ArticlePDF Available

Building Teacher Capacity: A Job Embedded Approach

Authors:
  • Australian College of Researchers

Abstract

The rapidly evolving nature of technology and the ease of access to all students to internet driven programs has seen a major shift in the ways schools engage students in learning. This has seen a movement towards the creation of flexible learning spaces to accommodate new pedagogies (Oblinger, 2006). Consequently, the new learning environments that students find themselves in today are also the same new environments that teachers are working in.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Building Teacher Capacity: A Job Embedded Approach
Dr Jake Madden
Principal, St Augustines Primary School and Adjunct Senior Lecturer Southern Cross University
Australia
The rapidly evolving nature of technology and the ease of access to all students to internet
driven programs has seen a major shift in the ways schools engage students in learning. This
has seen a movement towards the creation of flexible learning spaces to accommodate new
pedagogies (Oblinger, 2006). Consequently, the new learning environments that students find
themselves in today are also the same new environments that teachers are working in.
The paper offers insight into one school’s alignment of innovation in teaching and learning in
the creation of a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers. It illustrates
how a job embedded PD program (Kelleher, 2003) or “learning in context” (Fullan, 2002)
was orchestrated to foster ‘whole of school’ teacher professional learning on improving
teacher practice. Although only in its early stages, anecdotal data suggests the crafting of
professional development within the workplace, promotes an authentic, meaningful and
relevant approach to teacher learning yielding beneficial results for both student and teacher.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Introduction
The movement to a global economy and changes in technology, the varying nature of work,
and (consequently) the changing workforce demographics are challenging traditional
approaches to education. It stands to reason that if Australia is to compete effectively in a
growing (global) knowledge-based economy (Smith & Lynch, 2010), our education system
must equip children with appropriate skills to meet new employment opportunities and build
the capacity of students to continue to learn new skills and enhance their current abilities
long after they finish formal schooling.
The system of schooling predominating countries like Australia today had its genesis in the
previous ‘industrial era’ (Senge, Cambron-McCabe, Lucas, Smith, & Dutton, 2012). In basic
terms, industrial era schooling mirrored the economy in that it required conformity and
adherence to long established norms and ways of doing things. Consequently schooling was
not about ‘opportunity’, as this was believed to be an innate and born aspect of the individual
(meaning their fate was sealed at conception). The schooling regime was therefore required
to filter out ‘young people’, based on their demonstrated capacities for education, for their
place in the work force based on their innate capacities. Grades, the various school exit points
(infants, primary, secondary, tertiary) and the corresponding mindset of ‘smart and dumb
kids’ captured and reinforced this circumstance (Hirsch Jr, 2010).
To make this ‘system of schooling’ work, the teacher was required to systematically ‘present
knowledge’, in a disciplined environment (because the best worker was a compliant one)
using the ‘grade’ (syllabus) and the ‘filtering’ process (examinations chiefly) to determine
each student’s time to leave school. If the student could ‘handle’ more education they ‘stayed
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
on’. If they couldn’t they entered the workforce or vocational education then work. In this
system of schooling no attention was focused on the teacher and their capacities to teach
because there was a ‘free flow’ of students into work and because the science of teaching and
learning was nonexistent: there was no basis from which to challenge the system of schooling
(Smith & Lynch, 2010).
Increasingly today, the job opportunities in society are more complex, more technologically
reliant and evolving and they no longer manifest in local conditions (i.e. workers now
compete or employment is influenced by the global employment market). The industrial era
of schooling now has to give way for an era, which is based on technological knowledge and
where one’s capacity to use it in new and different and interconnected ways is key (Beetham
& Sharpe, 2013). Further the emerging science of teaching and learning indicates that all
students have capacities to learn albeit requiring more customized teaching approaches (D
Lynch, 2012; Treadwell, 2008).
