This guide provides practical tips on data collection in the context of evaluation. It covers good survey design, running effective focus groups, conducting effective interviews and the process of document analysis. There is more information on data collection on the Evaluation resource hub.
This discussion guide has been created to support principals, executive and teachers to unpack and reflect on CESE’s case studies on inclusive education in NSW schools and to consider how the content is relevant to their own school contexts.
This discussion guide is designed to be used in a group setting with colleagues from your school or network. If working with colleagues from other schools, consider sharing differences and similarities in inclusive education at your schools during the discussion.
1. Working in pairs or a small group, allocate 1-2 case studies to each person.
2. As you read the case studies allocated to you, consider:
a. What are the main themes covered in this case study?
b. What examples are provided for each theme?
c. What else stood out to you?
3. In your pair or small group:
a. Explain the context of the school you read about and share the main themes covered in the case study.
b. Identify which of the themes can be seen at your school. Discuss similarities or differences in what this
looks like in your school compared to the case study school.
c. Identify themes or examples from the case study that could be put in place in your school or classroom.
Discuss what action is needed to do this.
d. Consider who should be involved in the actions you’ve identified in point c. What can you do to get
started on implementing some of these actions?
The modern classroom is ever-changing. The following evidence-based teaching strategies can assist teachers as they support students’ education continuity, in an online and/or remote learning environment.
Read more on cognitive load in Cognitive load theory and Managing cognitive load through effective presentations.
Read more on high expectations in How high expectations and engagement in primary school drive student learning and What works best: 2020 update.
Read more on collaboration in Improving high school engagement, classroom practices and achievement and What works best: 2020 update.
Read more on student wellbeing in Capturing and measuring student voice and Improving high school engagement, classroom practices and achievement.
For emotional safety preventative and responsive strategies, read Trauma-informed practice in schools: An explainer.
The department’s dedicated Learning from home webpages provide resources and advice for teachers and parents including information on:
Teachers can also access the Literacy and numeracy professional learning.
Access our other 'What works best' resources
The toolkit includes a reflection framework. It supports teachers to reflect on their current practice for each of the What works best themes and identify areas for improvement. The reflection process involves outlining your current practice for each What works best theme and the impact of your current practice. Then, identify the next steps for improvement by considering areas of practice that need to be strengthened. This includes practices that need to be adopted/started, adapted/changed or stopped/discontinued.
When reflecting on your practice for each theme, refer to the strategies in the What works best in practice document, specific elements of the School Excellence Framework and to the standards of focus in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
Access our other 'What works best' resources
What works best in practice supports teachers to implement the evidence-based themes outlined in What works best: 2020 update. It provides strategies and case studies against eight key teaching practices that are known to improve student outcomes.
The eight themes are:
The themes provide a useful framework for teachers to ensure their practices in the classroom align with the evidence. The strategies in the document are a great starting point for practical implementation and the case studies provide some examples about how other schools have approached these practices. As always, it is important to consider the strategies within the unique context of your own classroom and school environment.
Our What works best: 2020 update lays out the research and data behind each of the eight themes.
The School Excellence Framework supports school leaders take a planned and whole-school approach to improvement. The eight themes closely align with the School Excellence Framework.
This resource has practical tips on how to consider cognitive load when creating teaching presentations. It was developed based on the research in CESE's cognitive load publications, with the help and inspiration of Concord High School. The PowerPoint can be downloaded and used in schools for professional learning activities. Speaker notes are included in the presentation. A PDF version can also be downloaded below (does not contain speaker notes).
The What works best: 2020 update summarises some of the most significant research into effective teaching. It outlines eight evidence-based practices that teachers can use in their classrooms to support improved student learning.
Engage students and challenge them to learn new things. Establish clear and consistent expectations for their learning and behaviour, support them to meet those expectations. Tailor your teaching to meet their needs, and engage with parents and carers to encourage them to hold high expectations of their children.
Make assessment an integral part of your teaching and learning program. Establish learning intentions, create success criteria and provide effective feedback. Teach your students how to peer and self-assess and to set individual goals.
Clearly explain to students why they are learning something, how it connects to what they already know, what they are expected to do, how to do it, and what it looks like when they have succeeded.
Develop high-quality student-teacher relationships. Provide structure, predictability and opportunities for active student participation in the classroom. Actively supervise students to keep them on task, respond to disengagement or disruptive behaviours, and support students to re-engage with learning.
Be detailed and specific. Focus on how students performed on a particular task, where mistakes were made, and what needs to happen to improve in future.
Create a safe environment. Increase student's sense of belonging, value students' opinions and perspectives, encourage interest in learning, and promote social and emotional skills.
Collect data from a wide range of sources, including your observations, class tests, formal exams, student work samples and responses to informal questions.
Connect with colleagues and experts from outside the school. Work together to plan lessons and teaching programs, obseve each others' lessons and provide feedback. Engage in professional discussion and reflection.