Teacher Education

Because we never stop learning...

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Theories of Education


Three key early behavioural scientists were Pavlov (1849-1936), Watson (1878-1958) and Thorndike (1874-1949). Behaviourism was coined as researchers tried to explain how learning took place, by investigating the observable mechanisms of learning. Focus was directed on observable forms of behaviour that included not only bodily movement as seen by an observer watching a subject, but also the internal physical processes related to overt bodily movement, and how these could be modified. Two key factors concerning behaviourism are noted here;

Classical Conditioning

The essentials are:
Conditioning: A process of learning
Stimulus: Any change in the physical world eliciting a response
Response: The response to the stimulus
Unconditioned Stimulus: A stimulus that produces a reflex or unlearned response
Conditioned Stimulus: A stimulus paired with an unconditioned stimulus that becomes capable of producing a response
Conditioned Response: A learned response resulting from pairing the unconditioned stimulus with the conditioned stimulus

Operant Conditioning

The essentials are:
Operants: The label to describe behaviour not elicited by any known or obvious stimulus
Shaping: The continuous reinforcement of operants that become increasingly closer approximations of the desired behaviour
Fading: The eradication of a response through the withdrawal of reinforcement
Positive Reinforcement: A stimulus that increases the probability of an operant recurring as a result of its being added to a situation after the performance of the behaviour. It usually takes the form of something pleasant
Negative Reinforcement: A stimulus that increases the probability of an operant recurring when it is removed from the situation. Usually taking the form of something unpleasant.
Punishment: The addition of an unpleasant stimulus to a situation as a consequence of behaviour that has occurred. The aim is to suppress behaviour rather than to establish new behaviour.
Reinforcement Schedule: The application of positive or negative reinforcement, continuously or intermittently, by time or ratio of responses

B.F. Skinner is now regarded as the leading proponent of Behaviourism.

Social Learning:

The Social Learning Theory, stemming from the works of Albert Bandura, and now known better as the Social Cognitive Theory differs from the traditional behavouristic theories in that it emphasises symbolic representation and self-regulatory procedures. It is reflective of constructivist principles.

The Social Cognitive Theory has 3 distinct principles:

1. Much of human learning is a function of observing the behaviour of others.

2. We learn to imitate by receiving reinforcement for performing a certain behaviour, and we then maintain this imitative behaviour through continued reinforcement.

3. Imitation, or observational learning, can be explained in terms of operant conditioning principles, provided it is correct to say that people can ‘imagine’ both the reinforcement and the behaviour of models.

These principles are governed by four processes: attention, retention, reproduction and motivation.

Information Processing:

Information Processing is the study of how humans perceive, comprehend, and remember, the information they gain from their environment.

The Information Processing Model of Learning has some very distinct steps:

1. External Stimuli bombard our senses that in turn send information to our sensory register for a very brief temporary storage. We make “sense” of the information through the processes of perception and attention.

2. Transformed into patterns of images or sounds (or perhaps other types of codes), the information can enter the short term memory. Here storage is limited and short: the information is used and is lost unless it is rehearsed.

3. Information to be retained for later retrieval is connected with already existing knowledge and thus encoded in long term memory. This is a permanent storage area.

Key words to note here:
Perception: Referring to the meaning attached to the information we receive through our senses; meaning that is constructed partly from objective reality and partly from the way we organise the information.
Gestalt Theory: This holds that people organise their perceptions into coherent wholes
Metacognition: Knowledge about our own thinking processes
Bottom-up Processing: Analysing basic elements and combining them into meaningful patterns
Top-down Processing: Understanding by inference


One definition of Constructivism is that – “experience is constructed rather than absorbed; knowledge is invented.”

Two forms of Constructivism are:

Personal – a focus on the individual’s internal mental state and transformations of understanding that occur within the individual, and

Social – a focus on the construction of knowledge in a social context, with the individual making personal meaning from socially shared perceptions.

Piaget argued that children construct their own understanding through interaction with their environment – that is, through their actions on objects in the world – this is constructivism.

Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory, on the other hand, is hinged on the idea that cognitive development can be understood as the transformation of basic, biologically determined processes into higher psychological functions. According to this theory, children are born with a wide range of perceptual, attentional and memory capacities that are substantially transformed in the context of socialisation and education, particularly through the use of cultural inventions such as tools, social structures and language, to constitute the higher psychological functions of the unique forms of human cognition.


All of the information on this page has been adapted from either

McInerney, D.M. and McInerney, V. Educational Psychology: Constructed Learning (Second Edition)

(Australia: Prentice Hall, 1998)


Woolfolk, A. Educational Psychology (Fourth Edition)

(Englewood Cliffs, USA: Prentice Hall, 1990)

Edward De Bono’s Six Hats

Here is a brief look at

Edward De Bono’s “SIX HAT Thinking”

Dr Edward de Bono invented the Six Thinking Hats method early in the 1980’s.

It is used in both schooling and at a management level in business.

As a teaching tool it is used as a teaching method framework for thinking, and can incorporate lateral thinking. It is used mainly used in the classroom by teachers at a metaphorical level.

Some teachers may have illustrations of the Six Hats on display and use them according to the desired outcome of any given lesson.

An example of this may be when students are asked to design a machine – with the teacher emphasising the need for perhaps Green Hat thinking first, followed by any of the other thinking hats as necessary.

There are six of these “metaphorical” hats and the students put on and take off one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking being used.

This putting on and taking off is essential.

The hats must never be used to categorise individuals, even though their behaviour may seem to invite this. When done in group, everybody wears the same hat colour at the same time.

Listed below is a very brief summary of the Six Hat concepts:
De Bono's Six Hats
The Red Hat

The spectrum of feelings included under the Red hat range from emotions to intuitions.
No need to justify the feelings. How do I feel about this right now?

Emotions – normal emotions such as joy, anger, fear and sorrow. Under these powerful emotions, our perceptions only select what supports the emotion. ie. an angry person will see reasons for anger.

Feelings – covers a wider range than emotions. Includes feelings of unease, anxiety, interest, and uncertainty. Aesthetics is a feeling. Feelings covers matters like admiration and respect.

Hunches – lie somewhere between intuition and feelings. It takes the form of strong feeling or decision in favour of or against something. Intuitions – intuition is both right and wrong. Some claim that intuition is indeed logical but that we are not consciously aware of this process.

The value of the Red Hat is that it recognises emotions, feelings, hunches and intuitions as a valid part of thinking, provided they are signalled as what they are.

De Bono's Six Hats
The White Hat

What information do we have?
What are the facts?
What information do we need to get?

Wearing the white hat the students can visualise being explorers and making a map. A good place to start when wearing the white hat is to make note of all the information, formal and informal, that is readily available.

What information do we have? The answer will provide an inventory.

Formal information may include reports, statistics and facts.

Informal information tends to come from personal experience.

Describing our own feelings is Red Hat thinking, but reporting how others feel is White Hat thinking. White Hat thinking incorporates questions such as,

What is relevant?

What is most important?

How valid is this?

De Bono's Six Hats
The Black Hat


Bad points.

What is wrong with this? Is this true? Will it work?

What are the weaknesses? What is wrong with it?

The words checking and checking out are important in explaining the uses of the Black Hat. It is critical thinking.

The main uses of the Black Hat are:

Checking for evidence – what is the evidence
to support the statement?

Checking for logic – the validity of the logical argument.

Checking for feasibility – is it realistic, will it work?

Checking for impact – the consequences, who does it affect?

Checking for fit – in simple terms: do things fit?

Checking for weaknesses – is this supportive?

De Bono's Six Hats
The Yellow Hat

Assessing value.
Extracting benefits.
Making something work.

The uses of the Yellow Hat fall into four areas:

1. Good points.

2. Benefits.

3. Reasons why an idea will work.

4. Likelihood.

Things to look for when wearing the Yellow Hat are:

What are the good points?

What are the benefits?

De Bono's Six Hats
The Blue Hat

Organisation of thinking.
Thinking about thinking.
What have we done so far? What do we do next?

Defining focus and purpose – What are we thinking about? What are we trying to do?

Setting out a thinking plan or agenda – setting the thinking steps, a strategy.

Making observations or comments – metacognition – thinking about our thinking, commenting on our thought processes.

Deciding on the next step – this step may involve moving to another hat. It is stopping thinking and taking a break.

Defining outcomes and summarising – What decision have we reached? The overall outcome, solution, conclusion, choice or decision, design, or further plan.

De Bono's Six Hats
The Green Hat

Creativity. Different ideas. New ideas. Suggestions and proposals. What are some possible ways to work this out? Whata re some other ways to solve the problem?

Generating reactive ideas – use the given idea as a starting point for thinking and exploring creatively.

Generating starting ideas – The White Hat collects information – the Green Hat is used to lay out some starting ideas.

Generating better and further ideas – look for alternatives, enhance existing ideas.

Generating new ideas – create new ideas completely – use originality.

Green Hat thinking can help when we need to take an action, provide an explanation, forecast an outcome or design something new to fit a need. Forming hypotheses, speculating, and thinking laterally, are three Green Hat thinking tools.

Behaviour Management Theories

There are many ways for a teacher to implement classroom management. Some are highly effective, some may need to be re-addressed. What is crucial though, is that all teachers have some form of behaviour management system in place which will enable them to not only control their class, but will also allow for a healthy and productive learning environment.

As with most aspects of teaching, a teacher’s personality and their actual method of implementation in regards to management techniques, will have a direct bearing on the outcome. Consequently, what may work for one person, may not work for another, or, it is possible that a school’s ethos or policy statements, may not allow for a teacher’s particular behaviour management style.

Three approaches are listed below, but there are many more and it must be noted that it is often the case that they are not exclusive to one another. Different behaviour management systems may be overlapped as a teacher establishes the best system for themselves, and significantly, for the particular class under their care.

A Student Centred Approach

A child sees behaviour directed by outside influences of parents and teachers which can be negative. A student centred approach encourages independence and for children to choose their own behaviour.

It is a democratic approach where the teacher:

* shares control and decision making with the class
* encourages group initiatives
* delegates responsibility of behaviour to the class
* works toward establishment of mutual goals and encourages active participation

A student centred approach is hinged on understanding the problem in behaviour:

* clarify the source of the problem
* is the teacher affected by the student behaviour?
* the teacher should be listening to what may be the “real problem/message
* encourage children to speak openly
* allow student to change behaviour as opposed to reinforcing accusations
* language development, thoughts, feelings, age, and reasoning ability, may restrict the teacher’s use of logical argument.

Active Listening

Silence is golden and potent.
Listening is one of the teacher’s most effective tools. It shows willingness to help and accept.