The industrial era teaching approach is premised on ‘pedagogic void’. This is where teaching
practice is devoid of an evidence base, where teaching strategies are accommodated to a
teacher’s personal learning preference rather than to an evidence base for teaching and
reinforced by a perception that “not all kids can learn”: which is contrary to modern science
(D. Lynch & Smith, 2013). This is a key challenge for schools as they focus on meeting the
learning needs of today’s student within the constraints of mandated curricula. Teachers
simply cannot deliver learning in the same manner as they have for the past few decades.
Ensuring teachers have the necessary skills to support students learning for work in the
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
knowledge economy is a key challenge. How teachers teach will be more important than
ever before.
This echoes the words of Valerie Hannon (2012) as she provides a sobering reminder that
education cannot continue on the same industrialised path it has been travelling.
“The argument that education needs to change to adapt to the learning needs of a
future that remains uncertain has been exhaustively rehearsed. Although there is
considerable debate about the extent and urgency of the problem and the kinds of
changes to pedagogy, curriculum and assessment required, there is nevertheless a
growing consensus that conventional education systems are, on current paths,
unlikely to be capable of the kind of step change that is urgently needed.” (Hannon,
2012, p. 2)
This being the case, what can schools do to tackle these ‘big picture’ issues? School leaders
are at the centre of fostering cultural change and, through purposeful planning and placing the
teacher at the heart of school reform, student outcomes can be improved (Hattie, 2008).
The rise of the internet paradigm (Treadwell, 2008) has seen a growth in online access to
information and the increase in personal mobile devices enabling students unprecedented
connectivity to online content (Prensky, 2010). This has seen a wave of innovation in (early
adopter) schools not only as an enticement to capture student engagement but also to provide
a more effective means of absorbing students in the learning process.
However, as today’s students are ready now to seize and shape the future by leveraging
technology tools to implement their personalized vision for 21st century education
(McCrindle & Wolfinger, 2010), the consequence of this blended online world requires new
skills for both the teacher and the student. The challenge for governments is to not just move
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
from an industrial education system to a 21st century focus by providing a forward thinking
curriculum but to rebuild the physical structures of schools to meet the new pedagogy needed
to meet the learning needs of students today.
History: Moving towards personalizing learning
Prior to 2009 St Augustine’s Primary School typified the traditional schooling structures
(Madden, 2012; Madden, Wilks, Maoine, Loader, & Robinson, 2012). Although a high
performing school, classes were ordered and teacher centred. The curriculum was delivered
by a unitized Key Learning Area scope and sequence approach. The library was a repository
of containers of specified year level units for each Key Learning Area. Students were
provided the same learning activities and strategies regardless of their needs or abilities. The
delivery of learning was timetabled on a week-by-week, term-by-term basis and was
‘checked off’ as completed.
Teaching was regarded as linear with the teacher imparting knowledge and the student being
the receiver. Assessment followed the same pattern and all children were critiqued and
judged against the same assessment task, normally a pencil paper test. Knowledge of content
was focused on a ‘recall and regurgitate’ design.
Teacher conversation centred on the content of the syllabus and how to resource the
prescribed units of work. The abilities of the child did not influence the curriculum planning
and decision-making. There was little scope to venture outside the ‘norms of teaching’ to
allow students to inquire and research.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
This industrial model of schooling perpetuated the isolation of teachers working in individual
classrooms. Although being a three stream school, grade teachers shared planning and
resources however, teaching was undertaken individually.
The catalyst for the current innovation was a review of the school’s results of its participation
in the annual Basic Skills (now NAPLAN) standardized testing program for literacy and
numeracy. Over the life of the program up until 2006 the data highlighted a flat lining of
results. That is, no real growth.
Subsequent discussions around the data offered a renewed enthusiasm to review the school’s
teaching and learning framework. Coinciding with staff conversation on learning was the
school’s involvement in the systems’ quality assurance program, School Review and
Development (SRD).
