their ability to inform others about the Guild’s offerings each year, yet this has not translated into any significant increases in our membership. The membership fee for all levels of membership remains the same for 2014. For our functions, incentives were offered for early bird registrations and group registration in an effort to entice more corporate groups attending. The Guild continued to communicate more by email to our members to reduce costs and facilitate more effective communication, especially with our younger members.
This proved effective and beneficial in bringing the
Guild’s offerings to more individuals in the educational community. PROGRAMME FOR THE YEAR The challenge each year for the Council is to plan a varied programme that provides professionals in Independent schools with a choice of events that reflect current educational issues. Each year the Guild evaluates what
changes should be made to our current programmes to further meet the needs of our audience. In 2013, we planned to offer two professional development seminars during the year. The first of our Evening Seminars was held at Trinity Grammar School on Wednesday 20 March and focussed on Mental Health Issues in Schools. By enlisting the expertise of a School Counsellor, School Psychologist and teacher in a pastoral role who are all dealing with mental health issues at various levels within the school context, the material presented was practical and participants related well to the subject matter. This seminar was well supported with over 30 participants attending. In evaluating the seminar, over 90% of the participants had their expectations met. Evaluations also informed the Guild of future seminar topics to be considered. As a result, the second Seminar was planned with a focus on using ICT in the classroom. This was held on a date close to International Teachers’ Day - Thursday 31 October, at the same venue. The seminar was interactive and motivating, using Mr Tony Ryan, who is a writer and consultant on issues such as innovative thinking and future proofing, as a keynote speaker followed by two shorter interactive workshops, conducted by Michael Sahlstrom (St Andrews’ Cathedral School) and Jennifer Holt (Scots College). The attendance was over 30 participants, which provided good numbers for each workshop session. For each seminar, dinner afterwards was provided as an option which was undertaken by a good number on each occasion. I would like to offer my thanks to the Events Convenor, Mr Kenson Low, who worked tirelessly, to ensure the seminars were a success. The Survival Guide to Teachers New to Independent Schools continues to fulfil a niche for teachers new to independent schools.
It was held on
Monday 25 February at Trinity Grammar School. While many schools and other professional organisations offer related programs, the Guild’s sessions have a specific focus on teachers who have recently accepted positions in independent schools and have little experience of the demands this may 17
entail. With a healthy number of 25 participants, due largely to the Guild being able to direct the flyer to PD staff in schools and holding the event much earlier in the year, the event was successful. We are grateful that we have been able to call upon presenters within the Council and within our membership who can offer their expertise to those new to independent schools. On Monday 22 July, the Guild presented the Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening (APPLE) at Trinity Grammar School. The format gave presenters a chance to present their work to colleagues in the audience, allowed reflection about this research and provided the means for all who attended to liaise and confer about the work being presented. The Guild wishes to acknowledge the judging panel chaired by Dr Ian Solomonides (Macquarie University) and ably assisted by Dr Allan Rice, Mrs Noelene Callaghan (Rooty Hill High School, Winner, 2012) and Mr Stuart Braga (Retired) who willingly gave of their time and expertise to assess the presentations on the evening. The evening was highly successful with five different research presentations being submitted for consideration.
Guild was privileged to have sponsorship from the Coop Bookshop once again as well as a new and additional sponsor, namely, Smart Teachers, who offered a Research Award of $500. We owe a debt to Dr Osman for his organisation and time in developing this event and providing an excellent opportunity for new research to be demonstrated to peers for review and recognition. Dr Osman received very positive and helpful feedback subsequent to the event. The Annual Guild Awards Dinner was held on Saturday 7 September and was hosted by Trinity Grammar School once again. In 2013, the Awards evening honoured Mr Milton Cujes. Prior to the Awards evening, a number of applications for each of the awards presented, had been thoroughly screened and interviews had been undertaken to determine the awardees. I wish to express my sincere thanks 18
on behalf of the Teachers’ Guild to all the people who generously gave of their time to ensure these processes were undertaken. The Junior Division winner was Olivia Peach from International Grammar School and the Senior Division winner was Erin Vassarotti from De la Salle Catholic College, Caringbah. The Guild takes pride in its ability to acknowledge the skills these early teachers have developed and wish them every success in the future. The Guild must also acknowledge Mr Milton Cujes, Headmaster of Trinity Grammar School, for his ongoing generosity and willingness to provide Trinity Grammar School for many of the Guild’s programmes this year. This is greatly appreciated. Once again, the Teachers’ Guild was supported by the University of Sydney’s Master of Teaching programme in selecting a suitable candidate to award a scholarship in recognition of the high level of teacher training the University of Sydney provides. Interviews were conducted at Sydney University and the successful candidate was Mrs Elaine Johnstone. It was with great pleasure that both Mr Harper and I attended the Scholarship & Prize Ceremony at Sydney University when Elaine Johnstone was presented with this Award on Tuesday 30 July. The Research Award was presented to Noelene Callaghan of Macquarie University, whose research was entitled “Investigating Interactions in a Student-Directed Social Networking Learning Environment”. The Guild also commends highly, Nola Norris of the University of Wollongong for her research: “Neuroscience, Aspergers and Twice-Exceptionality : Teacher Professional Development needed!” and Clint Sheehan from the Australian Catholic University, whose research was entitled “Intersection : Factors affecting the formation of e-learning pedagogy by early career teachers in the History classroom” was the recipient of the Encouragement Award. The Guild resolved to continue to explore visits to educational venues that could be of interest to educationalists. I am indebted to Dr Frederick Osman 19
for his tireless efforts in negotiating an after-hours visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art which took place on Thursday 28 November. This event was highly successful with over 20 participants, many of whom also chose to share dinner together afterward. The Guild will plan to continue these afterhours visits to educational facilities in 2014. As the year drew to a close, the final function was our annual Christmas Celebration, held on December 16.
All Councillors were invited to the
Presidentâ€™s home to celebrate another successful year with good food and excellent company. PROCEEDINGS OF THE TEACHERSâ€™ GUILD OF NSW The Proceedings was collated throughout the previous two years and was the sole responsibility of Mrs Judith McMurrich.
She worked diligently to
modify and prepare material for this publication which was released in April and posted to each Guild member. I would like to thank Mrs McMurrich for her tireless efforts in the production of this publication, and also to acknowledge the efforts of Mrs Deryn Smyth who has spent time proof reading the documents prior to publishing and Dr Frederick Osman who collated the photographs for the publication. I would like to thank Mrs Leanne Claringbold for the offer to take on this responsibility for the coming publication. GUILD ARCHIVE It is appropriate to acknowledge and thank Mr Rick Stevens and Mrs Leanne Claringbold who have undertaken the role of collating much information to bring the Guild Archive up to date. Mr Stevens has produced a summary document of key office bearers and roles within the long history of the Guild and this is now available to view on our website. Mr Stevens has also indicated a willingness to keep this document updated.
WEBSITE REVIEW Mrs Noelene Callaghan has worked tirelessly to steadily review and update our website throughout the year, seeking advice from other Councillors. It has been a daunting task to revamp the website and it has now available for our members and other interested educationalists. I wish to personally thank Mrs Callaghan for this work and the expertise that she has shown in redeveloping our website and for her continued support of this vital level of communication for the Guild. NEW VENTURES Dr Frederick Osman developed a Sub-Committee structure to enable small working parties to work towards a number of the Guild’s activities. The aim of this initiative was to mentor newer Councillors in the tasks to be undertaken and ultimately involve more Councillors in the work of the Guild. I
(Publications/Website/Marketing), Mr Harper (Awards) and Mr Low (Events). As part of Mrs Callaghan’s role as Convenor for Publications, the Council needs to thank her for the outstanding work she has done in preparing a Marketing and Style Guide to unify all Guild publications, including a QR code, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter presence for the Guild. It is hoped that these new avenues for the Guild to extend its network, will attract younger members and make communications easier, more efficient and uphold the value of the Guild for long time into the future. Additionally, Mrs Callaghan secured an opportunity for the Research Awards to be highlighted in an article in Australian Teacher magazine in the September issue. The Council has also undertaken to purchase ties and scarves for promotional purposes at our events and to present as gifts as a way to further promote the Teachers’ Guild of NSW. 21
As another year of challenges and change begins to become a reality, and as the Australian Curriculum becomes a greater reality for us working in schools, the Teachersâ€™ Guild must keep in touch with current issues if we are to remain in the forefront of professional associations. That is our charter and what we endeavour to deliver to our membership. Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting children to work together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
TEACHER’S GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES ANNUAL REPORT, 2014
Mrs Frances Fleeton President, The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales PERSONAL STATEMENT It is my pleasure to present my report as President of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales. 2014 was a successful year, due largely to the continued support from our strong and capable Council, including an outstanding Secretary, Mr Alan Harper and Vice President, Dr Frederick Osman, without whom I could not have performed my role. I am willing to be elected again to be an office bearer in the new year and I hope that I can continue to count on the support of the members of the Council during the coming year to support the newly elected Office Bearers. It is imperative that as a Council we are encouraged to strategically plan for succession in the roles of leadership of the Guild in 2015. ANNUAL REPORT In 2014, the Teachers’ Guild proudly celebrated its 122nd year and continued to make a significant contribution to the professional development of teachers within the Independent sector. COUNCIL The Guild is led by its Council. In 2014, the Council comprised 1.
Mrs Leanne Claringbold
Mrs Noelene Callaghan
Rooty Hill High School
Mr Mark Connellan
Mrs Frances Fleeton
Mr Peter Green
Trinity Grammar School
Mr Alan Harper
Trinity Grammar School (Secretary)
Mrs Irene Holt
Dr William Kneprath
Ms Erin Mackenzie
Dr Frederick Osman
Trinity Grammar School (Vice-President)
At the AGM, the Guild accepted the resignations from Council of Messrs Damien Jamieson, Kenson Low, James Martin and Colin May who had served on Council for various periods of time but unfortunately had found other commitments took their time away from duty to the Guild Council. In December, we accepted the resignation of Dr William Kneprath due to ill health. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS Our Treasurer, Mrs Irene Holt has undertaken the management of the Guild’s accounts with dedication and a distinctive eye for detail. The accounts have continued to show assets that we can draw upon to enable the Guild to deliver our various programs.
With the liquidation of our previous
Accountant’s operations, we sought a new Accountant. Our new Accountant has managed the accounts well this past year and provided guidance for the Guild in selecting suitable Insurance for Public Liability and Directors’ Insurance. MEMBERSHIP Our membership has continued to remain quite static and despite the Council resolving to explore ways to expand our membership base by offering both Corporate and Student membership levels in addition to regular membership, it would appear that these changes have had very little impact on the overall membership. Following on from previous years, our Secretary wrote to each of last year’s Award winners inviting them to join Council, 24
with no positive response. We value the continued support of our members and their ability to inform others about the Guild’s offerings each year, yet this has not translated into any significant increases in our membership. The membership fee for all levels of membership remains the same for 2015. For our functions, early bird registrations and group registration have continued to be offered as incentives, as well as Discount Vouchers for future events, being given as door prizes, in an effort to improve participation rates. The Guild continued to communicate more by email to our members to reduce costs and facilitate more effective communication, especially with our younger members.
