Based upon the research conducted in this project a profile for effective teaching has been developed. You can complete the questionnaire attached and it will provide you with a profile of your teaching across 9 areas.
These areas include:
What are my beliefs about students?
What do I emphasize as the content to be learned?
What patterns of relationship contribute to learning?
In what ways does this classroom ecologically represent the community?
When I am teaching how do I teach; what are my practices and pace for causing learning?
How can classroom organization say about how we learn and what is important in learning?
What should be the patterns of communication when teaching and learning is occurring?
What are the learning priorities?
Students are regarded as culturally located individuals having capacity to learn, like any other, and contribute to my and the entire class’ learning. Students expect me to have high expectations for them as learners and as members of a community.
The formal curriculum becomes the vehicle for the development of personal attributes deemed as important. Learning is not abstract. It focuses on and is located in local context and connected to students’ lives. Academic ideas are embedded with contexts. Enriched through ‘working to end’ type projects involving tangible end products. Literacy and numeracy development are emphasized in every curriculum area. Developing fluency in these areas is a priority. What is learned does not compromise on students’ cultural background. Instead it uses this to engage students and support their learning.
The teachers’ role is to cause learning. Establishing a classroom environment that promotes and expects learning is the priority. Manifest in the relationships is a priority on caring. Caring manifests itself in actions – it supports, expects, it challenges, it affirms and it is responsive to each individual and their situation. To do this, classroom routines are very important. Expectations and learning goals are clearly communicated and upheld. There is little compromise on established priorities, especially in regards to learning. Families are on board with these priorities and support these priorities. There is opportunity for students to contribute to decision-making. Classroom allows for student voice in establishing consensus, but such that they never compromise on learning.
The classroom is physically represented through a variety of cultural representations and artifacts. Most importantly local language and community members and their protocols are welcomed and encouraged to be expressed. Learning is promoted through the participation of community members. Much learning occurs outside of the classroom because the community is seen as a contributing resource for fostering learning.
In teaching practice, modeling and demonstrating are common. Visual images are commonly used to inform especially as a pre-reading exercise. A gradual release of responsibility model is used in teaching moving from teacher directed (I Do), to collective learning (We Do) to Independent Learning (I Do). Repetition and focus on mastery are emphasized. Time provision is made to gain mastery and think things through. Students show learning in a variety of ways, not just in written form and are given feedback to support next steps in learning. Collaboration and reciprocation in learning are important. The teacher and students must involve each other in a student’s learning. It is vital that students are receiving individual attention and are given feedback and affirmation as they learn. Story-telling and the use of narratives focusing on local context is frequent. Connections always made between prior learning and new learning across curriculum areas.
Classroom routines are very important. Expectations are clearly communicated. There is opportunity for negotiation and re-negotiation, especially because we are a community of individuals. Organization provides time, opportunity and support for students to learn and show learning. Working for learning allows for assistance and feedback from peers.
The communication patterns are dialogical rather than univocal, voluntary rather than involuntary. Listening is as important as talking. Sharing circles, or forms of, are a common practice to provide each student time and space to contribute, without interruption. As a teacher, I under- talk more commonly than I over-talk. My communication is clear and succinct. Direct instruction is used as a purposeful means to make learning and learning goals clear. When I talk with students individually or collectively, I physically situate myself at their level. Students communicate their learning through a variety of modes, not just in writing. The communication patterns are encouraged by a learning environment that focuses on learning as a collective activity. Constructive questions or ideas expressed by students are used to extend learning and are encouraged
Focus is on the development of individuals who believe in themselves as culturally located individuals that are self-reliant, resilient and contributors to their classroom and community. Although academic knowledge is important, the learning must be broader focusing on the development of life tools such as perseverance and self- sufficiency as well as interdependence and respect. Fundamental literacy and numeracy skills are regarded highly.