The consequence of the SRD led to the formation of the 2009-2013 strategic plan titled,
“Personalising Learning ~ Pursuing Excellence”. A substantial move from operating in the
traditional model of school with the “one teacher, one class, one room” structure whereby the
teachers implemented a teacher directed, single KLA unitized curricula approach.
Extensive staff professional learning during 2008 and 2009 was held around key educational
issues including personalization (Andy Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009), globalization (Giddens,
2002), digitalization (Prensky, 2010) and brain theory (Reigeluth, 2013). The ensuing
planning and decision making saw the development of a new learning landscape to foster the
teaching and learning in a 21st century learning environment (Madden, 2010, 2012). The St
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Augustine’s teaching and learning framework is now based upon the premise that all children
can learn and that the provision of targeted, differentiated learning strategies undertaken
within a flexible learning environment facilitates improved student learning. The physical
facilities design phase of the 2009-2013 strategic plan received a timely boost with the
intervention of the Federal Government’s BER program. This allowed for an alignment of the
unfolding philosophy for learning with the building of the new learning spaces.
After an initial implementation phase, an action research project in 2011 focused on the
interim establishment of the school’s flexible learning environments. This action research
guided further planning and changes to the school’s learning framework. More specifically, it
allowed the school to study the learning journey of teachers implementing significant
educational change within our school environment.
More importantly, the findings of the action research highlighted a need for targeted teacher
professional development that is rooted in the day-to-day function of our school’s learning
framework. Such a job embedded professional development program supports current
research (Andy Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012).
While catering for the learning needs of the child growing up in the digital world by fostering
a culture of collaboration and personalized learning, the school’s teaching and learning
framework is also aimed at building teacher capacity to function within the flexible open
learning spaces. No plan for sustainable educational change can ignore or bypass the teacher
(Andy Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012). As schools, like St Augustine’s, embrace a student-
centered, achievement-based focus teachers will need necessary up skilling to meet the ever-
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
changing needs of students. Building teacher capacity requires changes in school attitudes
about how to best support teachers as they improve their teaching (Harris & Lambert, 2003).
By developing the capabilities of teachers to be better practitioners of teaching and learning,
they are more able to meet the diverse needs of each student. For Fullan and Hargreaves
(2012), this is the building of professional capital (defined as the function of the integration
of human capital, social capital and decisional capital) and is the solution for improving the
teaching profession.
St Augustine’s has embraced a differentiated teaching and learning approach, engaging
students through a personalized learning process using collaboration and self-reflection as
key vehicles for enhancing the learning process. Using a deprivatised teaching and learning
approach the focus on the personalization of learning enables a collaborative teaching process
(Madden, 2012).
For Hargreaves and Shirley in The Fourth Way, the vital 21st century skills that will drive
new knowledge economies are integral to the growing agenda of personalization (Andy
Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009). With advances in the science of learning (eg brain based
learning, learning styles and habits of mind) our knowledge of how learning occurs will help
support and shape different learning experiences to meet the needs of the individual.
Deciding on what to learn, when to learn and how to learn will become more tailored to the
individual learner.
Arguably the way forward requires a change in the way we deliver learning in our schools.
This is the function of teachers and the need to provide experienced classroom teachers
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
opportunities to develop new pedagogies for addressing the learning needs of the 21st century
student is an urgent task (Madden, 2013).
Focusing on Teacher Initiated Action Research
As has been written elsewhere on the educational reforms at St Augustine’s (Madden, 2012;
Madden et al., 2012) coupled with the changing Australian educational landscape (Ministerial
Council on Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs, 2008), implementing change
begins with the classroom teacher. The introduction of the Australian Institute of Teaching
and School Leadership (AITSL) Performance Development Framework and the
implementation of the St Augustine’s 2009-2013 Strategic Plan have been a catalyst for
focusing on teacher improvement.