This proved effective and beneficial in bringing the
Guild’s offerings to more individuals in the educational community. PROGRAMME FOR THE YEAR The challenge each year for the Council is to plan a varied programme that provides professionals in Independent schools with a choice of events that reflect current educational issues. Each year the Guild evaluates what changes should be made to our current programmes to further meet the needs of our audience. In 2014, we planned to offer two professional development seminars during the year. The first of our Evening Seminars was held at Trinity Grammar School on Wednesday 26 March and focussed on The Era of the Australian Curriculum. We were fortunate to be able to present Margaret Bigelow – Senior Project Officer (ACARA) and Dr Ann Cleary, Assistant Principal (Curriculum), Merici College, ACT who provided expert analysis of the current educational climate in NSW and real examples of how one school has implemented the Australian Curriculum in the ACT. We were disappointed with the lower than expected attendance of only 23 participants but found that their feedback was very positive. Dinner afterwards was provided as an option and was undertaken by a good number on the day. The second Seminar was planned with a focus on the health and wellbeing of staff. This 25
was held on a date close to International Teachersâ€™ Day - Thursday 30 October, at the same venue. The seminar was motivating and intimate with less than expected participants, yet the small number provided a great atmosphere for interaction during the seminar. A dinner was organised at a local restaurant afterwards and was attended by a small group, who were able to continue conversations around the topic, in a less formal way. I would like to offer my thanks to the Events Convenor, Dr Frederick Osman, who worked tirelessly, to ensure the seminars were a success. The Survival Guide to Teachers New to Independent Schools continues to fulfil a niche for teachers new to independent schools.
It was held on
Monday 24 February at Trinity Grammar School. While many schools and other professional organisations offer related programs, the Guildâ€™s sessions have a specific focus on teachers who have recently accepted positions in independent schools and have little experience of the demands this may entail. With a smaller than usual attendance, nevertheless the event was still successful. We are grateful that we have been able to call upon presenters within our membership who can offer their expertise to those new to independent schools. On Thursday 6 March, the Guild held its inaugural Guild Educators Network event at Boston University Building. The aim of this event was to introduce student teachers in their finals year of study and all other teachers, to the opportunities of being a member of the Guild.
The second outreach
event, Guild in the Pub, was held on Thursday 29 May at the Orient Hotel in The Rocks. Kathryn Taylor, from Turning Point Consulting, led a thought provoking discussion on Positive Career Planning through Making Connections by introducing a number of network opportunities for educators. A small number of attendees came to the event with very positive feedback received afterwards. Unfortunately, the third outreached event, Guild Retro Bowling Night, was cancelled due to lack of numbers.
FATE (Fresh Approach to Education) was the next event which was held on Thursday 26 June. This was held at Trinity Grammar School and this forum focussed on how innovation can be encouraged, creative solutions enabled and new arenas embraced in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics education.
Brooke Prideaux and Peter Osland from BOSTES, George
Anderberg, a Mathematics Consultant and Ian Moore, Trinity Grammar School Head of Department and author, all presented stimulating and thought provoking discussion amongst the delegates, using their years of experience and diverse backgrounds as a basis. We were also pleased to welcome SMART Teachers as a major sponsor of the forum and thank them for their ongoing support of the Guild. Dr Osman had been able to register this event as professional hours with the NSW Institute of Teachers, which added value to the event for all participants. On Monday 21 July, the Guild presented the Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening (APPLE) at Trinity Grammar School. The format provided presenters a chance to highlight their work to colleagues in the audience, allowed reflection about this research and provided the means for all who attended to liaise and confer about the work being presented. The Guild wishes to acknowledge the judging panel chaired by Dr Ian Solomonides (Macquarie University) and ably assisted by Dr Allan Rice, Mrs Noelene Callaghan (Rooty Hill High School, Winner, 2012) and Dr Stuart Braga (Retired) who willingly gave of their time and expertise to assess the presentations on the evening. The evening was highly successful with five different research presentations being submitted for consideration.
Guild was privileged to have sponsorship from the Coop Bookshop and SMART Teachers once again, who offered a Research Award of $500 each. We owe a debt to Dr Osman for his organisation and time in developing this event and providing an excellent opportunity for new research to be demonstrated to peers for review and recognition. Dr Osman received very positive and helpful feedback subsequent to the event.
The Annual Guild Awards Dinner was held on Saturday 6 September and was hosted by Trinity Grammar School once again. In 2014, the Awards evening honoured Mrs Helen Hughes. Helen Hughes FTGN has devoted her life to Education as a teacher of Languages, Executive staff member and Principal in a number of NSW and Victorian schools. She is an exemplar of the committed professionals who are the strength and soul of the teaching profession. Taking a Bachelor’s degree in French and German language at the University of Sydney in 1970, Mrs Hughes completed a Diploma of Education in 1971 at the University of Melbourne and taught for eight years in suburban Melbourne. A move to Sydney in 1980 saw her take on leadership roles at Meriden School, as Coordinator of Modern Languages, as House Mistress and eventually as Assistant to the Principal. From 1991 until 2000, Mrs Hughes was Deputy Principal at Pymble Ladies’ College, one of Sydney’s largest schools. In 2001, she returned to Melbourne to take up the reins as Principal of Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School, a position she has held with distinction now for over thirteen years. Mrs Hughes has overseen and managed the development of the school as one of Melbourne’s leading Independent girls’ schools. She has retired from this position at the end of 2014. In 1993, following its Centenary year, the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales faced major challenges around membership and focus. A motion at the Annual General Meeting to wind the Guild up was defeated, and Mrs Hughes was elected President, a position she held for two years. Her vision, hard work and enthusiasm saw the Guild turned around, find a new direction, and lay the foundations for its current position as a small but highly active professional organisation. The Annual Awards were Mrs Hughes’ initiative. In honour of this service, the Council named her a Life Member in 2000. Mrs Hughes has also actively contributed to a number of other professional associations, for the benefit of the profession of which she is an honoured member. The Guild is pleased to honour Mrs Helen Hughes FTGN.
Prior to the Awards evening, a number of applications for each of the awards presented, had been thoroughly screened and interviews had been undertaken to determine the awardees. I wish to express my sincere thanks on behalf of the Teachers’ Guild to all the people who generously gave of their time to ensure these processes were undertaken. The Junior Division winner was Sophie Poisel from MLC School and the Senior Division winner was Katrina Harte from Our Lady of Mercy College, Burraneer. The Guild takes pride in its ability to acknowledge the skills these early teachers have developed and wish them every success in the future. The Guild must also acknowledge Mr Milton Cujes, Headmaster of Trinity Grammar School, for his ongoing generosity and willingness to provide Trinity Grammar School for many of the Guild’s programmes during the year. This is greatly appreciated. The Teachers’ Guild was supported once again, by the University of Sydney’s Master of Teaching programme in selecting a suitable candidate to award a scholarship in recognition of the high level of teacher training the University of Sydney provides. Interviews were conducted at Sydney University and the successful candidate was Gillian Brooks. It was with great pleasure that both Mr Harper and I attended the Scholarship & Prize Ceremony at Sydney University when Gillian was presented with this Award on Tuesday 30 July. The Research Award was presented to John Kennedy of St Andrew’s Cathedral School, whose research was entitled, “The Implications of the Continued Decline of Science and Mathematics in Australian High Schools”. The winner of the Smart Teacher Award and prize of $500, and a Co-op book voucher for $150 was Lee Liao, whose presentation and poster were entitled, “Persons of Eloquence: Developing Students’ Argumentation Skills in Science”. Highly commended and the winner of Co-op book vouchers to the value of $350 was Thérèse Turner-Jones for, “The Power of Teacher Leadership – reflections on a study tour”.
The Guild resolved to continue to explore visits to educational venues that could be of interest to educationalists. I am indebted to Dr Fred Osman for his tireless efforts in negotiating an afterhours visit to the Sydney Observatory which took place on Thursday 27 November. This event was highly successful with over 20 participants, many of whom also chose to share dinner together afterward. Unfortunately, the cloudy weather hampered the use of telescopes on the evening, but participants were able to actively engage in many other activities that the Observatory offers for groups who visit. The Guild will plan to continue these after-hours visits to educational facilities in 2015. As the year drew to a close, the final function was our annual Christmas Celebration, held on Sunday 7 December at the generously donated, Boston University Building. All Councillors were invited to celebrate another successful year with good food and excellent company. PROCEEDINGS OF THE TEACHERSâ€™ GUILD OF NSW I would like to thank Mrs Leanne Claringbold for her tireless efforts, in consultation with Dr Osman, in bringing The Proceedings together for publication.
It is anticipated that The Proceedings will be ready for
distribution before the first event in 2015. GUILD ARCHIVE I wish acknowledge and thank Mr Rick Stevens and Mrs Leanne Claringbold who have continued to collate and update information to bring the Guild Archive up to date. WEBSITE REVIEW Mrs Noelene Callaghan has continued to work tirelessly to steadily review and update our website throughout the year, seeking advice from other Councillors. The new look and easier access to sections is now available for our members and other interested educationalists. I wish to personally thank 30
Mrs Callaghan for this work and the expertise that she has shown in redeveloping our website and for her continued support of this vital level of communication for the Guild. The Guildâ€™s presence on social media sites â€“ LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook has had a steady increase throughout the year and these methods of communication remain vital for our members to keep in touch with our events, as well as providing a network by which educational comment can be made on current issues. NEW VENTURES Guild Educators Network had its first meeting at Boston University Building on Thursday 6 March, followed by the Guild in the Pub event on Thursday 29 May. The aim of this network was to introduce student teachers in their finals year of study and all other teachers, to the opportunities of being a member of the Guild. This network would also provide a way to seek support, advice and professional development and to share experiences and ideas with other teachers. Future goals of the project will be to encourage experienced educators to support and mentor new educators and provide assistance with portfolio preparation. I thank Dr Osman for initiating this opportunity for the Guild to give back to our profession. Mrs Callaghan secured for the Guild, a regular opportunity to contribute articles in Australian Teacher magazine. The Council determined that Council members would write articles on significant events of the Guild during the year - Ms Mackenzie (APPLE), Dr Osman (FATE) and Mr Harper (Survival Guide to Teachers New to Independent Schools). Additionally, to add to our Guild merchandise of ties and scarves, the Guild has acquired PostIt notes with the Guild emblem to provide to participants at Guild events. After much discussion, this was deemed the most effective and useful item that could be provided.
At the recommendation of Dr Osman, a quarterly bulletin was initiated, written jointly by the President and Mrs Claringbold, which was distributed to Guild members three times during the year. With the retirement of our Secretary, from Trinity Grammar School, the Guild has had to make some adjustments to our postal address and where we store Guild material for events. A new mail address has been secured and the effectiveness of this will be reviewed throughout the coming year. We are grateful to Dr Osman who has secured storage for the Guild at Trinity Grammarâ€™s Lewisham Campus. Every new year presents educators with challenges and change, and it is how we manage these, that really determine our success. The Teachersâ€™ Guild must keep in touch with current issues if we are to remain in the forefront of professional associations and bring to our colleagues the latest developments in professional development opportunities. That is our charter and what we endeavour to deliver to our membership. The best and most important part of every man's education is that which he gives himself.
