Our six principles of effective teaching form the base of our Professional Development (PD) Program to enable an equitable exchange of ideas and practices between teachers in all contexts. Underpinned by theoretical concepts and supported by effective outcomes and strategies, there is something of value to take from our principles of effective teaching, no matter where in your teaching career you are.
Cultivating the mindset, motivation and grit it takes takes to keep persisting and getting better and better each day.
C. Dweck: Mindset (2006)
Approaching tasks with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset helps people to reach their full potential. Growth mindset is the belief that our ability is not fixed. By using positive language and demonstrating a growth mindset about your own ability, you can support students to persevere through challenges and become open to learning anything.
A. Duckworth: Grit (2017)
Hard work and effort supports skill development which leads to results. Fundamentally, effort has more importance than talent. Through using and promoting discussion when faced with a skills gap, you can isolate and develop a student’s particular skills.
H. Ginnot: Teacher & Child (1972)
The personal approach creates the climate in any given circumstance. By being aware of how your words and actions influence the mindset of students and being intentional about these, you can positively affect the ‘daily mood’ of your classroom.
E. Deci & R. Ryan: Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation (1985)
Extrinsic motivation links to the performance of an activity in order to “attain a separable outcome.” Intrinsic motivation refers to doing an activity for the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself. Understand that motivation can be both intrinsic and extrinsic and use both to support student progress.
Climate for Learning
Fostering a positive learning environment and proactively managing behaviour to maximise engagement.
A. Mehrabian: Non-verbal Communication (1972)
Expression of communication is greater than word choice alone, and is actually made up of three parts; 7% word choice, 38% word delivery, 55% facial expressions. With this in mind, actively manage how you communicate with students (and others) to develop and maintain a positive environment.
Look and Be Seen
A. Bandura: Social Learning Theory (1977)
Children pay attention to people’s behaviour to understand and internalise it, and their perception of consequences will determine if they will copy actions or not. As well as using positive gestures to promote student compliance, regularly circulate around the room to offer support and preempt any situations that may escalate from non-engagement.
Proactively Manage Student Behaviours
B. Skinner: Schedules of Reinforcement (1957)
Behaviour which is reinforced is often repeated, and positive reinforcements have greater returns than negative ones. By using a range of positive strategies to manage low level disruption you can help to prevent situations from escalating.
T. Wachtel: Restorative Justice (2009)
Restorative justice is a process to support victims, offenders (and others) in taking responsibility for their actions to reach a resolution. By focusing on the potential to change behaviours rather than previous behaviour, and responding appropriately after a negative interaction, you can help to rebuild the relationship and improve future behaviour.
Preparation for Teaching
Contributing to a culture of getting better and providing peer to peer instructional coaching.
End of Unit Planning
J. Bruner: Process of Education (1960)
Structure teaching by starting with a simple introduction at first, and following up with a sequenced series of lessons that build upon prior student learning and lead towards a planned assessment.
End of Lesson Planning
B. Bloom: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956)
Implement learning outcomes, ensuring that the statements are measurable and articulate what students should know or do by the lesson’s end, and be clear in how these feed into a longer sequence of learning. Further to this, proactively meet student’s needs by:
- Choosing appropriate objective linked learning activities
- Giving enough time to practise areas of skills linked to objectives
- Allowing extended time for students to engage with set tasks
Quality First Teaching
D. Willingham & D. Daniel: Teaching to What Students Have in Common (2012)
Plan lessons that teach to common learning characteristics rather than focusing on individual differences, and prepare for your lesson planning by actively refreshing your subject knowledge.
Effective Use of Lesson Aids
K. Graves: Designing Language Course (2000)
Utilise a range of resources available to aid learning (including the outdoor classroom), and be intentional with the use of lesson aids at the planning stage. Conduct evaluations post-lesson to inform future use and share any observations with others to extend pedagogical knowledge.
Teaching for Learning
Planning quality lessons and sequences of work to engage every child in learning.
Use of Teacher Talk
L. Vygotsky: Mind in Society (1978)
Learning occurs through social interaction with a skilful tutor who may model behaviours and/or provide verbal instructions for the child. Make use of different talk types (explanation, modelling, etc.) during lessons to promote student engagement and understanding. Understand the link between what you say (and how you say it) and student learning, classroom climate, engagement and response.
Modelling & Demonstration
J. Hollingsworth & S. Ybarra: Explicit Direct Instruction (2009)
Utilise a range of exemplification strategies and demonstration strategies (Dual Coding, Naming the steps, etc) and make the process of thought and action explicit when modelling tasks in front of students.
Questioning Student Learning
B. Bloom: The Cognitive Domain (1956)
Plan questions to students in advance of the lesson to ensure these support and stretch all learners throughout the lesson. Further to this, regularly challenge students’ first response to a question to encourage deeper thought and better oracy.
Teacher:Student Talk Ratio
R. Alexander: Towards Dialogic Teaching (2015)
Paired or group work is a meaningful stage of student learning before completing individual tasks. Encourage students to learn from each other and to explore their ideas by planning regular opportunities for paired or group work.
Assessment for Learning
Assessing each child’s learning and using feedback to engage every child in learning.
J. Hattie & H. Timperley, D. Christodoulou: Power of Feedback (2007)
Feedback is among the most common features of successful teaching and learning, with twice the average effect of all other schooling effects. Provide regular opportunities to give and receive regular feedback and provide feedback in two categories:
- Task related: how well tasks are understood/performed
- Process related: the main actions needed to undertake/perform tasks
D. Willingham: Embedded Formative Assessment (2011)
Assessments undertaken that help teach better are assessments for learning, compared to those undertaken to grade, rank or score, which is assessment of learning. Aim to provide feedback that is is informative (giving the next step) rather than evaluative (summary of actions taken) in nature.
Using Data as Information
B. Fenton: Data-Driven Instruction
Collecting and analysing student learning data from assessments is important but only becomes meaningful when combined with effective action.
L. Schulman: Those Who Understand (1986)
Be aware of the overlap between content or pedagogical knowledge which informs how to teach within a particular subject. Create opportunities to assess students learning during the lesson to inform how to adapt your teaching in response to the need of groups or individuals and make effective use of data from assessments to respond to progress students have made.
Using explanation, modelling and question to build understanding.
Championing Teacher Profession
R. Pierson: Every kid needs a champion (2013) [video]
Children deserve a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. Recognise your responsibility in ensuring the success of all of your pupils.
Humility & Integrity
E. Campbell: The ethics and teaching as a moral profession (2008)
Consider the values attached to teaching and align these with what and how material is taught. Engage in critical reflection on practices deemed as ‘the norm’, and be an active participant in all training, striving for genuine learning during all professional development opportunities.
Development of Self & Others
Be aware of how thoughts influence actions, which in turn leads to generation of thoughts and actions in others. Promote a positive staff culture by constantly striving to assume the best of all colleagues, and share observations and reflections gained from practise to extend yours and others’ pedagogical knowledge.
Contribution to School Culture
P. Bambrick‐Santoyo: Leverage Leadership (2012)
Culture is not built by motivational speeches or statements of values. It is formed by repeated practice: using every minute of every day to build good habits. Take part in whole school activities and be proactive about working with the local community to promote the importance of education.
Find out about our Professional Development Program for teachers and read more about the teaching strategies that are part of our 6 Principles of Effective Teaching here.