Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students

How to use this professional learning course

Organising your learning

Literacy Home

  1. Decide on the learning team

A. Use by literacy coordinators or coaches:

If you are a school leader, a literacy coordinator or a literacy coach you could use this course to plan a series of professional learning sessions over a period of time with a group of teachers. Look through the course to consider how much the participants may know about and already practise the ideas presented in this course. Then choose your content, decide when this learning could take place and devise a plan to cover several weeks.

B. Use by individual teachers:

If you are going to use this course as an individual or perhaps two or three teachers working together then look through the tasks and select what you need for your own personal learning, depending on how much you already know and do. Although the course can easily be used by individuals, working as a team will allow opportunities for discussion, to share ideas and to provide each other with feedback about teaching practices being tried.

C. Use by a group of teachers:

Any small or large group who are interested in improving student reading may use this course for a series of professional learning sessions. The group may be a Professional Learning Team (PLT) or perhaps a KLA at a secondary school.

  1. Time to complete the course
    There are over 40 documents to read and deal with and more than 30 film clips to view and discuss, as well as several tasks for participants to do. So the professional learning planned around this course may even take several months. This will depend on how much is known and how long is needed to try out the tasks and the teaching ideas. It's important to have a go at the teaching suggestions at a pace that suits the participants.
  2. Setting up a learning folder
    Throughout the course there will be suggested units to complete and some of the documents and forms will need to be printed or used online to complete the work. Organise a folder Personal Notes and Records which could include:
    • Copies of the documents for professional reading
    • Notes made during the viewing of film clips
    • Notes about the various articles in this course
    • Notes and reflections about each task
    • Notes about reading conference conducted during the course.
    Print documents as you need them or you may prefer to read and write everything online, in which case you can organise an online folder with appropriate files. Refer to the Site Map, Articles and Film Clips in the pages to see the names of documents for reading and film clips for viewing.


Preparation for learning: The conditions of learning

Complete the task below as part of your preparation for learning about the content of this professional learning course. If you already know how to apply ‘Cambourne's Conditions of Learning' you may wish to skip this section and go directly to Section 1: Introduction to Independent Reading.

  • Think of a recent time when you were learning something. What conditions were present that made this learning experience effective? Such an experience might have been learning how to make something or learning how to play a sport or game or learning how to use something new. Record the conditions that were present for you in your learning situation.
  • The Conditions of Learning, as researched by Brian Cambourne, help us to analyse the conditions that most support learning.
    Go to the document: Conditions of Learning. Print the document and, as you are reading, use a highlighter and mark the important details in each of the conditions. Note whether some of the conditions from your recent learning experience were similar to those described by Cambourne. Discuss the document with a colleague and share your understanding of the ‘conditions of learning' with your colleague.
  • Decide how you should proceed in this course – will you learn alone or can you do this with a colleague or a team?
    • How will you be able to receive some feedback when you try some of the teaching practices?
    • Can you become immersed in an environment where others are also establishing classroom libraries, Independent Reading and conferences with students?
    • You may wish to download the articles prior to working with individuals and teams.
  • Throughout the course continue to reflect on the ‘conditions of learning' and how they also apply to your students' learning and compare these principles with those described in the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model of Learning referred to frequently in this course.

Have you also read the Protocols and the Introduction pages?

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Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students