Transformative Research: BAC Teachers Impact Academic Discourse

The team reviewed current literature, which showed that more teaching should focus on supporting students to take a bigger role in monitoring their progress.

The results of research into an innovative teaching project trialed at BAC were recently published in TEACH Journal of Christian Education. Initiated by BAC teacher-researchers Clinton Jackson, Jarrod Cherry, Tamika Hansford, Justin Hunter, and Talyse Stanton, the project explored a feedback cycle designed to assist students in identifying and understanding where they are going with their learning, how they are going in reaching that goal, and where they need to go next. This cycle, as our researchers pointed out, is sometimes described as Feed Up/Feed Back/Feed Forward.

A review of current literature showed that more teaching should focus on supporting students to take a bigger role in monitoring their progress. The project team applied the strategy of examples and non-examples to facilitate the development of critical thinking to help students assess their progress towards learning concepts and skills.

“An ‘example’ shows the characteristics of a response that met certain criteria, while a ‘non-example’ illustrates some error or misunderstanding that doesn't quite meet the criteria,” says project leader Clinton Jackson, who is Secondary Coordinator of Learning and Teaching (Senior) at BAC.

The research was conducted in both Primary and Secondary classrooms. One of the barriers to successful self-assessment is the tendency for students to consider their work of higher quality than it might be. This is compounded by language or attention difficulties, making the skill of critical thinking vital in the process!

“We considered the process to be effective. It not only illuminated situations requiring critical thinking but the process itself also developed critical thinking. Based on the data collected, we believed it was a valuable strategy that should continue to be used and investigated further,” reflected Clinton.

Congratulations, teachers! You will find their article in TEACH Journal of Christian Education here. This academic journal, published by Avondale University, highlights research and teaching practice across Christian schools in Australia and New Zealand. The fact that our teachers carried out this voluntary research and their work was published in an academic journal demonstrates how invested they are in improving their craft and contributing to the successful teaching practices of others.