Update: Learning Progressions
In our previous edition of Headlines, we reported that the IEU would be representing our members’ interests in the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s year-long deliberations over learning progressions. IEU Organiser and Education Coordinator Veronica Yewdall shares an update.
Educators are masters of change. As schools responded to the pandemic, the switch from face-to-face teaching to remote learning and back classrooms is ample evidence (if anyone needed it) of the flexibility, adaptability and professionalism of teachers.
Pandemics aside, the pace of change in education over the past decade has been relentless. Principals are constantly expected to implement new educational initiatives into their schools, often before they have finished implementing and evaluating the last batch.
The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions are under development and have already been trialled in some schools. Those who have worked with the Literacy and Numeracy Continuums will recognise the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions as an expansion of these resources. Currently up to Version 3, the progressions have undergone various iterations.
Throughout this development, the expressed intention has consistently been to provide resources for teachers to focus on specific areas of student need, whether that be for remediation or extension.
The National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions have the potential to become a valuable resource for teachers and students. Principals and leadership teams, in consultation with their teaching staff, should have the autonomy to determine the best method of implementation in their schools.
Some other educational initiatives, too numerous to name here, have been short lived, or had their usefulness dramatically weakened, due to external pressure to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. Unfortunately, schools are sometimes pitted against each other, with the level of implementation of educational initiatives used as a yardstick for determining a school’s success. Such imposed, artificial measures are not only detrimental to educational outcomes, but damaging to school morale and staff wellbeing.
Each school community is unique. Principals should be supported to determine the best way to introduce any educational initiative into their school communities, including the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions.
The union is amplifying the profession’s voice, ever reminding educational authorities that the success of educational initiatives relies on engagement with the profession and support for those charged with leadership in schools.