Supporting this are four assumptions underlying teacher initiated action research at St
Augustine’s Primary School:
1. All teachers should have multiple opportunities to engage in professional growth and
development that is related to classroom practice.
2. Effective teachers have an intrinsic desire to improve their practice. Consequently
teachers need relevant and contextual data to work with.
3. Teachers can undertake research that can inform their (current) practice at the
classroom level.
4. No matter how decisive research findings may be in one cohort, they may not be
applicable to other cohorts, given their individual nuances.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
In short, the main reason for encouraging teachers at St Augustine’s to engage in action
research is to learn from each other, to improve their own teaching expertise and to lead
others in the process.
This building of a ‘teacher as researcher’ culture emerged out of a study into understanding
the process of teacher change and the impacts on student learning (Madden et al., 2012)
conducted in the school during 2011. This study looked at a whole of school approach to
deprivatising the classroom to enable a more flexible personalized learning approach for
students, allow teachers to be more collaborative in their teaching and to provide peer-to-peer
feedback on teaching practices.
Guiding this study were three critical research questions:
1. In what ways does the school’s curriculum framework reflect and respond to the
learner of today?
2. In what ways are teachers experiencing and involving themselves in cohort learning
and what are the impacts on their own perceptions of self-efficacy and well-being?
3. What are the students’ own experiences of cohort learning innovations and what
evidence is there that these innovations are bringing about positive learning and well-
being outcomes for students?
Key findings offered a platform for building a way forward to supporting improvement in
teacher practice. The five significant themes that emerged from the data were related to:
1. Planning Time
2. Learning Spaces
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
3. Assessment and Reporting
4. Student Engagement
5. Teacher Engagement and Support
Furthermore, supporting the research by Fullan and Hargreaves (2012) on teacher
professional development, the findings of this study reiterated the need for teachers to take
responsibility for their own professional learning. More specifically the mandate to focus on
building teacher capacity to work in the new environment is summed up in the following:
“The ongoing role of the school leadership team in undertaking carefully designed
professional development to support the teachers around whole-school change was
vital, and needs to be ongoing, targeted and effective if it is to mitigate teachers’ fears
and anxieties and address their learning needs.” (Madden et al., 2012, pp. 32-33)
Using a teacher as researcher framework advocates a means to emphasise the professional
nature of teachers and to provide an “evidence based process” to inform ‘big picture’
decision-making around student learning. Teachers as researchers foster teachers’ ability to
think critically/systematically about their teaching and to work collaboratively with others to
achieve improvement (Babkie & Provost, 2004).
Developing An Action Plan
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
The pathway to the future of learning1 at St Augustine’s began with an intensive staff inquiry
around the future of learning, how children learn today and the impact of technology/internet
on student learning. The purpose of such an inquiry was threefold:
1. To engage all staff (not just the teachers) in the conversation on learning.
2. To examine the current influences on learning. With the view that to support student
learning, staff needed to understand the influences so as to make informed decisions
on improving student learning.
3. Once our understanding of how children are learning in today’s 21st century context,
the need to create appropriate learning environments to facilitate optimum learning
conditions was necessary.
With the need to build staff capacity to implement the school’s new learning framework, a
number of key strategies were initiated. These are explained below:
1. Learning Management System. The first being to introduce an online learning
management system that would not only enable staff and students to engage in the digital
world but also foster the school’s focus on key skills (ie collaboration, problem solving,
critical thinking, interpersonal skills, showing initiative). This initiative supports recent
research into the use of technology to support the intervention of new pedagogies (Beetham
& Sharpe, 2013).
The decision to utilise the online program “KnowledgeNET”2 enabled staff and students to
not only demonstrate learning outcomes but also allow personalized feedback, parental
1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BFup7LME8A
2 http://knowledge-networks.co.nz/services/knowledgenet.php
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
communication tools and opportunity to engage in the digital arena via a closed password
protected site.