* prompt speaking and then actively listen
* respond
* look for ‘door openers’
* help enlighten ’cause and effect’ by encoding of feelings


* a deep sense of trust in students’ ability to ultimately solve their own problems
* genuinely accept students’ feelings as uniquely their own – acceptance of who they are
* be with the student – show warmth, compassion, feeling.
* encourage openness of feelings, emotion – do not be afraid of emotions
* privacy and confidentiality – building of trust and respect – eliminate gossip

Keep the responsibility with the students:

* mirror student by feedback through: clarifying, promoting inquiry, discussion, questioning, exploring a student’s feelings, freedom to think for themselves, and minimal evaluative feedback.
* do not enforce specifics, judge, tell, probe or use lecturing style techniques.

The results of the student centred approach:

* promotes student willingness to listen to teachers.
* engenders a greater sense of self-worth.
* creates more meaningful relationships between teacher and students.
* displays a caring attitude, willingness on part of teacher to care foe the student
* as relationships develop, discipline problems decrease significantly.

The goals of discipline:

* the nature of the student centred approach leans itself towards a tendency to have less behavioural management problems, as the students have more opportunity to decide how to learn individually. Boredom and failure, two of the main causes of behavioural problems, are virtually eliminated.
* the standards of the whole class can be agreed upon at the beginning of the year so that the children are aware of their own responsibilities for their behaviour.
* the teacher is cast as a facilitator of learning, not a dictator of information. One who is seen as a reference, a guide, a source, and a guide to the growth and development of the intellectual child.

Using this method, traditional punishment and extrinsic reward discipline is largely diminished.

Three proponents of the student centred approach are: Thomas Gordon, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.

A Moderate Approach

This approach, put forward by Glasser, is a mixture of interactionist, humanist and behaviourist approaches.

Glasser believes in power sharing classroom meetings to deal with any issues including rules, behaviour, discipline etc. Students are allowed to discuss any topic without fear of condemnation with the outcome of the meeting being an agreement of a solution to the problems by both parties, together with an agreement to follow the solution through.

Glasser’s Control Theory

* Students need to have a sense of belonging
* Students need to feel important
* Students need to have fun and freedom

Glasser believes that we are all social and that we therefore like the support and interest of others, and that by working together in small teams:

* Students gain a sense of belonging (teams should include low, middle and high achievers)
* Belonging provides the initial motivation and as they experience success, students see that knowledge is power and want to work harder because of this aspect
* Stronger students find it fulfilling to help weaker ones
* Weaker students like participating because their contribution is accepted and seen as beneficial
* Students do not need to be dependent on their teachers
* Teams are free to choose their most effective way of learning.
* Teams need to be challenged regularly to ascertain their stage of development
* Glasser stresses the importance of complete individual and team involvement. All must contribute.

Glasser’s Reality Theory

Based on the need of students to maintain their self-worth in order to continue with their improvement in behaviour, and therefore, academic achievement. The foundation of the Reality Therapy is the idea that regardless of what has happened in our lives, we are able to choose more appropriate behaviours that will help us meet our needs more effectively in the future.

Using this approach, the teacher focuses on helping the student evaluate his or her behaviour – and adjusting it. The role of the teacher is not to make judgements and give punishment, but rather, by using a nine-step process of questioning and providing an opening for self-evaluation, the student will understand their own accountability and will therefore, aim to improve.

Glasser sees teacher-imposed punishment as counter-productive in this process. The students need to realise for themselves that inappropriate behaviour effects not only themselves but those around them as well.

A vital aspect of Glasser’s Theory is for the teacher to make use of positive encouragement and attention to students who do abide by the rules and display acceptable behaviour.
Glasser’s nine steps of his Reality Theory are: (as cited in McInerney and McInerney:1998,p.220-221)

* 1. The student is confronted and told to stop the misbehaviour.
* 2. The student is then asked to explain the behaviour that was occurring.. The teacher uses “What” questions, not “Why”. Th
is prevents the student from finding excuses, such as “I had to get up because he stole my pencil”, and draws attention to the cause of the problem (self-evaluation)
* 3.If the rule-breaking behaviour continues, step 2 is repeated, adding “Is it against the rules?” here the emphasis is on the consequences of the behaviour (student responsibility): “If you continue to do this what will happen?”
* 4. The teacher asks the student to make a plan or commitment to finding alternatives. “What are you going to do about your behaviour?” or “What is your plan so that you don’t break the rule again?”
* 5. Sometimes the students may be asked to go to the “castle” (Glasser’s term for isolation desk or corner in the classroom) until the problem is worked out. This isolation is a logical consequence of breaking the class rules. This step is vital as it places responsibility with the student for his or her own behaviour and for finding alternatives (accountability)
* 6. If the rule-breaking behaviour still persists, steps 2-5 are repeated but the teacher indicates that support will be provided. The teacher arranges specific time and location in the near future to help in the development of the plan and to provide encouragement for it to work. The student is allowed to return to the class after a solution has been arrived at.
* 7. If the student fails to fulfil his or her commitment and plan, the next step is isolation to a designated room (Principals office or Special Isolation Room). Steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 are repeated by the Principal, grade supervisor or school counsellor, who has been notified earlier. Parents may be involved in solving the problem.
* 8. Finally, if the student is out of control, the parents are notified and asked to collect the student immediately. The student may return to the school when he or she obeys the rules.
* 9. If all else fails, the parents and students are referred to an outside agency to “work it out”.

The focus is on the students’ behaviour, not the student – ‘love the sinner not the sin’.

The Assertive Discipline Approach

Keys ideas:

* a teacher must insist and expect responsible behaviour from the students
* maintain adequate classroom discipline
* both students and teachers have rights

The Assertive Discipline Model:

* a clear indication of the rules
* reminders of the rules
* indication of consequences
* establishment of a positive discipline system
* use of positive consequences as opposed to negative
* negative consequences are to be graded in severity

Implementation of the Model

* Step One – recognise and remove roadblocks
* Step Two – practice use of assertive response styles
* Step Three – learn to set limits
* Step Four – learn to follow-through on limits
* Step Five – implement a system of positive consequences

This approach, developed by the Canter’s, is a program aimed at “corrective” control. It is hinged on positive behavioural management. The canter’s define assertiveness as “business like communication of reasonable teacher expectations and disapproval followed by a clear indication of what the student is to do.

The assertive teacher reminds students of the rules, and indicates what should be done. This may include the assertive use of questions to convey limits.

Th main focus of Canter’s model is on assertively insisting on proper behaviour from students, with well organised procedures for following through when they do not. the model provides a very strong system of corrective discipline.

This method aims to establish a positive discipline system that reinforces the teacher’s authority to teach and control in order to ensure an environment that is optimal for learning. This entails using rewards and punishments in the behavioural sense. Positive consequences are be
lieved to be more powerful in shaping student behaviour than negative ones. If students violate rules deliberately, it is recommended that the negative consequences that result, should be graded in severity according to the number of times the offence is repeated during the lesson.

Benefits of the Assertive Discipline Approach:

* it enables teachers to use class time more productively for teaching
* it serves to prevent discipline problems from occurring as students have a clear understanding of the consequences of keeping and breaking the rules
* it can provide supportive control when a warning is all that is required

Teachers have basic educational rights in their classrooms including:

* the right to establish optimal learning environments
* the right to request and express appropriate behaviour
* the right to receive help from administrators and parents as needed

Students also have basic rights in the classroom, including:

* the right to have teachers who help limit self-destructing behaviour
* the right to choose how to behave, with full understanding of the consequences that automatically follow their choices

The needs, rights, and conditions are best met through the assertive discipline approach in which the teacher clearly communicates the expectations to the students and consistently follows-up with appropriate actions, but never violates, the best interests of the students.


Much of the information on this page has been adapted from either

McInerney, D.M. and McInerney, V. Educational Psychology: Constructed Learning (Second Edition)

(Australia: Prentice Hall, 1998)


Woolfolk, A. Educational Psychology (Fourth Edition)

(Englewood Cliffs, USA: Prentice Hall, 1990)

Special Needs – Different Learning

One of the simple realities of education that any teacher will experience is that many children have different and/or special needs. Students with learning difficulties, students from minority racial or ethnic backgrounds, learning-related gender characteristics, and gifted and talented students, are but are few of the groups that a teacher will inevitably have to deal with at some point of their teaching career.

This page aims to provide you with a simple overview of some of the problems and possible solutions to the issue of dealing with Different Learners.

Teaching children with special needs – what can you do?

1. Compile Background Information

* previous assessments – school and professional
* specialist’s notes and recommendations
* parental information

2. Modify Equipment / Techniques

* accessibility – rooms, equipment, personnel
* teaching styles
* equipment / resources

3. Program Inclusively

* individual / ability level groups / whole class
* peer support / buddying
* extra help – parents/aides

4. Establish a self-support base

* colleagues / friends / parents

One way of dealing with a class of individuals is to examine the environmental, emotional, sociological and physical preferences that children might have that potentially influence their learning and motivation. In this way a teacher is able to ascertain the elements that best suit any given child and, therefore, improve their learning situation.

The model below (McInerney and McInerney,1998:243) highlights some of the key elements to look for.

Sixteen Elements of Learning Styles

The Environmental Elements

1. Sound

2. Light

3. Temperature

4. Design

The Emotional Elements

5. Motivation

6. Persistence

7. Responsibility

8. Need for structure

The Sociological Elements

9. Working alone

10. Working with peers

11. Working with an adult

12. Working in a combination

The Physical Elements

13. Perceptual Strengths

14. Intake

15. Time of the day

16. Need for mobility

The list below (McInerney and McInerney,1998:267) is an excellent example of ways in which a teacher may adapt education to suit individual needs.

