Newsletter 104 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 16 - Active citizenship

Are attempts made to encourage active citizenship within the classroom?


Active citizenship involves acknowledging that in a democratic society all individuals and groups have rights and responsibilities. They have the right to engage in the creation and re-creation of that democratic society, and to participate in all of the democratic practices and institutions within that society. They have the responsibility to ensure that no groups or individuals are excluded from these practices and institutions. In the classroom, the principle of active citizenship is followed when the teacher explains these rights and responsibilities and ensures that they are adhered to, both within and outside the school. In a classroom where active citizenship is not valued or practised, the teacher controls the room with no negotiation rights or responsibilities attributed to the learner. The democratic institution is neither discussed nor practised.


1. Year 7 students were engaged in a unit of work considering the impact of poverty on societies across the globe. They thought about the food they ate in a typical day, and compared this with descriptions in case studies about children in Third World countries suffering hunger. They were encouraged to consider the range of situations that contribute to serious food shortages and starvation. The students gathered a range of comparative statistics on family income and expenditure across the world. They then prepared a library presentation exploring the impact of poverty on children’s lives in Australia and other parts of the world, and made recommendations for school community involvement in Amnesty International and Community Aid Abroad. 2. Groups within a Year 6 class each selected an environmental problem within their school. Each group identified a concern, planned how to address the concern, took action and reflected on the impact of that action, before planning their next step. One group was concerned about the erosion caused by students who took a short cut outside their classroom, which resulted in dust consistently blowing into the room. They brainstormed a range of options, and then contacted a parent who was a landscaper to discuss the viability of their options. From the options discussed, they chose to create a path and gardens in the area. First, from local companies, they priced materials for making the path. Then, having chosen cement, they drew up a proposal and approached the principal for approval and the student council for funding, before proceeding with the project. A working bee completed the gardens.

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