Central to this initiative was the whole school approach and the nurturing of staff to become
proficient in the use of digital technology as a vehicle to engage students in the learning
process. This was based on the assumption that if teachers were not using the technology
themselves, then technology wouldn't be featured in lesson plans (Heppell, 2010). The move
from using technology as an end point process (ie publishing final work or simply searching
for information) to integrating technology into the learning space has engaged both students
and teachers alike.
2. New Pedagogy. With a focus on how students learn in today’s world, the way learning at
St Augustine’s was delivered was being challenged. Notwithstanding the excellent results in
all forms of assessment over the years, meeting the needs of students growing up in a digital
world necessitated a renewed look at how learning was delivered (Prensky, 2010). With staff
discussion centred on the common phrase “If we keep on doing what we’ve always done,
we’ll keep on getting what we’ve always got”, the decision to deprivatise teaching and
learning at St Augustine’s was realized. This decision necessitated an intensive professional
development program aimed at upskilling teachers in working collaboratively.
Strategies that supported the initial stages of the deprivatisation process included school
visitations. This key strategy saw many staff members visit like-minded schools to observe
first hand how other learning institutions were adopting deprivatisation practices. With
research advocating collaborative professional learning (A Hargreaves, 2003; Levine &
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Marcus, 2010) the visits ranged from day trips to spending a few days of quality time
shadowing teachers inside classrooms, observing peer to peer interactions on the teaching
process and studying school based documentation.
Such a strategy led to the conclusion that St Augustine’s needed to develop our own
personalized school wide pedagogy and not simply adopt another school’s approach. This
view resonates with the findings of the work of Frank Crowther and the IDEAS project
(Crowther, 2012). After an inhouse inquiry study (Thornton, Phelps, & Graham, 2011) in
2011 on the new learning framework at St Augustine’s and after much “brainstorming” and
“think tank” planning with the school’s leadership team a key package for supporting
professional learning was established. This package is formalised in a partnership with
Southern Cross University titled “Teachers as Researchers Project 2012 to 2014”.
3. Pedagogical Project with Southern Cross University. With a number of opportunities to
study and workshop with John Hattie on his Visible Learning research (Hattie, 2008) the
school leadership team wanted to use the research to inform teacher practice. Consequently,
the aims of the SCU project were developed:
Building a process for an on site professional learning model that engages each
individual teacher in professional improvement.
Creating a whole school pedagogical framework to enhance the school’s 21st century
learning philosophy.
Explore and record the school’s journey of an evidenced based framework on the
deprivatisation of teaching and learning that will further enhance school improvement
in this digital age.
Supporting staff to obtain postgraduate masters of education qualifications through
Southern Cross University. This research driven degree will support teachers in our
school in developing essential research skills and will support their mentoring of other
staff in this area. The area of research is intimately involved in the school’s learning
framework.
Ensure the Diocesan Contemporary Learning Framework guides the project.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
More specifically, the project’s goal, using John Hattie’s effect size formula, is to enhance, in
a sustainable fashion, the learning outcomes of students equivalent to an effect size of 0.4.
Conclusion
Research has emphasized the importance of teacher leadership in improving outcomes for a
school and its students. It is the teacher leader who is capable of transforming a school
environment so that its students and teachers can flourish.
Building teacher capacity is central to the school improvement process (Andrews et al.,
2011). Having teachers critique and reflect on their practice ultimately leads to an
improvement in the instructional process. In a job embedded professional development
program the subsequent learning provides a way forward for the teaching profession (and
schools) to address Hargreaves and Fullan’s viewpoint:
“What is needed is a profession that constantly and collectively builds its knowledge
base and corresponding expertise, where practices and their impact are transparently
tested, developed, circulate and adapted” (Andy Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012, p 50)
With the chief aim of improving teachers to become high performing in their practice, the
teacher as researcher phenomenon at St Augustine’s was embraced as the vehicle to raise
both student achievement and teacher learning.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Bibliography
Andrews, D., Crowther, F., Abawi, L., Conway, J., Dawson, M., Lewis, M., et al. (2011).
