islPAL - International Society for Leadership in Pedagogy and Learning

Pedagogies and Learning

Dynamic Learning & Meaning Making

Art Costa - Workshop

Title: Assessing the Quality of Your Classroom Questions.

Teachers ask a lot of questions. This workshop will help us become aware of the questions we are asking and to compose questions deliberately intended to engage and transform the thinking of others. As a result, you will be able to monitor your own and eliminate "unproductive" questions and more skillfully compose questions that include positive presuppositions and that invite complex cognition.

Denis Goodrum - Workshop

Inquiry-based Teaching

The Australian Science curriculum encourages an inquiry-based teaching approach. The workshop, using a professional learning resource developed by the Science by Doing program, will clarify what inquiry-based teaching means and provides some practical suggestions of how to effectively implement this approach.

Kathryn Glasswell - Keynote

Navigating Thinking: Innovations in Teaching and Learning for Higher Order Thinking in Reading Comprehension

The ability to strategically, critically and creatively solve problems is key to success in our changing world. In this session, I will describe the progress and outcomes of a school-university research and development partnership aimed at raising student reading achievement in low socio-economic schools.

With and emphasis on active and engaging high quality teaching. Our Navigating Thinking (NT) schools use a cutting-edge approach to fostering higher order thinking in reading comprehension instruction. This approach develops Y5-Y7 students' abilities, strategic, critical and creative literacy learners, and enhances teacher knowledge and skill. The NT resources and innovation tools constitute a new way of simultaneously developing teacher and student knowledge for high-level engagement with texts of all kinds.

Impressive gains in reading scores on TORCH (ACER) and NAPLAN indicate some significant merit in the NT approach. Schools also report enhanced engagement in addition to increased teacher capacity and confidence for higher order thinking in reading instruction.

Barbra McKenzie - Keynote

The Getting of Wisdom: Unlocking Tacit Knowledge

A favourite quote about the role and value of wisdom indicates that it is 'knowledge rightly applied' (unknown source) and now, more than at any time in the past we need to acknowledge and facilitate access to our combined educational wisdom. An increase in pressure regarding the role of education and its role and value in a global sense has raised the stakes (Chinnammai, 2005) as countries increasingly compete in international spheres that require the provision of a highly literate and articulate workforce. In our more finite national educational environment we are experiencing one of the most ambitious and far reaching changes to education in decades (ACARA, 2010). A large proportion of our teaching workforce is fast approaching retirement (ABS, 2006) - they are the current holders of years of knowledge and experience. A generation of new teachers will eventually take their place - how can we ensure that we provide less experienced teachers with access to that wisdom?

Dr Bruce Addison

Title: Academic Care, Classroom Pedagogy and the Teacher: Re-thinking Accepted Norms

The development of an ethos of academic care is about creating the structures, both formal and informal, that cater for the developmental learning needs of students. Such an approach celebrates individual difference in the belief that academic care will not only underpin improved academic performance but will also build confidence in the ability to learn. Essential to this ethos of academic care, is a recognition that 'failure' is important for academic resilience and growth and that educators must be prepared to allow and accept the concept of student failure. The proviso of course is that student structures are created that provide academic growth for students in this area. The paper draws together a number of disparate themes based on my observations over many years. They are based on my various roles as a curriculum leader, syllabus writer and teacher, as well as my discussions with parents and students concerning digital learning technologies. The essential premise is that academic care must be by a careful consideration of the role of neuroscience to the contemporary classroom learning environment. This is essential given the proliferation of ICT technologies - technologies that can undermine student learning as well as inform it. Neuroscience may well indicate that there should be a newfound emphasis on the teaching of content given the proliferation of constructivist based inquiry learning models. It is a contention of this paper that there needs to be a renewed emphasis on the role of teacher as 'learning hero' in school structures underpinned by an ethos of academic care.

Biography: Dr Bruce Addison teaches in the Faculties of Education of both Griffith University and University of Queensland. He has been Dean of Curriculum at Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Deputy Head Senior School (Curriculum) Anglican Church Grammar School.

