Productive Pedagogies: Working with Disciplines and Teacher and Student Voices

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Productive Pedagogies: Working with Disciplines and Teacher and Student Voices

Martin Mills1 The University of Queensland m.mills@uq.edu.au

Merrilyn Goos The University of Queensland m.goos@uq.edu.au

Paper presented at the annual conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education, Fremantle, 25-29 November 2007

1

All the members of the research team – Rob Gilbert, Eileen Honan, Amanda Keddie, Kim Nichols, Donna Pendergast, Peter Renshaw, Tony Wright – contributed in various ways to this paper.

Productive Pedagogies: Working with Disciplines and Teacher and Student Voices

Martin Mills The University of Queensland m.mills@uq.edu.au

Merrilyn Goos The University of Queensland m.goos@uq.edu.au

This paper identifies the ways in which the Productive Pedagogies framework has been refined to explore issues of school reform in Queensland. The resulting framework, while retaining the four dimensions of Productive Pedagogies as critical for the promotion of socially just classroom practices and outcomes, acknowledges the contributions that teacher and student knowledges can make to understanding what counts as high quality pedagogy. We illustrate the model via observational and interview data collected from different disciplines in upper primary and lower secondary classrooms.

This paper substantiates the methodology currently being constructed for a study of reform initiatives in Queensland schools commissioned by that state’s Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA). The study is expected to revisit much of the work of the Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study (QSRLS) that was conducted from 19982001 (Lingard et al., 2001). It was during the latter study that the Productive Pedagogies and Productive Assessment frameworks emerged as research tools for exploring classroom practices that have a positive impact upon the academic and social outcomes of all students, regardless of background. Senior DETA officers are supporting a concerted attempt to cultivate a research culture in Queensland government schools that entails self-reflections and critical analysis of existing practices with a view to improving students’ school experiences. They consider the QSRLS to be a significant impetus for justifying such a culture. Our current study is expected to reinforce in the Queensland educational community the importance of research for informing education reforms in schools and classrooms. It also has an evaluative component in determining the impact of Education Queensland’s investment in professional development around the Productive Pedagogies framework arising from the QSRLS. Because of the background to the current study, we have drawn on the Productive Pedagogies framework to structure our observations of classrooms. In this paper we outline how we have addressed some methodological issues in using and refining the framework in response to critiques by other researchers and debates within our own research team.

Rationale for the Study
The current study is the first phase of a longitudinal project intended to be undertaken over a six year period. The first phase, lasting 18 months, involves surveying approximately 2000 parents, 2000 students and 650 teachers from around 100 schools, as well as carrying out one week case studies of 18 schools, some of these are schools that were involved in the original QSRLS research. The focus is on middle years classrooms in Years 4, 6, 8 and 9 in English, mathematics, science and social sciences. In the case studies these classrooms are observed, assessment tasks and samples of student work are collected, and interviews are conducted with students, teachers, parents, and senior staff. Centrally held data on student performance on local, national and international standardised tests will also be accessed for analysis. The first phase of the project thus provides baseline data against which to measure change over the

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