Research
28 July 2016

Targeted Teaching and the Teach For Australia model

The findings of The Grattan Institute's recent report, 'Targeted Teaching', are consistent with Teach For Australia’s experience in developing high-performing teachers and working with disadvantaged schools.

The Grattan Institute’s new report, Targeted teaching: how better use of data can improve student learning, illustrates the challenge that teachers face in ensuring classes comprised of students with differing ability levels progress their learning.

The report highlights research finding that despite there being a five to six year difference between top and bottom performing students in any year level, many teachers deliver the same curriculum to all students.

The Grattan Institute finds that many teachers lack adequate training or tools to track student learning and differentiate their teaching.

The report recommends that:

  • all teachers and schools develop a plan to collect robust evidence of student learning;
  •  schools use this data to target teaching and track student progress over time; and
  • governments invest in assessment tools and related resources to help teachers collect and use high quality data about individual student learning.

These findings are consistent with Teach For Australia’s experience in developing high-performing teachers and working with disadvantaged schools.

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While each of our Associates are focused on student learning, they need support to develop assessments, analyse growth data and seek student feedback to truly target their teaching.

These findings are consistent with Teach For Australia’s experience in developing high-performing teachers and working with disadvantaged schools. While each of our Associates are focused on student learning, they need support to develop assessments, analyse growth data and seek student feedback to truly target their teaching.

Teach For Australia has worked closely with The University of Melbourne and now Deakin University to educate Associates to focus on evidence-based practice in the classroom.

The nature of our employment-based pathway means that learning is sequenced to prioritise that which needs to be embedded immediately in practice.

A key early unit is the design and analysis of assessment. Our Teaching and Leadership Advisers coach Associates to analyse the learning strengths and needs of each student, devise learning activities tailored to progress their learning regardless of where they start and evaluate the impact of activities on student learning.

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Teach For Australia has developed a teacher effectiveness and student impact model that uses a range of tools to support Associates to track student learning.

These tools include:

  • pre- and post-diagnostic testing;
  • student-perception surveys; and
  • framework-aligned classroom observations.

Teach For Australia looks forward to further debate on how teachers can be supported to track the specific learning needs of each student and enhance student learning.