Module 2 – Curriculum in the Middle Years

3 Cross­curriculum priorities and general capabilities

The cross-­curriculum priorities and general capabilities are integrated into the curriculum documents of the various States in different ways. Check curriculum documentation for your State and note in your learning journal how this is done.

Glenn Savage of the University of Melbourne in (Adoniou, M, Louden, B, & Savage, G , 2015) sums up the intention and understanding of the curriculum format into the three parts:

  • “The discipline-based “Learning Areas” are the traditional school subjects, or what students need to know. There are strong arguments for maintaining disciplines at the heart of a curriculum.
  • “General Capabilities” outline the skills or attributes that are seen to be relevant to young people, or what students need to be able to do in our increasingly globalised 21st century.
  • “Cross-Curriculum Priorities” require teachers to engage with contemporary issues not necessarily made explicit in the school subjects. These are currently Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures; Sustainability; and Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia.”

The Cross-curriculum priorites listed in the Australian Curriculum are designed to incorporate the ‘employability skills’ students will need not only in their post-schooling years, but to develop throughout their schooling lives.  The overall aim of the general capabilities is to see each student develop necessary skills and knowledge to become a “Successful learner, confident and creative individual, and active and informed citizen.” Australiancurriculum.edu.au. (2016).  The VCAA website however warns that the ‘development of learning continua for the General Capabilities is still being undertaken by ACARA. Until that work has been completed and a process of validation undertaken, AusVELS will continue to use the current Physical, Personal and Social Learning and Interdisciplinary Learning strands’ (Ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au 2016.2) as opposed to other states’ use of the cross-curriculum priorities.

The Victorian Curriculum has identified the following cross-curriculum priorities:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

The rationale for embedding these cross-curriculum priorities into the curriculum is that these are identified as issues of importance for contemporary Australian society.  The entrenchment of these priorities in each of the curriculum learning areas is based on the relevance and fit to that area. By doing so, the curriculum identifies these priorities as connected to and integrated within the greater curriculum to give students an understanding of the significance of these issues, rather than stand-alone learning.

4 Curriculum for Years 7 ­ 10

Record in your learning journal a summary of the information found in each your State’s curriculum documents which you will need to refer to when teaching Years 7 ­ 10.

With Victoria adopting its own version of the Australian Curriculum from 2017, it sets itself apart in the structure and ideology of the learning continuum.  The major reason for this breakaway from the other states is that it identifies learning as a fluid continuum (and developing student learning along this continuum) rather than by age and year-level expectations.

Victoria’s capabilities are listed as:

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Ethical
  • Intercultural
  • Personal and Social

With this in mind, these capabilities are to be ‘developed, practised, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning’ Victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au (2016) but importantly, assessed by teachers and the outcomes reported to parents.  Critics, such as Frawley (2016) whilst agreeing that these capabilities are important, struggle with the notion of placing a numeric rating or mark on them.  Frawley’s article raises valid points about the ability of testing these capabilities and associated quantifiable measures.

 

5 Humanities

Record in your learning journal the 5 most important things you have learned about the Humanities curriculum.

Within the Humanities learning area in primary schools, a number of ‘traditional’ secondary school subjects have been combined to assist in the de-clutter of the curriculum including: Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History.

The most important things from this investigation:

  1. The listing of key premises of each of Australia’s five major religions to provide a very broad overview of a highly complex topic. (Fisher, 2015)
  2. The idea that Business and Economics is about the ‘allocation of resources’ of different people and groups from an individual to a worldwide view
  3. Geography looks at the places within our environment with the various concepts from personal and global perspectives widening in scope and increasing complexity as the student progresses
  4. History investigates societies, events and developments that have influenced the lives of humans from various times and places
  5. A common thread throughout the Humanities subjects is to inspire interest and a desire for learning about these subjects through the various perspectives available, learning research and investigation tools that assist with the comprehension of subject materials but for the students; future post-schooling life.

 

6 The Arts

Record in your learning journal a summary of the information found in each your State’s curriculum documents which you will need to refer to when teaching Years 7 ­ 10.

