Description of site/context
While not all clients would desire the sequence described here, this case study represents the variety of work we can do in literacy and also how we can develop responsive professional development in literacy. A primary school contacted us with a desire to re-examine their teaching of literacy, increase knowledge in the area, change pedagogical practices in literacy and ultimately improve students’ literacy and NAPLAN results.
Conduct of sessions/project
To date the process has taken place over two years and has included:
- examination of NAPLAN results and other school data in order to understand context
- reporting results of this analysis and the implications for teaching to all staff and, together with the leadership team, discussing steps to address issues identified
- spaced professional learning session on reading comprehension, tailored for different levels of the school
- spaced professional learning focussed on literacy across the curriculum (specifically history)
- spaced professional learning on teacher talk, lesson structure and developing dialogic pedagogies in literacy
- classroom observation and analysis of each teachers’ pedagogy during a reading lesson, together with individual feedback interviews for each staff member and an overall report on trends and issues to all staff at a professional learning session
- Teachers are more reflective about their practice and now work as teams to change practice – they are working as a community of learners rather than individual teachers.
- Teachers’ concepts about literacy and literacy teaching practices have broadened.
- Teaching practices and teacher talk have changed.
- Teachers have embraced the concept of classroom/lesson observation as a critical self-reflection tool and plan to develop skills in peer observation.
- There was improvement in the students’ NAPLAN scores