Newsletter 101 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 13 - Inclusivity

Are deliberate attempts made to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds are actively engaged in learning?


Inclusive classroom practices intentionally acknowledge, support and incorporate the diversity of students’ diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities. Lack of inclusivity is apparent when students are treated as a homogeneous group, without their diverse backgrounds being incorporated in meaningful or appropriate ways. This often results in some groups being unable or unwilling to contribute.


In preparation for Mother’s Day, Year 4 students in a primarily ethnic school community were asked to bring in catalogues that they found in their letterboxes at home. The students were then asked to examine the catalogues to see if people like their mothers were represented. Classroom discussion included factors such as cultural identity, socioeconomic background, visual representation and so on. Most students felt that the women represented in the catalogue were nothing like their mothers. The teacher asked them to look through clip art for suitable graphics, or alternatively draw or construct an image of their mothers through a drawing program, that could be used in a catalogue. The students were then asked to look at the items for sale for Mother’s Day in the catalogues and conduct surveys to see whether or not their mothers would actually like these items or not; in many cases the answer was ‘No’. The class then discussed why these items had in fact been chosen for the catalogues, and whose interests were being represented. The generic structure of the catalogues was also dissected, with particular attention paid to the language used to encourage sales. Finally, the students used the knowledge they had acquired, and their visual images of their mothers, to construct a new catalogue.

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