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Leading, Coaching & School Improvement VLNS National Partnerships Schools Forum March 2011 Chris Wardlaw, Deputy Secretary Office for Policy, Research and Innovation. Two Views on Education. “ What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.”

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Leading, Coaching & School Improvement

VLNS National Partnerships Schools Forum

March 2011

Chris Wardlaw, Deputy Secretary

Office for Policy, Research and Innovation

two views on education
Two Views on Education

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.”

- Joseph Addison

“I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.”

- Woody Allen


school leaders will need to consider
School leaders will need to consider…

Knowledge dimension

High reliability dimension

High performance dimension


The World has Changed !

The new global environment


the game has changed
The game has changed!

“Like never before, you have to be able to hit the target.”

- Simon Dalrymple, Western Bulldogs recruiting manager

changing views of knowledge
Changing Views of Knowledge
  • Understanding of Knowledge
    • Static Dynamic
  • Sources of Knowledge
    • Education institution  Everywhere

(foundation knowledge,learning to learn, generic skills)

(connected classroom)


  • Structure of Knowledge
    • Compartmental
    •  Holistic
  • Nature of Knowledge
    • Authority Personal and
    • contextual

(subjects & cross-curricular studies/enquiry projects)

(teachers & students learning together)


melbourne declaration 2008
10 year national agenda

Goal 1:

Australian schooling promotes

equity and excellence

Goal 2:

All young Australians become:

Successful learners

Confident and creative individuals

Active and informed citizens.

Melbourne Declaration 2008
australian curriculum
Australian Curriculum

What is curriculum?

The core curriculum, comprising those general capabilities that all people need, use and develop through their life and the big issues of the day that all need to know about

The formal curriculum, based on disciplinary rules understandings and methods

The chosen curriculum that individuals students and teachers create through the choices they make

The meta-curriculum comprising those activities, events and traditions that all good schools arrange to promote personal development, character and a community of learners

The Australian Curriculum defines for all students the core and the formal curriculum, but leaves to schools, teachers, parents and students critical decisions about the chosen and meta curriculum



8 Key Learning Areas




Humanities and social sciences

The Arts


Health and physical education

Technologies, specifically

design and technology

7 Generic Capabilities

Literacy Numeracy

ICT competence

Critical & Creative Thinking

Ethical behaviour Personal & Social Competence

Intercultural Understanding

Generic Capabilities

Domain Expertise

Cross curriculum priorities

3 Cross Curriculum Priorities

One national/indigenous

One regional/Asia

One global/sustainability

divergence or convergence
Divergence or Convergence …

‘the fiercest debates in education circles are generally over the falsest of dichotomies …..’

Professor Michael Barber

  • “grammar” vs “whole language”
  • “narrative history” vs “thematic history”
  • “back to basics” vs “real mathematics”



Learning reform:aligning curriculum, pedagogy and assessment


what is worth learning

Alignment for student learning

how students learn &

teachers teach



knowing what students have learned


deecd outcomes
DEECD outcomes


Early childhood



Best start

Quality early


education &



to school



& improvement



in learning

in life


aedi measures 5 year old children s development in developmental domains
AEDI Measures 5 year old Children’s development in ‘Developmental domains’
  • Physical health and well being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognitive skills
  • Communication and general knowledge
  • 61,187 children in Victoria (94% of the 5 year-old population), national coverage was 261,203 children (97.5%)
  • Victoria faired well nationally, but 1 in 5 children who are entering school do not have the basic skills in place to develop and learn and achieve success at school

Percentage of children developmentally vulnerable on the Language and Cognitive Skills AEDI subdomains

transition learning and development statement
Transition Learning and Development Statement
  • 90% of early childhood educators reported completing a Statement.
  • 91% of families reported receiving a Statement.
  • 98% of families that received a Statement agreed to forward it to the school.
  • 85% of families reported completing Part 1: the family information of the Statement.
transition learning and development statement cont
Transition Learning and Development Statement cont…
  • 77% of Prep teachers reported having a better knowledge of the children starting school.
  • 58% of Prep teachers reported having a better knowledge of children with additional needs.
  • 46% of Prep teachers found information in the Statements useful for curriculum planning:
    • How Prep teachers are using the content of the Statements to inform curriculum planning is a critical part of the next phase of work around the initiative.



2009 -2010 English Online Interview Data




  • Average scores were at or slightly above the expected VELS Level for each year
  • Achievement distributed across at least 3 VELS Levels from end Prep to year 2
  • Substantial overlap in achievement between year levels
  • Most growth from start to end of prep
where do we stand
Where do we stand?

In the dark all education systems, all schools, all classrooms look similar….

But with some good data …. Important differences become apparent



Baseline Performance

What improvement/gaps are we targeting?

PISA 2000



… the ‘intended curriculum’ and

… the ‘implemented curriculum’

… conscious, explicit, relentless focus on the task(s)

… implementation planning

… operationalising high expectations.

Closing the gap between …


primary international reading literacy study pirls 2006 primary 4
Primary International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006 (Primary 4)

2nd(14th in 2001)

Note: 26% operating at L1 literacy levels in English

8% in 2001


2010 naplan yr 9 writing score distribution
2010 NAPLAN Yr 9 Writing Score Distribution

Students with a mark of 89 failed to answer a single question correctly. They are mostly males who were over the national minimum writing standard in 2008. These grades can be attributed to a lack of motivation rather than lack of ability.