ANNUAL POSTER LECTURE EVENING (APPLE) REFLECTION REPORT, 2013-2014 Dr Frederick Osman APPLE Convenor and Vice-President of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales held its fourth and fifth Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening on Monday 22 July 2013 and Monday 21 July 2014 at Trinity Grammar School, Dining Hall, from 6.00 to 8.00pm. The purpose of the Annual Poster Presentation Lecture Evening is to: o Give presenters a chance to present their research work to a learned audience in the friendly environment of a school setting. o Allow for reflection of the presenters’ proposed research and progress achievements. o Recognises a research-based contribution to improve classroom practices. o Give the presenters the opportunity to liaise with other presenters, students, academics, staff, visitors and past students. We are delighted that a new sponsor has been added to the APPLE event to contribute towards a separate award called ‘Smart Teachers Research Award’. Smart Teachers is an industry leader in education recruitment. There clients are Independent, Christian and Catholic schools across NSW and the ACT, and they help great teachers to find great jobs. These awards were created to encourage excellence in research work, and all nominees that participted in these awards had an opportunity to compete for the $1000 ‘Guild Research Award’, $500 ‘Smart Teachers Research Award’, $500 COOP Bookshop prize and special certificates that recognises the nominee’s high standing. This new format and approach to presenting current research to peers in education, highlights the positive work being done to ensure education continues to move forward into the future. Each presenter had one poster board (2.1 metres high by 1.2 metres wide) to present their research work. The poster presentation session was designed to be a powerful alternative 33
presentation using stimulating layout and interactive discussion. The presenters were given five minute introductions to “sell” their posters to the audience. The five minute introductions gave a much higher profile to the posters, which was intended to “break the ice” for further discussions during the poster sessions. I would like to thank our judging panel for their time and dedication in judging the 2013-2014 posters: o o o o
Dr Ian Solomonides (Chair of juding panel) – Macquarie University Dr Stuart Braga Mrs Noelene Callaghan – Rooty Hill High School Dr Alan Rice
The judges ranked the candidates according to: (1) content and scientific quality, (2) clarity and (3) presentation skills and determined the winners for the following categories The 2013 winners were: Guild Research Award Winner: Nicolette Hilton from Uralla Central School won first place, taking the Guild Research Award for her research which investigated “The Ideal and the Reality; Teaching Indigenous Perspectives and Catering to Gifted and Talented Students through the Science Curriculum”. Smart Teachers Award: Dr Kate Bertram from the University of Wollongong and Illawarra Christian School. Commendation and the COOP Prize: Angela D’Angelo from the Catholic Education Office, Sydney. The 2014 winners were: Guild Research Award Winner: John Kennedy from St. Andrews’ Cathedral School won first place, taking the Guild Research Award for his research which investigated “The Implications of the Continued Decline of Science and Mathematics in Australian High Schools” Smart Teachers Award: Lee Liao from St. Aloysius’ College for her research which investigated “Persons of Eloquence: Developing Students’ Argumentation Skills in Science”.
Highly Commended and the COOP Prize: Thérèse Turner-Jones from Trinity Grammar School for her research on “The Power of Teacher Leadership”. It was wonderful to see so much diversity and such talented educators presenting at APPLE in 2013 and 2014. The Guild would like to acknowledge the wonderful posters from the participants and wish them all the very best for the future. The contributed papers of the winning presentations are included in this Proceedings. I would like to thank our sponsors, the COOP Bookshop and Smart Teachers for contributing towards the prizes of this event. To Mr Milton Cujes, Headmaster of Trinity Grammar School we extend our thanks for his continued support of the Teachers’ Guild and his readiness to allow the school to host our functions.
2013 APPLE Presenters: Dr Kate Bertram, Christine Mae, Janson Hews, Nicolette Hilton and Angela D’Angelo
2014 APPLE Presenters: Lee Liao, John Kennedy and Thérèse Turner-Jones
The 2013 and 2014 Event is sponsored by:
POSTER PRESENTATIONS, 2013
THE IDEAL AND THE REALITY: TEACHING INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES AND CATERING TO GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS THROUGH THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM Nicolette Hilton, Uralla Central School Introduction This qualitative study explored the perspectives of a small group of Australian secondary school science teachers regarding resources and professional development opportunities to help them address two important cross-curriculum perspectives (CCPs); teaching gifted and talented students and addressing Indigenous perspectives. The study drew on in-depth interviews with practising science teachers to provide rich descriptions of current classroom practice, resources and professional development (PD) and to compare these to the resources that teachers are accessing and classroom practices and professional development they would prefer to be experiencing. In Australia there are a number of cross-curriculum priorities that are mandated or strongly advised in each of the states and territories (e.g. citizenship, gender equity, literacy, numeracy, sustainability), including several which will be part of the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 2009). Indigenous Perspectives and Gifted and Talented Education have been included in this study for two specific reasons. First, they are both mandated or recommended as priorities in all of Australiaâ€™s current state and territory curricula. Second, a preliminary study carried out by the researcher early in 2011 identified a higher demand among secondary science teachers for resources to teach in these two areas compared with other CCPs. This study aimed to gain a more detailed insight into how science teachers are currently addressing the two CCPs of Indigenous perspectives through 37
the science curriculum and catering to gifted and talented students, how they would prefer to be addressing them, what resources they are using and what they would prefer to use. The study also aimed to gain an idea of what professional development experiences science teachers have had in relation to these areas, and what professional development experiences they would prefer.
Figure 1 The major research questions in this study are formed to seek an in depth perspective of the reality and the ideal as experienced by secondary school science teachers: • Can science teachers identify the CCPs in their state or territory? • Can science teachers identify whether the CCPs in their state or territory are mandatory? • How are teachers currently teaching Indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum? • How would they prefer to be teaching Indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum? • What resources are secondary school science teachers accessing to teach Indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum? • What resources would they prefer to be accessing? • What professional development opportunities have they experienced to support teaching Indigenous perspectives in the science curriculum? • What is the ideal professional development opportunity? 38
The same structure was used to develop the questions to seek teacher perspectives on catering for the needs of gifted and talented students. Research Design This was an in depth, interpretive study of a small number of secondary school science teachersâ€™ experiences of and preferences for addressing the CCPs in the science curriculum. All participants were interviewed by phone. The teachers were allocated pseudonyms to protect their identity and that of their schools.
Figure 2 Results: Indigenous Perspectives Through the Science Curriculum
Figure 3 â€“ Participant Knowledge of all CCPs 39
Figure 4 – Implementation of Indigenous Perspectives Lois: ‘…at my old school we used to do that quite a lot and we used to have a lot of the Elders come to school and run lessons on or they’d come to school when it was like the spear making or spear throwing or bush tucker or bush medicine... so we could relate [Indigenous perspectives] to the curriculum easily all the time.’ (Fig. 4) Researcher: ‘Any particular reason why you don’t do it?’ Peter: ‘There are no resources, or support and I don’t have Indigenous knowledge to share with in science lessons. It also doesn’t fit very well and I don’t know how to make it work.’ (Fig. 4)
Figure 5 – Resources for Implementing Indigenous Perspectives
Figure 6 – PD for Implementing Indigenous Perspectives Lois: ‘When I started at my old school I’d only been teaching for a few years and …I’d never been in a school where there were that many Aboriginal kids and there wasn’t an emphasis on Aboriginal perspective, so when I went to that school it was all pretty new to me, but the PD I did there was really valuable because it wasn’t necessarily official professional development it was learning on the job and talking to elders it was about talking to people about Aboriginal perspectives and what they mean and why they’re important and then using that in my program and that’s irreplaceable you can’t buy that sort of PD.’ (Fig. 6)
Catering to Gifted and Talented Students through the Science Curriculum
Figure 8 Brian: â€˜...the freedom to set up the curriculum for them to be led or guided, guided into areas that interest them.â€™ (Fig. 8) 42
Peter: â€˜A more flexible curriculum for these students would be good.â€™ (Fig. 8)
Figure 10 The interview findings indicate that the secondary science teachers interviewed are attempting to cater for gifted and talented students and Indigenous perspectives through the Science curriculum they teach in some 43
way, but reported that they had not had the opportunity to experience professional development specifically targeting these CCPs. Many also indicated that they would like to involve local Indigenous community members in the development of learning opportunities for teaching Indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum. Only one participant confidently indicated and provided verbal evidence that Indigenous perspectives are a regular component of the science content she delivers. 1. Further study is required on the impact and implications of altering the way in which secondary school teachers conceptualise and deliver science content. 2. Secondary school science teachers need to be provided with professional development experiences that support and assist them in changing the way in which they deliver Indigenous perspectives through the science curriculum. Teachers need to alter the way they consider different cultural perspectives in science and ensure that they comprehend science as a Western construct and cogitate Indigenous knowledge and understanding as science (Keys, 2008; McConney,Oliver, Woods-McConney and Schibeci, 2011). 3. Teachers need to be provided with resources that assist them in making this conceptual change and support in the sharing of Indigenous cultural knowledge through scientific concepts and processes. Many of the interviewed teachers stated a need for involvement from Indigenous Elders and community members, these links between schools, educational providers and Indigenous communities need to be established and strengthened to ensure best possible outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. 4. That further action-based research is required to identify the most successful and preferred methods of professional development for science teachers in catering for gifted and talented students. 5. Resources are required to assist teachers in providing gifted and talented students with opportunities to engage in and develop problem solving and higher order thinking skills through open-ended inquiry based tasks. Once the specific requirements of these resources are 44
known and understood - quality, interactive online resources that challenge students and provide them a variety of learning pathways and opportunities to communicate with students who share their interests and abilities need to be produced and given to schools with ongoing support for their implementation. 6. Teachers need and want quality, interactive professional development opportunities that are focussed on catering for the needs of gifted and talented students through differentiation of the science curriculum and development of open-ended inquiry based tasks. Professional development that provides ongoing classroom support through academic mentor and peer coaching needs to be developed, piloted and resourced in science classrooms throughout Australia. Literature cited ACARA. (2009). National Curriculum Consultation Trialing of Draft K-10 Curriculum Materials, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. Retrieved June 2011, from http://www.acara.edu.au/consultation.html Keys, P. (2008). Teaching Indigenous Students Science. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference, Brisbane. Retrieved September 2011, from http://www.aare.edu.au/08pap/key08676.pdf McConney, A., Oliver, M., Woods-McConney, A. and Schibeci, R. (2011). Bridging the Gap? A Comparative, Retrospective Analysis of Science Literacy and Interest in Science for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian Students. International Journal of Science Education, 33 (14), 2017 â€“ 2035
Acknowledgments Thank you to my two supervisors Dr. Terry Lyons and Dr. Neil Taylor for their limitless patience in reading numerous drafts and offering ongoing encouragement and support. I thank them also for making themselves available despite already busy schedules within such a tight timeframe. Thank you to my amazing network of professional teaching peers and colleagues for sacrificing their time to be involved in the interview process.