Micro Adaptations

using a variety of teaching skills; variability, questioning, reinforcement

giving students the time needed to learn

providing flexibility in classroom rules and organisation

monitoring and processing student feedback and other environmental cues
– modifying instruction as required

modelling thinking and learning processes

using a variety of lesson formats and resources for presenting material, e.g. programmed instruction lecture, self-directed learning, ICAI – Intelligent Computer Assisted Instruction, parent educators and excursions

structuring lessons through the use of advanced organisers, headings, reviews

using a variety of styles of discourse

Micro / Macro

providing for individualised goals and programs, e.g. negotiated curriculum

providing flexible teaching/learning spaces, e.g. individual study spaces, clustered desks, interest centres, resource centres

using group work – student collaboration, cooperative learning, provisions for students to seek help and give help, peer and cross-age tutoring

using task analysis and matching student characteristics (such as competence, attitudes, values) with task demands e.g. IEPs

teaching thinking/learning skills to provide the
student with skills to adapt to the demands of the material/course to be learnt

implementing enrichment/remediation programs

implementing intervention strategies to develop in students a positive sense of self as a learner, and self-regulatory and self-management skills

providing flexibility in assessment and reporting criteria


providing appropriate physical (such as ramps and special equipment) and educational (a variety of teaching aids and materials) resources

providing elective as well as core subjects

implementing streaming by ability and needs

implementing vertical grouping and semesterisation

providing opportunities fro accelerated promotion

implementing special programs aimed at provided for students’ individual differences, e.g. PLAN – Program for Learning in Accordance with Needs, PSI – Personalised System of Instruction, IPI – Individually Prescribed Instruction, TAI – Team Assisted Individualisation, IDE – Individually Guided Education, ML – Mastery Learning

providing resource personnel (such as support teachers), special curriculum advisers, and teacher aids

providing effective guidance counselling

adopting a whole-school approach, e.g. ALEM – Adaptive Learning Environmental Model, establishing special schools/centres, e.g. selective high schools, hospital schools, extension programs, intensive language centres

implementing bilingual and community language programs


Much of the information on this page has been taken from

McInerney, D.M. and McInerney, V. Educational Psychology: Constructed Learning (Second Edition)

(Australia: Prentice Hall, 1998)


mcewen Said:
November 11th, 2006 at 4:48 am

When I first started reading this I assumed that you were a special ed teacher, but your ‘about’ doesn’t confirm this? I only wish this could be compulsory reading.
Best wishes

Multiculturalism in Education

Currently, students from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB) make up 25% of the students within the education system. They have been identified in major reports on education as a disadvantaged group because their educational outcomes are not commensurate with their numbers in our schools.
(Janiszewska, Irene.)
ESL in the Mainstream: Teacher Development Course -Workshop 9(p.50)
(South Australia: DECS Publishing, 1993)

Key reasons and purpose of the Multiculturalism policy.

Until recently, the Australian government’s response to cultural diversity in Australia was to implement a policy of assimilation.
Assimilation is a process by which individuals from minority ethnic groups adopt both the language and cultural values of another (usually the dominant) cultural group. The degree of assimilation can vary between individuals. Assimilation results in a loss of self identity and a devaluing of individual worth. To many peoples from NESB’s, this process is seen as a cost to be paid for the privilege of being allowed to settle in Australia.

The reasons why people from minority ethnic or cultural groups assume, to varying degrees, the culture and values of the dominate culture, are complex and interconnecting.
They include:

English Speaking Background (ESB) – One parent may be Anglo-Celtic

Society’s devaluation of minority cultural values by omission – seldom acknowledged in education, the media and the general community.

Ethnocentric portrayal of mainstream values – mainstream seen as superior to NESB, thus undervaluing their values.

Acceptance – the belief that an individual will be better accepted by mainstream society if they adopt the dominant values and language.

Attempt to be inconspicuous – attempt to blend into society, not be martyrs or pioneers.

Fear of racism – by becoming one of the dominant group attempting to avoid racial slurs.

Fear of sexual harassment – sexual and racial harassment is often linked.

Powerlessness – the feeling of having no right to ask for equality because of their cultural and linguistic background.

In the past ten years, the concept of what the term “multiculturalism” means has changed from being a purely descriptive one about the nature of Australian society to one which is also seen as prescriptive of official government policy.

The basis of this policy upholds the ideal of diversity in which the values of a range of cultures may coexist under an umbrella of over-arching values. People are to be encouraged to maintain their culture and language, while at the same time, sharing the over-arching values of the whole society. Ideally, each culture, including the dominant culture, should continually identify more shared values while making adjustments to and strengthening other values unique to its own cultural group.

The Multiculturalism policy gives a framework for providing services that acknowledge and promote our culturally and linguistically diverse society. It seeks to ensure equitable and enriched learning and care outcomes for all children and students irrespective of their social, cultural or linguistic backgrounds. It aims to do this through the curriculum, programs, resource management, organisation and staffing procedures within a school.

The Multiculturalism policy was put in place to ensure the social cohesion and unity amongst different cultures sharing in intertwining lifestyles in Australia.

Cultural pluralism acknowledges that cultural diversity exists, but more than that, that because of this diversity, Australia may benefit as a whole.

Principles of Multiculturalism in Education

The Multiculturalism policy seeks to promote

cultural identity: the right of children, students and families to maintain, develop and renew, and not merely pre
serve, their cultural and linguistic heritage.

access and equity: the rights for all children, students and families to equality of opportunity, ready and appropriate access to education services and equitable outcomes.

maximise potential: the right of all children and students to a quality of education that provides knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to participate effectively in culturally and linguistic diverse societies on a national and international level.


What is meant by the term “inclusive curriculum” ?

A culturally inclusive curriculum refers to the planning and delivery of education and care programs that ensure that cultural perspectives are reflected in all aspects of teaching, learning and care across the curriculum.

A culturally inclusive curriculum should reflect support for collaborative, whole class, and individual learning styles.

A culturally inclusive curriculum will develop the necessary knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare children and students to participate in and contribute to life in Australia and on an international level.

This means that all children will be supported to be literate and articulate in a social environment where linguistic diversity is integral to Australian life.

While English is the shared language and the major vehicle for our literacy and language development, the social, cultural, community and economic vitality of our nation draws upon a wide variety of languages other than English.
These include the indigenous languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and the languages used by other non-English speaking background people.
Therefore, languages education is crucial to education for a multicultural society.

Literacy in English is fundamental for successful education and employment in Australia – and for a full participation in Australian society. We are recognised as an English speaking country after all.

Much of the Multiculturalism policy is directed by the fact that our handling of multiculturalism will determine our economic growth. It is why the issue of multiculturalism is such a “hot potato” within political circles.

What does it mean to teachers?

Inclusivity by its very nature, requires the acknowledgement of the contributions, skills and knowledge of all members of our society.

The content of a curriculum can either overtly or covertly devalue cultures.
The aim of multiculturalism is to achieve the latter by making modifications in areas such as the following:-

Terminology – even the implication of “different” cultures may infer that one is normal and one is not.
Often the comparison is made in relation to the dominant culture (a range of cultures may be more suitable terminology).

The use of “Us ” and “Them” should be avoided as much as possible.

Statements such as “Mel Gibson is the best actor in the world” really only apply to English speaking countries and therefore leave much of the world out of the equation.

Use of the word migrant is heavily used in relation to multiculturalism. But many second generation Australians are not migrants. All Australians have an ethnic background. The term ” Australian” describes any citizen who is a permanent resident of this country, irrelevant of country of origin.

Incorrect spelling and pronunciation devalue languages and the originating culture.

Comments such as “Captain cook discovered Australia” as compared to “the Romans came to Britain” devalue our origins. (Australia did not need to be discovered – the Aborigines were already here.
(Perhaps words such as settled or immigrated would be more appropriate)

Independence and Interdependence – for some cultural groups, the society, the group, and/or the family, are more significant than the individual. The “self” is very much a secondary consideration. This must be addressed in the teaching and learning env

Stereotyping – generalisations, such as the belief that NESB girls are oppressed and are only looking for marriage as a means of living, do not enhance cultural interaction. Rather, beliefs such as this only stifle it. The same applies to “class” distinction and especially to technological status. The western notion that technology means superiority is a constant threat to students who do not come from a culture which supports this belief.

Noise levels and overall discipline in a class may be completely different to that already experienced by a NESB student. It must be noted that students from some countries come from learning situations where discipline is firm and learning is dominantly teacher-directed. The transition from such a situation to what appears to be a laissez- faire environment can lead to confusion and a disrespect for the teaching/learning process now presented.

(A belief that overly strict discipline in NESB homes is to blame for bad behaviour in schools is both simplistic and generally incorrect).
Likewise, some cultures regard questioning teachers as wrongful and ill mannered.

In order to keep within the guidelines of the multiculturalism policy guidelines

we need to meet the cultural and linguistics needs of the students

establish and maintain and value culturally and linguistically inclusive learning environments

include inter-cultural and cross cultural education perspectives.

This means we need to put in place curriculums and programs that support and enable children to

participate in activities which reflect our diverse culture mix in Australia

develop the knowledge and skills necessary to value and participate in this society

develop their potential whilst retaining their individuality in unison with their culture, language, learning abilities and learning styles

develop proficiency in standard English

develop attitudes and behaviours that are free from racist, cultural or religious prejudice, discrimination and harassment

involve parents as much as possible – seek their help in making decisions concerning their children

set up programs which will deal with specific problems in regards to cultural and/or language barriers

The Multiculturalism policy applies to all employees of DECS (Department of Education and Community Services) and as such it requires that its employees apply this policy to their area of work, which for teachers, means implementation within our classrooms and throughout our school.

Therefore, we need a culturally inclusive curriculum in ALL areas of learning and we need to provide supportive and culturally inclusive learning and care environments for ALL the students.

How can school practices be adopted to make them more inclusive of students from non-English speaking backgrounds?

Points to consider:

The students are the centre of the curriculum.

Students of all ages are aware of the culture and subculture elements (class, gender and race) within a school. They do not live in a vacuum.

NESB children come from a variety of situations which may include the following factors:- war, famine, refugee situations, geographical isolation, family disruptions, itinerant life style, disability, etc.,

What students’ expect from school in terms of relationship and roles, teaching and learning (that is, the content of what is taught), and, how learning is taught (approach, structure, assessment).


Multiculturalism is all encompassing – it cannot be implemented in only one area.
It must aim to permeate all facets of the school environment.

A culturally inclusive curriculum must consider such things as –

enrolment and placement procedures – do they address NESB students and their families?

does the school timetable include time for ESL (English as a Second Language) support etc.?

is counselli
ng available, and if so, are the counselling procedures well equipped in dealing with the values of different cultural groups. The educational and career aspirations – are they able to be dealt with in the same manner as children of English speaking backgrounds?

parent and student participation in community related activities. Does the school need to assist in helping for information to be translated into the native language of the home/family etc.?


Inclusivity begins in the classroom. What is taught, how it is taught, the resources used and the relationships between teachers and students all give NESB students clear messages about their identity. This affects their sense of self worth, their attitudes to school and learning, and their ability to participate effectively and to full potential in their own learning. (High self-esteem is well-recognized as being vital for successful learning, especially language learning)

In the classroom other multicultural considerations must be dealt with, such as:-

The physical and social environment – reflects factors such as the relationship between teachers and students, and amongst students themselves, and whether or not a classroom is supportive and conducive to learning.