Capacity building for sustainable school improvement: An Australian research
study.
Babkie, A. M., & Provost, M. C. (2004). Teachers as Researchers. Intervention in School
and Clinic, 39(5), 260-268
Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for
21st Century Learning: routledge.
Crowther, F. (2012). Teacher leadership: the ‘new’foundations of teacher education (Vol.
23).
Fullan, M. (2002). The change. Educational leadership, 59(8), 16-20
Giddens, A. (2002). Runaway world: How globalisation is reshaping our lives: Profile
Books.
Hannon, V. (2012). Innovating a new future for learning. Paper presented at the School
Improvement : What does research tell us about effective strategies?, Melbourne.
Hargreaves, A. (2003). Professional learning communities and performance training
sects: The emerging apartheid of school improvement. In A. Harris, C. Day, D.
Hopkins, M. Hadfield, A. Hargreaves, & C. Chapman (Eds.), Effective leadership for
school improvement (pp. 180-195). London: Routledge Falmer.
Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional Capital: Transforming teaching in every
school: Teachers College Press.
Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. (2009). The fourth way: The inspiring future for educational
change: Corwin Press.
Harris, A., & Lambert, L. (2003). Building leadership capacity for school improvement.
Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.
Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to
achievement: Routledge.
Heppell, S. (2010). One decade into the new century it is a bit late perhaps to be talking
about 21st century learning (keynote address).
Hirsch Jr, E. D. (2010). The schools we need: And why we don't have them: Random House
Digital, Inc.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Kelleher, J. (2003). A model for assessment-driven professional development. Phi delta
kappan, 84(10), 751-756
Levine, T. H., & Marcus, A. S. (2010). How the structure and focus of teachers'
collaborative activities facilitate and constrain teacher learning. Teaching and
Teacher Education, 26(3), 389-398
Lynch, D. (2012). Preparing Teachers in Times of Change: Teaching schools, standards,
new content and evidence. Brisbane: Primrose Hall Publishing Group.
Lynch, D., & Smith, R. (2013). The Challenge of Changing Teacher Education. Teacher
education in Australia: investigations into programming, practicum and
partnership, 27
Madden, J. (2010). Fostering a 21st century school mindset: Implications for schools.
Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Catholic Educational
Leadership: A Beacon of Hope: A Light for the Future, Sydney, NSW.
Madden, J. (2012). School Improvement: Innovation for the Future. In R. Smith & D.
Lynch (Eds.), Case Studies in Education: Leadership and Innovation (pp. 148-174).
Brisbane: Primrose Hall Publishing Group.
Madden, J. (2013). The learner of today needs a teacher focused on tomorrow. In J.
Madden & R. Smith (Eds.), Teachers Talk About What's Important: Selected papers
from the 2012 Teacher Education Dialogue Conference (pp. 14-24). Brisbane, Qld:
Primrose Hall Publishing Group.
Madden, J., Wilks, J., Maoine, M., Loader, N., & Robinson, N. (2012). Journeying Together:
Understanding the Process of Teacher Change and the Impacts on Student
Learning. International Studies in Educational Administration, 40(2), 19-36
McCrindle, M., & Wolfinger, E. (2010). The ABC of XYZ: understanding the global
generations: University of New South Wales Press.
Ministerial Council on Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs. (2008).
Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young People. Cartlon South, VIC
Oblinger, D. (2006). Learning spaces (Vol. 2): Educause Washington, DC.
Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning: Corwin Press.
Reigeluth, C. M. (2013). Instructional-design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of
Instructional Theory (Vol. 2): Routledge.
Senge, P. M., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., & Dutton, J. (2012). Schools That
Learn (Updated and Revised): A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents,
and Everyone Who Cares About Education: Random House Digital, Inc.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change. www.ijicc.net
Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013
Smith, R., & Lynch, D. (2010). Rethinking teacher education: Teacher education in a
knowledge age. Sydney: AACLM Press.