Mrs Yvonne Salton and Mrs Jennifer McIntyre

Title: Using Historical Inquiry as a personal Pedagogy

Australia has a new Curriculum and in 2013 the Australian Curriculum: History is scheduled for implementation. Implementation of the new Curriculum for History, may mean additional pressure for teachers implementing historical inquiry as a framework for learning from the prop year to Year 10 (or P-10) classrooms. Historical inquiry requires teachers to be well versed in inquiry pedagogical frameworks which may or may not form part of their previous personal pedagogy. As part of this introduction to inquiry, practical examples of the use of Socratic Pedagogy and Lipman's Community of Inquiry will be utilised. This session seeks to provide a snapshot of historical inquiry as it can be incorporated into the personal pedagogy of pre-service teachers and a reflection on the transformative effect this pedagogy can have upon the learning of primary and secondary students of history. The presenters are lecturers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Southern Queensland and have conducted a research project with pre-service teachers that encapsulates their developing personal and professional understanding of the role of the teacher.

Affiliation: University of Southern Queensland, Springfield Campus. Faculty of Education.

Mrs Yvonne Salton MLAD BEd BBus is currently working as a Lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland. Her background is in Secondary and Vocational Education. Her expertise lies in learning and teaching within the areas of SOSE (History), Legal Studies, Business and Accounting. Yvonne's academic interests are in personal  philosophy, teaching self, critical thinking and inquiry pedagogy. Current PhD research is in "The Shared Self: Reflected Images of the Teacher Self". Previous research for a Master's thesis was a forerunner to the PhD considered the impact of a personal philosophy on teaching identity.
Jennifer McIntyre, M Ed (Distinction), G Dip (Literacy), Dip Teach., has extensive experience in primary and secondary education sectors across NSW and Queensland, culminating in a seven year role as a school Principal. Her expertise is in the areas of curriculum and pedagogy. Jennifer is currently completing her PhD studying the connectivity between cognitive neuroscience and education. Other interests include social and emotional intelligence and teacher professional development.

Mrs Heather Kenyon - 30 minute snapshot of pedagogy

Title: My Legal Studies Mentor

I came across information on the QSA website on how many students study each Senior subject and the numbers and percentages achieving each possible grade. This led me to work out the results that my Senior students have achieved over the past 6 years. I was thrilled to realise 31% of my students had achieved a VHA compared to 13% for the state. I was further encouraged to believe that perhaps I could help more students than my own when my current students told me "We are passionate about Legal Studies. We are not passionate about our other subjects!"

I started to consider a website. I researched the type of tutoring that was advertised that was advertised on the internet and found a huge gap in the market. Since then I started planning and putting together MyLegalStudiesMentor. The prelaunch will have started in July. I will take a few months to research what students would really like and then fully launch the website in Term 4 ready for the start of Term 1, 2013.

The aim for this sight is to inspire the students in their study of Legal Studies and thus help them achieve their goals.

Affiliation: I am not representing any organisation, just myself. B.Ec/Dip Ed, Grad. Dip in Sec St Ed, AmusA (piano), Primary qualified Suzuki Talent Association of Australia piano teacher. Qualified Coach with Beyond Success. Accredited Professional Coach with ANZI (Australian & New Zealand Institute of Coaching). Writer of a new website to be launched in Semester 2, MyLegalStudiesMentor.

Biography: Heather Kenyon, experienced coach and educator, enables people (students and business owners) to create more success and self-belief in their lives. Heather, known as the 'Story Telling Teacher', is unafraid to open up her life as she weaves the varied experiences of her life into fascinating learning experiences for her audiences.

Heather uses a combination of results-focused 'How to' strategies as well as personal emotional intelligence strategies to help her students realise and achieve their dreams. The percentage of Heather's senior Legal Studies students achieving a VHA is 31% far surpassing the 13% state average.

Donna Bennett

Title: Applying the Australian Science Curriculum to the classroom - walk away with confidence.
Primary to early middle school

The demands may seem to be overwhelming:

How do we get our heads around so much so quickly? - students are required to understand not only the disciplines of science but that science is all about people, that science knowledge has developed over time, that science affects the lives of people and influences the decisions and actions of society. Students are also required to understand the nature of science: how it works, its ability to predict and how scientists go about solving the questions.

How do we get abreast of the historical milestones since the middle ages! - from the displacement of the earth from the centre of the universe, the age of the planet and the discovery of germs/disease; to advances in nanotechnology, genetic engineering, super computers and the Square Kilometre Array project.

