Start Date

27-8-2012 2:45 PM

End Date

27-8-2012 4:00 PM

Comments

Over the past seven years the Assessment Research Centre at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education has worked with the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne. The work has emphasised the development of reading comprehension performances by students, which were promoted and assisted by teachers targeting instruction to the level of development or the Vygotsky zone of proximal development (1974). The hypothesis was that if the teachers targeted instruction where students were most ready to learn, improvements in performance would be pronounced. By and large this has remained the case for the Catholic schools in Melbourne. Four years ago the project was expanded to include DEECD schools in Victoria and expanded to focus on mathematics as well as reading comprehension. Similar results were obtained but gains were less pronounced. The hypothesis was still that if targeted instruction could be aimed at the level of development or the zone of proximal development, increased improvement would be achieved. It became clear that most of the improvement occurred at lower levels of proficiency. Smaller gains were made at the higher order skills level of reading comprehension or mathematics. This was examined further using a series of workshops with teachers. The participating teachers were able to freely offer options and strategies for student development in mathematics and reading at lower order skill levels. However, they were unable to provide strategies to develop higher order skills in either mathematics or reading comprehension. This led to some intriguing issues associated with the rhetoric of ‘closing the gap’ and may have serious implications for both in-service and pre-service teacher education.

Abstract

Concurrent Session Block 2

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Aug 27th, 2:45 PM Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

Session L - The influence of teaching strategies on student achievement in higher order skills

Concurrent Session Block 2