Influences on local curriculum innovation in times of change: a literacy case study
Australian students’ performance on national and international literacy assessments has declined since 2000, while teachers in contemporary classrooms contend with conditions of increased complexity and uncertainty. In July 2017, the Australian Government commissioned a panel of experts to provide advice on how to improve Australian students’ achievement and school performance. The panel concluded that Australian schools must support every student to realise their full learning potential through an increased emphasis on personalised student learning and collaborative teacher practices. This paper outlines a case study of complexities and influences in enabling and constraining a local curriculum innovation in literacy that sought to personalise learning and promote teacher collaboration in conditions of constant change and disruption. Named Literacy Toolbox, this initiative was developed by Year 7 and 8 literacy leaders at a Tasmanian secondary school to increase student agency and enhance teaching around a model of deprivatised or shared practice. The findings provide insight for education researchers and schools regarding the challenges and opportunities of attempts to enact personalised learning and co-teaching in the current context.
KeywordsPersonalised learning Deprivatised practice Co-teaching Secondary education School–university partnerships
This paper is an output of the Australian Research Council Grant “Improving Regional Low SES Students’ Learning and Wellbeing” [LP150100558, Prain, Waldrip, Tytler, Deed, Meyers, Blake, Muir, Farrelly, Mooney, Thomas, Swabey, with collaborator Anglicare Tasmania].
- Andrich, D. (2009). Review of the curriculum framework for curriculum, assessment and reporting purposes in Western Australian schools, with particular reference to years kindergarten to year 10. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.wa.edu.au/internet/Publications/Reports/General_Reports.
- Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2010). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2017). NAPLAN achievement in reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy: National report for 2017. Sydney, NSW: ACARA.Google Scholar
- Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. R. (2016). Words their way (6th ed.). Sydney, NSW: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Biesta, G., & Osberg, D. C. (2010). Complexity, education, and politics: From the inside-out and outside-in: An introduction. In D. C. Osberg & G. Biesta (Eds.), Complexity theory and the politics of education (pp. 1–5). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
- Commonwealth of Australia. (2018). Through growth to achievement: The report of the review to achieve educational excellence in Australian schools. Retrieved from https://www.appa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/20180430-Through-Growth-to-Achievement_Text.pdf.
- Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (Eds.). (2000). Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Department of Education, Tasmania. (2016). Good teaching literacy 3–6. Retrieved from https://www.education.tas.gov.au/students/school-and-colleges/curriculum/good-teaching-guides/.
- Duckworth, K., Akerman, R., MacGregor, A., Salter, E., & Vorhaus, J. (2009). Self regulated learning: A literature review. London: Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning.Google Scholar
- Fawcett, M., & Watson, D. (2016). Learning through child observation (3rd ed.). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing.Google Scholar
- Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2010). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (6th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill.Google Scholar
- Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Hargreaves, D. (2005). Personalising learning: Curriculum advice. London: Specialist Schools Trust.Google Scholar
- Hattie, J. A. C. (2015). Can Australian education become self-transforming? Australian Education Leader, 37(1), 8–12.Google Scholar
- Jensen, B. (2014). Making time for great teaching. Grattan Institute. Retrieved from https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/808-making-time-for-great-teaching.pdf.
- Jensen, B., Sonnemann, J., Roberts-Hull, K., & Hunter, A. (2016). Beyond PD: Teacher professional learning in high-performing systems. Retrieved from http://www.ncee.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/BeyondPDWeb.pdf.
- Leadbetter, C. (2005). The shape of things to come: Personalised learning through collaboration. London: DfES.Google Scholar
- Lo Bianco, J., & Freebody, P. (2001). Australian literacies: Informing national policy on literacy education (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Language Australia Ltd.Google Scholar
- Love, K., Macken-Horarik, M., & Horarik, S. (2015). Language knowledge and its application: A snapshot of Australian teachers’ views. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 38(3), 171–182.Google Scholar
- Mackey, J., O’Reilly, N., Jansen, C., & Fletcher, J. (2017). Leading change to co-teaching in primary schools: A “Down Under” experience. Educational Review, 70(3), 1–21.Google Scholar
- Moje, E. B. (2007). Developing socially just subject-matter instruction: A review of the literature on disciplinary literacy. In N. L. Parker (Ed.), Review of research in education (pp. 1–44). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
- Paludan, J. P. (2006). Personalised learning 2025. In Schooling for tomorrow: Personalising education. Paris, France: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
- Prain, V., Blake, D., Deed, C., Edwards, M., Emery, S., Farrelly, C., Fingland, D., Henriksen, J., Lovejoy, V., Meyers, N., Mooney, A., Muir, T., Sbaglia, R., Swabey, K., Thomas, D. P., Tytler, R., Zitzlaff, T. (2018). Developing a framework for teacher support in personalising student learning of prescribed curricula. British Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/berg.3481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Prain, V., & Tytler, R. (2017). Simplistic advice for teachers on how to teach won’t work. Science Education News, 66(4), 47–48.Google Scholar
- Sebba, J., Brown, N., Steward, S., Galton, M., James, M., Celetano, N., & Doddy, P. (2007). An investigation of personalised learning approaches used by schools. Research Report RR843. Annesley, NG: DfES.Google Scholar
- Snyder, I. (2008). The literacy wars: Why teaching children to read and write is a battleground in Australia. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
- Thomas, D. P. (2017). Using SFL to personalise learning in early childhood classrooms. In P. Chappell & J. S. Knox (Eds.), Papers from the 44 th International Systemic Functional Congress (pp. 67–74). Wollongong, New South Wales: The Organising Committee of the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress, Wollongong.Google Scholar
- Thompson, S. C., Gregg, L., & Niska, J. M. (2004). Professional learning communities, leadership, and student learning. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 28(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
- Thomson, S., De Bortoli, L., & Underwood, C. (2017). PISA 2015: Reporting Australia’s results. Melbourne, VIC: ACER.Google Scholar
- Timperley, H. (2011). Realizing the power of professional learning. Berkshire, UK: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
- Topfer, C., & Arendt, D. (2010). Guiding thinking for effective spelling. Carlton South, Victoria: Cengage.Google Scholar