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Professional Knowledge - Element 1

Element 1

Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students

I have had various but limited professional experiences in NSW primary classrooms across the districts. I have learnt from these experiences that I would prefer my classroom to be in the Western Regions of Sydney. I feel comfortable and confident in these areas as this is where I grew up.

I have been expected to demonstrate knowledge of the central concepts, modes of enquiry and structure of the content/disciplines. This is also essential for successful deep knowledge and deep understanding which are part of the Intellectual Quality Dimension (Quality Teaching Framework). I have demonstrated this through my lesson planning and contributions to planning sessions with my cooperating teachers. This is evident in my COGS unit "It's Electricfying" lesson plan (link is located at the bottom). I had to design and implement coherent lesson sequences for the NSW Science and Technology syllabus.

Throughout my four years of tertiary education, I have been provided with various pedagogies. The pedagogies I find relevant and successful for me are Piaget's social construction of knowledge, hence my extensive use of cooperative group work and peer tutoring, Gardener's Multiple Intelligences, which aim to meet the diverse needs of the students and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Also I have achieved differentiation at a basic level through the documents provided on the Board of Studies website. Also there are many effective differentiation strategies suggested in the NSW Syllabus especially the Science and Technology and Mathematics. The English syllabus now aims to meet the needs of its students by incorporating drama as an effective oral language learning experience (Jones, 2006).

Recently, I have been able to incorporate more ICT into my learning and teaching sequences. This was possible with Brian Tickle's maths program 'Go Maths'. The program is created to teach the entire NSW mathematics syllabus through the application of a smart board. Throughout this unit, I was able to use contenporary pedagogy where the students are teachers (Metalanguage, Intellectual Quality, Qaulity Teaching Framework). I found this to be very effective only in some concepts. An effective example is when students are able to move around the hundreds chart to learn about fractions. This helps the learning as it is hands on and practical.

Although I have achieved a lot, I still have a main area of development. This area involves pedagogical awareness and application. I will need to delve deeper into educational literature to expand my teaching. This will be beneficial to both my students and myself. What I have learnt from my experiences are that teaching invovles learning all the time and I am loving it.

I believe that for me to be an effective teacher I will need to really have a concrete list of my pedagogies and styles of teaching. I believe that teaching of subject content varies dramatically with students. Even though I plan this method, I find it is not the most effective for the planned student. Also I realised that as my experience grows, I learn better and more efficient methods of tecahing various concepts. Also to make students' learning meaningful I will make "links to other content areas as well as integration of that learning across and between content areas" (NSW Quality Teaching Standards). I believe that it is essential for teachers to know their subject content but knowing how to teach that content to the student effectively is more essential.

Link to Lesson Plan:

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