What is actually studied and learnt – are the intentions of the teacher the actual messages received by the students – especially in regards to what is important and what is valued.

Teaching strategies and methodologies – do they allow for students to actively participate effectively in their own learning.

Assessment techniques – are they consistent and non-gender/race systems. Do the evaluation methods used allow for the inclusion of NESB children etc.

Time-tabling should reflect a valuing of cultural diversity. Placing LOTE and other specialised language classes during a PE lesson or Art lesson may mean that chn miss out on these once a week subjects.

The content of every subject should acknowledge and value the perspectives and contributions of non-English speaking background people. These should be integrated into the subject matter and not relegated as “optional” , end of term activities. Their relevance to present and future scenarios should be made clear. Resource materials should portray people of NESB’s in positive, non-stereo-typed roles.

Further examples of inclusive strategies:-

In areas of general knowledge – highlight facts more inclusively of whole world approach rather than western approach, i.e.

Music – The Chinese were the first to develop notation

Astronomy – The Chinese were the first to document astronomy

Maths – The Hungarians were the first to discover that there is no such thing as a straight line

Science and Technology – Italians – Leonardo Da Vinci

Science and Technology – The Poles – Madame Curie

In Australia’s development – the same applies:-

In South Australia – 10% of the population in South Australia is of German origin.

Giacomo (James) Matra (a Corsican) AND Joseph Banks – put together the notion of British settlement in Australia.

Display a world map and timelines showing significant cross cultural events in human history.

Overall, ensure that the dominant Anglo culture is as open to examination and discussion as any other. It should not be considered the “norm” against which all other cultures are judged and found wanting.

Edgar Earle Fopp
– Introduction to Australian Society: Chapter 11
– Education as a Socialiser and Cultural Reproducer (NSW, Australia: Prentice Hall, 1993)

makes the following observations

Schools teach established areas of knowledge and make students aware of the existing norms and values that society deems important in preparing young people to participate in society… this has been made increasingly complex as Australian migration during the past 30 years has transformed Australia into a multicultural society where traditional Anglo-Saxon val
ues are deemed too limiting. This is not to say that migrant parents seek change – many uphold their own traditional values and react against the methods of “progressive” teachers. (p.330)

…it has been suggested that in Australia, education has been used to implement cultural changes in line with government requests. The recent emphasis on training for job productivity is one example of this approach.

The education documents being put forward by the government with regards to multiculturalism seek to enhance social integration at a school level. The government as much as possible avoids cultural conflicts , as social justice principles are put in place almost daily. (p.331)

Within the National Goals of Schooling (agreed to by all the Australian Ministers of Education in each state) it was stated that as a part of the basis for curriculum planning in state schools, students need to develop:

a knowledge of languages other than English, and

an understanding and respect for Australia’s cultural heritage including the cultural background of Aboriginal and ethnic groups (p.335)

The growth of Australia as a multicultural society means that the development of social education is necessary to foster social flexibility as a resource. (p.353)

How can the curriculum reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of our society?

What actions/strategies can be used to implement a culturally inclusive curriculum?

To acknowledge the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of all students, of all groups who form part of Australia’s multicultural society.
Conduct surveys to find out about the backgrounds of the students’ parents.
Listen to the students and actively and sensitively seek information and show interest in their heritage.
Ensure that information relating to the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of students is recorded on enrolment forms.
Ensure that the school has accurate statistics on the cultural makeup of the school

To support the ongoing professional development of all staff so that teachers can continue to respond to the cultural and linguistic needs of students from NESB’s.
Conduct individual action research in the classroom.
Share ideas, information and resources with colleagues.
Involve staff in policy and curriculum development.
Ensure staff have time to plan programs together, to attend relevant conferences etc.

To enhance the individual’s self esteem and his/her respect of others.
Respect student’s names
consult students re: preferred name usage
make a concerted effort to pronounce and write names as accurately as possible
Encourage use of students’ first language.
Run self esteem programs
Ensure that there are multilingual signs around the school.

To give students equal access to classroom; school resources – including teacher time; attention; facilities, equipment, funding.
Ensure that all students requiring language support in the classroom have access to it.
Ensure that the resources selected for classroom use are culturally inclusive and linguistically accessible.
Ensure that adequate funds are allocated to purchase culturally inclusive resources.
Ensure that a wide range of sports/leisure equipment is available in the school to cater for the interests of all students.

To acknowledge, value and incorporate in the curriculum the:
– experiences
– knowledge
– needs of all students.
Use students’ knowledge, skills and experiences as starting points for learning.
Provide ESL (English as a Second Language) support for children from NESB’s.
Provide LOTE (Languages Other Than English) programs;
first language maintenance
second language
Regularly revie
w ESL programs in school to determine the effectiveness in meeting the needs of the FULL range of ESL students.

To involve parents and other individuals/groups from the wider community into the life of the school.
Invite parents and other members of the community to share their skills and experiences in the classroom;
telling bilingual stories
LOTE lesson aid
Art/craft lesson activities etc.
Arrange for interpreters to be available at interviews
Involve parents in decision making processes/structures;
school council
exploring ways of approaching parents from NESB situations
Arrange for school notices to be translated orally or in written form

To provide a classroom environment free from prejudice and stereotyping.
Model the kinds of attitudes and behaviour you expect of your students.
Provide positive, non-stereo-typed:
images in resources
(visitors to classrooms should include people from diverse backgrounds)
Implement the antiracism policy.
Develop procedures for dealing with racist behaviour.

To ensure that all students are able to participate positively in classroom and school activities.
Use a collaborative approach to learning
Find out real reasons for non-participation of students – don’t make assumptions that may be invalid.
Provide and adapt school activities so that they appeal to, and can involve, all students.
Ensure that parents and students are well informed of the purposes of school excursions and activities.

Links to other Multiculturalism sites:

Multicultural Info (Great for SOSE)
ABC National Radio Transcript
Dept of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs


Much of the information on this page has been adapted from:

ESL in the Mainstream: Teacher Development Course – Workshop 9 (p.50)
(South Australia: DECS Publishing, 1993)


Edgar Earle Fopp
Introduction to Australian Society: Chapter 11
– Education as a Socialiser and Cultural Reproducer
(NSW, Australia: Prentice Hall, 1993

Teaching Strategies

Much of a teacher’s success in the classroom is hinged on their use of teaching strategies, or to put it another way, their approach to their teaching, how they implement instructions, how they teach, how they communicate, and how they deliver information, how they communicate data to students.

The different teaching strategies available to the teacher are too numerous to mention all of them here, and indeed, many strategies interlink and may even be used collaboratively within any given lesson. However, using the work of Barry and King (1997:chapter 6) as a starting point, the following is a brief overview of some of the strategies that are more commonly used in the classroom.

The Broadcast Strategy
Method of implementation:

Set the scene

The Broadcast

Follow-up activity


the utilisation of outside sources within a classroom/lesson (video, TV, radio and multimedia)

useful for developing and enriching knowledge, skills and attitudes from specialized material and presenters

it is a “one-way” form of instruction – students become passive receptors

effective but not ideal – used in collaboration with other strategies is perhaps the most desirable choice

activities based on the presentation broadcast is the ultimate aim for enabling student learning using this strategy

The Drill Strategy

Method of implementation:

Set the scene

Check meaning and understanding

Emphasize key learning points


Written test

Marking and recording


the method of teaching through repetition

aims to produce an automatic response (rote)

continual reinforcement until knowledge is automatically triggered by key words to respondent

may be ineffective if implementation is allowed to become dull and boring to students

at risk of no or little understanding from students

effective if material being taught is understood by learners

The Exposition Strategy

Method of implementation:

Set the scene

Present the material

Student activity

Check understanding – transfer knowledge to real-life understanding


the transmittence of information concisely and quickly

based on prior student knowledge – followed by assimilation through student listening

poor implemetation may lead to boring, tedious lessons

lacks interactive input and social factors

difficult to cater for individual learning needs

must be implemented in steps and limited to 2-3 key points

The Demonstration Strategy

Method of implementation:

Set the scene

Explain and demonstrate the skill/content

Student practice with teacher feedback

Apply/transfer skill/content in another context


aims to promote acquisition of new skills through observation and imitation

used to help develop thinking skills and problem-solving skills

commonly used in subjects such as, PE, Handwriting, Spelling, Music etc

does not promote individual learning

the implementation is crucial, maintaining interest and enthusiasm at all times

A Concept Strategy

Method of implementation:

Set the scene

Identify items that are relevant to a problem

Group these items according to their similarity

Label the groups

Application and disclosure


two methods of development – inductively or deductively

Deductive – id
entifying the concept to the class and illustrating with examples

Inductive – identifying the concept through a process of observation and discussion

major aim is to help students to organize and categorize information or experience into a meaningful intellectual framework

the major limitation of concept teaching is that it is a process strategy and, therefore, is limited in its application to the acquisition of content or highly specific information

in presenting this strategy it must be made clear that the concept being taught is worth it; it must have clear characteristics; student involvemnt is a key element; examples must be used.

A Simulation Strategy

Method of implementation:

Set the scene

Prepare to play the simulation

Play the simulation

Discuss and summarise


major purpose is to re-create as near as possible, a real life situation or experience

students learn specific principles, concept /thinking skills in the cognitive domain, psychomotor skills and values/attitudes related to beliefs, consequence, efficacy and empathy

simulation stratgies are more suited to such subject areas as social studies, arts, langauge arts, and other problem-solving activities

possible disadvantages may be that they distort reality; become over-competeitive and contain hidden values; they are complex and time-consuiming in preparation

they must be suited to age and ability level and must have a pre-designed set of objectives.

A Group Discussion Strategy

Method of implementation:

Organise the group

Set the task


Presentation of findings


major purpose is to foster and enhance communication skills within the class

helps promote thinking and decsion-making skills as well as fostering different viewpoints and opinions

may be used in all key areas of learning

major limitation is that it is generally not suitable fro younger levels because of the level of reasoning required in order for it to work

is dependent upon the group routines and social climate of the class

teachers must be ble to guide and give aid as necessary but the class environment and the groups themselves often determine the outcomes

The Guided Discovery Strategy
Method of implementation:

The teacher sets a problem

The students explore the problem

Teacher and students discuss the probem and formulate conclusions


major purpose is to have students actively involved in their own learning and problem solving

most suited to subjects that require active learning practices, concept development and discovering the solution to problems

it is effective in helping students to develop a better understanding of ideas and concepts

mainly used with abstract concepts, however, concret materials are beneficial, especially for younger students

major disadvantage is that it is not suitable for teaching a large number of facts in a concise and efficient manner

without correct teacher-guidance, students are at risk of learning incorrect information

not suited to students of all levels

It is highly recommended that you refer to the text referenced below for a more detailed view of the strategies outlined here. Always bear in mind that teaching strategies are not exclusive to one another and that the teacher who is open to furthering their skills in passing on information to their students, is the teacher that will ultimately cope better, and benefit their students the most.

