Teaching Strategies that Work

During the past year we have published several studies into effective teaching practices under the series Teaching Strategies that Work. These studies are based on ERO’s work with schools who appear to be getting exceptional results, and have included publications on the teaching of reading, mathematics and parent partnerships. We will very shortly release our 7th report in the series, on effective teaching strategies for writing.

Each of the schools that we studied displayed strong clarity of focus on lifting outcomes for all learners, and homed in on strategies likely to have the greatest impact on improved learning. They also took a whole school approach, adopting professional learning teams based on principal-led professional learning and development. In these schools it is common for teachers to work as teams, sharing their results for individual groups of learners and observing, challenging and providing feedback to each other on their teaching practice.  Senior leaders were equally regularly found to be observing teachers in their classrooms and providing feed-back about what they observed. This collective teacher efficacy has been shown by John Hattie to have the greatest effect size of all 252 influences on learner outcomes he has documented.

Key elements of success we identified were:

  • setting high expectations of outcomes for all learners with teachers focussing on the explicit teaching strategies needed to ensure learner success.
  • all teachers taking responsibility for the success of all learners
  • establishing explicit whole school expectations about teaching practice. In many of these schools PLD focussed around adoption of an explicit instructional model or approach to teaching
  • a deliberate curriculum through the school which aimed to establishing learning pathways and building on prior learning and knowledge across the learner’s life course
  • a focus on building teaching capacity
  • the use of inquiry in a relentless drive to improve outcomes for learners
  • using teaching approaches which empowered student agency and motivation.

Other publications in the series Teaching Strategies that Work:

Engagement in Upper Primary

Reading

Mathematics

Rich Curriculum Inquiries

Solid Learning Partnerships

Ten Narratives