The Arts encompasses traditional arts and techniques, whilst also embracing and innovating through the use of technology to create and communicate.  The overview explains that students will be ‘artist and audience’ to develop creative, expressing and critical thinking skills which can be used in other areas of schooling and post-schooling life.

Whilst cultural identity has been portrayed through the arts wherever civilization has existed, the importance for Arts is to help students develop and identify with their own cultural identity from a personal and wider community level.

The multiple facets of Arts is to enrich the lives of students – an important part of the human experience.

 

7 Health and Physical Education

Record in your learning journal the 5 most important things you have learned about the Health and Physical Education curriculum.

Exploring the Health and Physical Education curriculum has identified the following points:

  1. The inclusion of physical, emotional and mental health awareness of a student’s self in the current moment and in future situations.
  2. Intention to develop life-long skills and awareness of healthy lifestyle in response to trends in public health issues.
  3. The inclusion of social issues such as healthy relationships, information about drug and alcohol, personal safety etc to widen the appeal to HPE for more students (i.e. as opposed to purely sporting pursuits).
  4. Age-appropriateness of drug and alcohol issues and relationships and sexuality education for early years learners.
  5. Social and emotional health awareness and strategies for identifying issues and courses of action.

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

 

Adoniou, M, Louden, B, & Savage, G (2015) ‘What will changes to the national curriculum mean for schools? Experts respond.’. The Conversation. Retrieved from:https://theconversation.com/what-will-changes-to-the-national-curriculum-mean-for-schools-experts-respond-46933

Australiancurriculum.edu.au. (2016). “General capabilities – Introduction – The Australian Curriculum v8.2.” Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/introduction

Ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au (2016.2).. AusVELS – General capabilities. Retrieved 30 July 2016, from http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities

Ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au. (2016.1) ‘AusVELS – Cross-curriculum priorities’. Retrieved from http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/CrossCurriculumPriorities

Batham, Jane. (2012) ‘Classroom blogs and addressing the general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. [online]’ Quick; n.120 p.14-17; Autumn 2012. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au.ez.library.latrobe.edu.au/fullText;dn=194660;res=AEIPT

Fisher, P. (2015) ‘Learning about world views and religions’ VCAA website Retrieved from: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/static/docs/Learning%20about%20World%20Views%20and%20Religions.pdf

Frawley, E. (2016, March 20). ‘Victoria’s new curriculum priorities are almost impossible to assess.’ The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/victorias-new-curriculum-priorities-are-almost-impossible-to-assess-20160311-gngkek.html

Victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au (2016).. ‘Overview – Learning areas and Capabilities – Victorian Curriculum.’ Retrieved from:http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/overview/curriculum-design/learning-areas-and-capabilities

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Module 3 – Integrated programs

1 Introduction

What is your opinion about the concept of ‘silo’ and ‘non-silo’ learning in the middle years?

(maximum 250 words)

 

2 Definitions

Add definitions for each of these terms to your learning journal.

  • Disciplinary
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Interdisciplinary

 

 

3 Inquiry based learning

A SWOT graphic organiser (like the one below) can be used as an analysis tool. Use your knowledge of inquiry-based learning to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of this approach.

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
   
OPPORTUNITIES THREAT
   

 

4 Integrated curriculum

What are 3 facts you have learned about curriculum integration from exploring these resources?

 

4.1 Approaches to integrating curriculum

Record your thoughts about these types of curriculum integration.

 

4.2 Integrating the Australian Curriculum

What are the two conditions for purposefully connected curriculum that Jenny refers to?

What are some factors that should be considered for authentically connecting curriculum?

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Module 5 Numeracy in the Middle Years

1 Numeracy defined

‘All teachers are teachers of numeracy.’

Discuss this statement with reference to your understanding of numeracy.

The inherent use of numbers, mathematical terminologies and concepts overlaps all subjects in school and is present in most, if not all, of out of school life.  Defined in ACARA (2009), Numeracy is the “capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics to meet the demands of learning, school, home, work, community and civic life. This perspective on numeracy emphasizes the key role of applications and utility in learning the discipline of mathematics, and illustrates the way that mathematics contributes to the study of other disciplines.”

