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Hannah Rose 18215452 Assessment 1 DTL

Teacher professionalism, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment are elements that add to

the value and quality of the Australian education system in terms of both teaching and

learning. These elements interrelate to enhance educational outcomes and learning

experiences. Through analysing and exploring each element one will endeavour to explain

the importance of each in relation to the daily work of Australian teachers. One will

highlight how the interrelationship of these elements play a part in addressing the specific

needs of gifted and talented students in Australian classrooms and how as teachers

curriculum, pedagogy and assessment may be modified to better meet the needs of all

students. The specific learning needs of gifted and talented students will become apparent

as well as ways in which teachers must modify their practices and strategies to cater to the

full range of abilities in their classroom.

Pedagogy is not necessarily exclusively the act of teaching. Pedagogy can be more

broadly understood as the ‘relationship between teaching and learning and how together

they lead through meaningful practise, to enhanced knowledge and

understanding’ (Corrigan, Buntting, Jones and Gunstone, 2013, p.1). Pedagogy also refers

to how assessment practices are ‘embedded into everyday classroom

experiences’ (Corrigan, et al, 2013, p.1). Quality Teaching is a model that encourages

exemplary pedagogy and learning in the classroom. The Quality Teaching Model was

developed in the interest of satisfactory achievement of education outcomes for all

students despite their race or socio-economic background (Gore, 2007, p. 15). Teachers

are able to engage with the quality teaching model designed to improve the quality of

teachers pedagogical strategies and abilities and thus, improve all students educational

outcomes (Gore, 2007, p.16). The Quality Teaching model has three dimensions namely

intellectual quality, quality learning environment and significance. Each of these three

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dimensions need to be at play simultaneously in order for the model to be effective (Gore,

2007). With its three dimensions, the Quality Teaching method ensures that students

complete all tasks in a deep and meaningful manner (Gore, 2007), as the model has been

designed on the premise that all teachers have the ability to deliver engaging and quality

lessons.

Curriculum is a valued element of education in Australia and ‘refers to the study of any

and all educational phenomena’ (Egan, 1978, p.71). Curriculum includes learning

experiences, achieving objectives in a school setting and a students evaluation of their

achievement (Egan, 1978, p.65). According to The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and

Reporting Authority (2016) the Australian curriculum ‘sets the expectations for what all

young Australians should be taught, regardless of where they live in Australia or their

background’ (Australian Curriculum, Assessment an Reporting Authority, 2016). Curriculum

plays a major role in the everyday expectations and work of teachers and students.

Teachers are required to provide engaging and relevant lessons and assessments that

comply with the expectations of the curriculum in order to provide students with quality

lessons. By analysing curriculum through a pedagogical lens one is able to understand

that teachers individual beliefs and knowledge can influence how they interpret and

implement the curriculum when designing lessons (Corrigan, 2013). The Australian

curriculum is developed and implemented by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and

Reporting Authority (2016) through an extensive and collaborative development process

which involves consulting many educational professionals to shape, write, implement,

monitor and evaluate the curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting

Authority, 2016). Curriculum is essential to a teachers work as it ensures that Australian

students are provided with a quality and consistent education.

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Assessment is another essential tool for teachers that monitors students across a range of

areas. It is deeply embedded in the pedagogical aspect of teaching and learning in the

Australian education system. Assessment occurs on a regular basis, can be formal or

informal and can assist the teacher in determining the educational level of the students.

Assessment also enables teachers to understand how to best support their students in the

future and allows teachers to provide relevant, targeted and individualised feedback to

their students. Assessments set the standard that students are expected to reach

(Corrigan, 2013) and can be undertaken at a classroom level, a school level or at a state

level. One of the ways that assessment is able to be understood is through the

implementation of the NSW NAPLAN test that students undertake in primary and high

school. NAPLAN is an Australian wide test which is developed and implemented by the

Australian Curriculum Assessment, and Reporting Authority (2016) and ‘covers all the

school systems, that is, private, independent, public, faith-based and alternative. The data

is utilised and operationalised in a variety of ways within those systems’ (Johnston, 2017,

p. 19) It tests all students in year three, five, seven and nine in the areas of reading,

writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy (Ford, 2011) and allows teachers to understand

the level of their students for future lesson planning.

