Effective Teaching news, commentary and analysis

EducationHQ
‘Twenty years overdue’: ACT public schools shift to evidence-based instruction

The ACT Government has backed an expert panel’s call to dismantle its ‘highly autonomous’ public school system and implement a system-wide shift to literacy and numeracy instruction that aligns with the science – but one expert says the messaging for teachers and school leaders remains somewhat cloudy. 

8 May 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
Indigenous ‘carve out’: Is this a return to the ‘reading wars’?

All non-Indigenous trainee teachers must pass a test known as LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education students) during the first year of their degree. Indigneous trainee teachers can demonstrate proficiency in an Indigenous language instead. Janet Albrechtsen considers if different standards for Indigenous trainee teachers risk reinforcing the curse of low expectations for these teachers and their students alike.

1 May 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
High school students are ditching maths subjects

AMSI analysis showing high school students are ditching high-level maths subjects follows new rules revealed last week that all trainee teachers will be taught to use explicit instruction – a practical step-by-step teaching method embraced by NSW and Western Australia and championed by Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson.

30 April 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
Bipartisanship delivers a lesson worth learning

Conceived by the Coalition and delivered by Labor, fundamental reforms to teacher training prove the power of bipartisanship. Reforms to teaching degrees mean they teach how to teach children to read, and to teach using the logical step-by-step method known as “explicit instruction’’.

26 April 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
How back to basics literacy and numeracy teaching transformed a struggling public school

When Manisha Gazula started teaching at one of Australia’s most disadvantaged schools, nine in 10 students were moving on to high school with sub-par reading skills. Now the students are outperforming the “good schools” and “punching above their weight”.She credit the transformation to abandoning ‘fashionable’ teaching practices like whole language for explicit teaching.

26 March 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC – 7.30
How one school transformed its maths and reading results

One third of Australian school students can’t read properly – a statistic experts are increasingly blaming on outdated teaching methods. An increasing number of schools are changing their teaching styles and a public school in Sydney’s outer west is leading the way.

 

25 March 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald
Schools have been ordered to use this teaching method. Will staff comply?

After decades of the reading wars, another ideological culture battle is set to ignite when teachers return from their school holidays.

21 April 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Educator
NAPLAN writing top performers share a common approach – explicit instruction

With report after report of Australian students falling behind in writing, how is it that some schools are bucking the trend? What are they doing differently to help students outperform their peers in NAPLAN writing results? One common theme is clear: the implementation of explicit, practical writing instruction that’s based on best practice.

 11 March 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

2GB
Why we’re reverting from ‘inquiry-based’ teaching back to old school ‘explicit’ teaching

Murat Dizdar, Secretary NSW Department of Education, discusses latest research showing that students benefit from ‘explicit’ teaching practices which involve teachers clearly showing students what to do and how to do it, rather than having students discover that information themselves.

02 March 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald

The teaching style behind the state’s top performing schools

High school students who are taught using explicit instruction are months ahead in reading and maths compared with peers who are not.

01 March 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Age
Students the losers in reading lessons that fail to flag learning issues

Victorian parents are spending thousands on tutors and specialists while students are falling year behind, as outdated reading lessons fail.

25 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Educator
Evidence-based teaching drives stronger reading outcomes – research

A recent report by the Grattan Institute found one third of Australian children cannot read proficiently, calling for an overhaul in reading instruction and the need for “a systematic, evidence-based curriculum”. What’s needed, say the experts, is a curriculum that focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, and comprehension. They argue that reading, a critical skill for lifelong learning and empathy, requires explicit teaching, challenging the belief that children learn to read naturally.

23 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Educator
The critical role of teacher upskilling in reversing the literacy slump

Last week, a report from the Grattan Institute revealed that one-third of young people in Australia cannot read proficiently, warning that this issue is costing the country $40bn over those students’ lifetimes.

22 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Age
The big change coming to the way Catholic school kids are taught

Catholic schools are adopting a teaching philosophy that is not mandated in Victoria’s public schools…

22 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

EducationHQ
Education policymakers need to get clear on the science of learning

Implementing the science of learning at scale will require a combination of top-down (system-driven) reforms and bottom-up (school and teacher-led) actions.

22 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
Rote learning adds up to success, says CIS report

Rote learning and explicit instruction are the key to children mastering the basics of reading and mathematics, a new report reveals. The Centre for Independent Studies has criticised universities for failing to train student teachers in the most effective ways to help children learn. “Myths must be busted to help build all teachers’ understanding of the science of learning,’’ the CIS report states.

