1.2 Understand how students learn 

Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn. 

I am fortunate to have over 18 years of teaching experience working with students of all ages, predominantly in primary and secondary school settings and within the local community. This has enabled me to facilitate and practice a variety of teaching methods, strategies and pedagogical approaches in the class environment. What I have gained from these experiences over time has enabled me to better understand how I can teach effectively and the most effective ways to motivate and engage students in the learning process. As a drama teacher, I understand the importance of students being actively engaged in their own learning. The pedagogies, methodologies and my overall philosophy for teaching is student-centred; highly collaborative; a constructivist and socio-cultural approach; developing the whole person and joyfully and positively impacting the health and wellbeing of every student. The most effective pedagogies I utilise in my teaching practice is the dramatic process which has increased student’s confidence, motivation, ability to remain on task, group dynamics and ability to respond to challenges. 

In senior drama, I develop students that are critical and creative thinkers, meaningful storytellers, and lifelong learners. They learn valuable and transferable life skills, problem-identification, problem-solving, collaboration skills, project-work skills, informed risk-taking, creativity and innovation skills, and applied entrepreneurial skills.  Students collaborate and apply the dramatic process to create valuable outcomes for audiences, and analyse and evaluate artistic processes and products. 

This artefact is a diagram of the dramatic process included within a task sheet for the group production. The diagram models a version of entrepreneurial thinking, processes, design and activities. This model also indicates a dynamic sequence of phases in the creation of meaningful drama.  

Through reflection and evaluation from implementing the dramatic cycle teaching strategies and the refinement of my own teaching skills I have a solid foundation and understanding of how students learn effectively. I continue to reflect and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching using the dramatic cycle. 

1.1 Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students

Use teaching strategies based on knowledge of students physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics to improve student learning.

One of the most important skills for a teacher is relationship building. When you commence a new school year, school term or start working with a new cohort of students you have the opportunity to get to know your students. This may include their knowledge, skills and experience in a subject area, or more personalised skills and attributes that will help you as their teacher to get to know them better and understand their learning and development needs.

Strategies that I have implemented include starting class with games or activities that can help me identify their social, physical or intellectual development needs. For both mainstream students and students with special or diverse learning needs, I have utilised class lists / roles, timetables and relevant information for students with negotiated learning plans. I have engaged in conversations and received appropriately relevant information from teachers, year level and program co-ordinators who have had prior experience in working with the mainstream students and students with special or diverse learning needs. In situations where I have provided more 1:1 support with a student with special or diverse learning needs I have received their individual timetable to gain insight into the lessons and classes they will be attending, the class location and teacher. This enables me to consistently ‘check-in’ with the student to assess how they are feeling in the class and where they may need further support in the learning and teaching process.

The artefact below is an example of a timetable for a student with special or diverse learning needs in a secondary setting.