Teacher professionalism according to Hilferty ‘is a socially constructed term that is

constantly being defined and redefined through educational theory, policy and

practise’ (2008 p. 53) and ensures that teachers ‘demonstrate respect and professionalism

in their interactions with students, colleagues, parents/carers and the community’ (Hilferty,

2011, p.4). Teacher professionalism demonstrates a teachers ability to meet the needs of

both the students and their parents in order to communicate effectively in relation to

student learning. According to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

(20141, teacher professionalism referred to as Australian Professional Standards for

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Teachers is broken down into seven standards which are grouped into three domains:

professional knowledge, professional practise and professional engagement. Professional

knowledge ensures that teachers know the students and how they learn, and know the

content and how to teach it. Professional practice refers to the planning and implementing

of effective teaching and learning, creating and maintaining supportive and safe learning

environments and allows teachers to assess, provide feedback and report on student

learning. Finally, professional engagement ensures teachers engage in professional

learning and engage professionally with colleagues, parents, carers and the community

(Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011). Each of the seven

standards has specific focus areas to provide increased understanding of the expectations

of each domain. They are further divided into Descriptors at four professional career

stages: graduate, proficient, highly accomplished and lead (Australian Institute for

Teaching and School Leadership, 2011).

An effective and quality interrelationship between pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and

teacher professionalism is essential in addressing and identifying the needs of any

student. However, throughout this exploration one will determine how the interrelationship

of these aspects addresses the learning needs of gifted and talented students in the

Australian education system and how the teacher may need to differentiate these in order

to meet the needs of this group of students. According to the Australian curriculum (2014)

gifted and talented students are often associated with high academic achievement which

can vary from student to student. The objectives of the Australian curriculum are the same

for all students, however, the learning needs for gifted and talented students may differ

dramatically from other students as they are likely to make progress towards education

outcomes at a faster pace than other students (Australian Curriculum, 2014). Gifted and

talented students are also able to perform and achieve learning outcomes at an

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outstanding level and are capable of higher performance than other students (Rowley,

2012). According to Weinfield, Barnes‐Robinson, Jeweller and Shevitz (2002) in terms of

learning needs gifted and talented students may require altered learning programs beyond

those designed for the average student. This is necessary to meet their high individual

strengths and talents in accelerated academic proficiency. (Weinfield, et al, 2002). For

example, a teacher may need to differentiate and individualise curriculum in order to

maintain the engagement of gifted and talented students.

The recognition of a student as gifted and or talented does not automatically guarantee

high educational outcomes and there is a clear impact on educational outcomes when the

needs of gifted and talented students are not met. This is described by Sangeeta (2008-9)

as gifted underachieving. Underachievers display three clear patterns of behaviour: ‘non-

communicative and withdrawn behaviour, passive compliance; and aggressive or

disruptive ‘problem’ behaviour’” (Sangeeta, 2008-9, p.30). It is clear that if students

embody characteristics such as these that is will have a negative impact on their learning

outcomes, particularly in comparison to a gifted students who is fully engaged in a lesson.

Gifted underachieving is often a result of social and emotional factors such as lack of trust,

fear of failure, fear of success and low academic self-efficacy (Sangeets 2008-9). It is

essential that teachers recognise underachievers in order to prevent students from falling

behind. Teachers must develop and employ pedagogical strategies and referring to the

Australian Professional Standards for Teaching will allow them to build a relationship with

their students which in turn encourages them to become engaged in curriculum and

assessments. In order for teachers to prevent underachievers they can engage with the

Australian Professional Standards for Teaching to understand how particular students

learn and how to create and maintain a safe and supportive learning environment

(Australian Institute for Teaching School Leadership , 2014).

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Teachers play a major role in meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. An

inclusive teacher who is aware of the needs of their gifted and talented students

understands and accepts that it is their role to employ quality curriculum, pedagogy, and

assessments where appropriate modifications and differentiations are made in order to

meet the needs of their gifted and talented students (Pearce, Gray, Campbell-Evens,

2009). For example, teachers must provide explicit instructions, regular feedback, monitor

outcomes and revise work on a level that coincides with their students learning ability

(Pearce, et al, 2009). In order to fully cater for gifted and talented students through

pedagogy, curriculum and assessment teachers require professional development which

provides them with the skills to adequately provide for the students particular needs

(Rowley, 2012). Gifted and talented students also require a ‘differentiated curriculum that

responds to these students academic and socio-affective needs’ (Rowley, 2012, p.75) and

it is the teachers role to provide and design a specialised curriculum that is structured

around the gifted and talented student’s unique range of academic abilities, particularly

when gifted and talented students are educated within the regular classroom setting

(Rowley, 2012). The teachers role when educating gifted and talented students requires

high energy levels, and flexibility as they may need to change the direction of their lesson.