Links to other Teaching Strategy sites:

Diverse Learning Needs

Different Types of Strategies

Teaching Strategies and Approaches

Teaching Strategies Inc.


Most of the information on this page has been adapted from

Barry, K and King, L. Beginning Teaching (Second Edition)

(Australia: Social Science Press, 1997)

Lesson Plan Structure

A Lesson Plan….what is the point?

Most student teachers find this area of their practicum one of the most frustrating because their teachers will often make comments such as, “Why are you doing these?” ” We never have time for this in our daily teaching plan” “When you hit the ‘real’ world you will not do this!”.

But, like any learning process, the essential factor is to make sure that student teachers are aware of all the factors and elements governing a lesson.

Without lesson plans, many a student teacher would be left floundering. However, the main aim is to make a lesson plan that is balanced. It should not be so structured that the personality of the teacher is stifled, nor should it be so under-prepared that it cannot be followed.

This page deals briefly with some of the factors that determine how a lesson plan should be designed, but of course, individual styles and personal preferences dictate the outcome of all student teacher’s lesson plans.

Barry and King (Beginning Teaching Second Edition,1997:73-74) highlight some of the key points that are within any lesson plan, regardless of subject content and topic foci:





Curriculum Area, Subject, Topic, Grade, Date and
Time, Duration

– Language Arts:

– Creative Writing

– Writing a Menu.

– Grade Four.

– Lesson Two.

– Monday 30th

– 45 minutes

Learning objectives:

Begin with the stem: ‘On completing this lesson each
student will be able to:’ Each objective is a significant
learning outcome. Each objective starts with a verb –
preferably one that is clear and observable. Objectives
are clearly linked with procedure and evaluation. There
should be an appropriate number of objectives.

On completing this lesson each student will be
able to:

demonstrate written ability to create a three
course menu

demonstrate creative thinking skills in
naming dishes and restaurant title

display written understanding of key menu

Students’ Prior Knowledge:,

Stated in terms of student-related knowledge,
understanding and thinking skills; psychomotor skills;
and attitudes and interests.

This class has previously designed a menu based
on a teacher-presented menu and adapted some elements.
This lesson aims to enhance the thinking skills of each
student and to expound on this previous knowledge.


If appropriate: teaching and resources noted;
organisation of space noted; organisation of students

Written instruction sheets x (class number)

Overhead projector for menu layout

Old menus for class distribution


Logical numbered steps. Time plan. Introduction.
Recognised teaching strategy. If appropriate: key
questions noted; explanations and demonstrations
included; use of resources indicated; management
techniques shown; student activities noted.

Demonstration Strategy

Introduction: Questioning – who likes going
out to dinner/lunch. Brainstorm. (3 mins)

Handout menu instruction sheets; work
through. Highlight individual creativity.

Demonstrate menu structure with overhead

Explain that menus will be hung on walls when
finished. Emphasise neatness.

Allow 30 mins for draft work. Aim to finish
draft copies by conclusion of this lesson.

Keep mobile and help where necessary


Work exercises. If appropriate: copies of work
exercises and answers should be included.

Collect draft copies for assessment and next
lesson direction. Check for spelling, grammatical errors
and note overall class progress.


Proposed formative and summative evaluation
techniques noted. Space left for post-lesson evaluation
of self.

This lesson went well overall, but I need to make
sure I do not over-extend the introduction. The children
did not have time to complete drafts. It may be necessary
to allow 3 lessons for this topic to be completed.
Overall task is acceptable, but time-frame needs

It must be noted that this is only one layout for a lesson plan. Many different lecturers, authors, and teachers will recommend variations and additions to this basic perspecti

The essential element to remember, whatever format you use, is to make sure your are prepared for the lesson and that YOU know how it will be implemented.

No amount of planning, writing, or lesson plan preparation will be of much assistance if you do not KNOW what it is you are going to be teaching! Common sense rules!

Links to other Lesson Plan sites

LessonPlanz – Excellent

Multicultural Info (Great for SOSE)

Miscellaneous Lesson Plans

Effective Planning

One of the most significant factors concerning your daily teaching life will be how you monitor and allocate your time.

From the moment you leave for school in a morning until the time you mark your last piece of homework at night, the single biggest factor that is determining your life is time allocation.

This is a very important area of your teaching to consider.

How long does it take you to greet your class, take care of all the administrative tasks, have the daily jobs completed, and finally be able to begin your first lesson of the day?

Do you have systems in place in your classroom that help you to have smooth lesson transitions?
How many minutes are wasted in your day waiting for children to get pens and pencils from their bags, find those elusive books, or simply prepare themselves and be sitting quietly and ready for the lesson to begin?

There have been many surveys completed and results collated that tell us teachers do waste time in many cases.
But, how do we stop this from happening?
How do we as teachers make sure that all of our time is used wisely and effectively?

In a word, we PLAN.

But planning is different for all people. I know that if I plan to complete a days tasks at home and I also ask my wife to plan for the same day, we will both focus on different aspects.

This does not mean either of us are right or wrong. It simply shows us that we have different agendas and that we are two individual people.

The same applies to teaching. It is no use having an “across-the-board” planning schedule for all teachers in a school because it would tend to stifle some teachers and yet be confusing and over-the-top to others.

Every teacher needs to work out their own procedures, schedules, and most effective means of utilising their time.

One method is to use PLANNERS.

There are daily planners, weekly planners, term planners, subject planners, year planners. In fact you can plan in just about any fashion that suits you.

The important factor to remember is that most of the time the planner is for YOUR eyes only. Of course some schools require that teachers submit their plans for a term’s work in advance to the school coordinator or principal. Other schools like all of their teachers to work on a daily planning system.

However, whatever the school requires, it is important for teachers to realise that planning is beneficial to themselves and most significantly, to the children in their care.

I do not propose to set out a detailed explanation of what planning in a teacher’s life requires, because as most teachers would tell you, it is very much an individual task. What I will present is a basic list of components that your planning should incorporate.

I have been privileged throughout my student teaching and TRT placements to have seen how many teachers plan their day, weeks and terms.

Some teachers have very systematic methodologies and use computers for their planning. Everything is neat and trim and proper.

Other teachers I have observed have seemingly operated from no more than a note pad or from what they simply remembered in their “heads”.

Which method is best? Does one win over the other?

Again, I must reiterate that it is a individual matter, however, having said that, I personally believe that having no written record of your planning is perhaps “careless” for want of a better word.

I realise that many people do not like to function in their every day lives with lists and planners and/or any other form of documented material. The problem with teachers who do not write anything down though, is that it makes it very difficult for a principal to know exactly what a teacher is teaching and obviously, in situations such as having a relief teacher for a day, they are left in the dark altogether because there is no written account to adher
e too in any form.

The above type of teacher is probably a rarity, but it does highlight the need for written plans of some description. You may be a teacher who does not like to sit down and “waste”, large amounts of time detailing planners.

I do not see it as wasted time, in fact quite the opposite. To me, it is part of the job of being a teacher and so that is how I approach this topic from this point onward.

Let’s have a look at a few types of plans.

1. Lesson Plans
Unnecessary for the average teacher and really only of benefit to student teachers and training teachers as a guide to learning the structure of a lesson.
Most teachers do not prepare lesson plans in their daily planning – at most a few notes may be written in the form of dot points.
Please refer to Lesson Plans for more information on lesson plan structure.

2. Daily Planners
Most teachers make use of some form of daily planner. Usually written in dot point format or subject headings this planner is used by teachers as a guide to the daily events. One observation I have made in relation to daily planners is that they are generally very flexible and they are adjusted continually as a day progresses. I have worked with only one teacher who worked to a strict time and subject schedule and I would have to say that it was not a very effective method. Flexibility in your planning is a key element. [More on this later]

3. Weekly Planners
I have seen many of this sort of planner in use by teachers. One aspect that is appealing about weekly planners is that it is quite easy to incorporate your daily planner within them as well. One teacher that I worked closely with suggested using an A3 sized piece of paper which enabled easy reading and plenty of room to make adjustments as necessary.
Left on the teachers desk it proved to be of great benefit in the daily and weekly running of the class. Sticky notes were attached to it continually, and the teacher was able to keep it as a running record of events at any time. It is a personal choice but I believe I will use this method in my first placement – it works!

However, the three planners highlighted so far, really only deal with the daily structure of a class’ lessons.

Obviously, there is far more planning involved in teaching than just making sure you have enough lessons for the day and that you are working to a schedule.

At this point we need to refer back to what we learnt as student teachers, namely, the purpose and objectives of planning.

I turn to a text by Barry,K. and King,L. (Beginning Teaching Second Edition 1997:46-47) that illustrates these elements succinctly.

Planning in teaching makes learning more purposeful, efficient and effective. It does this by:

1. Ensuring that the teacher is organised and has a clear idea of what, how and why the students are going to learn.

2. Giving the teacher a feeling of confidence, reducing anxiety, and providing a sense of direction.

3. Allowing the teacher to think through potential problems before the lesson. This makes it easier to nip problemsin the bud and to cope with any change of plan or incidental happenings during teaching.

4. Encouraging reflection about the students, learning objectives, subject matter, learning experiences and evaluation.

The Planning Process
as suggested by Barry and King, should incorporate asking yourself five questions:

1. Background
What background factors need to be considered in planning this learning experience?

2. Learning Objectives
What should the students learn as result of this learning experience?

3. Subject Matter
What knowledge, concepts, generalisatiions or skills have to be covered? In what order?

4. Learning Experiences
What experiences will help the students learn this subject matter?

5. Evalua

How will I know what, and how much, the students have learned?

Naturally, it must be realised that although planning is vitally important, it will never replace action and as already stated, it must be flexible.

In essence you almost have to plan for the unforeseen and it is with this perspective in mind as you plan, that you can really prepare for most contingencies and with the most benefit to you and your class.

It would be great to collect a selection of planning ideas for new teachers to experiment with, so if you have a PLAN template that is in a document format, please send to me and I will load it for anyone to download. Thank you!

Previous teacher comments from Teacher Education v1.3:

Submitted by: Claire Davies
Date: 10-02-00
Location:Perth, Western Australia

I am a Student teacher and I find it increasingly difficult to find a medium in which I am looked upon by the student s as a teacher, I have just moved into a new job where I am a “Teacher Figure”, and have found this web page very informative in helping me establish myself in a classroom situation.
Thank you

Behaviour Management in Reality

Picture this scenario.

