Teacher learning

We’ve been pursuing a rigorous intent in our system over the past few years. At the heart of the agenda is our ‘theory of action’, which places student learning at the centre of our work influenced by good teachers who continually reflect and improve their practice. We refer to this as teacher learning.

We have many examples across our school communities where our theory of action is permeating our collective understanding of what quality Catholic schooling is and looks like in today’s world.

Recently, there was an opportunity for teachers and students from a handful of schools to come together; utilising the tools available to enhance the learning experience.

These opportunities are challenging and rigorous as teachers reflect on their practice and question long held assumptions on how students learn and in what learning settings.

My feedback is that teachers enjoy the freedom ‘learning about learning’ provides. It is and can be transformative when you can let go of what is not working and embrace working in new ways that engage learners at every level.

This is how one teacher responded to the process of working in new ways with students, teachers and experts.

Our work is the art of the possible.

6 thoughts on “Teacher learning

  1. Hi Mr Whitby

    We are some of the lucky kids who got to spend the week with Marco Torres.
    It was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet and work with Marco. We participated in Challenge Based Learning with students and teachers from neighbouring schools.
    We learnt that if we are going to make a presentation it is a good idea to plan and share our ideas with others.
    Marco showed us examples of work which was great and he taught us how to use many different technologies.
    We learnt about the four ‘P’s’: plan, produce, present, pheedback and we used these to produce our presentations.
    We enjoyed working with students from other schools and learnt about communciation and cooperation. It was a great experience to share ideas and create a presentation with people we would not normally work with.
    We are sharing our learning back at school and can’t wait to apply our new skills to other learnings.
    Thank you for a fantastic opportunity
    Jahn and Joniva
    St Aidan’s Rooty Hill

  2. As part of the year 6 learning team I was privileged to spend a week working with Marco Torres. It is not often that teachers have the opportunity to learn in such an innovative and practical way. We had time to engage in professional conversations about our personal learning and how we would implement changes to our current teaching practices. Watching 90 students working harmoniously in one large space was inspiring! The students that attended have already shared their learning with other students at our school. The students experienced engaged learning for the five days and have grown in self-confidence through their interactions with other students and teachers.
    We are looking forward to putting what we have learned into our learning/teaching program. For us the learning was not all about the technology, it was all about the process- the learning journey we made together along the way! .

  3. It has taken a whole week to synthesise the learnings of our students and staff on the visit of Marco Torres.His visit enabled us to reflect on what we do and see the possibilities of collaboration and sharing. Already I have staff wanting to adopt this practice. Not because it is imposed but because they see it as the way of the future for our young people who have grown up in this age. The whole week made me reflect on why I became a teacher and it was evidenced in the engagement of the students.
    I will always remember the time when standing in a room of 90 students, they were so engrossed in their work that I could have a conversation with a colleague and the students ignore any instruction to have a recess or lunch break.
    The other significant moment for myself was the quality of teacher discussion on learning throughout the experience.
    I can honestly say this was professional development at its highest level..Even the non converted were changed!!!!!

  4. Jahn & Joniva, I am pleased that you enjoyed working with Marco and your fellow students. I look forward to seeing the results of applying your new skills to other areas. Marco shows us what is possible when you have access to the tools and you challenge yourselves. Learning is about experimenting – I hope you continue collaborating and creating!

  5. Peter, I am finished with my journey to Australia. I am sitting in my hotel lobby, having a coffee, thinking of my experience here. It is obvious that your school was my highlight! By far, your kids and the kids from Sacred Heart, Emmaus, and St. Aidan’s were my favorite! I was touched by their enthusiasm, their love, their commitment, and their teachers. You should be proud. I have talked about you all and the experience to the Age, the Australian, and the ABC (radio). On this trip, I even met the deputy prime minister– Ms. Gillard and even Kevin Rudd for a few seconds in Victoria, however, walking into your school everyday and having the kids meet me and walk me to my teaching area lit up my day(s). I am so confident that your kids, your staff, and the other schools are that much more powerful because of this time sharing

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