Judith Locke - Fellow at Queensland University of Technology

Improving student resilience – Judith Locke presentation

Last week I was fortunate to attend a teacher professional development session run by Judith Locke, clinical psychologist. Judith’s recent research (aptly titled ‘Can a parent do too much? An examination of parenting professionals of the concept of overparenting’) focused on the counterproductive effect of extreme parental protection and responsiveness. Extreme overparenting can lead to…

phone

Zero tolerance on mobile phones the key to academic success?

Recent research out of the UK has demonstrated that banning mobile phones in schools significantly increases academic results, particularly for the battlers. The results found an overall 6.41% improvement in exam results school wide, as well as a 14.23% improvement in results for the lowest prior quartile of performers, where a no-mobile-phone policy was strictly…

Professional Growth Goals 2015

As part of the framework for Teacher Growth and Development at St Rita’s College, staff set professional growth goals each year. I have chosen this year to focus on the following: Greater integration of ICT (faculty goal) Incorporation of student centred approaches to learning Focus on improving literacy In the process, I hope to be able…

historical sources

Scaffolding inquiry – evaluating sources

The strength of a hypothesis lies in the strength of the evidence used to support it. Therefore, useful, reliable and trustworthy sources can make or break an inquiry task. We can assist students to find good evidence by giving them the skills to evaluate the worth of their sources. These skills follow a developmental progression,…

questions

Scaffolding inquiry – research questions

The focus of historical inquiry is a significant question or issue. Students need sufficient scope and depth of research materials to fully respond to such a question or issue. Students should ask, What else do I need to find out before I can answer this question? The ‘what else’ takes the form of research questions…

historical inquiry

Scaffolding inquiry

One important skill in the social sciences is independent inquiry or research. On a general level, the aim with independent inquiry is for students to frame and conduct their own investigation into an issue of significance, demonstrating a number of skills, including questioning, data-gathering, interpretation, analysis, hypothesis-formation, evaluation, justification and reflection. In history, the curriculum…

finland

Finland leads the way (again)

The Finnish school system has long been seen as a model for the rest of the world due to its innovative policies and stellar results on a global scale. Now it seems that the experts are making big changes, not because the system is not working, but because they want it to continue to serve…

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Guess Who? Building connections with students

Getting to know our students often starts simply: in the beginning we are focused on learning names, familiarising ourselves with the health alerts, catering for the diagnosed conditions and remembering miscellaneous details. While this is going on, we are trying to determine where our students are at as learners. An equally important (and often more…

Terrific Teaching Tool – Spiderscribe

Spiderscribe is an online brainstorming and mind mapping tool that students can use to record their ideas and engage in a number of higher order thinking activities.  There are a number of advantages to using Spiderscribe in the classroom: It is very straightforward to use Students have their own login so all mind maps are…

Terrific Teaching Tool – Gapminder World

Gapminder is an interactive data-based resource that enables students to explore the world’s most important statistical trends.  Data is available for hundreds of variables, from population to health to wealth to CO2 emissions! Go to the gapminder website for a general sticky beak or simply Gapminder World straight away.  It can take a minute to load but…

Doing History: Exploring evidence with artefacts

“The process of writing history using primary sources involves a three-way interplay among the inquiry questions that propel the study, the close analysis of available sources, and knowledge of the context of the sources.” (Sexias & Morton, 2013, p.42).  Accordingly, historical evidence from primary sources is central to this process. An often neglected category of…

Rubrics– articulating clear learning goals

One strategy to help students understand the learning goals for a task is to provide a simple rubric.  The rubric should break down any jargon found within the success criteria so that students can understand the learning goal (and establish a link between their own work and their likely grade).   I distinguish between what I…

The paradox of bright girls

The paradox of bright girls, as outlined by Dweck (2000) is simply this: bright girls achieve highly in primary school (higher than boys and higher in all subjects); however, they are not necessarily high achievers in high school.  Dweck found that this group is particularly vulnerable to adopting helpless responses to new and challenging tasks…

To praise or not to praise?

The ‘commonly advocated practice of praising students for their intelligence’ has been under review for some time; however, a number of educators are now getting serious about shifting the way they praise in order to enable students to develop a Growth Mindset.  Research conducted by Carol Dweck (2000) suggests that praising students for their intelligence…

Declarative and Procedural Knowledge checklists – articulate clear learning goals

The first step to a good formative assessment strategy is articulating clear learning goals.  One effective way to do this is to use a Declarative and Procedural Knowledge Checklist.   Cognitive psychologists classify knowledge into two categories: declarative knowledge (which the learner knows or understands) and procedural knowledge (which the learner is able to do).  In…