Korowa Anglican Girls’ School is working alongside 20 State, Catholic and Independent schools and world class researchers through the University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS), to determine strategies which will improve student learning.
UMNOS gives Korowa access to ground breaking researchers and leading education theorists, who include internationally acclaimed education researcher John Hattie and literacy expert Misty Adoniou.
“Through the program, we are learning from the best of the best. Their keynotes inspire conversations and give us small and achievable techniques which we can implement immediately in our classrooms,” said Ms Nicola Devlin, one of two Success Coordinators at Korowa.
Head of Humanities, Ms Devlin, and Head of Maths, Mrs Andrea Carter, have been appointed as Success Coordinators to undertake this structured, three-year program. As Mrs Carter explains, part of the role is to use the skills and knowledge gained from participating in the Network and then transfer this to Korowa’s own staff, thereby providing further professional development opportunities.
Underpinning the Network is the intense and unswerving belief that students can and will learn when their learning needs are ‘diagnosed’. In this cutting-edge ‘clinical model’, teachers interrogate educational theories and models and provide evidence-based support for new educational theories that can be implemented at member schools. The development model changes our mindsets from achievement, where there are inherently good and bad learners and summative grades are important indicators, to growth, where communication is based around progress and movement recognising that all students can and will grow.
“What we’re all ultimately trying to achieve are solutions to common educational problems, one of the biggest being that students do not have the precise language to explain how they are progressing within their learning. We want to see deep improvement in student learning where students are cognisant of what they need to improve” Ms Devlin said.
The program is still in its infancy at Korowa, but the Network suggests that Australian teachers have all the talent and grit to generate professionally-based solutions to global educational problems.