You have everything organized for the first day of your teaching career. You have spent weeks planning and setting up your classroom. You have scrutinized every little piece of information you have about the children in your new class. You have prepared yourself for the challenges ahead.

You not only want to be seen as a good teacher. You want to be a GREAT teacher. You are pumped up and ready to go! This is what all the learning has been for – this is THE moment!

However, just as you seat the children for the first time and you are going through the roll of student’s names a boy at the back of the room refuses to answer his name when called. You ask him nicely to answer like everyone else. He snaps back at you to leave him alone. You are conscious that all the class is watching you and you need to solve this problem quickly and effectively.

How do you react? What do you do?

This is behaviour management in the “real” world. This is where it can all fall apart very rapidly! You need to know how to deal with this type of situation.

What follows is my personal view on behaviour management.

If my opinions anger you for some reason, or if you feel they are inadequate, or if they do not meet your own personalized standards, then I apologize.
But let me make this very clear – they are my own personal views and opinions that I have at the present moment and I am fully aware that as I develop in my teaching these ideas may change.

I am open to different methodologies, so if you have suggestions please let me know.

To me, behaviour management in the classroom is all-encompassing. How you treat your students, and your outward show of respect to them, combined with the manner in which you deal with them, will directly affect the way in which they behave and will ultimately determine your success in terms of behaviour management.

Avoid powerplays. One class that I had spent time with, had a teacher that ruled with an iron fist. I was constantly told that if you gave an inch to these students they would take a mile. Strict times for lessons were adhered too, noise levels were kept to a very low level, and to me, there was a very strong comparison to military training in the manner with which teachers and staff were to be addressed and treated.

The results from this form of teaching was that the children behaved atrociously whenever the opportunity presented itself. Relief teachers always left the classroom at the end of the day almost in tears, feeling as if their teaching skills had all but gone.

Comments that were then bandied around the staffroom the next day to the regular class teacher would be along the lines of, “It is great to have you back – no one can control your class like you do…”, “You have a very difficult class and only you can keep them in line…”

I found myself becoming very disillusioned with teaching during this period of my life! In my opinion the class behaved in accordance with the strict methodology. If you are not allowed to express yourself and your overall general feeling is one of being stifled, then it is only natural that when you can break free you will most likely do so.

The problem with this form of behaviour management is that it is no more than “control”. It does not promote intrinsic learning nor does it really teach the children to behave for the right reasons.

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism
They learn to condemn

If children live with hostility
They learn to fight

If children live with ridicule
They learn to feel guilty

If children live with tolerance
They learn to be patient

If children live with encouragement
They learn confidence

If children live with fairness
They learn Justice

If children live with security
hey learn to have faith

If children live with approval
They learn to like themselves

If children live with acceptance and friendship
They learn to find love in the world

– Author Unknown

I strongly believe that children must be treated as thinking, human beings and one method that I constantly use to maintain this attitude is to think to myself, “Would I have said that to my best friend?”, “How would I feel if I was spoken to such as I just spoke to this child?”

Allowing for the reality that I am the teacher and yes of course we all speak to children differently than speaking to other adults, I still find that if I always strive to treat the children in my care with respect and compassion, then more often than not, respect will be reflected from the students as well.

This, in my own humble opinion, is a foundational aspect of behaviour management.

Avoid any form of conflict. Yes, we need to discuss class rules and consequences. Yes, there are always going to be times when a child needs to be dealt with because of inappropriate behaviour. But the simple fact is, if you build up a relationship with your class built on trust and respect – of respect for you, them and of one another, then many of the behavioural management issues will never even surface.

I am not simply saying this in all my teaching naivety either. I have actually seen this method work already during my student teaching practicums and even with one day periods in TRT situations.

So my first suggestion is to build and establish respect in your classroom.

Directly in unison with this approach is to make sure that you create a classroom environment that is safe, harrassment-free, and centred on learning.

I have been amazed at some classrooms I have walked into, to see teachers who show such a blaise attitude to their students in all they do, and then they seem to wonder why they have such a class of misbehaving students. If you do not strive to present interesting, informative and relevant lessons to your class, then I believe you will create a problem for yourself immediately.

Most children want to learn. It is an in-built part of our humanity. We are driven by our search for knowledge and learning. I do not want to enter into the argument surrounding our reason for existence, but it would seem to me on a very simple level, that if we as teachers, always maintain fresh, innovative and passionate forms of teaching then our students will not have the inclination too fall into bad behaviour patterns in many cases.

Am I ruffling feathers? I hope not. I am simply trying to say that a teacher who commits themselves to their work with more than a non-commital attitude of acceptance, will most likely be able to keep their behaviour management system at the bottom of their work pile.

I am not saying it is easy. I am simply suggesting that it IS possible! I have seen it being implemented by some excellent teachers I have had the pleasure of working with, and from my initial attempts I can already discern that the method has a lot of merit.

Obviously, I will need to plan some strategies for situations such as that mentioned in my introduction, but my main aim will be to work with the class and with individual students in creating an atmosphere and learning environment that is safe, based on respect for one another, and is focused on learning in a friendly and happy manner.

I honestly believe this is the heart of the behaviour management issue.

Am I being unrealistic? Do you think I am naive in what I plan? Do you have any suggestions or comments in relation to the above?

Previous comments from Teacher Education v1.3

Submitted by: Jan
Date: 13-01-00
Location: USA

In my opinion, you are exactly right! The concepts of self-monitoring and self-control are what I teach in my classroom managaement workshops
. I work almost exclusively with new teachers in my district. I follow-up with observations in their classrooms and work with them to implement the strategies throughout their first year of teaching. They are quite successful and are thrilled with the self-control the students develop. The teachers, once the management system is in place, can spend their time teaching rather than policing. The mutual trust and respect that exists between teacher and students is the foundation for learning. And, to get that you need to value students and the opinions and ideas they put forth.

Submitted by: Addie Gaines
Date: 16-01-00
Location: Seneca Missouri
Email: againes@netins.net

I think that your ideas and observations are very valid. The atmosphere that is created by following the principles you state is the one that I strive to have in my classroom. After reading your page, it leaves me thinking about my own class and how this applies. This is definitely not a “cookbook” type approach,which some people are looking for when they have difficulties. Personally, I don’t find that “cookbook” approaches work for me in the classroom, either in teaching or management, so I really like the way you have explained the management techniques. In a future update to the page, you might want to consider adding some more specific suggestions to common mangement concerns in the classroom. Some people respond better to specific, “this is exactly what to do” type of presentation, but if it were phrased as suggestions it wouldn’t necessarily push away those who prefer principles and reflecting. It might more easily meet the needs of a greater audience.

Submitted by: Julia Orford
Date: 31-01-00
Location: Australia
Email: juliao@telstra.easymail.au

I’m returning to CRT teaching as I left 13 years ago. My teacher training was not as instructional as your web page has been. I find I want another classroom management style, one that is more true to me, but revert to very limited “control” behavior management, largely I think through fear of losing “control” and to be seen as a failure. I am curious as to how you would deal with the mentioned problem in your introduction. Or the classroom who refuses to cooperate, initially, by talking and laughing amongst themselves. How do you get that magic quiet?

Submitted by: Tasha
Date: 26-01-00
Location: Illinois
Email: Tasha30@aol.com

I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying. My question is this: how does a new Teacher keep an unruly class “in control” and help students to establish an internal locus of control at the same time? You have been lucky to see so many wonderful Teachers practice this way, I would like to see more about how it can work.

Submitted by: Helen Chatto
Date: 06-03-00
Location: Northern Territory, Australia
Email: h_chatto@hotmail.com

I am really enjoying browsing around your webpage.
The child who refuses to answer is throwing down a challenge. I have met many children who try this – normally not on day one though. I have learnt never to confront a child, they will always win and you will wate a lot of teaching time going into battle. You are better to ignore, mark present and move on. Find time later to start working out what makes that kid tick. There is always a reason for anti social behaviour. That doesn’t mean we accept it, it means we deal with it with more knowledge of the child.

Ensure you have lots of positive reinforcement in place straight away in conjunction with establishing class rules with the kids and most days will go smoothly.

I have just read Tasha’s entry. Here’s a few things I do that might help.
1. Make the classroom an organised and attractive place.
2. Be organised yourself, know what you want to achieve each day and have your resources ready.
3. Establish an individual reward system, whre children gain points for following rules or behaving positively with one another. Have a “carrot” or reward for w
hen they get ten points. eg: computer time, an early mark, a certificate, a lolly!
4. If you do group work use a group reward system. The chidlren will take over the discipline. “I have five points for the quietest group” The leaders will quieten their group. This can start off a very formal thing where groups award points for selected behaviours. eg: cooperation, completing taks, negotiation, using positive reinformcement.
5. Use the language of “choice” – You have a choice, join the group or you will have to go to time out. Turn away and give the child time to make the choice without confrontation.

You also need a solid and consistent plan for those who won’t conform. The school needs a consistent policy for it to work best.
Establish a buddy for time out when the child has exhausted their chances in the classroom. (max. 3, Remind, warn act or 123.)
Using a buddy is not a sign of your inability to cope it is showing the children you mean business!
I hope this is not too much rambling and is of some use to you.
Teaching and learning should be fun but it can’t be until the classrom tone is established.
Good luck

Submitted by: Mike
Date: 22-03-00
Email: vitanza@powerup.com.au

I believe in everything that has been discussed.You have to show all the students respect and they will respect you back. Being only 4th year university student-teacher and been told about all the great theories (Glasser,Canton,Erikson) which I think is great but there has to be more. It is very hard for student-teacher to set his rules in guildlines to the class when your teacher has no control over the class. I’am very worried about my prac can anyone give me any helpful hints to prepare?

Submitted by: Gish
Date: 22-03-00
Location: Queensland
Email: gish2000@hotmail.com.au

I totally argee with what has been said. We have to be firm but fair. What I would like to find out is a brief history of behaviour management to see the changes which have happened in the last century, because I believe we are heading in the right direction with this sort of attitude. Could you send me some information on the changes. Thanks a lot. A teacher who is very interested in youth.

