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Teaching Strategies: The two strategies that have been implemented throughout the teaching practicum include whole-class

discussion and problem solving. The two strategies complement one another, creating a quality learning environment. The following section identifies the strategies of whole-class discussion and problem solving whilst placing emphasis on the creation of a quality learning environment. Killen, R. (2007) identifies a whole-class discussion as an orderly process of group interaction in which students are exchanging ideas, listening to a variety of points of view, expressing and exploring their own views, applying their knowledge and reflecting on their attitudes and values. The purpose of a discussion might be to solve a problem or answer a question, hence complimenting the problem solving strategy applied within the practicum. However, the main idea is simply to enhance the learners knowledge or understanding, (Killen, 2007). Brookfield (1990, as cited in Killen, 2007, p.145) reflects a similar view when he suggests, The most common reasons for using a discussion are to help learners to solve a problem or to encourage them to explore an open-ended issue. Bridges, (1979, 1988, 1990 as cited in Killen, 2007, p.147) suggests that in order for an exchange of ideas to be called an academic discussion, it should satisfy five logical conditions: Students must talk to one another Students must listen to one another Students must respond to one another Students must be collectively putting forward more than one point of view Students must have the intention of developing their knowledge, understanding or judgement of the issue under discussion. Bridges ideas are further explored through Dillon (1994, as cited in Marsh, 2010, p.137), however their conclusive evidence both suggested, A discussion should be considered as the art of cooperative thinking aloud and exchanging ideas. Thus, once students have mastered the previous principles, a discussion is deemed to be effective in creating a quality learning environment.

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Moreover, Gall and Gall (1976, 1990 as cited in Killen, 2007, p.149) and Killen (2006 as cited in Marsh, 2010, p. 171) conclude that there is clear evidence that a discussion is an effective method of facilitating five types of learning outcomes: General subject matter mastery Problem-solving ability Moral development Attitude change and Development Communication Skills

With this in mind, problem solving is also implemented as a technique for helping students learn other things. Mayo, Donnelly, Nash & Schwartz (1993 as cited in Killen, 2007, p.243) suggest problem solving is a strategy for posing significant, contextualised, real-world situations, and providing resources, guidance, and instruction to learners as they develop content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Hence, because problem solving can engage students in developing deep understanding and applying ideas to real-world situations, it has the potential to motivate students and show them practical reasons for learning. West (1992 as cited in Killen, 2007, p.243) states, Problem solving is a basic human learning process and the information we gain from our daily confrontation with problems influences our thinking much more than information we have read or been told. This suggests problem solving should be an effective teaching strategy. However, to ensure the implementation is effective, three important features need to be remembered: When people are trying to solve a real-life problem they know why they are trying to solve it. When people are faced with a real-life problem, they often do not have all the knowledge and/or skills to solve it and this generates a need to learn something new. Real-life problems rarely have only one solution and often do not have a best solution.

Furthermore, Killen (2007) outlines the four characteristics within problems that are suitable for use with this teaching strategy: They are substantial rather than trivial. They describe a specific and realistic goal that is to be reached Some major obstacle prevents the goal from being achieved readily
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Learners are motivated to find a solution to the problem.