Therefore as teachers, we incorporate numeracy as part of our teaching both explicitly and implicitly.

 

2 Numeracy and the Australian Curriculum

Take your own notes about each of six numeracy elements.

 

Estimating and calculating with whole numbers

Developing strategies to solve problems that require the suitable use and knowledge of numbers and mathematical strategies.

 

Recognising and using patterns and relationships

Analysing existing data to determine trends etc in order to predict future effects on a similar situation.

 

Using fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios and rates

Students developing an understanding of relationships of shapes, numbers, quantities and parts thereof and how to create and interpret these representations.

 

Using spatial reasoning

Using strategies and techniques to identify two and 3 dimensional shapes and locations and relationships between these.

 

Interpreting statistical information

Ways of collecting and recording (creating) and interpreting data and developing forecasts for future events based on the information.

 

Using measurement

Familiarisation with the measurement systems used (time, metric measurements) throughout Australian society, how they are used, recorded and notated.

 

With reference to different learning areas, identify some ways in which you can develop numeracy in The Arts, Health and Physical Education and Humanities and Social Sciences for Grade 5 & 6.

 

Within the following subjects, numeracy can be included to develop students’ skills by:

Arts – relationship between musical notation and timings

Health & PE – recording and analysis of times taken to complete various tasks (i.e. running times) and appropriate record keeping.

Humanities and Social Sciences – extraction of statistical information (e.g. population) from various sources including tables and/or charts.

 

 

3 Numeracy in the curriculum

 

  1.  How would you describe the relationship between mathematics and numeracy?

Numeracy is the concept of using numbers and numerical values to understand situations encountered in everyday life.  Mathematics is the specific use of numbers and mathematic tools to solve problems.  Therefore, numeracy is the identification of the situation where a mathematical approach can be taken, and then interpreting the results.  Mathematics is the ‘what’ but numeracy is the ‘how’ and ‘when’.

 

2.  List five reasons for why good numeracy skills are important.

 

Numeracy skills are important for the following reasons:

  • Numeracy is intrinsic in many aspects of modern life (such as preparing food, deciphering a timetable, managing household budgets.)
  • Numeracy can be used to make decisions based on the correct use of mathematical systems – e.g. the value of a supermarket item
  • Numeracy is knowing when and how to use mathematics – it gives the study of mathematics greater relevance and therefore importance to most students’ schooling and out of schooling lives.
  • Increased availability of information means that summaries of information are being sought too – therefore, being able to make decisions and form opinions based on the summarized information can be important.
  • Most, if not all, aspects of life and living require numeracy skills

 

3.   What are the key behaviours that are essential to being numerate?

  • Fluency in the use of mathematics (e.g. which operations and strategies to use)
  • Using mathematics in the appropriate context
  • Critique the findings
  • Communicate the inputs, outputs and discuss the results.

 

  1. What factors do teachers need to consider when planning for the numeracy opportunities that arise across the curriculum?

 

  1. What does the term ‘critical numeracy’ mean to you?

The ability to know when to use mathematics and be able to critique the outcomes.  It is the empowerment and confidence one has when faced with a task comprising elements of numeracy and mathematics.

 

  1. How can a teacher encourage their students to take a critical numeracy perspective across the learning areas?

Teachers can include numeracy within their teachings by allowing time for students to delve into the problem and take time to investigate or solve.  Whilst giving the answer straight away might be easier and time-efficient for the teacher, it eliminates the opportunity for a student to solve a real-life and meaningful problem using mathematics.

 

 

4 Strategies for teaching numeracy in the middle years

List and briefly describe five strategies you will use for teaching numeracy to middle years students.