THE CULTURAL ARCHITECTURE OF SCHOOLS – A STUDY INVESTIGATING THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DESIGN, THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND LEARNING COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS. Dr Kate Bertram, University of Wollongong and Illawarra Christian School Abstract This study investigated the relationship between the physical environment and the learning culture of a school through an examination of the bigger picture of a design’s functionality from different perspectives within schools. The study particularly explored factors that influence collaborative learning cultures. I used a multiple case study approach, and data was collected through a number of methods, including surveys, interviews, photographs and observations. The study identified a number of factors that contributed to building effective learning environments, and these factors were: information technology resources; space; flexibility; control and physical comfort. Key words: school design, built environment, learning communities, learning culture, pattern languages, educational facilities design, leadership Key points: The relationship between the learning culture and the built environment is complex, often subtle and is influenced by context. The factors that contribute to the creation of effective learning environments are not numerous but are significant according to key stakeholders Learning Communities are defined by scale, relationships, flexibility, enquiry-focused learning and configuration Key factors for building community through the environment were control over spaces and a culture that valued relationships and fostered a sense of belonging My research project considered the reasons why the physical learning environment matters. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between school design, the learning environment and learning communities in new schools. As part of the research project, I also focused on 46
defining the notion of learning communities as they occur within schools and the design principles typically applied to designs for 21st Century schools that seek to establish a learning community culture. The study also explored the use of pattern languages for negotiating the design of physical space and the creation of a learning culture within a school. To implement the purpose of this study, a number of research questions were posed. These questions were designed to investigate the ways in which the physical learning environment matters through an examination of a design’s functionality from different perspectives within schools. Background to the Study I was intrigued by the current discussion of the influence collaborative processes have on achieving effective design solutions and the links between the design of the physical environment and the creation of learning communities within schools. This literature led me to embark on this investigation of the relationship between the built environment, learning culture and leadership. The literature relating to the design of learning environments is commonly underpinned by a profound belief that school design matters (Woolner, 2010) and the influence of design is subtle and complicated (Woolner, 2010; Taylor, 2000 & 2009). The possibility of causal links between building design, pedagogy and student outcomes have been widely discussed in recent years, but understanding the nature of the relationship is complex. Broadly speaking, the literature can be grouped into various types, with the first type using the notion of the classroom as a “Third Teacher” constituting physical space as an active agent in the learning process. Another type focuses on educational facilities planning and approaches design in a more pragmatic manner. The emphasis is upon isolating specific design elements, quantifying the impact of these elements upon some aspect of schooling and proposing standardised design responses. Other literature discusses building projects stimulated by educational contexts and change agendas. Literature in the design field speculates on possible causal links between building design, pedagogy and student outcomes (Behrenbuch & Bolger, 2006; Design Council, 2004; DEST Schooling Issues Digest, 2006; Earthman, 2002; Fisher, 2005; Learning Through Landscapes website, 2006; Kube, 2006; 47
Taylor, 2000). There are also large-scale evaluations of government funded building programmes in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Some of these findings have triggered building programmes and innovation in design. Much of the literature makes the point that school design is not a science (Young, 2003), and research suggests an explanation of the exact causes of the impact of school design is complex and varies according to context (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2010). When reviewing the literature, I noted clusters of writing exploring the impact of new designs commonly occur when one or more of the following circumstances or influences exist. When there is significant financial investment in school stock, especially by centralised authorities such as federal governments; when there is a major innovation or era shift, such as Web2 information technologies; and when there are substantial shifts in educational thinking and pedagogical approaches, such as collaborative learning. In the light of these circumstances, current facilities can be perceived as inadequate for supporting the resultant change and transformational agendas. The turn of the 21st Century is one such time with the concurrent influences of the end of the Industrial Age model for the economy (Hargreaves, 2003, 2009), the emergence of new information technologies and substantial school stock investment programmes in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and parts of the United States. Researchers have also been questioning the solutions that have been proposed in response to the reform and transformation agendas. John Mitchell (2008), a British architect concludes, â€œ[t]here is a real danger that the [BSF] programme will produce either brighter, newer, shinier schools organised around an outdated learning (teaching) paradigm or alternatively more innovative buildings which struggle to co-exist with an unchallenged teaching culture.â€? (p.244). The theoretical constructs of pattern languages and learning communities: My research required an understanding of pattern languages for contemporary school design (Nair and Fielding, 2007; Bergsagel et. al, 2007; Lackney, 2003 and Lippman, 2010)) and the notion of learning communities (Brown, 2005; deCorte, 2000; Green, 2005; Sergiovanni, 1999; Starratt, 2003), especially in the context of schools. My study also required the formulation of criteria for identifying the presence of this type of learning culture. Whilst 48
there is a lack of consensus over the definition of learning communities, especially in relation to schools, there are a number key ideas and characteristics that are evident in the literature. Learning from this perspective is seen as a collaborative activity and knowledge is jointly constructed through a framework of communal values and practices. I came to the conclusion that the notion of the school as a learning community is a multi-faceted concept that is â€œfocused on the culture of a schoolâ€? (Johnson in Retallick et.al., 1997, p.28). Within the literature, I did not find a pattern language that was sufficient for describing the breadth of the features and conditions present in contemporary learning community cultures. By considering two sets of school design patterns, one by Fielding and Nair (2007) and another by Bergsagel et. al. (2007) and thirty-three principles of design devised by Lackney (2003), I was able to identify points of agreement between the different patterns and devise a suitable framework. Methodology: At the heart of my research were four key questions: 1. What are the intended outcomes of school design from the perspective of stakeholders and in relation to the specific school contexts? 2. What are the key influences on the design of school architecture and use of educational facilities? 3. What is the relationship between architectural and design factors and the development of an effective learning environment? 4. How does the leadership in schools influence the design of physical learning environments? My study used six constructed data collection activities in three cases, each was a within-case variation at a single point of time. Five different data collection approaches were used: 1. Interviews with staff, architects, students and leadership; 2. Participant Generated Photographs; 3. Researcher Generated Photographs; 4. Questionnaire for staff and students; Field observations. 49
A total of 19 interviews, 84 questionnaires (with some participant photographs), 6 sets of observations and 331 researcher generated photographs were collected during six separate site visits. Each case study dataset was analysed separately and then compared with the other casesâ€™ findings. Data collection began at the senior leadership level, with the principal, heads of school or deputies, bursar or manager. These participants were the staff who had the positional authority to initiate and contribute directly to the design of the collegeâ€™s educational facilities. Key Findings: My research confirmed schools, by their very nature, are complex places and that people believed design matters. The research project captured the different perspectives of key stakeholders in schools, and found learning environments are affected by factors such as affordability, time constraints, master planning, the inclusiveness of the design process and how space was interpreted by each stakeholder. I also identified the key characteristics of a learning community and how they related to the dominant pattern languages for the design of school learning environments. It is important for a school to be clear about the definition of its learning culture and not rely on the design language to determine and define the goals of the school. Following is a summary of the key findings that captured the essence of what mattered in the design of learning environments: Intended outcomes of school design from the perspective of stakeholders Comfort and wellbeing (teachers and students in particular) Community relationships are enabled Support and reflect school culture Facilitate curriculum Space to carry out teaching and learning activities (teachers in particular) Flexibility and adaptability (school leadership and designers in particular) Affordability (school leadership in particular) Key influences on the design and use of educational facilities 50
Change agendas Embedded school culture Curriculum Constraints, compromise and processes for negotiations School context Affordability School growth (timing and urgency) Approaches to master planning Structural organisation of school Factors identified as being influential in developing effective learning environments People who use the spaces have control over the environment Culture that builds relationships Access to resources (especially I.T.) Flexibility Sufficient physical space to deliver the planned curriculum Site/master planning Influence of leadership on school environments Principal is central to building the physical learning environment Principal plays a key role in embedding culture and leading changed Leadership is optimistic about schoolâ€™s growth potential Leadership uses collaborative processes to achieve best design Conclusion: This study confirmed the belief that school design matters in a profound way to all the stakeholders, but in particular, to the teachers and students. The relationship between the physical and learning environment is complex and at times chaotic. The context of a school has a significant effect upon the design process and the development of the physical environment. The impact of compromise and constraints was also significant. The case study schools valued the physical environment as a precondition for delivering the goals and vision of the school. There was a distinct belief that no matter the design
of the space, the teacher and students could make the space work in some way that was positive. The study identified a number of features within the learning environment that were seen as contributing to learning culture. These factors were: space, flexibility, access to resources, physical comfort, access to outdoor areas and Information Technology. The most significant influences upon the relationship between the built environment and learning were dynamic in nature. The findings also led to three recommendations for practice and policy. These were: the importance of master planning; the provision of design flexibility in respond to schoolâ€™s context; and the development of teacher professional learning in the area of using space as pedagogy. References ACNeilson (2004). Best Practice in School Design, New Zealand Ministry of Education. Behrenbruch, M. and K. Bolger (2006). Building a sustainable future. Teacher, November: 16-19. Bergsagel, V., Best, T., et. al. (2007). Architecture for Achievement. USA: Eagle Chatter Press. Bertram, K (2012). The Cultural Architecture of Schools. UoW, http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3705. Brown, R. (2005). Learning Communities and the Nature of Teacher Participation in a Learning Community. Literacy Learning: the Middle Years, 13(2): 8 - 15. Corte, E. D. (2000). High-Powered Learning Communities: A European Perspective. First Conference of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Programme on Teaching and Learning. Leicester, England. Department of Education. (2006). "Schooling Issues Digest: The impact of school infrastructure on student outcomes and behaviour." Retrieved 1 May 2007, from www.dest.gov.au/.../publications_resources/ schooling_issues. Earthman, G. (2002) School Facility Conditions and Student Academic Achievement. Williams Watch Series. wwws-rr008-1002, 1-18. Fisher, K. (2005). Linking Pedagogy and Space: proposed planning principles. Retrieved April, 2007, from http://schoolfacilities.com/pdf/School %20Facilities%Impact%2012-27-01.pdf. Green, P. (2005). Spaces of influence: A framework for analysis of an individual's 52
contribution within communities of practice. Higher Education Research and Development, 24(4): 293-307. Hargreaves, A. and D. Shirley (2009a). The Fourth Way: the inspiring future for educational change. California, Corwin. Kube, T. (2006). Students and Buildings: the vital link. Teacher, 175: 6-8. Lackney, J. (2003). 33 Principles of Educational Design. Retrieved in 2008 from http:// www.edfacilities.org. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-Based Design of Elementary and Secondary Schools. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Nair, P. and R. Fielding (2007). The Language of School Design: Design patterns for 21st Century schools, DesignShare.com. PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010). Evaluation of Building Schools for the Future - 3rd Annual Report. Department for Children. Retallick, J., B. Cocklin, et al., (1999). Learning Communities in Education: Issues, strategies and contexts. Routledge Research in Education. London, Routledge. Sergiovanni, T. (1994). Building Community in Schools. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Starratt, R. J. (2003). Centering Educational Administration. London, Lawerence Erlbaum & Associates. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Wenger, E. and Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of Practice: The Organisational Frontier. Harvard Business Review, (January-February) Woolner, P. (2010). The Design of Learning Spaces. London, Continuum International Publishing Group. Woolner, P., E. Hall, et al. (2005). School Building programmes: motivations, consequences and implications. University of Newcastle, Centre for Learning and Teaching, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. Young, E. (2003). Do K-12 Facilities Affect Educational Outcomes? Nashville, The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. www.state.tn.us/tacir/PDF_FILES/Education/SchFac.pdf