This workshop will deliver:

  • A user friendly breakdown of the Australian Science Curriculum for each year level.
  • The nuts and bolts of Strands 1, 2 and 3 will be unraveled for immediate application in the classroom.
  • An understanding of the 'jargon' (the nature of science, human endeavour, use and influence) and the questions (how does science affect society, how does it influence and inform decisions?).
  • The integration of Strand 2 (Human Endeavour) into both Strand 1 (Science Understanding) and Strand 3 (Science Inquiry Skills) will be mapped in a logical and straight forward fashion.
  • Hands-on materials and activities will be provided to demonstrate how the strands can be integrated through classroom activities.

During this workshop written materials will be supplied, a preview of the new Excel Workbooks will be provided and resources and published texts will be available for perusal.

Biography: Donna Bennett is a highly qualified and experienced teacher. She is the winner of two national awards, the CRA Mining Company Fellowship and the BHP Science Teacher Award, for innovative and creative delivery of science. She is the Director of Science Education Australia and her science workshop programs are always popular with teachers and students alike. Donna has written many successful science education books, established the Queensland Science Marathon and has taken her 'Science for Bush Kids' program to regional areas. She has traveled internationally where her special form of science education has been in demand.

Donna believes that science is a great adventure. She sees teachers as consultants and cheerleaders who provide probing questions, confidence and who tease out an understanding of the basic notions of science. Teachers are a source of knowledge and information which is not necessarily volunteered. As an author she has a clear and effective style and believes that interactive science investigations contribute to learning when they are part of a well-thought out plan that triggers the natural curiosity of students. She provides a freedom that allows students the pleasure of building their own knowledge and understanding. Once they get over the shock of having this type of responsibility, and experience the thrill of succeeding, nothing can stop them.

She is the author of Blake's Science Guide for Primary Students - a reference for anyone looking for a basic understanding of the Australian Science curriculum; as well as the newly upgraded Excel Science Revision Workbooks for years 7-10.

Tony Richardson

Title: How to enhance your school's overall performance through an emphasis on the management of the Queensland Certificate of Education; QCE

With the advent of data driven learning environments educators may have attempted to produce outcomes based on data that could be representative of key areas of targeted interests. In possibly undertaking this approach it is feasible to suggest that many educators may not realise the interconnectedness of this data. This paper will explore the application of targeted data, the interconnectedness of data and then outline the significance of the management of the Queensland Certificate of Education; QCE, by schools, in possibly enhancing their overall performance. All the data presented has been obtained from the Courier Mail's The high School Report, Tuesday May 31,2011. pp37-4

Affiliation: The University of the Sunshine Coast

Biography: Tony Richardson is a Doctor of Philosophy student at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is a teacher of 25 years experience and has spoken at a number of conferences on the data use and application.

Mr Eric Frangenheim

Title: The "Why", "What" and "How" in addressing the Australian Curriculum

In this workshop, Eric will focus on the area of "How" to enhance the learning experience of students in addressing the "Why" (cognitive challenge - look behind you for the verb), the "What" (the actual questions and activities developed for students) and the "How" (using cognitivity appropriate thinking tools to enhance the learning experience). We will explore the relationship between the Australian Curriculum and the Blooms Thinking Skills Framework in order to focus on the "How". It is the "How" which allows teachers to differentiate the curriculum by offering clear graphic organisers and related thinking tools to improve student outcomes.

Participants will be challenged to reflect on their own classroom practice, to seek affirmations as well as to look out for the alternatives.

Affiliation: Eric Frangenheim is a director of ITC Publications, producers of the innovative teachers' companions, which have been offering teachers practical ideas for their classrooms since 2003. ITC Publications also produces a range of paper and digital resources for teachers along with presenting practical workshops, mainly in Australia and New Zealand.

Biography: Eric has taught in Africa and Queensland. He is passionate about the infusion of thinking skills in the daily classroom in order to extend all students. He is a co-author of the "innovative teachers' companions", and of, an online teacher resource. He is a regular presenter of teacher workshops on thinking skills at schools and conferences in Australia and New Zealand and has also presented in the USA, India, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and the Republic of Nauru. He is the author of "Reflections on Classroom Thinking Strategies", and "The Reconciliation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears".

Mr Gerard Alford

Title: Making learning visible through co-operative thinking tools

In this interactive session, participants will learn the principles of co-operative learning and experience three co-operative tools. These tools are almost guaranteed to engage all learners, offer them clear focus, simple process and a sense of personal victory during their involvement. Each of these tools satisfy Johnson and Johnson's principles for co-operative learning and will lead to a far more learner-cantered experience for all grades of students. The tools are 1:4:P:C:R, the Silent Card Shuffle, Judge Jury and possible one or two tools for shorter period.