When used effectively, problem solving can be a very rewarding experience for teachers and students (Marsh, 2010). Some specific reasons for using it as a teaching strategy include: Problem solving can develop learners critical thinking skills and their ability to adapt to new learning situations (Christensen & Martin, 1992, as cited in Killen, 2007, p. 248), but only if they have learned to be conscious of what they are doing (Marshall, 2003, as cited in Killen, 2007, p.248). Problem solving develops students thinking and reasoning skills (Killen, 2007). Problem solving develops learners ability to make informed judgements and emphasizes the importance of being able to explain and justify those judgements. Problem solving can help learners to develop qualities such as resourcefulness, independence, patience and tenacity. When students are successful, their selfconfidence and self-esteem improve and they are more likely to take academic risks and to keep trying when they do make mistakes, (Killen, 2007). In addition to these experiences, you can achieve all the benefits of small-group work and cooperative learning by having students work collaboratively on problems. Classroom Management: In reference to classroom management, the classroom conference (restorative justice) is implemented as a system to enhance teaching and learning outcomes whilst being explicit about limits and boundaries and emphasising the importance of relationships, (Thorsborne & Vinegard, 2004). Classroom conferences establish a process that provides a link between curriculum and pedagogy and behaviour management. This type of conference is implemented within my classroom practicum through the following: Introduction and implementation of curriculum topics and teaching strategies. Negotiation and establishment of classroom rules and codes of conduct. Group work, cooperatively learning and independent study Feedback about student or teacher performance.

In other words, implementation of these proactive processes serves to keep the teacherlearner, learner-learner relationship free of unnecessary conflict and distraction, (Thorsborne & Vinegard, 2004). This restorative-relational approach to the management of curriculum
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(what you teach) and pedagogy (how you will teach it) relates fully to my personal philosophy through the following aims and outcomes: These conferences give both students and teachers a great opportunity to review classroom programs and improve the teaching and learning outcomes. There are very safe ways for a teacher to monitor progress, (Thornsborne & Vinegard, 2004). Teacher states explicitly what the required behaviours look like, feel like and sound like, and to put fair rules in place through negotiation so that the activity will have every chance to succeed, (Edwing, Lowrie & Higgs, 2010). Restorative processes are fair and non-punitive and therefore students begin to cooperate.01 The philosophy and practice of restorative justice focuses on the development of wellrounded, socially and emotionally competent young people who are accountable for their behaviour and understand that there is nothing they do (or dont do) which doesnt impact on others in some way. Hence, through adopting a constructivist view on learning and teaching, learners will make sense of their behaviour by using their past experiences and understandings, (Porter, 2007 & Mc Cold & Watchel, 2003). Empowering learners to become their own meaning -makers! (Arthur-Kelly, Lyons, Butterfield & Gordon, 2006). The teacher becomes a facilitator of learning rather than a giver of information, a notion that fits well with Spadys (1994a) approach to outcomes-based education. The Integrated Model (which provides a framework for my philosophy) coincides with the philosophy of restorative justice through regular and frequent reflections on and reviews of practices and the students learning outcomes, building positive relationships through effective communication, achieving quality curriculum and instruction and establishing an organised classroom, (Arthur-Kelly, Lyons, Butterfield & Gordon, 2006). A restorative classroom is characterised by high levels of support (Thorsborne & Vinegard, 2004) therefore integration of the Goal-Centred Theory/Positive reinforcement provides a framework of support for those who are engaging in positive behaviour, (Edwards & Watts, 2008).

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What is good teaching? The OECD (2005) report on teachers emphasises teacher quality as a determinant of pupil outcomes because social background and student abilities are not open to policy influence. However, Connell, (2009) argues social background and student abilities are open to change, and can be changed on a very large scale, (Connell, 2009).

