Team Teaching and Project-Based Learning
- On 23-01-2013
I thought I would write a short note to congratulate and highlight the performance of one school we have the pleasure of connecting with – the John Monash Science School. We have yet to work with this school, although Cathryn Stephens (one of our consultants) does have the pleasure of spending quite a bit of her time filling in at the school for teacher leave.
The John Monash Science School, as the website blurb states, “is a co-educational school devoted to the pursuit of excellence in Science, Mathematics and associated technologies. It is the result of a unique partnership between the Victorian Government and Monash University, and is located in a purpose-built facility on the university’s Clayton Campus.” The school is a select-entry school for students in Year 10 – 12 and thus can pick and choose the quality of its students entering into itself.
One thing I want to highlight is not the select entry nature of the school – although this does give it some advantages. What I would like to highlight is the pedagogical approach followed by the teachers at the school. Peter Corkill (the school principal) had the opportunity upon the founding of the school to put together a first class approach and team to deliver learning. What Peter chose was a team of teachers who were willing to work together to team teach and have the students be responsible for their own learning. The essential pedagogical model of the school is project-based learning.
The students participate and drive the curriculum which was “co-written with Monash academics and informed by the latest research in the sciences as well as in learning and teaching.” 2012 was the first year of students completing through to Year 12 and the results indicate that the school instantly became one of the top public or private schools in Victoria.
One comment from a teacher as the school indicates that “team-teaching can work at Year 12” – indicating that it is possible for other schools to follow suit.
Well done to Peter and the team!