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Effective pedagogy at Ilam School

6:58 minutes

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Principal Lyn Bird discusses effective pedagogy at Ilam School:

“Our first step was to unpack effective teaching approaches at Ilam. We identified twenty-two different approaches and needed to bring the focus down to a small group that we could work on in line with the effective pedagogy outlined in the New Zealand Curriculum.
The foremost teaching approaches that we identified were:

  • Kath Murdoch inquiry process which would integrate multiple intelligences and the key competency group thinking
  • Sharing learning intentions and co constructing success criteria with students
  • Scaffolding learning – Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development
  • Modelling
  • Utilising good strategies and tools with a particular reason connected to student outcomes
  • Personalising learning

After identifying what those important teaching approaches were, we undertook professional development. We unpacked what the approaches actually looked like and how we might make them consistent across the school.

From there we developed a refined list:

  • Self regulated learning strategies and tools
  • Sharing learning intentions and co constructing success criteria
  • Quality feedback - verbal and non verbal
  • Inquiry process and how to access deep understanding
  • Effective questioning
  • Teacher modelling

The aim is to get consistency in all of this practice over the next few years. We have developed a rubric of shared expectations of effective pedagogy for teachers to reflect and set new goals around their practice. This is strongly related to the six effective teaching practices we are trying to develop at Ilam. We will use this to identify where we need to take professional development to a deeper level on some of these teaching approaches.

A key aspect of this is the quality learning circle practice where teachers are cross-teamed throughout the school. “

Teachers Lucy Anderson, Felicity Scott and Michele Beight discuss the benefits of quality learning circles at Ilam School:

“The quality learning circles are a fantastic move in the direction of the new curriculum, which emphasises peer and self assessment. As teachers within the quality learning circles, we are learners self and peer assessing each other rather than the old system of the principal or the team leader assessing us.

One value of quality learning circles is making connections across the school. Getting to see and hear about what is happening in different areas of the school has really strengthened relationships.

If you have a passion for something you have the time to talk about it without interruption and you receive feedback to go back and think about how you can make things better. You can share this with the rest of the school.

I think it strengthens your classroom practice because you are thinking more about why you are doing something and what the result will be because you have peer support and it makes you go that bit deeper. Another benefit of quality learning circles is that you get invited into other people’s classrooms and actually shown things that other teachers are doing in a visual sense.”

Why is a shared expectation of effective pedagogy important?

“Having a shared expectation of effective pedagogy at Ilam means that teachers have a clear example of what is expected. They have a voice and an ownership of what that looks like in the classroom and it is getting that consistency across the school.

For children it is really important that the same key practices are in operation across the school. As time goes by the children will benefit greatly by knowing whatever class they are in they will know what they are learning, why they are learning, what it looks like and how they are going to get there. “

Review questions image.

Review questions

Ilam School went through the process of identifying and refining the effective teaching processes in use in the school.

What effective teaching approaches are being used in your school?

effective pedagogy

Published on: 10 Dec 2009