Newsletter 99 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 2 - Supportive classroom environment

Issues of classroom environment have been of concern to a very wide variety of educators and educational researchers. From the well known effective schools research on school and classroom ethos, to a multitude of studies on the in-class behaviour of students, to more progressive concerns for the treatment of students according to the social dynamics of race, gender and class, it is clear that students require a supportive classroom environment if they are to achieve what teachers ask of them (Brophy & Good, 1986; Doyle, 1992). Unfortunately, it cannot be said that this body of research indicates that schools and teachers are always able to provide such an environment. As with relevance, the SRLS focus on a supportive classroom environment is based on the hypothesis that a focus on high intellectual quality in and of itself will not be a sufficient condition for improved student outcomes, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Topic 11 - Self-regulation

Is the direction of student behaviour implicit and self-regulatory?


Teachers who exert high implicit control rarely have to make explicit statements to discipline students (e.g. ‘You’re not being good today’, or ‘Put your pens away’), or to regulate students’ movements and dispositions (e.g. ‘Sit down’, ‘Stop talking’, ‘Eyes this way’ or ‘Pay attention’). Teachers who exert low implicit control have to devote a substantial amount of verbal work to disciplining students and regulating their movement.


A year 8 Social Studies teacher wrote two letters about an event that might have occurred in the classroom the day before. One letter was written from the perspective of the teacher, and the other from the perspective of a student. The views presented were largely divergent around the same event. The teacher very cleverly and creatively utilised discussion about these two letters to pursue the issue of evidence in historical research and writing. Extensive discussion followed and many issues raised, including power and the production of knowledge, the nature of truth, the creation of historical narratives and the use of historical sources. One of the striking features of this lesson was the studious and enthusiastic way in which the students engaged in the activity. Because of its perceived relevance they were eager to pursue the discussion and monitored their own behaviour and that of their peers. This ensured a range of contributions from some of the less vocal students.

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