Participants will receive a workshop booklet with notes on each of these tools. Opportunities for reflection and the design of activities for each teacher's personal practice are built into this workshop. Participants will be asked to nominate two or three teaching topics with the view to designing activities for these topics, using the tools presented in this workshop.

Affiliation: Gerard Alford is a director of ITC Publications, and the editor of the primary and secondary "innovative teachers' companions", offering teachers practical ideas for their classroom. Over 420,000 copies have been sold since 2003.

Biography: Gerard studied Economics and has been teaching Senior Economics, Legal Studies, Accounting, Geography and Social Studies for over 17 years. He has taught. He has also held the positions of Head of Faculty (12 years) and Assistant Dean - Staff (5 years).

In 2002, Gerard's Master of Education has led him to focus on teaching pedagogy, with an emphasis on critical, creative and co-operative thinking tools to engage students in higher-order thinking, for teachers and principals. He is a regular presenter of workshops at schools, conferences and universities in Australia and also in New Zealand and the USA.

Matt Atkinson

Title: What boots do you wear?

Habits of Mind are the key to improved performances. Successful athletes are persistent ; they ask questions and they listen to coaches and teammates; they reflect on their performances and they are willing to take responsible risks. They are flexible thinkers and continuous learners. From a successful student-athlete perspective then, does success in the sporting arena automatically mean success in the classroom?

This project analysed the ability of secondary school students to recognise difficult situations in academic settings as opportunities to achieve success by adapting Habits of Mind which they have used successfully in sporting endeavours.

Students from four secondary schools completed an anonymous online survey in which they were invited to discuss their own personal sporting experiences and to share their beliefs about connection between positive Habits of Mind in sporting contexts and those in academia.

Comparisons between and within the four schools highlighted the fact that age, gender, location and socio-economic circumstances are not by themselves determinants of mindfulness.

Affiliation: Brisbane Boys' College, Kensington Terrace, Toowong

Biography: Matt Atkinson MEd (USQ), BTeach (UNE), BA (CQU), is the Strategic Learning Coordinator at Brisbane Boys College where his role is to develop and deliver an academic and pastoral care program which supports all Middle and Senior School students. He has presented both nationally and internationally on the College's journey towards the integration of Habits of Mind into the curriculum. Within this framework, Matt is investigating whether students can achieve academic success by adapting Habits of Mind which they have used successfully in sporting contexts. He believes this could be the key to more students achieving academic success.

Ms Carolyn Cole

Title: Talking Scientifically: Language Skills for Thinking, Talking and Learning about Science

In order to think scientifically students must be able to talk scientifically. Scientific talk requires competence in many different oral language skills such as literate vocabulary, decontextualised language, specific oral genres and abstract verbal problem solving.Competence in these foundation language areas is not culturally universal. Sociolinguistic practices un culturally and liguistically diverse and socioeconomically maginalised communities are often not consistent with the demands of school language and thus, the language demands of science pedagogy. This paper discusses requisite oral language skills for successful scientific thinking, learning and literacy, and the embedded explicit teaching of these language skills as one necessary but often overlooked part of the science curriculum.

Affiliation: Carolyn is doctoral scholar with the University of South Australia, and speech-language pathology private practioner working in Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, SA.

Biography: Carolyn has worked as a speech-language pathologist in education and private practice for nearly 30years. With qualifications in special education and literacy an language education, her passion has been to provide children with the listening and speaking skills that empower them to successfully learn in the language rich environment of school, and to help educators understand how language diversity impacts school achieve.

Ms Cecily Clayton and Dr Louise Thomas

Title: Negotiating Education and Business Agendas: ELICOS teaching in practice

Personal experience has presented both ELICOS education and ELICOS teaching context as a site of complexity. One way to read this complexity is to see a teaching context where education and business agendas often conflict. This experience has led me to want to investigate other ELICOS teachers' perspectives of the teaching context. 

Presently enrolled in an Australian Catholic University doctoral program, my aim is to investigate the nature of the relationship between ELICOS teachers and ELICOS contexts and the effect on their teaching practice. I will undertake this investigation through an exploration of the research question - In what ways do contexts in ELICOS construct ELICOS teachers and their teaching practices? The presentation will outline issues identified in the literature that support my proposed research. Discussion of the key elements of the literature and the proposed research project will provide opportunities for responses and reflection.

