Know Students & How They Learn
Evidence 1: ARTEFACT: Literature Review “How do young people learn?”.
APST 1.2: Understand how students learn.
APST 1.2 Requires that teachers understand how students learn. At graduate level teachers must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching. At proficient level they can structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn. At the highly accomplished level they expand understanding of how students learn using research and workplace knowledge.
This piece of evidence is an assessment task from the course EDU764 (Quality Teaching and Learning). It is an essay that relies on relevant literature to address the broad question: ‘How do young people learn?’. Creating this literature review required me to engage with learning theories that stemmed from the work of education philosopher John Dewey in the early 20th century (1933; 1980; 2008a; 2008b; 2008c; 2008d; 2008e; ). I analysed and critiqued a variety of literature to demonstrate an understanding of effective teaching and classroom practice relevant to my teaching context, and I reflected on the implications of the constructivist learning theory for learning and teaching in the 21st Century. I was also required to give consideration to the physical, social and intellectual development of students I teach and how to manage challenging behavior. I received a High Distinction for this essay.
This essay, which also reflects some of my PhD research into learning and teaching, demonstrates the depth of my knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching. Building on that research, I have created and taught several courses based on my knowledge and understanding of how students learn, showing that I can structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn. On-going group study with my teaching mentor, Cathy Madden (University of Washington), ensures that I receive regular feedback on my teaching and regular opportunities to observe the learning and teaching of others. This allows me constantly to expand my understanding of how students learn, integrating and using both research and workplace knowledge.
This task also satisfies standards 1.1, 1.5, 4.3 and 6.4.
Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: a restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. New York: The Modern Library.
Dewey, J. (1980). Art as experience. New York: Perigee Books. (Original work published 1934).
Dewey, J. (2008a). The school and society. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), The middle works of John Dewey, (Vol. 1, pp. 1-112). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. (Original work published 1899).
Dewey, J. (2008b). The child and the curriculum. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), The middle works of John Dewey (Vol. 2, pp. 271-292). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. (Original work published 1902).
Dewey, J. (2008c). Democracy and education. Radford, VA: Wilder publications. (Original work published 1916).
Dewey, J. (2008d). Pragmatic America. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), The middle works of John Dewey (Vol. 13, pp. 306-310). Carbondale: SIUP. (Original work published 1922).
Dewey, J. (2008e). The theory of the Chicago experiment (Appendix 2, The Dewey School). In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), The later works of John Dewey (Vol. 11, pp. 202-216). Carbondale: SIUP. (Original work published 1936).
Evidence 2: REQUIRED EVIDENCE
APST 1.4: Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
ARTEFACT: Literacy Task using the 4Rs model
APST 1.4 Graduate: Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
The goal of this task, for EDU715 (Literacy and Numeracy across the Curriculum), was to apply the Four Resources Model (Luke & Freebody, 1990; Serafini, 2012) to a text and identify how I would create learning experiences to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The submission was in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and an analytical essay.
I was required to choose a digital text that was relevant to a class of students in my subject/year level. I chose Year 7 German and a spoken text by Rowohlt and Milne (1989). I identified the repertoires of practice inherent in its structure by applying the Four Resources Model of literacy use, as described by Freebody and Luke (1990) and Serafini (2012). I demonstrated my knowledge of The Four Resources Model through a discussion embedded in a PowerPoint presentation, thus also showing my skills in ICT. Serafini (2012) expanded Freebody and Luke’s Four Resources Model of Literacy (1990) to include visual material, coining the term reader-viewer. I took this one step further and provided an additional term that is important for the lessons I created, the reader-listener.
This task aligns with APST Standard 1.4 because in the essay I analysed how my chosen text and teaching strategies applied to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. I referred to strategies outlined by Ellie Rasmussen (2014) for engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, such as setting high standards and collaborative tasks, showing interest in their language and culture and seeing the students as individuals. I also integrated Uncle Ernie Grant’s ideas on environmental and social relationships in education and his observations about the difficulty of translation between languages because of cultural differences, values and understanding (2016).
This task also satisfies APST standards 1.1. 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 3.3, 3.7, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4.
Howell, J. (2014). Teaching and Learning : Building Effective Pedagogies. Oxford University Press.
Freebody, P. & Luke, A. (1990). ‘Literacies’ programs: Debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL, 5(3), 7-16.
Milne A.A., Shepard, E.H., & Rowohlt, H. (Trans.). (1989). Erstes Kapitel: In welchem wir Winnie-dem-Pu und einigen Bienen vorgestellt werden und die Geschichten beginnen. [Recorded by Harry Rowohlt]. In Pu-Der-Bär Die unvergesslichen Abenteuer des berühmtesten Bären der Welt! [Cassette/CD]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsTJ68_VhyE (1999).