IN SEARCH OF SUCCESS EQUATION FOR GIRLS IN MATHEMATICS…TOWARDS EQUITY Angela D’Angelo, Catholic Education Office, Sydney. Australia has experiences a documented decline in course (and higher level course) enrolment in mathematics by girls in the senior years, resulting in low representation in mathematically and scientifically based courses at tertiary levels. Such a disparity precludes equitable representation of women in many lucrative and rewarding careers and contributes to the “brain drain” in fields that enable technological and economic enhancement. While gender performance disproportions are evident in national testing (NAPLAN) results, they are mirrored in NSW Board of Studies (2012) HSC enrolment statistics in the top two most academically challenging courses. Sydney University’s John Mack, Barry Walsh and Rachel Wilson’s recent (2013) report revealed there was a substantial increase in the number of girls studying no mathematics at all in the HSC. In 2001, 9.5% of girls did no mathematics in the HSC, by 2011 this more than doubled to 21.8 % (p. 9). A gap exists in rich data about teacher knowledge and beliefs, their interaction with classroom practice and alignment with performance success for girls. Are girls more responsive than boys to constructivist teaching strategies? Are predominantly teacher-centered classrooms a factor? If female students, even the ‘brighter ones’ (Dweck & Leggett, 1988) avoid intellectual challenge for fear of making mistakes, are teachers responding by delivering lower level tasks? The last two decades have witnessed the void created by a shortage of tertiary mathematics trained teachers pragmatically filled by teachers from other subject areas. Could inadequate teacher content knowledge and efficacy be a contributing factor to this phenomenon? Are ‘lower level’ tasks more prevalent in these classrooms? Is the impact on girls greater because of already low confidence and efficacy in mathematics? Triangulation of multiple sources of data and varied analysis methods will be used to enhance reliability and validity. Student and teacher questionnaires, quantitative testing measures and numerous structured classroom 54
observations will examine the following research questions and seek to model regression equations for girlâ€™s performance success in mathematics: Research Questions: 1. What student factors align with performance success and growth in mathematics for girls? 2. What teacher factors and lesson delivery strategies, align with performance success and growth in mathematics for girls? 3. How do results in the primary study compare with factors that align with performance success and growth in mathematics for boys? References Board of Studies NSW Website, 2013, Retrieved 23 May, 2013, from http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/news-media/media-guide2012/stats/enrolments-course.html Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A Social-cognitive Approach to Motivation and Personality. Psychological Review 95(2), 256-273. Mack, J. & Walsh, B. (2013) Mathematics and Science Combinations NSW HSC 2001-2011 by Gender, University of Sydney Retrieved June 1, 2013, http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/SMS/MWW2013.pdf
ENHANCING LEARNING THROUGH 3D PRINTING AND DIGITAL FABRICATION Janson Hews, University of Technology and Powerhouse Museum 3D printing and the role of fabrication technologies in education are currently little-explored aspects of educational technology, limited to a number of research and lab settings (Eisenberg & Buechley 2008). However, when we look at the commercial setting, the annual growth of the world’s 3D printing is 30%, where its value in 2012 is expected to reach US $6 billion (Ying 2013). There is the need to anticipate its widespread adoption in educational settings which is recognised as being four to five years away (Johnson et al. 2013). More and more learners are populating the 21st Century as digital natives. The education landscape and associated learning technologies that influence this need to change accordingly in order to better respond to these learners’ needs within an increasingly digital culture. At the centre of this lies the effective use of learning technologies such as 3D printing for engaging future elearners. The purpose of the proposed research focused on 3D printing is to attract new learners, enhance student learning and engage them with contemporary technologies. Methods of analysis include data drawn from various academic and non-academic sources. The findings indicate that 3D printing in educational contexts is in an embryonic stage and there are significant strategic benefits of being ‘first to market’ in such a technological environment. Various findings on how 3D printing can be used to improve classroom practices include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Enhanced learning through using 3D models in maths and science Engaging the innovators of tomorrow and spark interest in STEM Supports connectivist learning and ‘maker’ communities Supports cross-curriculum learning Supports digital literacies - COPE - Create Once Publish Everywhere 56
6. 3D printing is currently under-utilised in educational contexts 7. The need to anticipate widespread adoption of 3D printing References Eisenberg, M. & Buechley, L. 2008. Pervasive Fabrication: Making Construction Ubiquitous in Education. Journal of Software, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 62 – 68, 8 June 2013, http://ojs.academypublisher.com/index.php/jsw/article/view/03046268> Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Ying, W 2013, ‘3D printing reshapes manufacturing’, China Daily, 10 June 2013, <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2013-02/18/content_16230994.htm>
STIMULATING PRIMARY STUDENTS’ PROPORTIONAL REASONING THROUGH EXPERIENCE WITH CONCRETE NATERIALS Christine Mae, Catholic Education Office, Southern Region The Proportional Reasoning Project set out to achieve a developmental and creative approach to the generation of engaging resources that would stimulate and promote multiplicative thinking and the use of proportional reasoning in primary school students from Year 1 to year 6. Proportional Reasoning, often referred to as the cornerstone to higher levels of mathematical success (Kilpatrick, Swafford & Findell, 2001; Lamon, 1999; Lesh, Post & Behr,1988), involves “making multiplicative comparisons between quantities” (Wright, 2005, p.363). It was identified as an area of need for students through clinical interviews that examined students’ mathematical thinking and the types of strategies they brought to problemsolving situations involving relationships. These interviews analysed both the answers and the approaches used by young students and revealed the significance of experiences with concrete materials that modelled familiar multiplicative relationships and meaningful problems. The diagnosed need to design appropriate resources that would highlight and model proportional relationships was used as a focus to stimulate teachers’ conversations about the types of questions and problem-solving tasks required to increase levels of student reasoning across three Southern Region Primary Schools. Initially, professional learning on the significance, underpinnings and sub-constructs of proportional reasoning were provided for the six teachers involved in the project. This was followed by the identification of opportunities for development within outcomes across the NSW BOS Mathematics Syllabus. Hence, the design of the resources was linked to specifically designed problem-solving tasks that stemmed from outcomes yet were embedded with opportunities for multiplicative thinking. The pre and post test data, which was collected using testing instruments modeled on the KIIP assessments of Dr Shelley Dole, elicits interesting observations about the need for concrete resources, both in the design of teaching and learning activities as well as in assessment tasks. The degree of skill required by teachers for designing questions with the necessary scope for children to demonstrate levels of proportional reasoning was also evident. 58
POSTER PRESENTATIONS, 2014
THE IMPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS IN AUSTRALIAN HIGH SCHOOLS John Kennedy, St. Andrewâ€™s Cathedral School Background: There has been significant media coverage of the apparent decline of Year 12 Science and Mathematics enrolments over the last few years, though the evidence presented has often appeared confusing and at times even contradictory.
A study commissioned by Australia's Chief Scientist
concluded that all the main high school sciences were experiencing continuing and dramatic declines (Goodrum, Druhan, & Abbs, 2011). However, the scale of those reported declines has since been questioned (Ferrari, 2011) leading to confusion over the actual figures. At the senior high school level a number of historic reports (e.g. Ainley, Kos, & Nicholas, 2008; Dekkers & de Laeter, 2001; Hackling, Goodrum, & Rennie, 2001; Hassan & Treagust, 2003) point to either a decline in science education enrolments in Australia or, at best, zero growth over the long term. Studies into the state of mathematics (Barrington, 2006; Mack & Walsh, 2013; Thomson, 2009) have reported similar levels of decline in participation. The trends reported in Australia have been echoed to various extents in a number of countries across the globe including England and Wales (Smith, 2011), France (Charbonnier & Vayssettes, 2009), India (Garg & Gutpa, 2003), Israel (Trumper, 2006), and Japan (Schleicher & Ikeda, 2009) thus suggesting that the causes of the changes may go beyond national and cultural borders. A recent study by Kennedy, Lyons and Quinn (2014) has shown that participation rates across the range of science subjects offered in Year 12 by the eight states and territories has continued to decline (figure 2) throughout the period 1992-2012 even though total Year 12 enrolments have risen from 190,000 to 220,000 students in the same period. This same study also showed 59
that participation rates in intermediate and advanced mathematics courses also declined over a similar period. The work of Dekkers and de Laeter (2001) showed that the retention rate from Year 10 to Year 12 peaked and stabilised at around 75% in 1992. This year was therefore chosen as a baseline from which to make valid comparisons without the effect of an increasing number of Year 12 students masking any changes.
The year 1994 was selected as the base-level for
mathematics enrolments (in keeping with Barrington and Brown (2005)) since categorising courses based on common content prior to this is unreliable due primarily to curriculum design in Victoria. Figure 1 shows that the total number of students in Year 12 increased by around 16% from 1992 to 2012 while Year 10 to Year 12 retention rates remained relatively stable at around 75%.
As is shown in figure 2 the
participation rates for most science and mathematics subjects fell (biology (10%), chemistry (-5%), physics (-7%), multidisciplinary science (-5%), intermediate mathematics (-11%), advanced mathematics (-7%)) in the same period. However, there were increased participation rates in earth sciences (+0.3%) and entry mathematics (+11%). Earth sciences includes enrolments for the group of courses geology, environmental science, earth and environmental science, and similar courses. Entry mathematics refers to a group of mathematics courses that do not generally include calculus but which can contribute the student's calculated Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). In each case the greatest rates of change occurred prior to 2001 and have been slower and steadier since.
Figure 2: Participation rates for science and mathematics subjects, 1992-2012 (From: Kennedy et al., 2014) Implications For Schools: As a science classroom practitioner, the trends presented in Kennedy et al. (2014) are a serious cause for concern. Science courses in Year 12 have the potential to build significant skills in students which are relevant for business and society in general. These skills include critical thinking, creative problem solving and critical analysis of presented data and information. In order to compare the St Andrew's Cathedral School context with the national data, Year 12 examination enrolment data were extracted from the NSW Board of Studies Results Analysis Package (RAP) for the period 2002 to 2012. These were then combined with school records of total enrolments to produce participation rates along similar lines to those previously presented. St Andrew's Cathedral School has offered Year 12 Senior Science 61
(multidisciplinary science) sporadically over this period and so participation rates were not calculated for this course. The findings are shown in figure 3.
Figure 3: Science Participation Rates for St Andrew's Cathedral School 2002-2012 Observations The science trends at St Andrew's Cathedral School show some similarities to the national trends when accounting for volatility. The volatility in the observed trends is due to the significantly small cohort numbers used in calculating the participation rates (total Year 12 enrolments averaged) Chemistry shows a similar, almost stationary trend, although the school shows a slightly lower participation rate (around 16%). Biology and Physics show slightly steeper declines than the national trends. However, Biology, has been consistently lower than national participation rates (18% in 2012), while Physics has been consistently higher (14% in 2012). Earth Sciences nationally grew slightly while St Andrew's Cathedral School enrolments have fallen significantly. However, the school's participation rates (7% in 2012) have been consistently and significantly larger than the national trends.
Discussion: As the trends in the science subjects' participation rates at St Andrew's Cathedral School were showing similar trends to the national data, albeit at a different magnitude, a reflective review was carried out with Year 10 students to try to ascertain why they did and did not choose to study science beyond Year 10. A number of researchers (e.g. Hackling et al., 2001; Lyons & Quinn, 2010; Parn, 2006) have identified the concept of student engagement as being key in understanding their future patterns of enrolment. An online survey was developed based on the work of Schreiner and Louis (2006) to assess student engagement with science and enrolment intentions for next year and was delivered to Year 10 just prior to the end of Semester 1 2014. The survey was implemented using an online survey provider and in addition to the seven-point likert scale items of the original survey, a number of open responses were included to allow students to explain any of their previous answers. Students were also asked to indicate the Year 11 science subjects, or no science, that they were considering enrolling in for the following year. The response rate was 57% (n=73; 59% male: 54% female) and represented the full range of student ability in science. Student responses (figure 4) to engagement covered the full range of the scale with the mean response being 4.67 (neutral-slightly engaged). Responses show significant skew towards the “engaged pole” yet there is significant weighting in the neutral region. This finding raises the question “how can we better engage our Year 10 students?”