Affiliation: I am a student in a doctoral program with Australian Catholic University (McAuley/Brisbane Campus).

Biography: Cecily Clayton -  I am an ELICOS teacher presently working at John Paul International College, Brisbane. My educational qualifications include a Master of Education and a Master of Theological Studies. Following on from twenty five years in business, I have lived and taught in both China and Australia, having taught English both as a foreign language and as a local language. My research interests include second language acquisition, teacher identity and teaching practice.
Louise Thomas - I have been involved in the field of education for 28 years. Over the past 9 years I have worked as a teacher educator at QUT and ACU. I am assistant Head of School (Learning and Training) in ACU's Faculty of Education (Brisbane Campus). My professional passion is in the areas of professional identity, ethics, leadership and relationships in education.

Lynette Faragher

Title: Can student writing indicate their thinking and can it be assessed?

In this paper, research will be described that involves the analysis of a sample of First year university students' writing in an attempt to discover their level of Higher Order Thinking and ability to write appropriate academic discourse. The criteria used are the metaphors, idiosyncratic expressions, comparison, analysis, hypothesis and evaluation. There will be argument that suggests that the above tools are indicators of first year students' ability to engage with the discourses of academia and might be assessable in terms of what they do rather in terms of their deficits. 

Biography: Lynette Faragher has been involved in education as school teacher, teacher educator and university academic for most of her life. Advocacy for positive assessment has been a consistent thread as well as support for marginalised and underprepared students. She has worked in South Africa most of her working life, as well as Brunei, UK, Oman and Australia. Currently she works in Learning Support at the Springfield campus of the University of Southern Queensland and is engaged in a PhD study called Is it the Thought that Counts?

Dr Siu Man Wong and Sing Pui Chan

Title: Creating an Active Learning Environment for Knowledge Re-construction and Assessment Practice in a Hong Kong Kindergarten

Over the past few decades, many early childhood professionals have stressed that young children must be engaged in an active quest for new ideas and discoveries (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Katz, 1994). A rich environment for active learning generates learning activities that promote higher-order thinking process. In Hong Kong, increasing early childhood programs have been designed for providing an active learning environment for young children to learn. At the same time, early childhood educators are encouraged to assess children's progress in content within naturalistic contexts. Drawing on the current trend of active learning advocacy and naturalistic assessment repertoire, this case study explores how an active learning environment can create a space for teacher to understand what is in the young child's mind. The participant of this study is CY, a boy aged five to six, who studies in the upper preprimary class in a Hong Kong kindergarten. Based on the naturalistic approach, a set a data was collected in the real classroom context, including a work sample of the drawing and writing product, and the transcript of the discourse between the teacher and the child involved in a video. This set of data is combined to make analysis and then formulate an understanding of this child's conceptual knowledge of science and mathematics.

Affiliation: Department of Early Childhood Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong (China) 

Mr Edward Rush and Mr Andrew Matthews

Title: Utilising social constructivism in e-learning environment to develop higher order cognition in monolingual Asian classrooms

This paper will argue that widely accessible forms of collaborative writing technology such as "Google Docs" can facilitate the social constructivist approach to learning. These applications can be of particular use in monolingual Asian classrooms where students tend to exhibit low levels of engagement and interaction in classrooms. Traditionally, even in "international" programs where constructivist approaches are valued, writing is an independent act, which only employs technology as a method of input. Where peer editing does occur, it tends to be delayed and involves relatively little interaction. However, interactive writing technology affords students a crucial opportunity to write publicly in "real time" so that they can negotiate understanding and meaning during the act of creation. An important difference between traditional " group writing" activities and this approach is that the whole class is able to participate at the same time and receive constant individualised and targeted feedback from the teacher and from peers. The suggested framework is not limited to writing but can be extended to activities like discussion and pronunciation. This paper will demonstrate an approach that has been used at a Thai university preparation centre with regard to a task concerning the ethics of safe injecting rooms.

Affiliation: Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics, Mahidol University International College, Thailand.

Biography: Edward Rush is the Director of the Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College in Thailand. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with a particular interest in critical pedagogy, the teaching ethics, multimedia learning technology, educational software design, and curriculum development. He is an Ed.D candidate and has an M.Ed (Research) and Grad.Dip.Ed (Tertiary and Adult).

