013985 Understanding and Engaging Adolescent Learners
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Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.
Credit points: 6 cp
PostgraduateResult type: Grade, no marks
This subject is directed towards assisting pre-service teachers to understand and engage effectively with adolescent learners in contemporary Australian schools. The subject focuses on psychological perspectives of learning and motivation while incorporating sociological perspectives of young people. Students develop skills to analyse complex and diverse learning environments through the integration of authentic scenarios that reflect the lives of secondary students, so that they are able to evaluate and apply diverse theories to inform engaging and responsive classroom-based teaching practices. The implications of these theories are considered in cases drawn from school, family and community contexts. Students are given opportunities to draw on their professional experience placements and their personal philosophy of education to contribute to the content focus of the subject. In so doing, students develop the holistic and constructive approach needed for respectfully supporting their future school students to engage with and be successful in high school education.
Subject learning objectives (SLOs)
|a.||Analyse how students learn and change, and how student motivation develops (GTS 1.1, 1.2) (PA 2.2, 5.1)|
|b.||Analyse complex learning scenarios (GTS 1.2) (PA 2.2)|
|c.||Develop theoretically sound strategies for creating supportive teaching and learning environments in diverse and complex contexts (GTS 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.3) (PA 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8)|
|d.||Describe and scrutinise challenging issues facing young Australians and their teachers in schools, drawing on relevant theoretical concepts, research and policy (GTS 1.3, 4.5) (PA 2.3, 2.5, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.9, 3.14)|
|e.||Develop strategies for dealing with authentic challenging scenarios (GTS 2.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.3) (PA 2.7, 6.3)|
|f.||Critically appraise the involvement of ‘significant others’ in such strategies, such as parents/carers and various external and community agencies (GTS 3.7, 5.5, 7.3) (PA 2.9, 6.4, 6.10)|
|g.||Describe how they will draw on their understanding to support the students they will teach in schools (GTS 3.1, 3.2) (PA 5.1, 5.4, 6.5)|
Contribution to the development of graduate attributes
This subject addresses the following Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' Graduate Attributes and Master of Teaching in Secondary Education Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):
1. Professional readiness
1.1) Know students and how they learn, with an advanced ability to critically evaluate the physical, social and emotional dimensions of learners
1.3) Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning with an advanced knowledge of educational practice, pedagogy, policy, curriculum and systems
1.4) Create and maintain supportive, well-managed and safe learning environments
2. Critical and creative inquiry
2.1) Enquire into and research practice to improve educational experiences and outcomes
2.2) Critically analyse and reflect on and synthesise complex theories of learning and teaching
3. International and intercultural engagement
3.1) Demonstrate extensive knowledge and respect for diverse societies, cultures and an ability to inform inclusive practices
5. Active citizenship
5.1) Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community with a high level of personal autonomy
5.2) Are professionals with a profound ethical foundation and sense of social responsibility and a commitment to social justice
6. Effective communication
6.2) Possess literacy and numeracy skills across a broad range of communication modes and technologies
6.3) Are effective communicators, highly skilled in new literacies, able to justify and interpret professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
6.4) Are able to make well-informed contributions to contemporary debates pertinent to education
Teaching and learning strategies
The subject will be presented in a weekly online lecture plus two-hour interactive workshops. You will learn through a range of evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies.
The workshops have clearly defined learning intentions and goals. The sequenced lesson structure will scaffold your learning through a series of activities, to build knowledge of key theories and research in psychology and sociology of education. In workshops you will critically examine and apply these theories using a case-based or authentic scenario approach to place emphasis on the practical evaluation and application of relevant theories. You will be provided with opportunities to see explicit links between class work and the assessment criteria.
A range of activities will be used to support learning, including explicit teaching of theoretical concepts, case studies, videos, discussion of readings, short presentations, interest-based investigations and collaborative writing. The subject will be characterised by student group work in relation to authentic case-based scenarios. Learning will take place individually and collaboratively in small groups. Collaborative learning will develop your skills in negotiating roles and outcomes and provide a model for team teaching. Emphasis will be placed throughout the subject on fostering cross-disciplinary thinking, analysis and synthesis.
Feedback will be provided during the semester from your lecturer and peers so that you understand your transition through the learning process to achieve your learning goals. This feedback will be as formative assessment in class and as detailed feedback provided on summative assessment tasks. This feedback will allow you to identify areas of your own professional learning that require further study and you will be provided with support to help you meet subject learning outcomes.
Through active participation in class, you will develop knowledge and skills to help you teach adolescents effectively. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own learning experiences to understand your own metacognitive processes and how these may vary from those of your future students and what this means for your teaching and learning.
- Theoretical frameworks – behaviourism, information processing approaches, constructivism/social constructivism, sociocultural theories (key ideas, key theorists/researchers)
- Theories of learning and cognition (including conceptual change, theories of intelligence, self- and co-regulation)
- Theories of motivation and emotion (including goal theory, interest, self-concept)
- Theories in practice (notions of engagement, creativity, classroom- and community-based scenarios)
- Key concepts from research on adolescent development (the adolescent brain, mental health, lifespan development & puberty, moral developmental stages) (PA 2.2, 5.1)
- Key concepts from sociological theory and research (youth studies - transition to adulthood , normal and choice biographies, globalisation, agency & structure, youth culture & identity, disadvantage) (PA 6.3)
- Case studies of challenging issues facing adolescents and their teachers in Australian schools, which may include:
- Cyber bullying and cyber safety
- School uniform
- High/low engagement with learning
- Expectations of respect
- Withdrawal / absenteeism
- Alcohol and drugs
- Cultural differences
- Disengagement of students after age 15 (PA 2.2-2.5)
- Strategies for the engagement and success of adolescents in schools
- Based on the theory, research and policy above, plus:
- Involvement of parents/carers-effective dialogue
- Collaboration with community and external agencies (PA 2.7, 2.9-10, 5.4, 6.4, 6.5)
Assessment task 1: Writing a case story scenario
a, b and d
A 400 to 600 word written narrative with a 200 to 400-word interpretive statement (Note that the total length of your assignment should not exceed 800 words)
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Assessment task 2: Case scenario: Group presentation (Group of 4)
a, b, d, e, f and g
10-minute presentation and infographic of 1000 words summarising and analysing the case and recommended strategies
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Assessment task 3: Reflective statement
a, b, c, d, e, f and g
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Participation in classes is important in this subject because it is based on a collaborative approach which involves essential workshops and interchange of ideas with other students and the lecturer. An attendance roll will be taken at each class. Where possible, students should advise the lecturer in a timely manner if they are unable to participate in the class.
Students who fail to participate in 80% of classes may be refused in having their final assessment marked and graded.
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