The science of teaching: collecting feedback

Dear Parents, Students and Staff

Teachers are constantly reflecting on pedagogy, that is, the science of teaching. They are forever reflecting on the strategies that produce the best learning for the students in their various subject areas.  The strategies used in English, for example, would be different to the ones used in, say, Woodwork or Music.

In any case, student feedback provides a gauge on how effective the teaching and learning processes have been. Teachers will soon invite students to respond to some questions about their learning in a particular subject. This will be an online survey called “Pivot”. The questions are based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. The feedback for the teachers enables further refinement of their teaching practice.

In addition, a small team of teachers, including myself, have been visiting classes to capture student responses from a variety of classes. There are 5 questions: “What are you learning? How are you doing? How do you know? How can you improve? Where do you go for help?”. The quality of the responses determines how much self-assessment is taking place. It tells us how engaged the student is in their learning. It also helps the teacher be quite explicit in determining the purpose of the lesson and letting the students know what success would look like and consequently assisting the students to become self-directed learners.

During this year there has been an improvement in the students’ response to the questions. The data is telling us that they are taking more responsibility for their learning for the quality of their responses is more expansive and definitely more confident. There is still room for improvement, and we will continue supporting them in that endeavour.

Best wishes

Paul Carroll

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