Suzie thinks it is unacceptable that teachers complain about students, rather than look inwards at themselves and their own practice for where the change could occur. Unfortunately, when Suzie began the program, 31% of students were bored at school, 26% believed what they were learning was irrelevant and she was concerned about the statistic that 50% of mental health problems begin before the age of 14. Suzie thinks that Learning Design, Assessment and Moderation (LDAM) and student educational outcomes don’t match, and she believes in a school where teachers use knowledge, skill and understanding to match learning programs to suit the educational needs and aspirations of all children.
The key to Suzie’s initiative was to provide opportunities for teachers to improve LDAM and thus improve student outcomes.
Suzie timetabled lessons to work with early career teachers each week where they tackled curriculum, issues and student assessment, and these were then offered on a voluntary basis in Term 3. She also delivered PD to teachers around partnership, formative assessment and leaders implementing LDAM. Currently, she and her team are leading all staff incrementally through dialogic talk/teaching and data collection to bring about change in teacher practice.
Suzie hopes that LDAM will positively impact all 180 students at her school. So far three early career teachers and 18 other staff members at her school, and 50 staff and 30 leaders from her partnership have been positively impacted.
I ran a lesson whereby teacher practice was centred on dialogic teaching. Student talk was the focus. Based on research readings and pedagogy, I recognised that type of talk I was getting/hearing from students in round table discussions, with I would not have recognised before. The students who did this the best were the sometimes disruptive, loud students. They were the ones who spoke up, who showed a shift in their role and encouraged others.
Like the idea?
Suzie would love your support for Getting Better at LDAM, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Suzie and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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