Element 1

ELEMENT 1Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students.
 1.1.1        Knowledge of subject content 
 1.1.2        Knowledge of pedagogy 
 1.1.3        Knowledge of NSW curriculum requirements 
 1.1.4        Knowledge of information and communication technologies in the following areas:
·          Basic operational skills
·          Information technology skills
·          Software evaluation skills
·          Effective use of the internet
·          Pedagogical skills for classroom management 

To date, I have achieved a sound understanding of the subject content, central concepts, modes of enquiry and structure of the disciplines across the KLAs and their respective curriculum areas. 

The following lesson plan extracted from a literacy unit I taught on dinosaurs in my 3rd year practicum is an example of my understanding of subject content in relation to the English KLA.  By adhering to the NSW syllabus documents and other curriculum requirements of the Education Act such as quality teaching, the unit of work introduced students to various basic features of the English language such as verbs, nouns and adjectives. Students were then introduced to information reports as a text type, and required to individually compose one using the Microsoft powerpoint program on the computer, thus incorporating ICT and technology as an effective teaching tool and important learning component in the curriculum.  Students were also encouraged to use the clipart application to enhance presentation, and the internet to research information.

The unit of work was therefore content-rich in several aspects: subject & syllabus content; integration of KLAs i.e. English, science, creative arts, ICT; different modes of learning and enquiry.  This was nevertheless delivered in an engaging and manageable manner through scaffolded instruction based on my pedagogical understanding gained from research articles, university tutorial discussions, advice from experienced teachers, and personal experience and reflections that different learners need to be intellectually stimulated and challenged in different ways.  This is based on the Gardner’s concept of multi-modal learning and the theory of multiple intelligences (1993, 1995) which has influenced me to create occasions for independent, hands-on learning, opportunities to interact, relevant and interesting learning content and higher-order thinking tasks.

TITLE: Information reports- action verbs
KEY LEARNING AREA/S: EnglishSTRAND: Learning to write
SYLLABUS OUTCOMES:WES1.14 [learning structures and features] Recognises overall text structure and basic grammatical features of simple texts and some conventions of written language.
LESSON FOCUS: Students will learn about verbs and how they convey information about an animal/ human’s action behaviours.  Students will write sentences about Tyrannosaurus Rex’s actions, which will contribute towards their ICT project.
INDICATORS OF LEARNING:·                      [Grammar] Talks about the action words in a text.ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES:·                      Observation of students’ engagement with class discussion.·                      Worksheet performance
LINKS WITH PREVIOUS LEARNING AND ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE:Verbs were included in previous lessons’ information reports about Tyrannosaurus Rex.
RESOURCES: Worksheets
Link to previous day’s dance lesson: Ask- ‘Who remembers what were some actions/ movements that we did yesterday in dance?’- marching, skipping, skating, walking. Whole class: Students learn the “I’m a mean old dinosaur” song.  They  identify the action words (growl & prowl). Which dinosaur we were looking at last week?  What are some actions words to describe Tyrannosaurus Rex? Students contribute ideas. E.g. Ate, lived, growled, prowled, stomped, slept.5min ·                      Observation of students’ participations and involvement
Students suggest sentences using action words.  Brainstorm on the board.e.g.Tyrannosaurus Rex growled at the smaller dinosaur. Students are given differentiated worksheets depending on writing ability.Top group: Form their own action sentences about Tyrannosaurus Rex.Middle groups: Fill in the missing spaces.  Words in wordbankBottom group: Circle the actions words.Students sit in their allocated desks (mixed ability).5min  20minWorksheets.  See groups according to ability levels.·                      Observation of students’ responses & ability to relate learning content to personal experiences.·                      Mark worksheets
Students discuss and compare worksheet answers in ability groups.5min ·                      Student observation

(Student work samples go here)

The following student work samples and corresponding supervising teacher feedback demonstrates my ability to not only have a knowledge of subject content as outlined in the NSW syllabus documents, but also to effectively teach the content using different strategies such as student groupings and worksheet differentiation.  It is evident that all students, despite their various stages of learning, gained a new understanding of verbs and their use in the English language, thus achieving the main purpose of the lesson.

The following certificate was gained on completion of a teacher development course from the Australian Electoral Commission useful in gaining teacher expertise on the roles and responsibilities and decision-making processes of the Australian Governments; a Stage 3 strand within the HSIE syllabus.

(certificate goes here)

I will endeavour to engage in lifelong learning practices and continually update and expand my knowledge and understanding of 3 main things:

o       Pedagogy and classroom management

o       The current NSW syllabus documents and other curriculum requirements of the Education Act.  These will inevitably be adapted according to the needs of learners

o       Skills in the use of ICT in the classroom to meet syllabus outcomes. 

All the above are necessary for me to design contextually relevant teaching and learning sequences for my students.

To achieve these needs, I need to attend courses and conferences that will update me on the relevant knowledge and introduce me to new and different perspectives on teaching.  Engaging in collegial sharing of knowledge and experience, as well as reading research-based educational journals and joining educational organizations will also be a huge benefit in terms of continual development as a teacher.

I strongly believe in lifelong learning and consider it to be entirely necessary for teachers to be effective in their profession.  Having a sound knowledge and understanding of relevant subject content and pedagogy are absolutely vital for effective teaching and learning to occur within the classroom.