Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

Learning for living, Character for life, Hope for the Future


National ‘Sorry’ Day – May 26


These resources from ABC Splash will be useful for teachers and students as the explore the significance of this historical 2008 event for all Australians, but in particular our indigenous people.

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Some excellent English usage, and other Infographics from huntingenglish

Alex Quigley, (I identified Alex from his twitter handle, @HuntingEnglish ) writes on his blog of the same name:

I have to say I am mildly addicted to finding these great infographics. They are an excellent way of presenting a vast amount of information in a lively, visually interesting way. I am set on finding the best of them and when I get some time in the summer actually creating my own!

Alex certainly has found some very informative and useful infographics, which you might be able to put to good use in your teaching and learning programs.

Infographics | huntingenglish


John Hattie interviews Pasi Sahlberg

Thank you to my colleague, Mark Vodell, Principal of Gilson College, for sending me a link to another video worth viewing and reflecting on. The blurb from the source introduces the participants and the context.

‘In Conversation with Pasi Sahlberg and John Hattie: two of the world’s leading education experts on how Australia can learn from others and improve its educational outcomes.

Pasi Sahlberg is Director General of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO) in the Ministry of Education in Finland. He has worked as a teacher, teacher-educator, policy advisor and director, and for the World Bank and European Commission.

Professor John Hattie is director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. His influential 2008 book Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement is believed to be the world’s largest evidence-based study into the factors which improve student learning.’


While I believe we certainly can learn from the experiences of other countries, I also agree with perspectives taken from a number of presentations at this year’s Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL) Conference held in Brisbane this week: We also have much we can learn from each other in Australia – across sectors, systems and schools. We all have knowledge and understanding of, and experience in the Australian education context and culture,

What is your opinion?

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Formative vs summative assessment – and unthinking policy about them



 I meant to add the link below (from a 2011 Grant Wiggins blog post) as a related article on my last post on Grant’s articles about Feedback. All of his articles and posts are interesting to read together.

Grant explains the context for his post. He writes in response to an email query about a Formative and Summative assessment policy.

Grant writes:

‘…In theory, I would define ‘formative’ assessment as “useful feedback with an opportunity to use that feedback” to perform optimally on later summative assessments…’


‘…what makes a formative assessment formative – is whether I have a chance to get and use feedback in a later version of the ‘same’ performance. It’s only formative if it is ongoing; it’s only summative if it is the final chance, the ‘summing up’ of student performance…’

Read the full post here:

Formative v Summative Assessment


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‘Ten Roles For Teacher Leaders’ by Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion, ASCD

Every teacher is a leader – in their classroom and in their school.

This principles of teacher-leadership outlined in Cindy Harrison’s and Joellen Killon’s article published in Educational Leadership in September 2007, Volume 65, No 1, ‘Teachers as Leaders’ continue to hold true and are worth thoughtful consideration by every educator.

Cindy and Joellen write:

‘The ways teachers can lead are as varied as teachers themselves.

Teacher leaders assume a wide range of roles to support school and student success. Whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally, they build the entire school’s capacity to improve. Because teachers can lead in a variety of ways, many teachers can serve as leaders among their peers.So what are some of the leadership options available to teachers? The following 10 roles are a sampling of the many ways teachers can contribute to their schools’ success…

Roles for All

Teachers exhibit leadership in multiple, sometimes overlapping, ways. Some leadership roles are formal with designated responsibilities. Other more informal roles emerge as teachers interact with their peers. The variety of roles ensures that teachers can find ways to lead that fit their talents and interests. Regardless of the roles they assume, teacher leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.’

The roles they outline are:

1. Resource Provider, 2. Instructional Specialist, 3. Curriculum Specialist, 4. Classroom Supporter, 5. Learning Facilitator, 6. Mentor, 7. School Leader, 8. Data Coach, 9. Catalyst for Change, 10. Learner

Read the full article and more about the roles here :

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Circle – Phil’s Provocations: Creative Spaces in Schools – Nov. 2011

Circle - Phil's Provocations

By Dr Philip SA Cummins

In light of a conversation with several colleagues recently about engaging students in integrated learning this article is indeed thought provoking. Is the issue of engagement and motivation about our students as learners, or about we as learning facilitators? Or some of both?

‘Creativity is not something that just happens in art and music rooms; students want to be challenged to think creatively, show enterprise and innovate in all aspects of their learning. Our solutions, themselves, need to be grounded in a clear understanding of the conditions under which creativity flourishes. And we need to enable the adults involved in the process as much latitude and support as we give to the children with whom they are working…’

Dr Cummins goes on to write under the headings:

Students’ beliefs about creativity in school, Teachers’ beliefs about creativity in school, Leading and cultivating a creative staff, Defining a creative curriculum, A school culture that nurtures difference, The fear response to creativity amongst teachers, Thus, what is the creative space in our schools?

Read more…

Adventist Schools Australia – Ministry of Teaching video, 2012

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Our ministry to our students and school communities is that of teaching. Let’s continue to encourage young people in our schools to also consider taking up this vital work, so that they also may make a difference for those who come after them!

In a recent letter to State Directors of Education and Adventist Church pastors and ministry teams Dr Daryl Murdoch, National Director Of Education, Adventist Schools Australia wrote:

‘Education Day 2012 

…Sabbath August 11 is a special Sabbath set aside to focus on our Adventist school system. Our schools are a core ministry of the church and it is our continued commitment to ensure that they provide the very best for the children in their care. As such we want to ensure that we are attracting and calling passionate and committed people to teach in our schools.

These videos have been produced with one aim in mind – to call people to the ministry of teaching, to make a difference, and as such influence the next generation for Christ…’

One of these videos was shown on August 11 in many Adventist churches around Australia and I post them on this blog for viewing by those who follow the blog. The shorter is 60 seconds in length and the longer version runs for 4 minutes and 22 seconds. Perhaps these might inspire a young person you know to consider a teaching career…

Long version

Short version