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Element One

Element One: Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students.

I have...

Throughout my practicum experiences I have adopted a holistic approach to teaching as I am aware of the importance of integrating Key Learning Areas in the context of a crowded curriculum. I have created a number of units of work which reflect a firm understanding of the required New South Wales Board of Studies (NSW BOS) outcomes, the NSW Quality Teaching Framework (2003), and Information Computer Technologies (ICT). These units have been flexible in design enabling constant monitoring and evaluation, and taking into account the extra school activities which alter classroom plans.

In an integrated stage three Creative Arts and HSIE unit, ‘Seeing Green,’ students had the opportunity to explore ecological art through a number of experiences, enabling them to interpret the current state of the world and their place as global citizens. This unit had strong literacy links with multiple opportunities for critical analysis and reflection. In one task, students had to individually interpret a piece of ecological art, communicate their ideas with peers, and cooperatively negotiate how to reflect their  emotions/ideas conveyed through the element of dynamics in a dance piece.

Working at Wahroonga Preparatory School (2007) and Shelley Public School (2008), Smart board technology was utilised on a daily basis, integrating this technology provided an important visual and tactile stimulus for all learners. While enabling unparalleled interactive experiences, using ICT in the classroom means an added responsibility in ensuring students access appropriate resources. A number of strategies were put in place to ensure this: NSW DET filters, monitoring from the main computer, monitoring around the room and making students sign an ICT use agreement.

 I will…

On the upcoming professional experience I will be aiming to refine my practice; developing understanding of different teaching pedagogies, and utilising them appropriately in accordance with the learning content.  I will fine tune my ability to monitor and evaluate current programs and units of work. This will reflect my ability to be flexible and mindful of the changing needs of students.

I need…

Refining my practice will require me to constantly engage with up-to-date educational literature to investigate effective pedagogies and their links to facilitating authentic learning experiences. Specifically, I will consult the 'Productive Pedagogies' (QDET, 2004) and 'NSW Quality Teaching' (NSW DET, 2003) Frameworks. During the coming professional experience I will investigate these pedagogies by utilising them in a classroom setting, I will evaluate their effectiveness in a number of stages, and through reflection with students, the cooperating teacher, tertiary supervisor and myself. Thus, improving my clarity and methods of instruction in a variety of classroom and other learning contexts. I will also fine tune my planning, monitoring and evaluation skills through seizing all opportunities to create units and critique existing units.

I believe…

My teaching pedagogy is guided by the belief that, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.” (Plutarch, n.d.) This sentiment acknowledges the fact that students bring with them a wealth of prior knowledge which must be drawn upon in programmed educational experiences and methods of instruction. In all planned learning experiences students need to be individually challenged and working on the continuum of NSW BOS outcomes. Utilising ‘Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy’ (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2000) in lesson planning and pedagogy I am able to differentiate tasks to promote higher order thinking and questioning which is appropriate to each student.

Jessica Coughlan 2009








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