It is also important that they devote extra time and effort to their teaching in order to

provide value and quality lessons for their students (Rowley, 2012).

In order for teachers to meet the expectations of their teaching role to the best of their

ability they must engage with the Australian Professional Standards for teaching. This will

allow them to understand the importance of identifying and planning for the learning needs

of their students, understand how their students learn and be able to differentiate their

teaching strategies to meet the specific learning needs across the full range of abilities in

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their class (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2011). In order for

teachers to develop these abilities they must know their students and how they work.

Aligning pedagogy, assessment and curriculum that is coherent, has a purpose that is

recognisable and supports students learning needs is essential (Hayes 2003). Hayes

highlights that ‘there is no strict formula of aligning pedagogy, curriculum and

assessment’ (Hayes, 2003, p.234). However, she gives one example of a learning task

where the interrelationship between the three areas are evident. The assessment was

designed around specific outcomes from the Australian curriculum that reflected the

students abilities. The assessment generated the classroom activity and an assessment

grid was provided to the students. The assessment grid highlights the translation of the

curriculum into pedagogy through assessment (Hayes, 2003) and thus highlights the

interrelation of pedagogy, assessment and curriculum. In order to assist teachers in the

future development of their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment strategies they may use

results from prior assessments such as NAPLAN to ensure their practices are meeting the

standards of their students. Using the results of assessment may also enable teachers to

provide a higher level of feedback to students in order to assist them in their future

education and ongoing learning.

It is apparent that teacher professionalism, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment are all

significant in education and as a future educator it is essential that one should understand

that it is their role to employ these to a satisfactory standard in the classroom. In order to

engage in effective curriculum, pedagogy and assessment one must have a full

understanding of the quality teaching model, the Australian curriculum which is designed

and implemented by Australian Curriculum, Assessment Reporting Authority (2016), as

well as being aware of the benefits and different types of assessment and how state wide

exams such as the NAPLAN can be used as a tool to provide feedback to students and to

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help design pedagogy and curriculum for future educating. It is the interrelation of these

terms and how they are designed, implemented and modified that caters for gifted and

talented students.

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Reference

Australian Curriculum. (2014) Who are Gifted and Talented Students? Student Diversity.
Retrieved from. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/studentdiversity/who-are-
gifted-and-talented-students.

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (2016). Curriculum. Retrieved


from https://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum

Australian Institute For Teaching and School Leadership. (2011) Australian Professional
Standards for teachers. Retrieved from. http://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/
apst-resources/australian_professional_standard_for_teachers_final.pdf

Corrigan, D., Gunstone, R. F., & Jones, A. (2013). Valuing assessment in science
education pedagogy, curriculum, policy. New York: Springer.

Egan, K. (1978). What is Curriculum? Curriculum Inquiry, 8, 65-72, doi:


10.1080/03626784.1978.11075558.

Ford, M. (2013). Achievement gaps in Australia: what NAPLAN reveals about education
inequality in Australia. Race Ethnicity and Education, 16, 80-102, doi:
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Gore, J. (2007). Improving Pedagogy. The challenges of moving teachers toward higher
levels of quality teaching. In Butcher & McDonald (Eds.), Making a difference:
Challenges for teachers, teaching, and teacher education (pp.15-33). Rotterdamn,
The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Hays, D. (2003). Making learning an effect of schooling: Aligning curriculum, assessment


and pedagogy. Discourses: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 24(2),
225-245. doi: 108/01596300303039.

Hilferty, F. (2008). Teacher professionalism and cultural diversity: Skills, knowledge and
values for a changing Australia. The Australian Educational Researcher, 35, 53-70.
doi:10.1007/BF03246289.

Johnston, J. (2017). Australian NAPLAN testing: In what ways is this a ‘wicked’ problem?.
Improving Schools. 20(1), 18-34. doi:
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Pearce, M., Gray, J., & Campbell-Evens, G. (2009). The Inclusive Secondary Teacher: The
Leader’s Perspective. The Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 34(6), 101-108.

Rowley, J. (2012). Professional development needs of teachers to identify and cater for
gifted students. Australian Journal of Gifted Education, 21(2), 75-80.

Sangeeta, H. (2008-2009). Underachievement by Gifted Students: Insights from Action


Research. TalentED, 26(1/2), 29-38.

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Weinfeld, R., Barnes‐Robinson, L., Jeweler, S., & Shevitz B. (2002) Academic programs
for gifted and talented/learning disabled students. Roeper Review, 24(4), 226-233.
doi: 10.1080/02783190209554185.

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