“Student voice means sharing thoughts, ideas, beliefs and opinions in a safe environment based on trust and respect.”
“Teach the Teacher” (TtT) is a program designed by the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), which empowers students to have their voice heard within their school. Clarkson Community High School (CCHS), based in north metropolitan Perth, has adapted the TtT program to suit its contextual needs. CCHS is the first known school to run their own adaptation of TtT within Western Australia. The video featured gives a brief overview of how we are currently using this program within our school.
Major inspiration for the program at CCHS came from the work done at Mount Waverley Secondary College (MWSC) in Victoria. MWSC’s 2015 report was published on the Visible Learning Plus website. At CCHS, we understand the importance of delivering high impact teaching in order to maximise learning.
About Student Voice
At CCHS, the Student Council have identified areas of need within the school based on student feedback, and have crafted two overarching goals for this iteration of the TtT program:
1. To improve student-teacher relationships
2. To build a better foundation for open communication centred on feedback
Without any explicit training on Visible Learning themselves, students have identified two major areas which generate greatest “bang for your buck” in the teaching and learning process. According to the latest Visible Learning data released in 2018, teacher-student relationships have an effect size of 0.52 (compared to the average of 0.40) and hence help to improve the quality of teaching and learning above a year’s worth of learning for one year’s worth of instruction. The use of open communication centred on feedback touches on a lot of areas linked to high-impact teaching such as self-reported grades (effect size 1.33), teacher clarity (effect size 0.75) and evaluation and reflection (0.75) to name a few.
The TtT program is one tangible realisation of our school vision this year, “the intentionality of making the learning visible”. This forms a subset of our broader school vision, centred on being a school that invites student involvement through the work of Purkey & Novak on Invitational Education. Invitational Education (IE) places intentionality as one of the core elements of the practice via the “I-CORT” model (intentional care, optimism, respect & trust). Intentionality resonates with the thinking of John Hattie through his work on Visible Learning:
“We believe the true purpose of getting an education is to apprentice students into becoming their own teachers… Therefore, we must teach with intention, making sure that students acquire and consolidate the needed skills, processes and metacognitive awareness that make self-directed learning possible.” (Hattie, 2017, p176 – emphasis added) So Hattie understands that for students to attain most desirable outcome, teachers need to act intentionally! We need to implement strategies based on a strong conviction of why – backed by research as to what is effective, and implemented based on our understanding of our students – and now, our students’ understanding of themselves and their teachers.
By Adam Inder, Deputy Principal