23% at or below the national minimum writing standard

12.1% below the national minimum numeracy standard

literacy and numeracy 6 18 month strategy primary and secondary
Literacy and Numeracy 6-18 Month Strategy (Primary and Secondary)
  • Assessment schedule for students Prep to Year 10
  • Advice on data analysis at a school, year, cohort and individual level.  
  • Multi-faceted approach to developing and maintaining a whole school focus on literacy and numeracy, including the student intervention, professional learning and partnerships with families.
  • Six-term strategy published at the beginning of 2010

Key Characteristics of Effective Literacy and

Numeracy Teaching P- 6 and 7-10:Differentiating support for all students

The Key Characteristics of Effective Literacy and Numeracy Teaching documents quality differentiated classroom teaching for all students. The resource is organised into four headings:

Teacher knowledge

Literacy/Numeracy Focus


Planning and Instruction

  • Purpose:
  • Articulate effective practice in literacy and numeracy teaching that supports differentiation within the classroom
  • Build knowledge and capacity in literacy and numeracy teaching and learning with a focus on student improvement
  • Establish a common, shared language to describe effective practice in literacy and numeracy teaching
research into how people learn
Research into how people learn

Three principles which, when incorporated into teaching, result in the improvement of student achievement…..

Bransford, Brown and Cocking (2000) How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school. National Academy Press. Http://


Learning is enhanced when teachers identify and work from learners’ current knowledge and beliefs

Learning is most effective when it results in well-organised knowledge and deep understanding of concepts and their applicability

Learning is enhanced by the ability to monitor one’s own learning


a task
A Task:

What evidence would you need to convince yourselves that your school is enacting these three principles?

Aspirational or minimum standards?
  • 85% HK P3 students meet minimum standards in mathematics;
  • 96% in Australia (NAPLAN)
  • ?
civic knowledge
Civic Knowledge

Selected jurisdictions

International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2009


Teachers make a difference

John Hattie suggests

…it is what teachers get the students to do in the class that emerged as the strongest component of the accomplished teachers’ repertoire, rather than what the teacher, specifically, does.”

(Visible Learning, 2009 pp. 34-35)

Professor John Hattie

Meta research and evaluation……

0.4 is the average size effect of various influences on learning

a further task
A further task:

Think about assessments undertaken in your school.

Do they reflect Bloom’s Taxonomy?

assessment as feedback
Assessment as feedback
  • Sharing learning intentions
  • Sharing success criteria
  • Using effective teacher feedback
  • Using peers to provide feedback to each other
  • Questioning strategically
  • Encouraging student self-assessment
  • Making formative use of summative assessment

Maths unplugged. Young colleagues compare notes (front row) in an abacus and mental arithmetic contest in Huaibei in eastern Anhui province, on Sunday. The contest for the northern part of the province attracted more than 200 participants aged between 4 and 8 years old. Photo: Xinhua

South China Morning Post Friday May 22, 2007


The learning debate

The Chinese mother

Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

“There’s no imaginative play anymore, no pretend.”


Tiger mum – the parenting debate

“Chinese parents and teachers are increasingly aware of the need to encourage children’s individuality, while more educators in the United States are seeking to understand why U.S. children are left in the dust in global testing.”

Zhang Yiwu, Director of Cultural Research Center of Peking University

  • Questions
  • Benefits of rote learning
  • Frequent practice
  • Intensive testing
  • Acceptance of mediocre grades
  • Grasping as much knowledge as possible
  • Encouraging individuality
  • Thinking critically
  • Asking questions
  • Using knowledge in real life.
student attitudinal factors
Student Attitudinal Factors

Confidence in mathematics (Grade 8) (TIMSS)

mathematics science and perseverance
Mathematics, science and perseverance


Besides the maths and science tests, students fill out a survey….a long survey (120 Qs). Many students leave many questions blank

Comparing the ranking on the tests with ranking of the average questions completed…..the rankings are the SAME ( not related!)

Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

our young people will have
Our young people will have….

a deep understanding of what it means to be a Hongkonger and a citizen of China and of the world.

a sense of responsibility for all in society, regardless of their background, gender, race, social or geographical group.

perseverance and a willingness to take risks (never being defeated by failure).

an acceptance that the answers may not be totally clear at first, and that understanding can be built.

a willingness to collaborate and share, to listen to others’ points of view and to communicate their own viewpoint.


“I don’t think about losing…

I don’t think about winning either.

I think about what I have to do.”

Cathy Freeman

Olympic Champion 400m 2000

World Champion 400m 1997, 1999



“When locked out of the (class)room, do not peek through the keyhole. Either breakdown the door, or go away.” - Dag Hammarskojld

“The problem with every reform in education is that they have all stopped at the classroom door.” - Dean Ashenden


e5 instructional model
E5 Instructional Model







multiple strategies for professional development
Multiple strategies for professional development

Demonstration/master teaching (Chinese)

Lesson study (Japanese)

Collaborative school based model (Western)

Professional knowledge and pedagogy upgrading

Specialist teaching in primary mathematics and languages

Professional education community

Teacher education providers key partners

Heavy resource commitment emphasising on-site support


school support research teachers and change
School Support Research – Teachers and Change

Condition% Take Up

Presentation of Theory


Modelling and Demonstration



Practice and Feedback

Onsite/Ongoing Coaching and Reflection



the sustained literacy and numeracy improvement we are seeking will depend on the strength of
The sustained literacy and numeracy improvement we are seeking will dependon the strength of…

The ideas

The organisational and infrastructure arrangements, resources, and professional capacity

The information (communication, consultation, evidence, feedback)


Macro Policy

and Planning

(Focus on what matters most)





Develop Capacity

(Attention to detail)

Leading Change for Improvement