Element 1: Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students.
1.1.1 Knowledge of subject content
I have...gained knowledge of the relevant central concepts, modes of enquiry and structure of the content/discipline through completing the units of study offered in my degree where I have explored the KLA content areas in great detail.
Evidence: Critique of a Board of Studies HSIE unit of work, ‘State and National Parks’ is a reflection of its ability to meet specific HSIE content characteristics in relation to the quality teaching framework which shows that I have knowledge of the specific characteristics of HSIE.
Evidence: Maths article. For instance in a maths assignment I completed, I had to write an article on symmetry that included current knowledge of the subject and what students would have to know in a classroom.
Further, I have had experience in all student stages of primary school, as I have completed them on practicums and through these experiences and their reflections I have gained a concrete understanding of the level of subject content and the appropriate pedagogies for students at different ages.
1.1.2 Knowledge of pedagogy
I have...an extensive knowledge base about the teaching pedagogy and how students learn. This can also be seen in the maths article I wrote which in the criteria also had to include research based effective methods for students to learn the maths topic.
I have...knowledge of the teaching pedagogy through applying research-based methods in my lessons. For instance I have drawn on the quality teaching framework to develop learning experiences, seen in my 3D shape lesson. I also have knowledge of Piaget and Vygotskys’ constructivist theories, whereby there is an active involvement of the learner in education and the learner is an active agent in the learning process. The constructivist and social-constructivist theories can be seen in my lessons when students are active in the learning.
For instance in the 3D shapes lesson I encourage students to find examples of the 3D shapes and properties they have learnt about in the playground. Students are also asked in the mystery bag activity to ponder over higher cognitive-level questions, which challenge their thinking and force them to apply and synthesise what they have learnt. Further, students work in cooperative groups reflecting vygotsky’s idea that knowledge is constructed by individuals through interactions with other people. Also that I scaffolded the students in their learning through guided discovery.
For instance I have sound knowledge of Piaget’s constructivism perspective for education and Vygotsky’s social constructivism approach. I also have the knowledge of cooperative approaches to learning and the importance of students gaining expertise and its implications in the classroom. This can be seen in a researched essay that explores the idea of expertise and its implications in the classroom.
Evidence: Maths article? /3shape lesson.
1.1.3 Knowledge of NSW curriculum requirements
I have...knowledge of a number of NSW curriculum requirements and documents. I have extensively been referring to the BOS syllabuses and feel very confident with the information it provides. I also have knowledge of excursion policies, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education policy, multicultural education policy, the student welfare policy, GATS and the Anti-Discrimination and Child Protection policy. Further, I have knowledge of the quality-teaching framework, which is evident in my lesson plans. For instance in the 3D shapes maths lesson.
Evidence: Excursion risk assessment proforma, filled in for an excursion designed at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
1.1.4 Knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT)
I have...the skills to use the computer and the internet competently. I can use word processing programs, excel, powerpoints, projectors and emailing. This can be evident in a computer skills course I completed as part of my degree. I am also well aware that some websites on the internet may not be appropriate so I would set up a list for students to look at. I also know how to use wiki and moodle, which are programs where group posting can be placed that people can edit. This can be seen in a HSIE unit I completed where in a group designed a unit of work on a wiki.
I have...the skills in organising the classroom, for instance managing computer files, having a place to put USB’s, organising student numbers in terms of how many computers available, eg. placing certain pairs of students together on the computer.
Evidence: Wiki snapshot
I will….further collaborate with the teachers at my final practicum school, particularly of similar stages and share ideas and teaching strategies to further improve my practice. I will keep practicing using technologies effectively in my final practicum classroom. I will improve my skills on using smartboards as I feel I have not had enough exposure to them.
I need…to collaborate with staff members I work with. I need to practice and keep active my skills in IT as much as I can and to find an opportunity to work with a smartboard. I also need to apply for access to the DET portal and explore access to websites through the portal.
I believe….that teaching is a learning process and that it should be dynamic, in terms of improvement in practice. You need to be up to date on the current policies, technologies and teaching pedagogy. In terms of subject content, as a teacher you need to be dynamic and up to date on current events, ideas and interests of the students to create learning that has significance. You also need to allow students to bring their skills in ICT for example, or knowledge/experiences of certain things into the classroom and get them to teach/share with the rest of the class, not just drawing on my/teacher knowledge of subject content or ICT skills. I believe that ICT cannot make a poor teacher a better teacher by itself as it needs to be used effectively and as a support to the lesson objectives. I also believe in constructivism and getting students to take an active role in their learning.
I believe that outcomes based education is a good thing because it gives teachers a clear idea on what to work towards, in terms of student learning.
Further, I have had experience in all student stages of primary school, as I have completed them on practicums and through these experiences and their reflections I have gained a concrete understanding of the level of subject content and the appropriate pedagogies for students at different ages. My activities are appropriate to student ages.