More than 90 teachers from Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia, dedicated three days of their school holidays to participate in a High Impact Teaching Practice Intensive Program, facilitated by Dr Lorraine Hammond AM.
The inaugural professional learning experience was held at St Thomas the Apostle Kambah and aimed to immerse educators into high impact teaching practice, specifically looking further into the Science of Learning research, what that means for classroom practice and the impact it has on student achievement.
The Intensive program aligned to the Catalyst four phased professional learning approach of Theory – Demonstration – Practice – Coaching.
Participating teachers were split into three streams for each of the morning sessions– Kindergarten to Year 2, Year 3-4 and Year 5-6 – to connect with HITP coaches who demonstrated a live lesson with students. Students were recruited to attend via the School Holiday Program run at St Thomas the Apostle.
Following the demonstration, participants were encouraged to lead a section of the lesson to practice delivery, and received instant coaching feedback from the expert coaches. As part of the program, CECG teachers who have been involved previously in HITP professional learning, were selected to support coaching participants, building their instructional leadership and mentoring.
“We are helping our teachers become even better teachers,” one Year 2 student who participated in the demonstrations said.
“The lessons we did were really fun and fast-paced, I enjoy learning most when its quick and engaging,” one Year 5 student said.
The afternoon sessions were dedicated to presentations from Dr Lorraine Hammond, the three expert coaches, and a session from the St Thomas the Apostle team on their journey with HITP and Catalyst.
Feedback from participating teachers has affirmed the value in bringing together educators from various schools with many noting that it has given them a new network of peers to connect with to share challenges and successes.
“The Intensive Program has not only shown me how high impact practice looks in the classroom, I’ve also had a chance to try it out myself on real students and get feedback in real time.”
“It has also been great to meet teachers who value this as much as I do, I look forward to connecting with them as we head back to our schools and continue using this teaching approach,” one participant said.
Based on participant feedback, similar professional learning events will be planned throughout 2023 across Primary and Secondary contexts. If interested, keep an eye out for further information in 2023.