What can universities learn from schools?

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The High Possibility Classrooms (HPC) framework is an Australian model for technology enhanced learning in schools. It was developed from research on exemplary teachers’ knowledge of technology integration in the classrooms of students aged 6-16 years old in New South Wales (NSW) public schools.

HPC builds on the valuable work of TPACK developed by Mishra & Koehler (2006) in the Unites States. Details of this new study in Australia are published in a Routledge book (2015): Technology integration and High Possibility Classrooms: Building from TPACK.

What emerged from the research were five conceptions of technology enhanced learning that exemplary teachers are mindful of in classroom teaching and learning: theory, creativity, public learning, life preparation and contextual accommodations.

Refer to Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1 showing the five conceptions (Hunter, 2015)

Importantly, underpinning these five conceptions are 22 themes of pedagogical strategies and students learning processes. Refer to Table 1.


Diagram 2

Table 1 showing the 22 themes of pedagogical strategies and students learning processes (Hunter, 2015)

The framework is useful in that it gives classroom teachers a meta-language to talk about practice and its assists thinking about making learning for young people at the school level more engaging and motivating. The cases studies of Gabby, Gina, Nina and Kitty developed from the research are proving instructive for teachers in a variety of school settings.  Most teachers want to understand what effective teachers do.

In late 2015 a post on student agency as exemplified in the HPC study was published on Edutopia – read the post here.

Ongoing HPC research is being conducted in NSW, ACT and Victorian schools in Australia to understand its uses in broader K-12 settings. For example, HPC is being used to build Stage 3 teacher capacity in STEM in six elementary schools.

In Tertiary Education there is a great deal educators can learn from teaching practices in schools, especially those places where students perform well, they like being in particular teacher’s classrooms, and where those excellent teachers support other teachers to teach in more imaginative ways, and most critically, where parents of students want their children to learn.

If there is a requirement that those who teach in formal higher education settings to shift their teaching philosophy from one of being ‘expert knower’ to ‘expert learner’ then perhaps teachers/lecturers/professors in all faculties in universities can all realize something from the pedagogical approaches of exemplary teachers’ in school education?

The writer is Dr. Jane Hunter, Senior Lecturer: Postdoctoral Researcher in STEM education – School of Education, University of Technology Sydney.

In her talk at EduTECHAsia Dr. Hunter will share more of this work in the context of higher education settings in Technology, league tables and funding: How are they impacting innovation in higher education?

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Jane and other top tertiary educators at EduTECH Asia. Book 2 or more delegates before 15 July and enjoy savings of SGD305 per person.

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