Newsletter 100 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 12 - Cultural knowledge

Are non-dominant cultures valued?


Cultural identity is represented in such things as beliefs, languages, practices and ways of knowing. Cultures are valued when there is explicit appreciation of these characteristics, and within the curriculum this requires that a range of cultures are acknowledged and given status. Cultural groups are distinguished by social characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, race, religion, economic status or age. Valuing those means legitimating these cultures for all students, through the inclusion, recognition and transmission of cultural knowledge. Cultural diversity is devalued when curriculum knowledge is constructed and framed within a single set of cultural definitions, symbols, values, views and qualities, thus attributing some higher status to this one culture.


Linked closely with knowledge presented as problematic, this dimension goes on to both recognise the social construction and hence conflicting nature of knowledge, and explicitly value that knowledge associated with sub-group cultures.


A Year 11 Modern History class, largely consisting of middle-class students of Anglo-Celtic origin, was looking at the issue of ‘the stolen generation’. Coverage of this topic is not mandatory within the Queensland Modern History curriculum. However, the Queensland Syllabus lists a number of thematic units that need to be covered during the course of two years, one of which is ‘Imperialism and Racial Conflicts and Compromises’. The teacher of this class situated ‘the stolen generation’ within this unit. The teacher commented that he saw understanding the issues around the stolen generation as an essential component in the reconciliation process. During the course of the lesson, he drew on a number of texts written by Indigenous Australians, including the Aboriginal singer/songwriter Archie Roach. The students discussed a number of these texts and considered why saying ‘Sorry’ is an important and controversial issue within contemporary Australia.

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