**Monash University**

**How it operates**

Conclusion

**Assessment Task Two**

Assignment Two

Classroom Practice - EDF2211

Sheridan Dudley 23426195

Amber Craig 24201219

Sunshine College teacher Yvonne Reilly has innovatively changed mathematics classroom practice.

She has 'dispensed with textbooks and traditional teaching methods,' and moved towards a more student-centered way of learning

(Preiss, 2013).

Its intended effects or outcomes for students

References

Biggs, J. (2002, November). Aligning the Curriculum to Promote Good Learning. Constructive alignment in action: Imaginative Curriculum Symposium.

Norman, D. A., & Spohrer, J. C. (1996). Learner-centered education. Communications of the ACM, 39(4), 24-27.

Parsons, J & Reilly, T. (2012). Maths in the Inclusive Classroom: A differentiated maths program for junior secondary schools. Albert Park: Teaching Solutions.

Preiss, B. (2013, September). Results add up for maths with a difference. The Age. Retrieved from www.theage.com.au

Y. Reilly, personal communication, October 14, 2013

The lesson format provides the learning opportunities for all the students to work in their Zone of Proximal Development.

The format also encourages students to personalize their learning by goal setting and selecting tasks and evaluating them. This allows for the students to reflect, and for Reilly to keep track of what they have learnt.

Differentiation

Her new and innovative approach to teaching and learning, has changed not only the way teachers across the state think about teaching mathematics...

it has changed the way teachers across the country teach explicitly with over 30 schools across Australia attending her classes (Preiss, 2013).

Yvonne Reilly teaches mathematics at Sunshine

Example of the student-centered continuum opposed to the teacher-centered

Continuum

Reilly uses a more student-centered approach as she is "completely against one activity, task or questions for an entire cohort of kids" (Reilly, 2013). When interviewed Reilly argues traditional teaching methods where based on theories such as, "just because two people in the class can do Pythagoras theorem we are all doing Pythagoras theorem," she described this as "insane", and "what schools are (still) doing" in the 21st century.

Student-Centered Approach

How?

Yvonne Reilly begins by team planning with her cohort staff. From here, they plan differentiated content lessons that fall under the same domain and cater for everybody. To differentiate tasks, they create various difficulties that allow the students to work at their own levels, whether they are at that level, below or beyond the developmental continuum.

For example, one of the teaching criteria is area and perimeter of 2D shapes.

So what does this mean? An example using 2D shapes

It means the students need to be able to do squares and rectangles, and when they can do these they move on to right-angles, and then isosceles triangles and if they can do all that then circles are the last step.

So, Reilly has an area lesson, but the children will pick their difficulty. Whether they are working with either a rectangle, triangle or circle.

If they pick triangles and Reilly can see that they are struggling, she will suggest to see how the rectangles are going in a way that goes not undermine the students confidence or their abilities.

**Aims**

Reilly moved to a more student-centered approach as traditional methods of teaching and learning weren't working for her.

This in turn has increased the students interest in maths and are now asking Reilly outside of class, "what are we doing today?"

Aside from this, Reilly describes that her students now believe that they can do it, and are mathematicians.

Rationale

Reilly's use of teaching style has originated from the student-centered learning approach. Teachers who use this approach guide their students, but do not tell them what, when and how to learn. They are expected to have an active role in their own education and are expected to learn independently (Norman & Sophrer, 1996).

At Sunshine College teachers come together to plan and work on similar learning outcomes. From this, students can choose a level that maximizes their opportunity to learn on tasks that are achievable.

Origins

In 2006, Sunshine College students were towing behind the state average, and were also coming "to the school so much further behind". So Reilly aimed to turn around NAPLAN results and prepare students for VCE. She believes her students need "to be able to describe, discuss, argue and justify their maths so that they score high in VCE" (Reilly, 2013).

When interviewed, she described her aim as "empowering the students to become independent learners" (Reilly, 2013). This means that students will know where, when and how to ask for help with their studies. Students are able to ask Reilly if they need help, but only once students have attempted to solve the problem themselves first.

Teachers resource by Yvonne Reilly and Jodie Parsons "Maths in the Inclusive Classroom" 2012, stresses that students choose tasks that are 'Just Right' for them. This refers to students working at an appropriate level for their skill and understanding and assist's maths teachers in making changes in the 21st century.

Maths in the inclusive classroom.

As stated in Biggs 2003, “Learning takes place through the active behavior of the student: it is what he does that he learns, not what the teacher does”. This coincides with the intended outcome for the student-centered learning approach at Sunshine College, emphasising that students take responsibility for their learning.

Lesson's are also differentiated for those who are one to two years either above or below their expected level which allows for a fully inclusive lesson, catering a positive culture of success for all.

Sunshine College can't compare raw score with raw score because students keep coming to the school much further behind. However, based on NAPLAN results, this year the school had roughly 30% in the High Relative Growth Category, and the state has roughly 20%.

"These students move much faster here then anywhere else, and that's how I know that they are better here than they are anywhere else" (Reilly, 2013).

It is imperative as future educators to understand that differentiation is highly important in the 21st century. Reilly recognizes that her students are not all at the same level and therefore with the use of a student-centered approach, she caters for every student in the classroom. She teaches what is best for the students rather than the easiest way for the teacher.

Reilly supports the students to reflect, analyze, question and extend on what has been learned which in turn, caters for their VCE.

"It’s not easy to explain, it’s very difficult for people to visualize. Its sophisticated, really structured its unbelievably well planned, there’s a reason for everything....but you wouldn't do it any other way" (Reilly, 2013).