  • Allow students time to think about, and the opportunity to solve the numeracy moments within other subjects
  • Use authentic learning materials students can relate to (i.e. use of cups and fractions of cups when discussing volume, rather than litres or above)
  • Create the link between mathematics and how it relates to everyday activities (i.e. use of cricket statistics)
  • Provide a scaffolding approach when introducing mathematical concepts and relating back to familiar terms (such as fractions – using familiar concepts such as dividing a pizza, sandwich etc)
  • Differentiate teaching by positioning around the room to provide challenge to capable students whilst assisting those requiring further assistance.

 

REFERENCES

ACARA, (2009) Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics Retrieved from: http://www.acara.edu.au/_resources/Australian_Curriculum_-_Maths.pdf

Askew, M., Brown,M., Rhodes, V., Wiliam, D., Johnson, D., (1997) ‘Effective Teachers of Numeracy in Primary Schools: Teachers’ Beliefs, Practices and Pupils’ Learning’
King’s College, University of London

Australiancurriculum.edu.au. (2016). ‘Numeracy – Key ideas – The Australian Curriculum v8.2. Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/numeracy/introduction/introduction

Gunningham, S. (2002). A process for understanding mathematics.Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 7(2), 4-6.

Siemon, D. (2011). Teaching mathematics : Foundations to middle years. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Watson, J. (2008).National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2008 Critical Numeracy in Context [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.nlnw.nsw.edu.au/videos08/critical_numeracy/index.html

 

 

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Module 4 Literacy in the Middle Years

 

1 Literacy defined

   ‘All teachers are teachers of literacy.’

Discuss this statement with reference to your understanding of literacy.

 

Whilst PISA defines literacy as “the ability to understand, use and reflect on written texts in order to achieve one’s goals, to develop one’s knowledge and potential, and to participate effectively in society” (p iv in Freebody, 2007,) Kist (2000) points out “not only of print but of combinations of graphic art, music, mathematics, drama, cinema, and others”.  It means that students are developing the tools and skills to create, comprehend, critique and communicate via a broad range of words and written structures and therefore the definition continues to be hazy. So if literacy is the ability to send and receive communications via media, then all teachers are teachers of literacy.

Teachers are sending and receiving communications with their student body, not only to for the students to learn the subject content, but to develop their own motivations and tools to communicate through the various media available today and in the future.  Different subjects and even different topics within subjects required their own jargon, terminologies and language structures.  For example the teaching of mathematics requires the introduction and use of terms, symbols and syntax not found in traditionally text based subjects such as those from the humanities area of learning.  For students learning fractions, the ability to understand, use and reflect on the use of ‘numerator’ or ‘denominator’ requires the teacher to introduce and develop the student’s understanding mathematical literacy.  Eisner (1997) sums this up as thus:

“In order to be read, a poem, an equation, a painting, a dance, a novel, or a contract each requires a distinctive form of literacy, when literacy means, as I intend it to mean, a way of conveying meaning through and recovering meaning from the form of representation in which it appears.”

As the access to and development of literacies within our society, students and therefore teachers need to be aware of the medias existence, use and teaching approaches require adoption and adaptation to encompass and include these literacies.

 

2 Literacy and the Australian Curriculum

            Take your own notes about each of six literacy elements

  •  comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing

Students developing the skills to interpret communications and creating an understanding from a variety of media.  This includes the interpretation and investigative skills of the student to identify explicit and implicit meaning and intentions.

  • composing texts through speaking, writing and creating

Students being equipped with the tools to generate texts suited to a variety of situations and via various media.

  • text knowledge

Developing a mastery of text knowledge in identifying the text created and comprehended through the structures and cohesion of words and sentences.

  • grammar knowledge

Developing a mastery of text structure and syntax to identify and to create texts to broaden meaning and interpretation through word groupings and author’s intention.

  • word knowledge

Developing a mastery of words (definition, pronunciation, use and spelling) within the learning area and in cross-curriculum requirements.

  • visual knowledge

The interpretation of visual representations of information such as charts, icons, images, symbols etc and the importance of transferring meaning and/or enhancing the meaning of texts.

 

With reference to different learning areas, identify some ways in which you can develop literacy in The Arts, Health and Physical Education and Humanities and Social Sciences for Grade 5 & 6.