Andrew Matthews is an English language instructor at the Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College in Thailand. His interests lie in social constructivism and task-based learning. He has an M.Ed from the University of Southern Queensland and a B.Sc (Hons) in Electronic Engineering from the UK.

Dr Philemon Chigeza and Dr Hilary Whitehouse

Title: Affirming learning capacity of Indigenous students in classrooms: One focus for pre-service teacher mathematics and science research

For some Indigenous students, school mathematics and science can be a 'fish out of water' experience. There is widespread agreement that Indigenous students' cultural knowledge is desirably incorporated into curriculum and pedagogical practice and Indigenous learners use the cognitive tolls of their cultural community to engage with school mathematics and science. We argue that beyond understanding and valuing Indigenous students' cultural knowledge, pre-service teachers investigate how this cultural knowledge can be used more productively in mathematics and science classrooms. The presentation positions Indigenous students as agentic in negotiating their mathematical and scientific learning dispositions. We explore the capacity building practices that draw on Indigenous students' cultural resources: cultural disposition, community knowledge and cultural capital. We use the term 'culture' to refer to an individual's habit of mind; the development of a whole society; or the whole way of life of a group of people (Rojek, 2007). A key purpose of the presentation is to emphasise the socially negotiated and embedded nature of meaning-making in mathematics and science education and how this can be made more apparent in pre-service teacher education.

Affiliation: School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Biography: Dr Philemon Chigeza is a mathematics education and cultural studies lecturer in the School of Education, James Cook University in Cairns with long experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in north Queensland.

Dr Hilary Whitehouse is Associate Professor and Director of Research in the School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns. She teaches the Graduate Certificate of Education for Sustainability and in the Masters of Education for Sustainability program at JCU.

James Cook

Title: Later life learning at university: A journey of self

In a qualitative study using data from interviews with 23 senior Adult learners (SAL's - people over 60 years of age and older) studying in academic for-award courses at an Australian university, it emerged that their learning experiences were personally transformative. Motivated by personal and not vocational reasons and congruent with Maslow's understanding of self-actualisation, personal growth and spiritual growth were identified by participants as being significant outcomes. This paper will give an overview of SAL's participation in university education followed by a close examination of their personal and spiritual transformations.

Affiliation: Lecturer, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus.

Biography: James Cook has been a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 1990. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Queensland that focuses on later life learners in academic for-award courses at university. His publications include "Higher Education in Later Life: Cui Bono?" In Blatterer H and Glahn, J (Eds.) Times of Our Lives: Making Sense of Growing Up and Growing Old. (pp. 127-144) Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxfordshire UK (2010), and "A Difference to be Shared: Senior Adult Learners at University" In Riseman, N. Recher, S. and Warne, E. Learning, Teaching and Social Justice in Higher Education. (pp. 17-38) University of Melbourne (2010).

Lindy Abawi

Contextually specific meaning systems matter

30 minute paper presented by Lindy Abawi

Recent doctoral research into the lasting effects of the IDEAS school improvement process produced conclusive findings to show that when a school has generated its own meaning system and 'no blame' culture then continued improvement over the long term is possible.The research was conducted within schools in the Sydney Catholic Education system and Education Queensland schools. Emergent from these findings is an understanding that a contextually created meaning system is a powerful force having a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship to school culture. A school with an individual meaning system is a school with a strong cultural identity capable of not only withstanding but thriving in the face of the winds of change.

What also become evident was that to be generative such a culture and meaning system requires leadership consciousness of its presence in order that it might be nurtured to ensure ongoing and sustainable growth. School leadership teams must consciously take note of the language-in-use within the school's classrooms, staffroom/s, offices and community meeting spaces, to note whether these spaces are just physical spaces or places where rational, cognitive and pedagogical connections occur.

Lindy Abawi and Michelle Turner

Early in 2011 the Student Overarching Capabilities and Actions (SOCA) initiative was introduced into the University of Southern Queensland's Faculty of Education. Dr Lindy Abawi and Colleague Michelle Turner had ascertained from students in the previous year that many had concerns about their level of preparedness for the first Professional Experience to be undertaken. Some were only new graduates and lacked experience with young children while others were mature age students who felt distanced from current understandings of the needs and interests of today's students. The desire to become a teacher seemed to only just outweigh the fear of being in the classroom. Consequently a program of supplementary professional development activities has been introduced which runs parallel with the regular courses.