Submitted by: Namie
Date: 25-03-00
Location: England
Email: ominame@aol.com

I was interested in what Helen said. I am a student teacher in a class where the teacher is also called Helen and has a similar system of giving points to groups. The problem I find is that the children will only behave well for points, not for any other reason. They are also “points happy children”, obsessed with points, which detracts from their learning. I have found that this class behave best for me when I have found something really interesting to teach them. If this happens they forget all about the stupid points and get on with learning stuff. I think all this point business is a kind of bribery, its a con. If the children weren’t ten years old they’d never fall for it. I think we should treat children with more respect. Yes, children will be rewarded for responsible behaviour. The reward is that you will know you can rely on that child to be responsible, you give them more freedom and trust them to behave, and they do (we hope).

Submitted by: Kait-Ellen Thompson
Date: 28-06-00
Location: NSW Australia
Email: kthomps7@metz.une.edu.au

Thanks to all the above teachers who have bothered to read and comment on the opinions of others. I am in my first year of Primary Ed at uni and have two weeks of pracs next semester…all of the advice has been great! Please feel free to email me with any information new or old that you feel would be beneficial to my being the best teacher I can! I look forward to your responses.

Submitted by: Kristal
Date: 28-07-00
Location: Georgia
Email: petersenmk@mindspring.com

I also use the point type system that Helen spoke of. I use Mastery Money (Self Mastery). It works ver
y well as the children are given self mastery coins for a week of well done work. Children can accrue points and then use them to purchase educational items/freedoms.
This can be used as a cost or non cost system.
Responsibility does pay. We all know that. Do we not remember that every day at our job? Children have a job too and they love earning self mastery type points. We always need to give children the most exciting and interesting lesson we can. This promotes the intrinsic love for learning. Another thing that my kids love is the Author chair. I have enjoyed this page. The Love and Logic approach is my approach too. Choices, Choices, Choices with a loving approach.

Submitted by: Jody Ward
Date: 23-08-00
Location: Queensland Australia
Email: sjward@rocknet.net.au

I actually came to this site searching for ideas for managing a student in my Preschool. I have been employed with Ed. Qld. since 1987 and have had a variety of experiences teaching. My current position is in a Preschool. Believe me, behaviour management is alive and well, even at this early stage. My challenge is managing the behaviour without spoiling the love for learning or for Preschool. I believe in treating children with respect and expecting respect in return. I agree with Helen that confronting the child who is throwing down the challenge is just a matter of painting oneself into a corner and there is only one winner in this scene…the child. I would handle this situation such..I would express my feelings about what is happening..”I feel very disappointed when I call some-one’s name and they don’t answer me…I prefer every-one to answer their name so that I can mark the role and we can get on with having some fun” ( and then move on) This type of response could take a while, but eventually the child will come around…. arrh….patience….when they do I would be quick to tell them “Thank you ‘Billy’ for answering me. I feel very proud/happy/pleased”. I have also found it invaluable to form a partnership with parents and to inform them of the behaviour management tactics with you used during the day. Sometimes these children are a product of their environment and their parents can, also,be at a loss as to what to do next. Treat them with respect and it will be returned.

Submitted by: Tracey Sullivan
Date: 05-02-01
Location: Queensland, Australia
Email: sully@smartchat.net.au

I have seen the points award system work in a classroom of Preps (Victoria) and found the system works well in conjunction with an interesting and informative learning environment.
What I would like to know is how to establish such an environment from day one of a new classroom. Also how do you control a class of students in which you are the student teacher and not the classroom teacher when on professional practices in classrooms never before visited? I would love to hear from anyone on how they develop or what strategies they use for classroom management particularly unruly children or children with ADD.

Submitted by: Sarah
Date: 10-02-01
Location: Australia
Email: soxii21@yahoo.com

Wow, finally something I can relate to. I graduated from university in 2000, spent the year causal teaching and have been appointed as the new kindergarten teacher at a school where they implement Bloom’s and Gardener’s matrix for teachers to program. Not only faced with this daunting task of programming I have found full time teaching overwhelming. I’m striving to be the “perfect” teacher – ensuring all my students are happy and providing an essential and interesting learning environnment. I have one student who I will try the ‘choice’ method with next week. He refuses to do anything, and being kindergarten, other students think that it is acceptable to follow his lead. I have found the information presented to be a big help!!!!

Submitted by: Brian Ascot
Date: 12-02-01
Location: Sydney, Australia
Email: bascot@hotmail.com

Please adjust your spel
l checker to Standard English !
Response from Site Administrator: Not sure what this is meant to imply!

Submitted by: Vivik Ragoonanan
Date: 23-02-01
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Email: sanam51@hotmail.com

I am most grateful for the information that you have given to me.Presently, I am doing a thesis based on “Behaviour Management”;at first I was confused because I was unclear about certain issues that encompass behaviour management but now I feel confident.Thank you very much. If possible can you please send more information. Thank you

Submitted by: Laura
Date: 26-02-01
Location: Herron, Western Australia
Email: cooloongup1972@hotmail.com

As a student teacher I find sites such as this a valuable resource as they help place every reading, lecture, workshop in perspective. I work with special needs children in child care so I do not wear rose coloured glasses and I found this site and the comments very true.

This semester I will be studying Behaviour Management at UWA I feel will be down loading often from this site, as I am sure it will place readings into real life situations. Thankyou.

Submitted by: Lou Brough
Date: 28-02-01
Location: New Zealand
Email: lou.brough@xtra.co.nz

I have found this site and the comments relating to it very interesting. I am a student teacher in my second year who will be working mainly with year 8s this year. Your beliefs are similar to the STEP Parenting Programme concepts in The Parent’s Handbook by Dinkmeyer Snr, McKay & Dinkmeyer Jnr. I have done this course and the STEp facilitator’s course which promote the use of mutual respect, reflective listening skills, oral communication skills and understanding why children behave in certain ways.

It would be great if teachers were required to do this course as I believe it would eliminate some of the stresses of handling ‘bad’ behaviour and help promote positive behaviours.

What a great site you have designed, I shall soon be embarking upon designing a site and this is definitely food for thought!

Submitted by: Deborah Evans
Date: 21-03-01
Location: Alberta, Canada
Email: blueroseevans@netscape.net

I am an Early Childhood Educator working with preschool age children. Much of the techniques you have discussed is taught in ECE. When I first heard of this type of approach in dealing with behaviour management I was not confident that it would work efficiently, especially in a classroom of “Terrible Two Graduates”! I resisted at first but I have since learned the value of Empathy, Respect and Observation. Children learn from example. Control only fuels the fire and inspires vengeful antics: whether open or hidden.

One of the intriguing results of my behavioral research has taught me that often the children miraculously work their problems out on their own if they are allowed an environment that fosters problem solving and respect for each others individual needs. Sometimes we are too caught up in the rush…spare the time to observe and reflect and you too will witness your own miraculous recognitions, greeting great personal reward.

Great web site. Thanks for taking you time to share your expertise with us.
Sincerely, Debb.

Submitted by: Sophie
Date: 02-04-01
Location: Will be England!
Email: sagius@ekno.com

When I finished at university I did 8 months supply teaching. Obviously in a new situation like this I sometimes wondered if I was dealing with the disruptive children in my class appropriately. I was really surprised when so many of the teachers in the school complimented me and told me i was doing a great job, or that they valued the work I was doing with the class. This praise and encouragement gave me a new found confidence and made me want to work even harder at being an even better teacher. It also taught me how important it is to give positive reinforcement to the children i was teaching…then they too want to work even harder

Submitted by: Nicola Seaman
Date: 04-04-01
Location: Queensland, Australia
Email: jamesnicola@austarnet.com.au

What a great site!

Submitted by: Algernon Johannes
Date: 09-05-01
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Email: algernon.johannes@roymorgan.com

I have recently made the decision to do a Grad Dip in Education (Secondary). I graduated from uni in 1998 with B.Comm/B.Arts degree. I am currently working as a Market Research Manager.If everything goes well, God willing, I will be teaching in 2004. Can’t wait.
This website has been, and will be key resource in my development as a teacher. Thank you. I am a part-time martial arts instructor and a youth group leader at the local church – I find your comments regarding respecting the students true based on my limited exposure to the young ones.
Once again, thanks.

Submitted by: Kelly
Date: 15-06-01
Location: Sydney, Australia
Email: k.deguara@student.mary.acu.edu.au

I’m a second year bachelor of Education (primary) Student at the Australian Catholic University. I am currently doing my four week block of prac. I have a year two class which at times can be hard to control. I have established a quiet signal but this doesnt always work. I have also been observing the teacher and she uses a range of signals to gain the classes attention.
What I am really looking for I guess is other ways so that I have a variety to call on in diffeernt situations. Any help would be great.

PS This is a great site which has helped me thru’ many teaching and classroom management assignments for uni.

Submitted by: Tricia
Date: 20-06-01
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Email: bluejeans@fastlink.com.au

I came to this site looking for some info to asist my daughter, as I am a parent, not a teacher. This site has given me valuable insight into the negative behaviour that my daughter is showing in her year 5 home base. My child is not showing these problems in her other classes and her homebase teacher is totally “controlling”.
My daughter now acts out when she gets home, with casual teachers and in the playground, and a number of the other students from the same class are exhibiting the same behaviours.

Thank-you so much for your web site and insight and good luck to the rest of the teachers. I am sure that your class rooms will be more pleasant than my own daughters environment.

Submitted by: Corie Thompson
Date: 27-08-01
Location: Darwin, Australia
Email: u965192@student.ntu.edu.au OR Corrie.Thompson@nt.gov.au

Wondering if you know of any Behaviour Management courses (TAFE level) that I could do? Bloody hopeless trying to find these things on the net….. via correspondence or anything would be a start! Thanks a mill’. Corie.

Submitted by: Mara
Date: 16-01-02
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Email: mlrebella@hotmail.com

In regards to classroom management/positive behaviour management Bill Rogers is an excellent person to refer to. He has written several books on this very subject and has very practical advice and strategies which may help. He is on the tour circuit a fair bit.

Kelly to answer your question a noise/behavior wheel may be a good solution – it’s a wheel divided into different sections (ie quiet independant work, guided reading group, discussion noise ) and you set the wheel at the noise/behaviour level you expect for that lesson. You dont need to speak – just ensure that the students SEE YOU set the noise/behaviour level you expect.

That saves your voice and places responsibility on the students for their behaviour rather than depending on you to remind them of your expectation continuously via verbal means. Students may need to be reminded several times as they get used to this system, but after a while they’ll get the knack of it. Once again if students dont comply a reminder or consequence applies. Hope this helps…and best of luck with your stu

This is a superb web site! Please keep up the good work!

I’m starting my teaching career in 15 days and I’m stressing like hell!!!!!!

