23 April 2015
← What's Our Focus in the Classroom?
What's Our Focus in the Classroom?
In previous editions of the Calling, I have written about St. Patrick's College's implementation of Dr Robert Marzano's curriulum framework, The Art and Science of Teaching (ASOT). This framework is divided into 3 key lesson segments, 9 design questions and 41 elements. Throughout Term One our focus as a teaching staff was on Design Question number 1, which requires staff to establish clear learning goals for each lesson.
During Term Two, we will focus on two more key components of the ASOT framework. The first is connected directly to Learning Goals and is termed "Performance Scales". As a staff we will be looking to gather data on a regular basis to ascertain whether students are grasping the concepts contained in the Learning Goals.
One obvious way of doing this is through formal assessment. At the end of last term all students submitted assignments and completed exams. Naturally this will give feedback as to how well they have performed. But is this enough? As a staff we think not. Our objective is to put systems in place so that at regular times throughout the term we are in possession of data, showing whether students are understanding the work. If not, this will allow us to intervene and adjust programs to support students and their understanding.
The second area of focus for term two is that of homework. At present the staff are discussing the philosophy behind homework. Why do we set it? What is the most effective way to administer it? What should be set and for how long? At present a survey is being completed which allows staff to give their perspective when it comes to best practice.
As well as staff survey, we are interested in canvassing parents and students. How much homework is a fair thing? Do parents feel they should be involved in homework projects or activities? What is the best way for it to be used?
As you can see there are many questions and many areas when it comes to ASOT. That is why we feel it is an exciting framework which will be instrumental in continually improving the quality of teaching and learning at St. Patrick's.