Figure 4: Levels of Year 10 student engagement in science classes. Most students chose not to elaborate on their answers. However, of those that did, student explanations for their engagement responses tended to focus more on the negative aspects of class. Explanations included: “I quite like science but I don't think some of the things we have learned are explained very well.” “[I] find some subjects uninteresting due to having previously learned about them at a higher level.” “I try and learn in class but all my teacher does is spend a whole lesson talking about one thing without giving anyone else a chance to talk.” “My class is to loud and rowdy. I find it hard to concentrate and participate in class discussion.” “[Science] is not taught in a way that interests or engages me” The predicted participation rates (figure 5) are particularly interesting. If these were to translate into actual enrolments, then all four science strands would see significant jumps in 2016. Biology would increase to 53%, Physics to 47%, Chemistry to 47%, and Earth Sciences to 26%. This would continue the significant gains seen in enrolments for 2015. This is likely to be a direct 64
Figure 5: Predicted Year 11 participation rates for 2015 based on student enrolment considerations in Year 10. impact of a recent refocussing of learning towards inquiry based science and away from the teaching of science facts. As a department it is important that we now reflect on our recent practice and continue to do what we have been doing. Student explanations for selecting science tended to be positive in nature and focus on career value or intrinsic interest. They included: “I really enjoy learning about the human body and it's processes. I also want to do something in medicine after school.” “Whatever course is most relevant to the course I want to do at Uni.” “It is more relevant to the degree that I want to do.” “Always been interested in this area; current science doesn't talk about these areas” “I want to be a vet when I grow up” It is worth noting that students' explanations relating to engagement tended to place the ownership for that lack of engagement on to the teacher and the other members of the class. However, students seemed to assume direct ownership for the relevance of the subject to their future needs. Interestingly, these explanations clearly emphasise that students do not generally find science “too hard”. The primary importance of the teacher-student relationship, especially with regards to engagement, is evident in these explanations as well as the need for the subject to be perceived as being 65
strategically valuable for their future career intentions or long standing interests. Conclusions and Recommendations: It is clear from this brief study that key to maintaining student enrolments in the disciplines of science in the senior years of school are the factors of engagement and relevance. Students must be engaged by their teachers early on in their school science careers and they must be shown the relevance of school science to many future careers, not just those directly related to the science field. This needs to be the responsibility of schools, teachers and students themselves if Australia is to continue to produce scientists of world renown. As the Chief Scientist of Australia stated, “The reality is that we can't relax. We can't be complacent There can be no sense of entitlement. We must understand that we will get the future we earn.” (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2013) References: Ainley, J., Kos, J., & Nicholas, M. (2008). Participation in Science, Mathematics and Technology in Australian Education (No. 63). Camberwell, Vic: Australian Council for Educational Research. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/acer_monographs/4/ Barrington, F. (2006). Participation in Year 12 mathematics across Australia 1995-2004. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. Retrieved from http://www.amsi.org.au/index.php/78-publications/education/249participation-in-year-12-mathematics-across-australia-1995-2004 Barrington, F., & Brown, P. (2005). Comparison of Year 12 Pre-teritiary Mathematics Subjects in Australia 2004-2005. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. Retrieved from http://www.amsi.org.au/publications/amsipublications/250-comparison-of-year-12-pre-tertiary-mathematics-subjectsin-australia-2004-2005 Charbonnier, É., & Vayssettes, S. (2009). PISA 2009 Presentation Note (France). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/46624019.pdf Dekkers, J., & de Laeter, J. (2001). Enrolment trends in school science education in Australia. International Journal of Science Education, 23(5), 487–500. Ferrari, J. (2011, December 22). “Slump” in science students does not add up. The Australian. Sydney, NSW. Retrieved from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/slump-in-sciencestudents-does-not-add-up/story-fn59nlz9-1226227986661 66
Garg, K. C., & Gutpa, B. M. (2003). Decline in science education in India – A case study at + 2 and undergraduate level. Retrieved from http://knowgate.niscair.res.in/jspui/handle/123456789/268 Goodrum, D., Druhan, A., & Abbs, J. (2011). The Status and Quality of Year 11 and 12 Science in Australian Schools. Canberra, ACT: Australian Academy of Science. Hackling, M., Goodrum, D., & Rennie, L. (2001). The state of science in Australian secondary schools. Australian Science Teachers’ Journal, 47(4), 6–17. Hassan, G., & Treagust, D. F. (2003). What is the future of science education in Australia? The Australian Science Teachers Journal, 49(3), 6–15. Kennedy, J., Lyons, T., & Quinn, F. (2014). The continuing decline of science and mathematics enrolments in Australian high schools. In Publication. Lyons, T., & Quinn, F. (2010). Choosing Science: Understanding the declines in senior high school science enrolments. National Centre of Science, ICT and mathematics education for rural and regional Australia (SiMERR Australia), University of New England. Mack, J., & Walsh, B. (2013). Mathematics and science combinations NSW HSC 20012011 by gender. University of Sydney. Office of the Chief Scientist. (2013). Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the national interest: a strategic approach. Canberra: Australian Government. Parn, L. (2006). An In-Depth Study of Student Engagement (MA Thesis). University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. Retrieved from http://scimath.unl.edu/MIM/files/research/ParnL.pdf Schleicher, A., & Ikeda, M. (2009). Viewing the Japanese school system through the prism of PISA. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/japan/46623994.pdf Schreiner, L., & Louis, M. (2006). Measuring engaged learning in college students: Beyond the borders of NSSE. Presented at the Annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Anaheim, CA. Retrieved from https://www.apu.edu/strengthsacademy/downloads/measuring_engaged_lea rning08.pdf Smith, E. (2011). Staying in the science stream: patterns of participation in A‐level science subjects in the UK. Educational Studies, 37(1), 59–71. doi:10.1080/03055691003729161 Thomson, S. (2009, July 1). International mathematics and science study shows mixed results for Australia. Research Developments, 20(Article 13). Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/resdev/vol20/iss20/13 Trumper, R. (2006). Factors Affecting Junior High School Students’ Interest in Physics. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15(1), 47–58. doi:10.1007/s10956-006-0355-6 67
SUPPORTING STUDENTS’ ARGUMENTATION SKILLS IN SCIENCE IN THE SCIENCE CLASSROOM Lee Liao, St Aloysius College This research paper discusses the outcomes of a preliminary study investigating the development of students’ argumentation skills (process of constructing an argument from primary or secondary investigative data) by using a miniintervention and writing scaffolds. In particular, it focused on developing the skills of Year 7 boys from an independent private school, to construct a written judgement on a controversial scientific issue, through the explicit teaching of Toulmin’s model - that an argument is composed of a claim, based on evidence and is justified by a warrant or a link to scientific concepts. We found that students improved in their ability to reason, discern and make an informed judgement throughout the task, suggesting that early literacy interventions are desirable. Significance of Argumentation in the Science Classroom Currently in society we are surrounded by what has been described as a “knowledge explosion” (Tytler, 2007, p. 4), with contemporary scientific issues, such as those relating to genetic engineering and global warming, bound by much controversy. The problem is that these issues are plagued by personal opinions and inaccuracies, which are then hyped up by the media. In order for students to be able to discern between Science and pseudo-Science and thereby become independent thinkers, Science education needs to reflect the practice of scientists who are able to contest claims and support it with evidence whilst engaging effectively in scientific reasoning, i.e. the process of argumentation. However, research indicates that students do not have the opportunity to develop scientific argumentation (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000; Kuhn, 1992; Newton, Driver, & Osborne, 1999; Weiss, Pasley, Smith, Banilower, & Heck, 2003) and therefore do not develop these essential skills to become scientifically literate individuals. Given that there is a drive with the new Australian curriculum for scientific literacy to be the focus of Science classrooms, it is apparent that argumentation should be a more common practice. A key feature to being literate in Science is having the ability to reason. This is characterised by proficiency justifying claims, evaluating evidence, and explaining the scientific link between evidence and claims, all of which is the essence of argumentation. Argumentation is the process
of constructing an argument from primary or secondary investigative data where higher order thinking skills are developed through a process of logical discourse. In argumentation, Science knowledge is contested, analysed and validated in a way which reflects the epistemology of Science (Driver et al., 2000; Kuhn, 2010; Osborne, 1996; Osborne, Erduran, & Simon, 2004). In this way, learners’ thought processes and reasoning is made “visible” to the teacher (Osborne et al., 2004). The nature of Science is inquiry-based where scientists carry out investigations and gather evidence in order to build their knowledge. Therefore, teaching Science should reflect the epistemic goals of this discipline by “doing”, discovery and reasoning. It was Kuhn (1993) who proposed that the objective of Science education is to “link the thinking activity of scientists to that of ordinary children.” Furthermore, Osborne (2001) asserts that it is a set-back of Science curricular programs as they do not allow teachers to engage in an approach which reflects the nature of Science knowledge. In fact, Science is often presented as a series of facts which are inherently correct or incorrect and as such does not reflect the epistemology of Science. It is unlikely that scientific practices, ways of thinking and constructing knowledge is to be discovered by learners on their own, and this means that learning science must involve the scientific ways of knowing (Driver, Asoko, Leach, Scott, & Mortimer, 1994; Duschl & Osborne, 2002). Therefore, Science education must coordinate the conceptual understanding to the epistemic goals of Science in a way which is fluid and meaningful, which can be achieved through argumentation. Project Objectives: Argumentation in the Classroom The body of research in argumentation has centred around its value and importance in the Science classroom and identifying pedagogical strategies to promote argumentation (Chin & Osborne, 2010; Christodoulou & Osborne, 2014; Ruiz-Primo, Li, Tsai, & Schneider, 2010; Sampson, Grooms, & Walker, 2011). Writing in particular has been shown to be instrumental to the process of producing an argument owing to the way it encourages a student to metacognitively reflect, whilst analysing, synthesising and structuring a response in a meaning making process (Emig, 1977; Hand, Wallace, & Yang, 2004; Kingir, Geban, & Gunel, 2012). What these authors have shown is that students require support in argumentation, particularly in the reasoning component of an argument where they are required to link their data (or evidence) to claims that are made. As such, this project had the following objectives:
1. Identify the components of an argument that students have difficulty expressing in writing. 2. Design and implement a mini-intervention to improve reasoning skills. The Research Project A task was assigned to twenty-five mixed ability Year 7 boys aged between 11 and 13, who were instructed to produce a written evaluation and judgement for the question: Is desalination or recycled sewerage a good alternative to our Sydney water supply? This involved three main parts: (i)
Students undertook a secondary-source search for newspaper articles for and against one of either desalination or recycled sewerage water. They also had to navigate to the “Sydney Water” website and determine what constitutes good quality drinking water. (ii) Students then had to compose two arguments, with opposing points of view, according to Toulmin’s model (1958) (Figure 1). Students were given sentence starters as developed with the literacy teacher and a structured scaffold for their arguments.
Figure 1. Toulmin’s model for the structure of an argument (adapted from Osbourne, 2010). An argument consists of a claim (conclusion or conjecture or answer to a research question) that is supported by evidence. This evidence is in the form of measurements or observations which shows trends, differences between groups or relationships between variables. The warrant is a rationalisation for why the data/evidence supports the claim using scientific concepts or why the evidence is valid. Arguments of the highest quality contain rebuttals, counter-evidence or counter-reasoning for why an alternative explanation is not appropriate.
(iii) Lastly, students had to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of their chosen method of producing drinking water, and come up with a final judgement answering the research question afore mentioned. Marking: Students’ written argument were assessed according to the base rubric for scientific explanation as devised by (McNeill & Krajcik, 2008, p. 134) Analysis of Arguments After conducting stage (i) and (ii) of the method, the following were noted: The claim was often not phrased as a complete definitive statement with the use of vague terms Evidence was often presented as shallow statements which lacked detail or substance and were often phrased as a claim (Figure 2) Students struggled to reason or provide a suitable warrant/justification to connect their evidence to the claim. There was a lack of structure and understanding of how to provide sound scientific reasoning for an argument. Intervention To help students with their written justifications/reasoning, a mini-intervention task which took one 45 minute lesson was allocated to explicit teaching of how to link evidence to a claim and make a final judgement. This involved reading two short articles with opposing points of view, class discussion and debate, and step-by-step instructions for how to structure the paragraph (appendix). Following the intervention and feedback from the first task, students showed substantial improvement in: (i) Writing a claim, (ii) Stating and selecting appropriate evidence, (iii) Weighing up the pros and cons associated with the issue, and (iv) Reasoning (Figures 2 and 3).
Incomplete statement. â€œRecycled water is a good drinking water alternative toâ€Śâ€?
This is not evidence. It is more of a claim.
How was this proved? Where are the values and figures for this piece of evidence? Why is this important?
Which piece of evidence does this relate to? And why is safety important to consider (scientifically) when it comes to good drinking water?
Which piece of evidence does this relate to?
Figure 2. Typical student written response. The claim is incomplete and evidence lacks quantitative and qualitative data. Justification shows a lack of reasoning and explanation of how the evidence links to the claim
Figures have been included as well as detail of where this has taken place.
Evidence has more detail and includes the source of the information.
Reasoning is improved (compared to that in Figure 2). Some “cause and effect” statements are emerging.
Improved attempts at explaining what constitutes “good quality drinking water”, but does not refer to the actual evidence(s) linking this to the claim.
Good point but needs to explain why and link to evidence for issues with cost.
