TTA presenters are all experienced practitioners. Most are currently teaching in classrooms across the country. Our presenters include secondary school subject matter experts, primary teachers, principals, teacher educators and specialists in classroom skills.
We asked 6 of our presenters about their thoughts on “quality teaching” and the “21st century learner”. What does it really mean to be a 21st century learner? What does quality teaching really mean? Here is the first of a 2 part blog post their answers:
Mathematics Consultant, K-8, across Australia and the USA. Secondary teacher. Lecturer The University of Sydney.
To me quality teaching means a teacher that can engage all their kids, a teacher who knows their content areas and a teacher that is able to cater to the wide range of needs in their classroom.
Teachers need to know the specific content for their subject area, know their students and know the right ways to engage their students.
It is vital to have a range of teaching strategies – ways of imparting that content to their students – even more so than 10 years ago.
The world has changed. What we teach and the way we teach needs to be quite different if we want to engage all our students.
Lecturer in Human Movement and Health Education, University of Sydney, HSC marker, PDHPE Specialist
For me the term “quality teaching” is old hat. 21st century learning in the new national curriculum focuses on improved teaching outcomes and student outcomes.
How do you compete with social media and information technology? What does a 21st century learner look like and what are their needs? How does quality teaching need to evolve to address this?
For me, it should include setting up a quality learning environment, which is safe and engaging; an environment and place where students can connect with each other, the teacher and themselves, and where deep exploratory learning can occur; learning that is meaningful and relevant in and outside classroom.
The teacher should not be the giver of information but rather the facilitator of the learning process.
21st century teachers need to be able to self-coach. They have to mentor, guide and coach students to think deeply about their role within diverse and complex 21st century economic, political, environmental and social issues. Doing this with compassion, care and purpose is what 21st century learners need.
Stage 6 teacher, Government and Independent schools in Modern, Ancient and Extension History. Senior marker for the NSW HSC, Member of the Independent Schools Examination Committee. Highly regarded author of History texts and Study Guides Australia wide.
Often new ideas can quickly take on orthodoxy. To me the phrase “quality teaching” can be a little too simplistic. It is easy to use because it is “motherhood” and no one can disagree.
My approach is to keep your mind open, listen but don’t jump on the band wagon just to be seen to be doing something.
Ask yourself, is this really making teaching and learning better? If it has legs, let’s integrate it. Have an open but a critical mind, and ask, in the classroom what does this actually mean?
Part 2 of this article will be posted later week. Look out for the comments from 3 other highly respected educators.
TTA offers ver 300 fully accredited, high quality practical professional development courses for teachers, delivered by over 200 experienced presenters across Australia via face to face or online. www.tta.edu.au