Much of what happens in the daily life of a school involves the joint labour of the staff, and the staff's collective relationship to the collective presence of the students (their social class backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, regional culture, religion, peer group life, hierarchies and exclusions, bullying, cooperation, and so on). Much of the learning that school pupils do results from the shared efforts of a group of staff, from interactive learning processes among the students, and (hidden curriculum) from the working of the institution around them, (Connell, 2009). Connell (2009) states, good teaching, then, is not only to a large degree collective labour, it needs also to be diverse. A well-functioning school needs a range of capabilities and performances among its teachers. Hence, given the diversity of the pupils and their communities, a school should have among its teachers a range of ethnicities, class backgrounds, gender and sexual identities, age groups and levels of experience. For example, within my practicum school, they have employed this system throughout their teaching staff as it is extremely important for a school to represent a society. This represents good teaching as it expresses to the students that a school is replica of society and to act accordingly to differences (teachers model through interaction with other teachers). Moreover, Groundwater- Smith, Ewing, & Le Cornu (2006) state each child is a whole being and will embody a complex interaction of many of the factors, such as, different family cultural expectations, poverty, ethnic diversity, gender, special needs-gifted and talented, special needs- students with disabilities, children at risk and different learning styles. Therefore a teacher needs to be aware of the impact of such complex interactions and hence cater for individual needs through differentiation of subject material/teaching styles. According to Tomlinson and Germundson (2007, as cited in Marsh, 2010, p. 3) successful teaching is like creating Jazz. Teaching too makes music using different elements and blending different cultural styles with educational techniques and theories. Thus
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differentiation is important to facilitate learning of all students. Within my year 6 class, students are given the same subject material even when certain students are operating at a low end (year 1 level) compared to a high end of a continuum (year 9 level). With this in place, students who are not operating to their age level seem to be having more problems understanding the literature, hence falling more behind. And those who are more than capable of understanding the literature are losing interest as the content is too easy. Hence, good teaching involves integrating differentiation throughout the curriculum.

Moreover, findings within my practicum have aligned with the empirical evidence of claims made by educational experts on IWBs. Research evidence suggests that the Interactive whiteboard can enhance teaching and learning (Schuck & Kearney, 2008). Specific claims made by teachers and educational experts on the IWB include:

Enhanced student motivation and engagement Opportunities for enhanced interaction between teacher student and students. Enhanced and more effective lesson preparation and technological skills Creates a stimulating environment within the classroom. Presents lesson in a more visually stimulating The versatility of the IWB makes it possible to cater for diverse groups of students with different backgrounds and learning styles, (Bell 2002, as cited in Schuck & Kearney, 2008).

Teachers are able to store resources on the IWB so if a question arose spontaneously from a student, they would be able to respond, as they had access to additional resources.

Teachers valued the fact that knew how to capitalise on serendipitous moments that occurred within the classroom, as they had thought about these moments during preparation.

Teachers as critical agents in mediating and integrating IWBs into the subjects lesson aims.

However, the type of pedagogical approach taken with respect to IWBs will largely depend on the attitudes of teachers and how much they are willing to embed this technology within the classroom. Again, this will depend on how comfortable the teachers are in using IWBs
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and what level of support they are offered from the school community (Schuck & Kearney, 2008). For instance, within my practicum, heavy emphasis is placed upon the IWB for subjects lesson and aims; therefore it is important for the teacher to inquire extensive knowledge about the IWB to produce an effective lesson. Thus, the teacher is adopting good teaching strategies, (Schuck & Kearney, 2008).

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Reference list: Arthur-Kelly, M., Lyons, G., Butterfield, N. & Gordon, C. (2006). Classroom Management (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Thompson. Connell, R (2009). Good teachers on dangerous ground: Towards a new view of teacher quality and professionalism. Critical Studies in Education, 50 (13), 213-229. Ewing, R, Lowrie, T & Higgs J. (2010). Teaching and Communicating: Rethinking Professional Experiences. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2006).Teaching Challenges & dilemmas (3rd ed.). Melbourne: Thomson. Killen, R. (2007) Effective teaching strategies: lessons from research and practice (4th ed.) Melbourne: Thomson/Social Science Press. Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson. McCold, P. & Watchel, T. (2003). In Pursuit of Paradigm: A Theory of Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices Eforum, June 6, 2007. Porter, L. (2007). Student Behaviour: Theory and Practice for Teachers (3rd ed.). Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. Schuck, S & Kearney, M (2008). Exploring pedagogy with interactive whiteboards, Australian Educational Computing, vol. 23 (1), 8-13. Thorsborne M., and Vinegard, D. (2004). Restorative Practices in Classrooms: Rethinking Behaviour Management. Inyahead Press.

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