Figure 3. Improvement in written argument by same student as in Figure 2. Evidence contains quantitative and qualitative data. Justification shows improved reasoning to link evidence to claim. However, the student has not pin-pointed which piece(s) of evidence he is referring to. Discussion and Conclusions This research project has demonstrated that the explicit teaching of argumentation has benefits in contributing to students’ ability to analyse and discern. After the intervention, students learnt how to argue by identifying appropriate evidence and evaluating this evidence, thereby justifying their claims. Our findings align closely with those found by previous studies which have shown that explicit teaching of argumentation results in an improvement in scientific reasoning (Kanari & Millar, 2004; Osborne, 2010, 2013; Sampson et al., 2011). Students’ explanations have previously been found to be incomplete or fragmented, frequently omitting data or evidence in their reasoning process (Osborne et al., 2004; Ruiz-Primo et al., 2010). Furthermore, because students do 73
not evaluate the quality of their evidence, this leads to reasoning which is invalid and unjustified. This project also demonstrates that there is clearly a need to effectively support the construction of explanations on a number of levels â€“ generating appropriate claims, judging evidence, incorporating evidence and evaluating the strength of evidence in the reasoning process. We have seen that while students may improve in their overall ability to produce an argument (Figure 2 and 3) they have apparent weaknesses in argumentation including gaps in general reasoning. A similar result was also found by Ruiz-Primo et al. (2010) who state that â€œstudents are lacking in learning experiences and guidance in fundamental activities of constructing explanations.â€? In fact, different forms of scaffolds have been explored such as Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI) and the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) and these have been shown to not only improve different aspects of the written argument (Hand et al., 2004; Kingir et al., 2012; Sampson et al., 2011) but also conceptual understanding in Science. We therefore see a value in written scaffolds such as these in developing each component in a structured argument. Future Implications Our research opens up to many different avenues and challenges in the realm of argumentation. This particular study is currently continuing with the following learning activities in place: - Applying the same writing template to another question in a different context - Developing detailed literacy scaffolds for components of an argument e.g. alternative linking words or phrases to be used in the warrant/justification - Incorporating the argumentation framework into a feature article (appendix)
Appendix Segments from the intervention task explicitly teaching students how to reason to provide a justification/warrant. The students had to read two short articles on differing points of view on the impact of sugar on the body. They then analysed each according to Toulminâ€™s model and finally made a judgement by making their own claim based on the evidence presented in each article.
Feature Article activity following the argumentation task (page 1 only). Students were given the question: â€œIs anybody out there?â€? where they had to discuss if there is the possibility of life on another planet. Each paragraph was to be structured such that there is a claim, backed with evidence and a clear justification showing reasoning. The final paragraph was to be a judgement statement answering the question.
References Chin, C., & Osborne, J. (2010). Supporting Argumentation Through Students' Questions: Case Studies in Science Classrooms. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(2), 230-284. doi: 10.1080/10508400903530036 Christodoulou, A., & Osborne, J. (2014). The science classroom as a site of epistemic talk: A case study of a teacher's attempts to teach science based on argument. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1002/tea.21166 Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Scott, P., & Mortimer, E. (1994). Constructing Scientific Knowledge in the Classroom. Educational Researcher, 23(7), 5-12. doi: 10.3102/0013189x023007005 Driver, R., Newton, P., & Osborne, J. (2000). Establishing the norms of scientific argumentation in classrooms. Science Education, 84(3), 287-312. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-237X(200005)84:3<287::AID-SCE1>3.0.CO;2-A Duschl, R. A., & Osborne, J. (2002). Supporting and promoting argumentation discourse in science education. Studies in Science Education, 38, 39. Emig, J. (1977). Writing as a mode of learning. College composition and communication, 28(2), 122-128. Hand, B., Wallace, C. W., & Yang, E.-M. (2004). Using the science writing heuristic as a tool for learning from laboratory investigations in secondary science. . Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(10), 1065-1084. Kanari, Z., & Millar, R. (2004). Reasoning from data: How students collect and interpret data in science investigations. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(7), 748-769. doi: 10.1002/tea.20020 Kingir, S., Geban, O., & Gunel, M. (2012). How does the science writing heuristic approach affect students' performances of different academic achievement levels? A case for high school chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 13(4), 428-436. doi: 10.1039/C2RP20013A Kuhn, D. (1992). Thinking as Argument. Harvard Educational Review, 62(2), 155. Kuhn, D. (1993). Science as argument: Implications for teaching and learning scientific thinking. Science Education, 77(3), 319-337. doi: 10.1002/sce.3730770306 Kuhn, D. (2010). Teaching and learning science as argument. Science Education, 94(5), 810-824. doi: 10.1002/sce.20395 McNeill, K. L., & Krajcik, J. S. (2008). Inquiry and Scientific Explanations: Helping Students Use Evidence and Reasoning. In J. Luft, Bell, R. & Gess-Newsome, J. (Ed.), Science as Inquiry in the Secondary Setting (pp. 121-134). Arlington, VA: National Science Teacher's Association Press. Newton, P., Driver, R., & Osborne, J. (1999). The place of argumentation in the pedagogy of school science. International Journal of Science Education, 21(5), 553-576. doi: 10.1080/095006999290570 Osborne, J. (1996). Beyond Constructivism. Science Education, 80(1), 53-82.
Osborne, J. (2001). Promoting argument in the science classroom: A rhetorical perspective. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 1(3), 271-290. Osborne, J. (2010). Arguing to learn in science: The role of collaborative, critical discourse. Science, 328(5977), 463-466. Osborne, J. (2013). The 21st century challenge for science education: Assessing scientific reasoning. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 10(0), 265-279. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2013.07.006 Osborne, J., Erduran, S., & Simon, S. (2004). Enhancing the quality of argumentation in school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 994-1020. doi: 10.1002/tea.20035 Ruiz-Primo, M. A., Li, M., Tsai, S.-P., & Schneider, J. (2010). Testing one premise of scientific inquiry in science classrooms: Examining students' scientific explanations and student learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(5), 583-608. doi: 10.1002/tea.20356 Sampson, V., Grooms, J., & Walker, J. P. (2011). Argument-Driven Inquiry as a way to help students learn how to participate in scientific argumentation and craft written arguments: An exploratory study. Science Education, 95(2), 217-257. Tytler, R. (2007) Re-imagining Science Education Engaging students in science for Australiaâ€™s future. Australian Education Review: ACER Press. Weiss, I. R., Pasley, J. D., Smith, P. S., Banilower, E. R., & Heck, D. J. (2003). A Study of Kâ€“12 Mathematics and Science Education in the United States. Horizon Research Inc. Retrieved January 25, 2014, 2014
THE POWER OF TEACHER LEADERSHIP Thérèse Turner-Jones, Trinity Grammar School In late September/ early October 2013, I was fortunate to be a part of an Australian contingent of principals and middle leaders of schools, in an International Study in Educational Leadership. This tour encompassed a wide range of schools and systems in Finland, Scotland and England. This International Study Tour in Educational Leadership inspired the Literature Review for my Masters of Educational Leadership, at the University of NSW, with my chosen topic: Leadership of school improvement which extends the potential and capabilities of teachers to lead within organisations. Effective or purposeful leadership is generally accepted as being a central component in securing and sustaining school improvement. The evidence from the school improvement literature consistently highlights that effective leaders exercise an indirect influence on schools’ capacity to improve and upon the achievement of students, though this influence does not necessarily derive from senior managers, but can also at least partly lie in strengths of middle level leaders and teachers (Leithwood et al., 1999; Harris, 2004). This extract from the Introduction of Teacher Leadership in (In) action by Muijs and Harris (2007), underpins the examination of the research that has been conducted in this field of Teacher Leadership. My interest in quality Teacher Leadership for postgraduate study inspired this Literature Review, to find evidence in research that teachers not only make a difference for student learning and outcomes (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2001), but that when provided with the opportunity to lead as teachers, the quality of this teacher leadership contributes to the motivation of teachers and the quality of instruction in the classroom (Fullan, 2001; Segiovanni, 1999). Hence, both the direct and indirect capacity and potential for teachers and teacher leaders to be extended by leadership of school improvement, to lead and influence within the organisation was cause for careful consideration for research that had illuminated such findings, and as importantly, research that strongly put forward a case for further investigation into the possibilities for teachers to lead in organisations as stated in Barth (2001) that, ‘Schools badly need the leadership of teachers if they are to improve’. (2001, p.84). This school improvement resonated with my keen interest of postgraduate study in the school effectiveness literature, particularly the research of Van Velzen et al, 1985; Cuban, 1998; Hopkins, Ainscow & West, 1994; Reynolds & Teddlie, 2000; Sammons et al., 1995. 78
APPLE 2013 AND 2014 PHOTO GALLERY
2013 TEACHERS’ GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES ANNUAL DINNER AND PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Introduction by Mrs Frances Fleeton, President of The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales held its Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards on Saturday 7 September 2013 at Trinity Grammar School, Dining Hall. More than 55 guests gathered to celebrate the presentations of this years awards to a number of young and talented individuals. Our suits of Awards aim to acknowledge and to recognise exemplary teachers in their particular stage in their profession. The presentations included: Awards for Teachers in their Early Years of Teaching Primary School Division Winner: Sarah Wood (Abbotsleigh) Certificate of Excellence: Emily Ross (International Grammar School) Senior School Division Winner: Leighton Corr (Arndell Anglican College) Certificates of Excellence: Philippa Janu (Abbotsleigh) Lauren Kenny (Arndell Anglican College) Ellen O’Connor (Patrian Brothers’ High School Farfield) Guild Scholarship Winner: Elaine Johnstone Research Award Winner: Nicolette Hilton Highly Commended: Dr Kate Bertram Commended: Angela D’Angelo
The 2013 Research Awards have benefited from generous sponsorship by Smart Teachers and the University COOP Bookshop. The Guild Council was pleased to honour Mr Cujes as a committed professional and fine educator in the naming of its Awards in the 2013 Centenary Year of Trinity Grammar School. The Council of the Teachers’ Guild thanks Mr Milton Cujes, Head Master of Trinity Grammar School, for making the facilities of the School available for this function. This report also includes the photos taken on the evening. Congratulations to all award recipients.
2014 TEACHERS’ GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES ANNUAL DINNER AND PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Introduction by Mrs Frances Fleeton The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales held its Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards on Saturday September 6th 2014 at Trinity Grammar School, Dining Hall. More than 45 guests gathered to celebrate the presentation of this year’s award that included the Presentation for Excellence in Teaching and Certificates of Excellence were presented to a number of outstanding young colleagues. The Teachers’ Guild’s Research Award was also presented on the evening. These Awards honoured Mrs Helen Hughes, who was in attendance to present the Awards. This report also includes Mrs Helen Hughes’ address and photographs taken on the evening. Congratulations to all award recipients.