This presentation will provide insights into these hands on workshops which cover a wide range of topics: music and brain gym for the classroom; engaging students in higher order thinking skills; differentiating for disability and difference; intensive grammar and literacy development for all subject areas; visual literacy and engaging student attention. Workshops are recorded and made available online so all students can access these. The feedback has been positive and the program has become an integral part of a suite of additional learning opportunities offered within the faculty and all aimed at preparing pre-service educators to become teachers who really make a difference to their students in their contexts.

Shauna Petersen and Joan Conway

The power of articulating personal pedagogy

1 hour workshop presented by Shauna Petersen and Joan Conway

When asked to articulate their personal pedagogy teachers often find this problematic. So much of 'who' and 'what' we are as teachers is a part of our tacit knowledge bank. It is built on prior experiences, our philosophies of life and even elements of our personality types which lie hidden beneath the surface of our daily lives as teachers. As a first step in the IDEAS process, a number of schools have discovered for themselves the power of teachers articulating and sharing their strongly held beliefs about quality pedagogical practices. As Parker Palmer says "knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject" (2007,p3).

This workshop will engage participants in an exploration of personal pedagogy providing insights and discussion points that can be applied within any teaching and learning context. Articulating personal pedagogical principles allows teachers to answer key questions such as: What do I prioritise in the classroom? What do I privilege? Why or why not? Can I justify the decisions that I make to both myself and others?

Deborah Geoghegan and Lindy Abawi

Metaphors: Powerful imagery bringing learning and teaching to life

30 minute paper presented by Deborah Geoghegan and Lindy Abawi

Utilising metaphor to clarify pedagogical understanding and to anchor teacher beliefs and knowledge to meaningful individualised or contextualised mental pictures has benefit in both pre-service teacher education and school contexts. This paper introduces two perspectives around the power of metaphor to enhance teaching practice. The first perspective shares the stories of metaphors of pre-service educators in their final year of a tertiary teacher education program. These university students utilised metaphor to articulate their aspirational goals as teachers-to-be. The metaphors were valued by students as a means of anchoring their understandings and allow them to deeply reflect on their current practice. The second perspective explores the use of a metaphorical vision in schools which have undertaken the IDEAS process and how the linking of a metaphor to understandings of schoolwide practices create rational, cognitive and pedagogical connections capable of contributing to sustainable school improvement.

The power of metaphor is closely linked to Fullan's concept of 'thinking skinny' which refers to the process of taking the breadth and depth of professional understandings and synthesising these down to their essence. This essence, in the form of metaphor, can be shared, refined, reflected upon and used as a light to guide practice.

Shirley O'Neill, Shauna Petersen and Deborah Geoghegan

Metalanguage: The 'teacher talk' of explicit teaching practice

30 minute paper presented by Shirley O'Neill, Shauna Petersen and Deborah Geoghegan

In recent times, much has been written about what constitutes effective literacy teaching and learning, the power of effective 'teacher talk' and the effect on student learning outcomes. Much has also been written about the power of schoolwide approaches to pedagogy, particularly within the context of a process of school improvement. This paper ties together these two threads through the powerful stories of two primary schools that had undertaken a long term school improvement process called IDEAS.

We examine the evidence of the explicit teaching of literacy and in particular, the 'teacher talk' that occurs, and the way it reflects teachers' shared pedagogical practice and students' engagement thus providing a living, breathing context for the enactment of the schoolwide literacy pedagogy at the classroom level.

Joan Conway

Metathinking: The power of schoolwide meaning-making processes

1 hour workshop presented by Joan Conway

Bombarded by demanding, competing and under-developed initiatives and faced with an increasingly complex mix of student needs: does that resonant with you? Then this workshop invites you to engage in conversation and activities that will explore the processes of schoolwide meaning-making where you are not alone. In the words of Albert Einstein, "The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Could it be that we are finally catching up with what this means? How do we cope? Is it something to do with focusing on contextually-based conceptual and creative thinking?

Although the cliche of 'thinking about thinking' might be too easily dismissed as what teachers intuitively do when they plan for inquiry-based and problem-solving activities, this is not the reality for a group of teachers who have clearly articulated their thinking processes. Materials drawn from a recent research project revealed convincing evidence of how teachers interdependently build capacity for creating schoolwide meaning-making processes.