 Within each of these subject areas, there are inherent literacies requiring the adaptation of new or adjustment of existing words, jargon and comprehension for students.  The inherent requirement to build and develop literacies for students within years 5 & 6 enables teachers to provide opportunities for students to use, create, evaluate and discuss terminologies and structures but to also provide a scaffold to use appropriate language within the subject area.

Some examples include:

  • using correct anatomical terms in Health and Physical Education (as opposed to lay terms)
  • introducing art projects that encompass traditional terms within that field (e.g. the term ‘graphic’ or ‘image’ rather than ‘picture’
  • within Humanities, being more explicit in identifying historic events (e.g. the use of decades or stages rather than a generic ‘olden days’

 

3 Reading and comprehension

Cueing systems – Record the main features of each part of this model.

 

  1. Semantic
    • Topic/content knowledge
    • Cultural/world knowledge
    • Vocabulary knowledge

 

Ability to make predictions as to the content of the text through creating meaning based on our existing knowledge Awareness of the topic and content.  This knowledge is used to predict meaning and confirm meaning or make revisions during our reading process.  This is the most effective of the three parts of this model.

 

  1. Syntactic
    • Grammatical knowledge
    • Text knowledge

Interpretation of the grammatical structure of the text by identifying and decoding the structure, grammar, tense, word order etc to holistically creating meaning from the text.

 

  1. Grapho-phonetic
    • Word knowledge
    • Graphophonic knowledge
    • Orthographic knowledge

 

Least effective of the three parts, this is the high-intensity (i.e. identify each letter or word individually) to decipher meaning.  Visual clues (e.g. images in a picture-story book) can assist in developing meaning for the reader.

 

Comprehension – How will you use this technique in your teaching?

 Using the comprehension strategies is an important part of developing the mastery of literacy for students.  By working with and encouraging students to learn the words and terms through scaffolded learning environment, it emboldens students to practice these strategies in decoding and extracting meaning from other texts.  The development of not only these strategies, but the confidence to use them is important in the ongoing development of each student’s literacy skills.

4 Writing

 

 Look at these resources, then identify and explain two ways you will help your students develop their writing skills.

Work with students to identify the differences and importance of written language versus spoken language in terms of the format and content.  Look at the structures in familiar texts in terms of dialogue compared to example dialogue between students and or between student and teacher.

Assist in the differentiation for formal and informal purposes and how the styles, language and layouts used can communicate the intention of the writer and the reception by the reader.

 

Vocabulary & Spelling – Is it important to teach handwriting to middle school students? Why or why not?

 Whilst the proliferation of information technology devices has given rise to more electronically created and distributed material, teaching the skill of hand-writing is important.  It is an important activity to immerse the student into the activity at hand and is multi-sensory in that there are ideas and thoughts flowing, and a tangible outcome from pen to paper.  With the omni-present qwerty keyboard close by, so too are the digital distractions (such as other, more exciting programs and apps).  The use of handwriting to help students identify words through forming not only the shapes of the letters but meanings of the letter combinations – words.

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Module 1 The Middle Years Learner

1)     Defining the Middle Years

i.In a tweet length response (140 characters), describe a middle years learner.

Tweet

2)     The teenage brain

i. Identify and describe three ways you will use this information in your teaching of adolescent students (1 sentence for each description).

The idea of teenage rebellion:

Within guidelines, allow and encourage students to seek alternate ways of completing tasks.

Connection to learning:

The connectivity between learning and using judgement is weak – need to help students grow the judgement capacity.

Addiction occurs in a similar part of the brain as learning

Work with students exposed to and/or using addictive substances by monitoring effects on learning and development.

3)     Stages of learning development

Note any observations you have made about middle years students and their learning development from the two tables and the video clip.

The middle years learner is adding to their early learns learning of basic academic functions with most being able to master basic addition or spell commonly used words – “That’s easy-peasy” and often challenging each other.  There is influence by the group to take on more responsibility for their own learning and this is reflected in the classroom where projects and assessments can be completed with the student choosing their own focus of study within the parameters of the project and rubric.

