Today Professor Jenny Gore came to our school to teach us about the Quality Teacher Model she has developed. The QT model emphasises “the importance of a strong pedagogical framework and adherence to effective professional development principles in systematically improving the quality of teaching”. a
It was interesting to listen to Jenny and I am in no doubt that the QT model is very effective. The QT model provides 18 (!) elements of “quality teaching” and provides a method of scoring/ quantifying these. It means that a teacher’s practice is observed by other teachers and the lesson is then scored using the QT model’s coding scale.
Again, I can see the merits of this program but I am also a little bit wary because to me it’s just another way to grade a lesson. I am also wary of the amount of PD that would possibly be needed to get teachers up to scratch with this particular program, and in my school, we already have quite a few programs on the go.
Below are my notes of the evening:
If teachers are to teach well, we need to define what good teaching is.
Just sending teachers off to watch other teachers is not enough, it’s like sending an average golfer off to watch Tiger Woods and tell them to be like Tiger.
- Applicable across all year levels and subject areas
- Teaching is framed in terms of 3 dimensions and 18 elements
- Not just about teaching and assessment, it’s about the practice of teaching, just like doctors and lawyers have a practice.
1. Pedagogy that promotes high levels of intellectual quality.
Intellectual quality refers to pedagogy focused on producing deep understanding of important, substantive concepts, skills and ideas. Such pedagogy treats
knowledge as something that requires active construction and requires students to engage in higher-order thinking and to communicate substantively about what
they are learning.
2. Pedagogy that establishes a high quality learning environment.
Quality learning environment refers to pedagogy that creates classrooms where students and teachers work productively in an environment clearly focused on
learning. Such pedagogy sets high and explicit expectations and develops positive relationships between teachers and students and among students.
3. Pedagogy that generates significance by connecting students with the intellectual demands of their work.
Significance refers to pedagogy that helps make learning more meaningful and important to students. Such pedagogy draws clear connections with students’
prior knowledge and identities, with contexts outside of the classroom, and with multiple ways of knowing or cultural perspectives.
“You can have higher order thinking about crap.”
The framework is about Professional Development, not about teacher assessment. It uses codes to quantify / code what is happening in a lesson. Focus is on the teaching, not the teacher. “All teachers are capable of great teaching”
Jenny Gore: Ask at the end of a lesson: What did the students learn?
Major findings from research into quality teaching:
- Indigenous and low-SES students and students with low prior attainment received poorer quality pedagogy
- Better pedagogy was correlated with narrowing of achievement gaps for Indigenous and low-SES students.
- Teachers’ dispositions and beliefs were related to the contexts in which they
- There were no significant differences between beginning and more
experienced teachers in quality of teaching
Here is the guide to coding a lesson, from NSW schools: http://www.rqt.edu.au/files/5514/1774/9895/NSW_DET_2003-Quality_Teaching_Guide.pdf