21 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
Education experts break down the best ways to teach children how to read

A Grattan Institute report earlier this week found one-third of students are failing to learn to read proficiently due to persistence with an older, discredited way of teaching. The report urged schools to abandon the “whole language” method of teaching kids to read, in favour of the evidence-based “structured literacy”.

18 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
The teaching change this school made that supercharged its students’ reading skills

A reading revolution at a small, disadvantaged public school in regional Victoria could provide the blueprint for turning around alarming literacy rates in Australia’s 10,000 primary schools. Churchill Primary, about two hours south-east of Melbourne, has twice the number of students in the lowest socio-educational advantage bracket as the national average. The game-changing move for the school was switching to a style of teaching known as “structured literacy”, which is anchored in phonics and involves breaking all the key components of reading into lessons taught explicitly to students.

13 February 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC Education
What does and doesn’t work when it comes to maths anxiety?

Intervention research shows the best bet to meaningfully address maths anxiety is through direct instruction, particularly in intensive dosages in small-group settings. Addressing the growing prevalence and impact of maths anxiety will be important to turning around Australia’s generally declining and disappointing maths outcomes of recent decades.

25 January 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The West Australian
Hopping mad over outdated teaching

MultiLit released a checklist to help parents find out if their school is using effective instruction. Catholic Education WA has been criticized for mandating the use of Running Records which is on the list as inaccurate assessment tools.

22 January 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sky News Australia
Australia can fix its ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ curriculum by ditching complacency, experimental methods that have churned out tanking NAPLAN results

Student centered approaches have led to chaos. A La Trobe Valley school; introduced explicit instruction and “The results were nothing short of miraculous. In just a year, NAPLAN scores improved drastically, and five years later, the school is outperforming its counterparts and the national average – an impressive feat considering the socio-economic challenges faced by its student body.”

07 January 2024

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
The success of education reform depends on choices we make now – The Australian

Explicit instruction and teacher training as crucial factors influencing the success of an educational program.

16 December 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
Content reboot for teacher training

Reforms ordered by the nations education ministers include explicit instruction becoming mandatory in teaching degrees. Trainee teachers must also learn how children’s brains develop through early childhood to the teenage years so as to understand how students learn best at different ages. They will be instructed to avoid the trend of “self-directed learning’’ for students who are learning a new concept or subject

12 December 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Guardian
Schools funding and reforms panel: five key takeaways

One of the takeaways is ‘screening student progress’ including a universal phonics check in year 1, with targeted programs like small group or individual catch-up tutoring to be offered to children failing to meet standards.

12 December 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Queensland Government Media Statement
Queensland turns the page on reading in schools

Queensland state schools are set to take a consistent statewide approach to teaching reading that reflects the latest research and has a strengthened focus on phonics.

23 October 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald
Education boss calls for doubling down on explicit teaching in schools

The head of the NSW public education system has called on schools to double down on the use of explicit instruction – a teaching method that gives students step-by-step and clear instructions – in a bid to boost results and close the stark achievement gap. Murat Dizdar, who was appointed secretary of the NSW Education Department in June, told the Herald that evidence shows schools using explicit teaching practices have the most sustained improvements in academic outcomes.

23 October 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
Poor reading and writing skills are dooming students to failure in high school and university, eminent scientist warns

One of Australia’s most eminent scientists, Alan Finkel, has blasted a lack of basic literacy for sabotaging students’ success in high school and university, as damning new data reveals that failed teaching methods could cost a generation of children $12 billion in lifetime earnings.

11 September 2022

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
A reading revolution is underway in many Australian schools but classes are still a ‘lottery’ for parents

Children attending schools that do not use explicit teaching are known as ‘instructional casualties’ by advocates of structured, explicit literacy. The evidence clearly backs the explicit instruction of phonics and that reading, unlike speaking, must be taught. Many states now mandate explicit teaching.

10 September 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

EducationHQ
Henderson labels Oz standards ‘embarrassing’, advocates explicit teaching mandate

Shadow Education Minister Sarah Henderson has deemed the latest NAPLAN results “a national embarrassment” and called on the Government to urgently mandate explicit teaching in every Australian classroom.

06 September 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald 
The ‘secret recipe’ that helped transform results at this Sydney school

Radical changes to teaching methods and lesson structure has helped create calmer classrooms and boost results.

04 September 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

RiotACT
Catholic schools show way as new ‘explicit teaching’ approach reaps NAPLAN rewards

Three years ago, Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn embarked on a learning revolution through its catalyst program, adopting the explicit or direct teaching method based on brain science as its primary educational approach. Its NAPLAN results are higher than national averages.