Rasmussen, E. (2014). Strategies to support Indigenous students. [Video]. Retrieved 30 November 2019 from https://youtube.com/watch?v=dW_x9ARg2TY
Serafini, F. (2012). Expanding the four resources model: reading visual and multi-modal texts. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 7:2, 150-164, DOI: 10.1080/1554480X.2012.656347
Grant, E. (2016). Uncle Ernie Grant shares how to acknowledge Indigenous holistic views of the world (Queensland Department of Education) [Video]. Retrieved 10 December from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvvNITzxiaA
Evidence 3: ARTEFACT: German Unit Modification for Differentiation. EDU717 Data for Learning.
APST 1.5: Differentiate Teaching to meet the needs of students across the full range of abilities.
APST 1.5 Graduate: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
Proficient: Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
It is no longer acceptable to teach from the idea that one size fits all (Tomlinson, 2011). Teachers must know how to differentiate both teaching and learning so that all students are given fair access to education and allowed the opportunity to achieve (Hyde et al., 2017). Differentiation is defined by Howell as “An organised yet flexible strategy of proactively adjusting teaching and learning methods to accommodate each child’s learning needs and preferences in order to achieve his or her maximum growth as a learner” (2014, p. 306).
The goal of this task was to use student data to modify a curriculum unit to meet the learning needs of students and justify those changes. I was provided with a Unit of Work overview for German “Stage 4” (NSW), which is equivalent to Years 7-8 (NSW Government, 2020). I used the school and class data from a previous task to propose modifications in literacy- and numeracy-based activities and justify them with research literature. I outlined the ways in which I might enhance teaching and learning for a range of learners based on this data, including the use of ICT. In this task I demonstrated knowledge and understanding about making adjustments for a range of learners based upon class and school data with a focus on the literacy and numeracy capabilities. I referred to relevant and up-to-date literature to justify my suggested modifications and enhancements. These changes were designed to support both learning and teaching. In the unit plan I was also required to justify and explain how I would monitor learning and assessment, give feedback to students and makes reflections as a teacher. This task built on information from EDU764, EDU765, EDU712 and EDU792, courses in which differentiation and learning theories are involved. I received a high distinction for this assignment and comments included, “Fantastic work. You have a range of ideas and justify beautifully.” My work was used in future iterations of the course as an exemplar.
This task also satisfies APST standards 1.2, 2.5, 3.1, 3.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4.
Howell, J. (2014). Teaching and Learning : Building Effective Pedagogies. Oxford University Press.
Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., & Dole, S. (Eds.). (2017). Diversity, inclusion and engagement (Third edition. ed.). Oxford University Press.
NSW Govt, DoE. (2020). NSW Government Website – Education. Key Learning Areas. Retrieved from: https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/key-learning-areas/languages/s4-5
Tomlinson, C. A. (2011). Carol Tomlinson on Differentiation: Responsive Teaching: QEP Video Courses for Teachers. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01798frimeQ
Evidence 4: REQUIRED EVIDENCE
APST 1.6: Strategies to support full participation of students with disability
ARTEFACT: Reflective Essay EDU713
APST 1.6 Graduate: Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.
This piece of evidence is a reflective essay, completed in partial requirement of the course EDU713 (Individual Learner Needs), entitled, ‘Review of Individual Learner Needs in the Classroom.’ The goal of this task was to review the literature relating to individual learner needs/disabilities in the classroom and reflect on how this knowledge will inform my professional practice.
In the essay I outline the current legislation, policy and practices in relation to a broad range of individual needs and disabilities in classrooms today, highlighting the major changes that started with the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), following the atrocities of the Second World War (UN, 1948). I discuss the ways in which Australian policy and practices are enacted to support student well-being and safety and the implications for teachers, including an overview of the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (MCE, 2019). I then apply a strengths-based social model of inclusion to address both the strengths and needs of one specific learner need/disability, that of hyperacusis. A strengths-based model assesses functional strengths and support needs and resources to enhance human functioning, rather than focussing, as the traditional medical/deficit model has done, on impairments and limitations (Buntinx, 2013).
Finally I reflect on the range of inclusive and ethical practices that aim to support participation of all students in schools, at the same time examining my own attitudes, values and beliefs and how these will shape my future role as a teacher.
This task also satisfies APST standards 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 3.3, 3.7, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
Buntinx, W. (2013). Understanding disability: A strengths-based approach. In Wehmeyer, M. (Ed.) The oxford handbook of positive psychology and disability. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398786.013.013.0002
Ministerial Council on Education (MCE). (2019). Alice Springs (Mparntwe) education declaration. Retrieved from:
United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf