Newsletter 102 Classroom Pedagogies

The following series of newsletters (1-20) are based on a fantastic guide teaching classroom pedagogies, teaching and learning strategies for teachers in the classroom.


A guide to...

Productive Pedagogies Classroom reflection manual

This booklet has been adapted from the Classroom Observation Booklet by New Basics Branch and the Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study (QSRLS) commissioned by Education Queensland


© The State of Queensland (Department of Education) 2002


Teachers should use the Productive Pedagogies framework to consider:

• Are all the students I teach, regardless of background, engaged in intellectually challenging and relevant curriculum in a supportive environment?

• How do my teaching and assessment practices support or hinder this?

• What opportunities do I have to critically reflect upon my work with colleagues?


This manual may be used to assist teachers with:

• reflecting on current classroom practices

• generating a professional language

• designing curriculum and learning experiences

• making intelligent decisions about individual students’ needs.


SUMMARY OF PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE (You can follow the topics 1-20 across the four dimensions)



Intellectual quality

Higher-order thinking (1)

Deep knowledge (2)

Deep understanding (3)

Substantive conversation (4)

Knowledge as problematic (5)

Metalanguage (6)


DIMENSION 2 [7-11]

Supportive classroom environment

Student direction (7)

Social support (8)

Academic engagement (9)

Explicit quality performance criteria (10)

Self-regulation (11)


DIMENSION 3 [12-16] Recognition of difference

Cultural knowledge (12)

Inclusivity (13)

Narrative (14)

Group identity (15)

Active citizenship (16)


DIMENSION 4 [17-20]


Knowledge integration (17)

Background knowledge (18)

Connectedness to the world (19)

Problem-based curriculum (20)



DIMENSION 3 - Recognition of difference

Recognition of difference is perhaps the most theoretically and practically significant dimension for explaining how to systematically improve the achievement of students from scholastically disadvantaged socio-cultural backgrounds. A great amount of thought has gone into trying to explain how and why students from disadvantaged backgrounds do not do well in school when compared with their more socially advantaged counterparts. However, while a substantial body of research exists to support the items included in the SRLS focus on recognition of difference, it should be noted at the outset that the SRLS is one of the first attempts to assess many of these existing theories within a systematic, large-scale empirical study focusing on student outcomes.


Topic 14 - Narrative

Is the style of teaching principally narrative or is it expository?


Narrative consists of a linked sequence of events. The use of narrative in lessons involves an emphasis, both in teaching and in student responses, on structures and forms. This may include the use of personal stories, biographies, historical accounts, and literary and cultural texts. An expository teaching style places more emphasis on written, nonfiction prose, and scientific and expository expression, by both teacher and students. It involves descriptions, reports, explanations, demonstrations, and the use of documentaries.


In a Year 6 Social Science class, a teacher was dealing with the sensitive topic of racism in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. He provided a detailed description of his childhood experiences in a small provincial city, giving a very clear account through a child’s eyes.

The teacher then told the class about a recent visit he had made to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander museum in this same town. It was only then that he had come to understand the oppression that Indigenous people in his town had faced. He spoke of racism, and in particular that of the townspeople, which resulted from a lack of knowledge about the historical issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This narrative was a very powerful device for demonstrating the impact of racism on a child’s interpretation of the world. It was clearly more powerful than an exposition could have been.

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