24 August 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
How a more explicit teaching style helped this school defy NAPLAN struggles elsewhere

Ms Hassan is a teacher at Auburn’s Sydney Adventist School, in the city’s west, where staff have been trained to focus on direct, explicit instruction informed by the latest science on the way kids’ brains work. The school’s education model also emphasises strong classroom management, with teachers aiming to engage the entire class in a task every two minutes. These methods are what Ms Hassan and Ms Efstratiou credit as helping the school turn around its NAPLAN results, which are now well above average in numeracy and literacy.

24 August 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Canberra Times
NAPLAN 2023 results proves science of reading, explicit teaching works, St Peter and Paul Primary School principal Cameron Johns says

New NAPLAN results have proved the value of explicit instruction, a Canberra principal says.

22 August 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
How to keep teachers and improve learning

A new way of teaching in the classroom is being adopted in some schools, with a focus on how young brains absorb knowledge. But is this the revolution in teaching that its proponents suggest? Includes interview with Canberra Goulburn on the Catalyst program.

14 July 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Australian
One in three teachers needs training to teach children to read and write, new study reveals

Edith Cowan University researchers have discovered that the time dedicated to the explicit teaching of writing in primary school each week varied from 15 minutes to 7½ hours. Literacy specialist Jennifer Buck­ingham, director of strategy at MultiLit, said writing needed to be taught explicitly for at least half an hour a day in primary school. “It should be taught in the context of learning other curriculum areas so it is integrated with knowledge building,’’ she said. “This means students will eventually spend several hours each day doing writing of some kind.’’

14 July 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
Universities given two years to overhaul teaching degrees after education ministers’ meeting

Ross Fox, the Director of Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn, said he realised standard teaching methods were not working – and wanted to make dramatic changes across the more than 50 schools he oversaw. Mr Fox decided the problem was the way his staff were taught at university and moved to retrain his entire teaching workforce of 1,500 in what’s called the “science of learning”. It emphasises direct, explicit instruction tailored to young brains with the teacher ensuring a tight, disciplined classroom.

07 July 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Age
Department blocks ‘good news story’ on schools’ reading transformation

Victoria’s education department blocked the publication of a taxpayer-funded study into six primary schools that changed their approach to teaching reading and improved their results. The report, which The Age has obtained in redacted form, studied six government schools that dumped entrenched strategies for teaching reading for an intensively structured approach centered on explicit direction of young students using phonics. The schools transformed their approach to literacy to address plateaued or declining results, and are now reporting gains in students’ outcomes, the study found. It also observed that each school made the transformation without guidance from the Department of Education, with change often being driven by one individual within the school.

25 June 2023

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald 
‘We changed everything’: How 56 schools transformed their teaching and boosted results

56 Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT that have embraced “high-impact” explicit instruction, an approach partly embedded in old-school teaching methods. It shuns student-led and inquiry-based learning in favour of a direct, traditional instruction style. After 2 years, these schools are showing statistically significant improvement in NAPLAN.

04 December 2022

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald
How one Sydney school turned around its reading and maths results

Since 2016, the Liverpool primary school (1 in 5 students are refugees) has had a curriculum plan known as the “core program” that involves “explicitly teaching every component of reading, writing and maths” in a bid to turn around students’ stagnating academic results. The school is making above average NAPLAN progress.

27 October 2022

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald 
Schools need shared lesson plans for teachers to stop learning ‘lottery’

Report by Grattan Institute recommends teachers need access to high quality curriculum materials featuring explicit teaching to reduce workload and boost results.

16 October 2022

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

The Age
‘Results came really quickly’: How one tiny Victorian school turned literacy around

Churchill Primary, a small, disadvantaged school in the Latrobe Valley had persisted for years with an approach known as balanced literacy, with its mix of levelled readers and traditional children’s storybooks as reading tools, but achieved stubbornly poor results. Tired of seeing so many children leave the school with low literacy, principal Jacquie Burrows abandoned balanced literacy for a “purist” phonics-based approach. What followed was a remarkable turnaround in the school’s NAPLAN data.

16 February 2022

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

ABC News
‘He will get that intervention and that explicit instruction that he needs and hasn’t been able to get here in Tasmania’: Lisa Denny

Tasmanian academic says she’s been left with no choice but to leave the state so that her 11-year old son Rory can access the education he deserves. Queensland school offers needs-based learning, including smaller class sizes and a speech and language pathologist in every classroom.

14 December 2020

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.

Sydney Morning Herald 
The reading wars are over – and phonics has won

Authored by the NSW Minister for Education, arguing the reading wars are bizarre because the evidence behind how reading should be taught is so one-sided. Overwhelmingly it tells us that phonics must be explicitly and systematically taught within a literacy program that also develops language and reading habits.

30 November 2020

A teacher exemplifying one of the 10 essential classroom management skills as her class is focused and organised.