Newsletter 98 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 10 - Explicit quality performance criteria

Are the criteria for judging the range of student performance made explicit?


Explicit quality performance criteria are frequent, detailed and specific statements about what the students are to do and to achieve. This may involve overall statements regarding tasks or assignments, or about performance at different stages in a lesson. There may, on the other hand, be an absence of written or spoken reference to requirements, benchmarks, or levels of acceptable performance expected of students. In this situation the performance criteria are implicit. This may be a deliberate strategy for students to discover or construct their own outcomes, rather than indicating neglect.


In a Year 8 English class the students worked in teams to create school newspapers. The students were allocated clearly defined roles such as editor, subeditor, reporter and photographer. Each role required familiarity with a particular writing style: for example news reports, comment pieces and editorials. The newsworthiness of photographs and cartoons was also assessed. As well as working in their allocated role, all students were expected to subedit material written for the paper, and were therefore involved in a number of drafting and redrafting exchanges. Access to numerous actual newspapers provided a ready supply of benchmarks against which students could evaluate their own work. The cyclic nature of the writing and subediting process repeatedly reinforced what counts as high-quality performance. The teacher, on a regular basis, also drew the students’ attention to the structural features of the genre of each written piece.

Add Your Comment 

* Name:   
* Email:    
* Comment:    
  Please calculate the following and enter the answer below: 1 x 4 + 0 = ?
Please leave this box blank.