Submitted by: Henry
Date: 19-01-02
Location: London
Email: gentle_artist@yahoo.com

I have just resigned from a secondary school in South London. I was unable to control the appalling behaviour in classes, which seemed to grow worse as the term passed. I felt an abject failure, and had to keep reminding myself that in previous jobs, for 27 years, I had always been seen as an excellent teacher, helping pupils to gain good results. I found that these kids just would not listen to me, to the extent that they would not be quiet at all, and I was unable to take the register most days. I tried everything I knew and then any idea that was suggested to me. In the end I had to resign with no other job to go to for fear that it would affect my health. Any suggestions?

Submitted by: Rebecca
Date: 04-05-02
Location: Australia
Email: becgraves@hotmail.com

For those childre that leave you tearing you hair out and just don’t seem to respond to anything that you try Bill Rogers’ book ‘Cracking the Hard Class’ is excellent.

After 4 years of teaching in some pretty difficult schools I still find myself brushing up on some of his techniques. Also, remember that strategies that work long term don’t take overnight to work.

Submitted by: Michael I. McMahon
Date: 21-06-02
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Email: Salussa@msn.com

I experienced a point system based on fake classroom money, in year 7, and in my opinion it is not effective. What occured was a replica of society where the culturally advantaged students (cultural knowledge which is valued by the education system) had all the currency and therefore all the privileges, whilst the behavioural problem and culturally disadantaged students were marginalised with limited privileges and rewards. It even got to the stage where currency poor students would break into the class at lunch-time and raid the bank vault.

Submitted by: Muhammed Suleman
Date: 22-06-02
Location: Samina Usman Khattak
Email: weblinks@isb.comsats.net.pk

Please inform me about following issues related to Child Behaviour or any other source that you may think would help me.

1.What are the causes for behaviour problem,its remedies and how to prevent behaviour problems in a class room. 2.How can school policy promote good behaviour and prevent bad behaviour. 3.Does corporal punishment help in promoting or aggravating behavioural management.auses for behaviour problems in a class.

Submitted by: katie hicks
Date: 02-08-02
Location: not stated
Email: wackahoorie@hotmail.com

I’m currently a second year Bachelor of Education student at Edith Cowan Uni. I found this site to be informing and extremely interesting and I shall be using it frequently through out the rest of my time at uni.
Thanks for such a great site!!! Well done!!

Submitted by: Kate Casey
Date: 03-08-02
Location: Melbourne
Email: katecasey@excite.com

Just a bit of feedback. I notice you have a site stats area on your website. I came across your site by accident and had an important Internet search result that had come before your back. I’m not sure if you have but please do not block the BACK button for the sake of keeping people within your site. It does not give a good impression. My immediate thought was ‘Oh, okay, this person just wants to look impressive and gets heaps of hits.” Not good for credibility. Anyway, maybe it is just my computer. Good luck with the studies. K

Site Admin comment: Thank you for your feedback Katie. The site stats has now been deleted and we will keep our stats to ourselves. We placed the counter on the site because we felt that people would like to see (and judge for themselves) as to whether this site is a popular educational site –
but as it is a source of annoyance to some -it is no longer available. As to the matter of the site blocking you from visiting another site – we have not intentionally placed any script within the site which will cause this to happen. We will try to discover what coding has caused this problem. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience in your research.

Please note: Any other visitors who experience this situation – may we suggest you double click your BACK button quickly which generally over-rides this from occurring. Alternatively – use your BACK history drop down menu to return to previous sites. Thank you.

Submitted by: Jamielle
Date: 17-08-02
Location: Australia
Email: jamielleknight@hotmail.com

Great website! I am studying my first year of teaching. Browsing through the comments has proved to be a valuable learning tool that has helped me think about the different behavioural management strategies I can employ once in the classroom. Thankyou.

Assessment – you cannot teach without it

Assessment is the process of identifying, gathering and interpreting information that will relate to the progress of a student’s learning development.

Assessment is a huge component of teaching and is an integral part of the planning of each learning programme

How do you know what to teach, how to teach, or why you are teaching in any given way, if you are not able to assess outcomes and whether or not objectives are reached?

Monitoring and recording student’s abilities and achievements should be a consistent and continual process.

But how do we assess? What guidelines do we use? What standards do we aim to meet?

Assessment involves so many issues. Assessment strategies involve identifying the kinds of tasks and activities that are most likely to provide evidence that students have achieved particular l earning outcomes.

First, there the methods of assessment to consider, ie. – observation, anecdotal record keeping, peer and/or self assessment?

And then there is the consideration of knowing what to assess, such as, do we focus on academic skills, behaviour patterns, or any other talents?

Assessment is an area of teaching that is discussed at some length in most teacher-training institutions. Indeed, self-evaluation and reflection are an ongoing part of the learning-curve for any teacher themselves.

Each school system, and in fact each school within a system, has different ways of assessing and reporting. ALL teachers need to have a sound knowledge of assessment and reporting techniques.

The aim of assessment:

# to help teachers know where to proceed
# to gain an understanding of where children are in relation to any given subject
# for parent and other teacher guidance
# a legal requirement in many instances
# as a useful reflective tool of our own teaching – by providing information about whether the learning goals within a teaching program have been achieved
# to improve the learning outcomes of each student

Relevant assessment:

# what will you assess – attitude, intellect, personality?
# make sure you assess what you teach
# do you assess child against child?
# have you provided students with assessment guideines?
# is your assessment fair, consistent and of purpose?
# should be meaningful and based upon a clear set of criteria
# knowing when to assess – weekly, daily, during or after a lesson

Different assessment methodologies:

# portfolios
# formalised tests
# checklists
# conferencing
# anecdotal records
# verbal and/or written
# peer assessment
# self assessment
# product analysis
# observation
# video
# audio
# photographs
# journals

Teacher and Student involvement:

# avoid “tests” where possible.
# inclusion rather than segregation
# avoid competition
# promote intrinisc value of assessment

Write it down and make sure you keep checking for relevant data collected Listed below is a useful summary that suggests six manageable steps which will help you to plan a systematic assessment process.

This suggestion is taken from Literacy Assessment in Practice (Education Department of South Australia 1991:3-6) but it does not only apply to literacy and is suitable for use across the key learning areas.

1. Clarify what you need to assess
– what is your objective, on what will you base your assessment, compare this to what you currently assess. Make adjustments if necessary.

2. Decide how you will collect the information you need
# – the ways of gathering information about students’ learning – administering tests
# – analysing students’ outcomes
# – observing behaviours
# – student/teach
er interactions
# – drawing on student record-keeping and self-assessment
# – collecting information from parents and others

3. Recording your decisions
– this in an individual choice but you need to make sure you are choosing the right information to assess. Is it useful? What is the relevance for assessment in the information you are recording?

4. Draw up an assessment calendar
– when you will find the time to assess? A rough calendar is a good means of ensuring you are assessing for the right occasions, ie. for parents interviews, mid-term analysis and so on.

5. Plan a more detailed assessment timeline
– making sure you do actually collate enough information. It is very easy to think you have collected enough information but then when you sit down to work out a student’s assessment you discover you have not had enough frequent information, or you only have one aspect of a child’s progress. A timeline helps you to make sure you get ALL the information you need over a given period of time.

6. Plan a weekly timetable
– one more step in the pursuit of collecting enough information. A weekly timetable helps you to keep a constant and continual monitoring system on your assessment procedures. It is anothr safety net to fall back on because as all teachers know, time is elusive and will slip away from you in the classroom. A weekly timetable also helps you to prepare the types of assessment you will be undertaking.

Of course, assessment has no relevancy whatsover unless it is then collated and and made useful. This is where Recording and Reporting come in.


Effective means of collecting information are essential in any assessment exercise.

The information gathered for assessment must be concise, manageable, relevant and beneficial. It is often a good idea to use checklists to collect information quickly and efficiently during class time.

Subject areas such as Reading may have criteria such as – fluency, pronunciation, word comprehension, whereas in mathematics, scores may be noted or understanding of basic principles checked, ie. times tables, formula usage and so on…

Do not forget that in your recording process you should be looking for such factors as:
achievement – knowledge – skills and understanding – participation – social skills – and attendance, however it is important that the students are provided with the skills necessary to be involved in the recording themselves.

The important thing to remember is to nake sure you are collecting the specific information you need for your evaluation and reporting process.

Evaluating and Reporting

One way in which we can evaluate a child/class outcomes is in the simple process of a child actually completing, or partly completing, any given work. This in itself is work that is assessable. However, more often than not, it is important for teachers to assess specific skills.

Furthermore, most of what a teacher assesses relates to the actual lesson given by the teacher. In this light, questions such as,
– was the content of the lesson suitable?
– were the teaching strategies used, effective and appropriate for this lesson?
– did the objectives and tasks relate to the class in terms of culture and level of understanding?
The significant factor to consider at this point is that reporting is a form of communication. Reports communicate the comprehension and knowledge gained from student learning.

The purpose of reporting is to:

# provide information about students to parents, caregivers, teachers, other support staff, and
# support your teaching and student learning

Another factor you will need to consider is informal reporting, such as parent/teacher acquaintance evenings, diary messages, and possibly even casual parent/teacher conversations.
And then there is planned reporting, which may be in the f
orm of portfolios, formal parent/teacher interviews, Basic Skill Testing (BST) in some schools, and possibly governing body report requirements.

Previous comments from Teacher Education v1.3

Submitted by: Natasha Pouwbray
Date: 01-01-00
Location: Casterton Australia

I think it helps if the students know what you expect of them. Here is an example of some expectations of the teacher that I use in geography with my secondary students. The file is in doc format.
Secrets of Success.doc

Submitted by: Frederick DeWit
Date: 10-02-01
Location: Howell, New Jersey

Do you have information on adapting assessment in a normal classroom setting to the needs of gifted learners?

Submitted by: Rebecca Zimerla
Date: 08-05-01
Location: U of Manitoba

I am going to be doing my student teaching next spring, and I’m more than a little nervous. But I must say that you cover a lot in this site that has lessoned that lost at sea feeling for me. Thank you, keep up the good work.

Submitted by: Neilson Daniely
Date: 10-07-01
Location: Dar-es-salaam,Tanzania

Thanks for your nice presentation, it has helped me a lot in that area. Do you have any information regarding assessing slow learners? Thanks again, may God bless you always.

Submitted by: Colin Ferderer
Date: 19-01-02
Location: Kiama, South Coast, NSW, Australia

I am a Chef of 20 yrs and am now doing Bach Of Ed (TAS) acc course @CSU, I have workplace assessed many apprentices and trainees and can see how this experience will help in the classroom.
Your notes on assessment are great and easily undestood I wish I had them when I started teaching @ TAFE yrs ago.

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