As students are demanding more from their education at this stage, it is also an opportunity for teachers to co-develop or guide the creation of a marking rubric so as students are aware of the expectations from the assessment and can self-assess their own work.  The dynamics of the middle years’ classroom is different to early years in that there is a growth in the formation of groups through peer relationships however this can lead to issues of bullying and exclusion adding a social level to the learning not previously seen.  The social, emotional, and academic development of the middle years’ students are dynamic and grow at a unique rate for each individual.

Students in the middle years apply their different learning strategies to approach their learning using a combination of their life experiences and previous formal education experiences.  The development of their knowledge, application of this knowledge and skills to obtain, question and critique information contributes to a more complex learner than in early years.

 

i. Teaching and learning strategies

The four strategies discussed in this blog are: embrace their social nature; develop growth mindsets; provide structure; take time to breathe. Do these strategies cater adequately for the learning needs of adolescents? Compile your thoughts in a PMI Chart.

Plus Minus Interesting
embrace their social nature

 

Develop relationships with all students

 

Maintain awareness of the positive and negative relationships within the classroom (and the likelihood of these to change)

The volatility of relationships within this cohort

 

Reliance of students to seek the support and assistance of others rather than learning for themselves.

Dynamic within small groups as to the ‘natural’ vs selected leaders.

 

Use of friendship groups, but also the use of in-class experts to peer mentor

develop growth mindsets; Encourage the process for the student

 

Greatly assists child in academic and other areas

 

Outcomes become a lower priority – difficult when dealing with parents seeking traditional ‘marks’

 

Intelligence mindset

 

Don’t praise Intelligence and Ability, instead praise Process and Effort

provide structure; Create a reliable and comforting environment through structure

 

Preparation for the structures and expectations of post-school life

Can limit creativity and individuality

 

 

Having a reliable and stable environment through structure is important, particularly if home life is busy, dynamic, hectic or even chaotic.
take time to breathe A welcoming place with a welcoming face. Whilst it detracts from mainstream curriculum requirements, it helps students ‘check-in’ with themselves. Helps control emotions and build peer-to-peer relationships – critical in this age group

List your top 10 strategies from this chapter that you can use when teaching middle years students

 

Develop relationships – develop and maintain positive relationships with students as individuals, students as learners, and students as part of a group.

Acknowledge differences is development rates – the rates of which students develop is beginning to spread.

Connect learning to lives – learning needs to be relevant to the students’ lives to inspire motivation and interest.

Show respect – encourage student learning through a nurturing environment and respecting differences of students.  This in turn should result in mutual respect.

Predict unpredictability – there are outside school and biological issues beyond the teachers’ control.  Understand that these can influence greatly

Use the peer factor for good – utilise the social aspect of school by designing activities for groups to enable students to explore the relationship building and dynamics within a safe, supervised environment of the class room.

Input to rules – allow students to have input into rules and expectations to encourage their ‘ownership’ of these.

Assist in time-management strategies – the transition from childhood to middle years also sees an increase in wanting independence.  With independence comes responsibility and help in using planning tools and meeting work requirements will assist this.

Keep an eye on the time – set time limits, use time warnings to increase the urgency.

Let them choose – by providing the parameters of where the students can choose the direction of their learning (i.e. the assignment topic), students take greater ownership and interest in the learning as it has personal interest.

 

Summarise (using dot points) your learning about how academic behaviours, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies and social skills can impact the learning of adolescents.

1. ACADEMIC BEHAVIORS

  • Observable activities that reflect preparedness and engagement with education.
  • Commonly not observed (and/or irregularity with low performers)
  • Classroom behaviours can reflect the academic investment of students (i.e. engagement, motivation, completion, time on-task etc.)

2. ACADEMIC PERSEVERANCE

  • Overcoming typical personal, organisational and motivational challenges to complete tasks
  • Difference between doing enough to pass and doing additional learning to know when and how to use the knowledge gained.
  • Sacrificing pleasures and delaying satisfactions by prioritising academic activity.