Thornton, P., Phelps, R., & Graham, A. (2011). Teacher leaders driving change: An
'inhouse inquiry' process. The Australian Educational Leader, 33(2), 8-13
Treadwell, M. (2008). Whatever. The conceptual age & revolution of school v2.0: a new
paradigm & a new renaissance in learning. Auckland: Teachers at Work Ltd.
... Achieving such a goal is a complex affair and thus relies on a number of conditions, no less so than effective and focused school leadership (Doe, 2015;Madden et al., 2015;Lynch, 2012). This is particularly so because those who have been involved in change processes in schools come to appreciate that effective leadership is fundamental to an orchestration and focusing of the many stakeholders and the various affiliate interest groups that operate within and without the school (Madden, 2013). ...
... They point out that the quality of the human, social and decisional capitals define the quality of professional capital in a school. Madden (2013), supports the view that the focussed integration and development of the three capitals "is the solution for improving the teaching profession" (p. 8). ...
Book
What does it mean to be a ‘teacher researcher’? This book explores this question by showcasing examples of what teachers are doing when they act as a teacher researcher. While classroom teachers have always collected information and read to improve their teaching knowledge the concept of ‘teacher as researcher’, in the traditional researcher sense, is a relatively new concept in schools and classrooms. This book showcases how teachers from across the globe are contributing to the field of educational knowledge by acting as a ‘teacher researcher’. The central premise of this book is that when teachers act as a teacher researcher they engage in a powerful professional development strategy: one that increases their individual and collective teaching capacities, which in turn, engages them in school reforms and innovations which enable teachers to deal with short and long term educational challenges
... For teachers to take great ownership of their own professional learning at Al Yasat Private School, the Teachers As Research Program was formulated. Initiated at the commencement of the 2016/2017 academic year, a number of curious and committed staff members embarked on a "job embedded personalised professional learning journey" (Madden: 2013). After the setting annual teacher goals, each participating teacher selected a problem or area of concern they wanted to improve on. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent times, the focus on teachers-as-researchers has become more prevalent in schools as the spotlight on school improvement continues to shine brightly. Notwithstanding this phenomenon, research into how teachers learn to undertake class based research is not as widespread. This chapter reports on an action research project carried out in an international school in an attempt to build teacher capacity.
... Leaders also impact on teacher professional learning by building learning conditions through providing spaces for teachers to effectively collaborate and learn from one another. Providing opportunities for teachers to share good practice, collaborate on effective strategies for improving student learning and offers teachers the space to learn together leads to better quality teaching (Madden, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research abounds in what makes an effective school but there is limited research on how principals use such research to drive school improvement. This paper draws on the guidance of the school improvement literature and claims that the most pivotal element in raising student outcomes is the classroom teacher (Darling-Hammond & Rothman, 2011; Hattie, 2008). It explores one school’s pathway to improving student learning via focusing on building teacher leadership. In doing so, it offers a guide to Principals and Heads of schools wishing to raise student attainment and improve the learning outcomes of their school community.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the important role that teachers play in raising student achievement. As chapters in this book will illustrate, improvements in teaching performance can be sustainably supported by the implementation of a ‘job embedded’ approach to professional learning. The thesis of this chapter is that the ‘Teacher As Researcher’ construct is a tangible way of engaging teachers in professional learnings that have direct impact on their own learning need and that of their students.