2014 TEACHERS’ GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER ADDRESS
Given by Mrs Helen Hughes, FTGN Mrs Fleeton, Councillors, Fellows, Members and guests, It is my very great pleasure to be with you this evening. The Guild has remained dear to me since my involvement in the 1980s and 1990s and I have kept abreast of what has been happening while I have been in Melbourne over the last fourteen years as Principal of Strathcona. My time of direct involvement in the Guild, and for a time as President, was a rich period of learning and giving professionally. It has been a delight to see the ongoing development of the Guild over the last decade, to recognise the impact it is having on the teaching profession, and to acknowledge the reinforcement and encouragement it is providing through the Awards for Beginning Teachers and the Research Awards. It is truly an honour to be presenting the Awards this evening. When I joined the Guild, I became conscious of how it honoured its name. It has remained a small but effective association that has continued to provide sharing amongst practitioners, in a profession that places many demands on those involved. For those of us present, whether teacher, school leader or parent, a shared preoccupation is the provision of “a quality education” for our young people. In speaking to you this evening, I would like to explore the concept of “quality” and share some thoughts with you on the current educational landscape and on thinking and research that are impacting our directions in schools. Our definition of what incorporates “a quality education” shapes our expectations of what a school can contribute to young people’s lives and to society. Education is, above all, a preparation for the future. Its core purpose is to give all young people the confidence and capacity to flourish in the world they are going to inhabit.1
Lucas, B., Claxton, G. & Spencer, E. (2013). Expansive Education Teaching learners for the real world.Australia: ACER Press 86
The value of school has traditionally been measured in terms of results – grades in exams, or for tests, projects, essays etc. Over the last two decades, a shift has occurred to take the emphasis on results to an even higher level with the addition of external testing through to the international level, supposedly to establish “markers” of quality. We are now in the era of NAPLAN testing, with results published on the My School website; international comparisons abound through, for example, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) research, its Teaching and Learning International Surveys (known as TALIS), and its international tests in reading, mathematics and science for 15 year olds. Although Australia comes out well in these comparisons, there is still much exploring of why Singapore and Finland, for example, remain at the top. There are some aspects we would choose to emulate, some we would not. Partly influenced by these international comparisons, the Australian Government has taken steps to set requirements under the Australian Education Act 2013, involving implementation of the Australian Curriculum, the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework, and provision of professional development consistent with the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders. Much research and good thinking have contributed to the formulation of these, and we identify with striving for the highest possible standards in teaching. The Guild is contributing to these directions with professional learning activities, with the perspective, of course, that the Federal Government understands that independent schools will create their own stamp on the curriculum and have their own methods in place for encouraging professional learning and accountability. On the topic of the increasing emphasis on grading and testing, educational researcher, Ron Ritchhart,2 has asked some critical questions: ‘Is this really why we send our children to school?’ and ‘Is this truly the goal of education to which we collectively aspire?’ In response to these questions, Ritchhart comments that
Ritchhart, R. (2012). Creating Cultures of Thinking: the 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform our Schools. Jossey Bass 87
there has been little consensus as to why we educate. Sharing this view, Elliot Eisner3 has stated, “as long as schools treat test scores as the major proxies for student achievement and educational quality, we will have a hard time refocusing our attention on what really matters in education”. Ritchhart has sought to find answers across the world to the question: ‘What do you want the children you teach (i.e. as teachers, parents or administrators) to be like as adults?’ He has been surprised at how similar the responses are from disparate groups. The same sets of qualities tend to appear over and over again – Attributes that drive learning: curiosity, inquisitiveness, questioning Attributes that facilitate innovation: creativity, problem solving, risk taking, imagination and inquisitiveness Skills needed to work and get on with others: collaborative, empathetic, listening, helpful Skills that support the ability to deal with complexity: analysis, making connections, critical thinking Characteristics that situate learning in the world as a global citizen, a member of a community, someone aware of their impact on the environment, able to communicate Ritchhart states that these dispositions have to be developed over time, nurtured to become engrained and enculturated, learned through immersion in a culture. We need to surround children with the kind of intellectual life, mental activity and processes of learning to which we want them to grow accustomed. We need to provide opportunities for children to learn with us in the midst of authentic activities. To help children to uncover their own thinking, adults must listen with a vigorous and genuine interest to what they have to say. Each year, each of us working in schools explores new ideas that will influence our planning for the learning that we want our students to experience. We give much time to keeping abreast of major trends nationally and internationally. My
Eisner, E. (2003). Preparing for today and tomorrow, in Educational Leadership 61 (4): 6-10 88
own undertakings have included opportunities to attend Harvard Graduate School of Education summer schools. The most recent one attended was on the topic of ‘The Future of Learning’. Ron Ritchhart, just mentioned, is a senior researcher at Project Zero, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He works closely with Mark Church on how to make thinking visible in schools, to assist in promoting engagement, understanding and independence in learners. His work has been influential in professional learning opportunities in various states of Australia and has certainly influenced directions at Strathcona. The summer schools have included lectures by Howard Gardner and David Perkins and other outstanding professors who have impacted educational directions throughout the world. Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of Project Zero, revolutionised our thinking with his theory of multiple intelligences and continues to challenge our thinking on the goals of education. He argues that K – 12 education should enhance a deep understanding of three principles: truth, beauty and goodness. Such a goal takes us well beyond the standardised test mentality strongly influencing our current education system. In posing the question of how we develop responsible, caring and balanced youth and how we encourage “good” work, play and citizenship, Gardner4 promulgates three E’s of Good Work: Excellent, expert, high quality Ethical, socially responsible, moral Engaging – meaningful, intrinsically motivated Our role as educators holds great responsibility for modelling and explicating positive examples and calling attention to negative examples. This is a moral commitment that underpins all we do.
David Perkins, Carl H. Pforzheimer, J. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Project Zero, Harvard University, holds to the conviction that psychological capacities are themselves capable of being stretched and strengthened. He has referred to ‘the emerging science of learnable intelligence’5 which makes it clear that a good part of people’s so-called intelligence is actually made up of mental habits that can be developed in positive ways. Resilience, concentration, imagination and collaboration are all qualities of mind that can be coached and cultivated. This science gives licence to teachers to think of themselves as coaches of the capacities to think and learn. Just as a desirable configuration of dispositions in young people involves critical thinking, questioning, reflecting and adapting, so the same is true for teachers. Teachers who exhibit these capabilities produce better educational outcomes. John Hattie6 expresses this most succinctly when he states that, “the remarkable feature of the evidence is that the biggest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers”. In the first half of this statement, Hattie encapsulates what expansive educators do. They move beyond reflective practice to adopt a more scientific and rigorous mindset with respect to all their teaching. They become better observers of their own effects on students, and more interested in undertaking, publishing and sharing …with other colleagues … more disposed to adapt and change aspects of their teaching methods to ensure that what they are doing is leading to improvements in student learning, and better at noticing the impacts of their teaching (Lucas et al, 2013, p. 6-7). In all of these examples I have raised, there is a recognition of the extent to which we have expanded the goals of education to not only facilitate the highest possible achievement of our students in the traditional sense, but also to take learning to a higher plane, a higher purpose where the experiences of students with their teachers will guide them to understand how they can cultivate mental habits or dispositions that will serve them well in their adult lives; how they can
Perkins, D. (1995). Outsmarting IQ: the emerging science of learnable intelligence. New York: The Free Press. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge. p. 22 90
understand and value their own thinking and the thinking of others; and how they can become caring, responsible and balanced adults who understand good work, play and citizenship. Our definition of “a quality education” must take all of these aspects into account as we shape our expectations of what a school can contribute to young people’s future and to society. Our teachers present are privileged to be playing such a significant role in both defining and influencing directions in the provision of “a quality education”. I wish you great satisfaction and enjoyment in your work and I wish the Guild ongoing success in the significant role it plays in NSW in supporting high quality professional learning opportunities. To those of you receiving Awards, I express congratulations on behalf of all present this evening. May this reinforcement of your work encourage you to strive even further in making a difference in the lives of the young people in your care.
2013 ANNUAL DINNER PHOTO GALLERY
2014 ANNUAL DINNER PHOTO GALLERY
TEACHING AND LEARNING FORUM REPORT ON FRESH APPROACH TO EDUCATION
Dr Frederick Osman Teaching and Learning Convenor and Vice President of the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales hosted an exciting initiative to welcome 45 educators from across New South Wales at our Guild Teaching and Learning Forum on "Fresh Approach To Education (FATE)" at the Trinity Grammar School, on Thursday 26 June 2014. In education, as in life in general, it may well be true that the only constant is change. In order to cope with change we need to continually try new ideas and approaches. In a year which has already seen so many changes to both our educational and economic landscape, the need to take a fresh approach to the way we engage with and manage student learning is growing stronger by the day. The fresh approach to education forum FATE was set-up to focus on the Australian Curriculum and how innovation can be encouraged and creative solutions enabled in the areas on this occasion for Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics. This Forum focussed on how innovation can be encouraged, creative solutions enabled and new arenas embraced in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics education. The workshop facilitators also encouraged the revisiting of old ideas in new contexts and the applications of old solutions to new problems. Pedagogies and practices were explored with various experienced educators on their practical application – which enhanced the learning experience for the delegates. The Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW session covered the Australian Curriculum implementations; provided an update of the K–10 Mathematics and HSIE syllabus implementations, proposed revisions of Assessments and the overview of NSW Syllabus websites; NSW Senior Secondary Curriculum Review and Evaluation in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics education. The hands-on sessions delivered at the Forum were designed to unleash the creativity in practical underpinnings of innovative practices in teaching and learning. The more specific aims of the Forum included: 97
To provide support to educators in their provision of good induction and mentoring in the topics of the forum To make more effective use of the expertise of accomplished educators in order to improve the quality of teaching in the areas of Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics To enhance the practical skills of educators in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics. To provide the theoretical and practical underpinnings of innovative practices in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics teaching and learning To provide developments in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics teaching in terms of new technologies and ideologies.
THE PRINCIPAL THEMES OF THE FORUM WORKSHOPS INCLUDED:
Employing immersive technology in Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics to best effect Harnessing learning technologies to benefit learning Recycling effective approaches in new or different contexts Enabling cross-fertilisation of good practice across Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics disciplines and developing networks of practice.
I WOULD LIKE TO SINCERELY THANK OUR PRESENTERS FOR THEIR TIME AND DEDICATION IN ACCEPTING MY INVITATION TO PRESENT AT THIS FORUM. A WEALTH OF GREAT IDEAS FOR THE EDUCATION SECTOR WAS DELIVERED BY OUR PRESENTERS WHICH INCLUDED: Brooke Prideaux from the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES). Brooke is currently a Senior Education Officer - HSIE at BOSTES responsible for the development of the new Geography K-10 syllabus for NSW. Previously, Brooke has been an Assistant Principal - Teaching, Learning and Curriculum at Cerdon College Merrylands; Coordinating Senior Marker for Business studies HSC Exam and Teacher of Business Studies and Geography. Peter Osland, Mathematics Inspector, Board of Studies, from the Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES). Peter has been an Inspector Mathematics at the Board since 1998. Peter is responsible for K–12 Mathematics curriculum development and maintenance, and inspects non-government schools for registration/accreditation. He has also worked at the Board as a Senior Assessment Officer, coordinating Inspector of the registration/accreditation 98
programme, and Coordinating Supervisor of Marking for SC and HSC Mathematics. Among his other roles in Mathematics education, Peter is a former President of The Mathematical Association of NSW. George Anderberg, is a Mathematics Consultant with the Mathematics Connection. He has over 30 years of experience educating students, teachers and the wider community in the field of mathematics and mathematics learning. His experience includes teaching mathematics at all levels from K to Year 12, adult education, pre service teacher training, TAFE, distance education, current teacher training and parent workshops. George has worked as a mathematics educator in the State, Catholic, Independent, ACT and US (Colorado) systems and most recently East Timor. George understands how students learn and is able to develop a meaningful learning environment that is rigorous, relevant and rewarding.
Ian Moore, Author of Creative Business Studies and atarconfidence.com has considerable experience of more than thirty-five years as an innovative teacher of Economics and Business Studies by mentoring, rewarding success and instilling confidence in all his students to achieve the highest outcomes, particularly in secondary boysâ€™ education. He is regarded with utter admiration by all the pupils in the School and especially by the senior pupils with whom he works. He has developed learning approaches that have been codified in such an engaging and accessible way as to benefit any student aspiring to high performance in challenging subject areas. Ian believes that all teachers can reinvent themselves to become highly inspirational communicators giving exciting pathways to develop a structure for teaching in a highly motivational manner.
I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK OUR SPONSOR, SMART TEACHERS, FOR THEIR KIND GENEROSITY IN HELPING TO STAGE THIS FORUM, PARTICULARLY SARAH MCNAMARA AND MELISSA FRANKLIN WHO ATTENDED THE FORUM AS REPRESENTATIVES FROM SMART TEACHERS. SMART TEACHERS IS AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN EDUCATION RECRUITMENT. THEIR CLIENTS ARE INDEPENDENT, CHRISTIAN AND CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ACROSS NSW AND THE ACT, AND THEY HELP GREAT TEACHERS TO FIND GREAT JOBS.
The Teachers' Guild of New South Wales Proceedings 2013-14