3. ACADEMIC MINDSETS

  • Positive mindsets belong to achieving students, whilst negative academic mindsets are often found in under-performing students.
  • Academic persistence is the accepting of a challenge to improve rather than an opportunity for failure
  • The sense of ‘belongingness’ to and within the classroom (socially and academically) effects confidence to attempt and complete tasks

4. LEARNING STRATEGIES

  • The approach students have to learning opportunities to utilise the knowledge and learning tools available are key in cognition of new topics or building on existing knowledge.
  • Process of breaking-down, or ‘chunking’ learning into manageable components – the successful learner will be able to implement these within their own skill set.
  • Self-regulation to identify areas of achievement or to adopt additional strategies to develop effective and productive learning opportunities.

5. SOCIAL SKILLS

  • Within the classroom, social skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control are important in determining a student’s real or perceived acceptance within the social group
  • Whilst social skills within a classroom are relatively difficult to measure against academic performance, the value and connectedness a student’s perception of the value of their own education (i.e. enjoying school experience as a middle to low performing student academically).
  • Social and emotional growth and development are seen as important in schools, hence a focus to implement social-emotional learning rewards the school with more socially-aware students and increased focus.

 

Find two other resources that will help you with your teaching of adolescents. Record them in your journal with an explanation of why you have chosen them and how they help your understanding of adolescent

 

Implications of Brain Research for Teaching Young Adolescents  (Wilson & Horch, 2002).

This resource discusses the physiological changes in the brains of the middle years learner, covering important findings from brain research as the child develops through to adolescence and beyond and it’s influences on a student’s learning (and therefore teaching strategies used) “Growth and then pruning is an important stage of brain development that can influence learners for the rest of their lives.” (p. 58)

 

Building Happiness, Resilience and Motivation in Adolescents A Positive Psychology Curriculum for Well-Being.  MacConville & Rae (2012).

This resource is based on the premise around the “importance of individuals knowing and using their strengths is central to positive psychology because they relate to understanding and building each individual’s psychological health and well-being. Greater well-being in turn enhances learning, the traditional goal of education.” (p13)

4)     Transitions

Think about the range of transitions that a middle school student is likely to encounter. Can you predict the effects of these transitions on the young person? Record your thoughts in your journal.

Students are taking a major step in their education by transitioning from primary school at the end of year 6 to secondary education.  The changes in social and structure (traditionally referred to as going from being a big fish in a small pond to a smaller fish in a bigger pond) where rights and privileges senior students in primary school are afforded may no longer be available.  Combined with the physiological changes that take place during this time, there is often conflict at this time.

To assist with the transition between primary and secondary, schools are taking on the responsibility to assist with the transition by not only directly supporting transition students but their families by providing information sessions etc.  Support from schools, and in particular, welfare specialists at the destination school are important for the induction and inclusion of students to the new environment.  Students in rural and remote locations may find transition more difficult as they are in most cases leaving smaller school populations and travelling to larger regional centres with many times more students and teachers – a potentially daunting task.  The use of realistic and relatable resources such as students visiting their former primary school and guiding visitors through the new school are just some of the transition strategies used with success.

 

REFERENCES

Bongolan, R., Moir, E., & Baron, W. (Eds.). (2009). Keys to the Secondary Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide to the First Months of School. Corwin Press

Carol Dweck – A Study on Praise and Mindsets. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWv1VdDeoRY

Education.vic.gov.au. (2016).  ‘Starting Secondary School’ Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/secondary/Pages/starting.aspx?Redirect=1

Encouraging Students to Persist Through Challenges. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 23 July 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voa0F2C_hjY

Farrington, C. A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T. S., Johnson, D. W., & Beechum, N. O. (2012). Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners: The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance–A Critical Literature Review. Consortium on Chicago School Research. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

MacConville, R., Rae, Tina, & Ebook Library. (2012). Building Happiness, Resilience and Motivation in Adolescents A Positive Psychology Curriculum for Well-Being.

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