Book
Full-text available
To create the outstanding school you need to have outstanding teachers. Research tells us that to strengthen the teaching proficiency of staff, schools need to take a collective and collaborative approach to growing the professional capacity within their teaching force. This book is full of vignettes illustrating how professional learning can be integrated into the day-to-day work of schools and, in doing so, focus on continuous improvement, enhancing teaching quality and raising student achievement. In presenting best practice exemplars to illustrate how professional learning can positively impact teaching quality and school improvement, this book will inspire each classroom teacher and school leader. It will support them in creating and sustaining a strong performance culture. In an era of evidence based practice the spotlight is shining brightly on teacher performance. Consequently, professional learning opportunities where teachers engage in close collaboration with colleagues is essential for improving teacher’s knowledge about content, students, and pedagogy. Teachers become more skilful in planning for teaching and learning when they work with colleagues to put research into practice through supportive, sustained and continuous professional learning. When teachers lead from the middle to action school improvement strategies, the impact upon school life is significant. Teachers who analyse and reflect on how students learn best and make changes to improve their own teaching practice is a sign of instructional leadership. Teachers as Researchers: Creating Outstanding Schools is evidence of instructional leadership in action. Each chapter explores an action research project that engaged Expert Teams in meaningful professional learning in a personalized and context-specific approach
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to introduce one principal's transference of experience from one school to an international setting. Although in the early phase, the discussion begins with a brief discourse on multicultural education and the nature of the international school setting. It then introduces a concise overview of a staff professional development outline that could be adapted by principals in various school settings. Introduction After overseeing two strategic five-year plans at a large regional systemic Catholic primary school the author embarked upon an international principalship in a private K-12 school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai.
Book
Full-text available
Generational issues are a perennial favourite. Analysing one’s own generation and comparing it to the next is of great interest to the media and the public alike. With more generations coexisting than ever before – in the home, school, workplace and marketplace – this interest has never been more so than today. Indeed, media coverage on the generations, particularly the younger, emerging generations, abounds in an attempt to appease our desire to better understand and engage with each other: our employees, colleagues, students and children. I am contacted almost daily – by the media, business men and women, and parents – to talk about the generations. With this saturation of media on the generations, identifying what is fact and what is hype and conjecture can be a challenge. While some generational commentary reads much like an astrological chart, genuine research-based generational studies now form an important part of sociology. Yet it is more than an academic discipline. The insights and applications that flow from robust generational analysis is of great value to business leaders, educators and parents. Generational segmentation, like any professional discipline, is only useable when conducted by experts.
Book
This book analyzes three previous major change efforts, outlines their strengths and limitations, and offers a successful and sustainable fourth way to integrate teacher professionalism, community engagement, government policy, and accountability.
Book
This unique and ground-breaking book is the result of 15 years research and synthesises over 800 meta-analyses on the influences on achievement in school-aged students. It builds a story about the power of teachers, feedback, and a model of learning and understanding. The research involves many millions of students and represents the largest ever evidence based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning. Areas covered include the influence of the student, home, school, curricula, teacher, and teaching strategies. A model of teaching and learning is developed based on the notion of visible teaching and visible learning. A major message is that what works best for students is similar to what works best for teachers - an attention to setting challenging learning intentions, being clear about what success means, and an attention to learning strategies for developing conceptual understanding about what teachers and students know and understand. Although the current evidence based fad has turned into a debate about test scores, this book is about using evidence to build and defend a model of teaching and learning. A major contribution is a fascinating benchmark/dashboard for comparing many innovations in teaching and schools.
Article
The author discusses a broad concept of leadership that is distinguished from person, role and a discrete set of individual behaviours, and that needs to be embedded in the school community as a whole, which suggests a shared responsibility for a shared purpose of community.
Article
What kinds of teacher collaboration are most likely to improve what teachers—and, ultimately, students—learn during their time in school? This study looks within and across different collaborative activities that occurred among one teacher team. Observational data analyzed through a sociocultural theoretical framework suggest how the structure and intended focus of collaborative activity can influence (1) how often and how concretely teachers discuss their teaching with colleagues; (2) which aspects of schooling collaboration will address; and (3) what opportunities for teacher learning are afforded and constrained. Intentionally focusing and structuring teachers' collaborative activity can improve its impact on schooling.