Assessment and learning partnerships

The influences of teaching practices on student achievement

This research analysed large-scale student achievement data, and linked these with teacher strategies, materials and resources associated with developmentally appropriate teaching interventions in reading comprehension and numeracy.

This information informed the teacher resource bank available through this web site to assist teachers to employ strategies and materials to scaffold students' learning at all levels of the developmental continua.

In partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne has produced a set of materials to support teachers in their development of appropriate teaching strategies, learning activities and materials to help scaffold students' learning.

This work follows on from work on the ARC Linkage project, Assessment and Learning Partnerships, which examines the collaborative use of student assessment data in schools to inform teaching within a developmental approach to learning and teaching.

Among the goals of the ARC Linkage project is an investigation of the implications of shifting from a deficit or remedial model of teaching to a developmental approach to improving student outcomes. Based on the work of Vygotsky, a developmental approach focuses on students' readiness to learn (i.e. their zone of proximal development) and individual differences in their capacity to respond to scaffolding of their learning. For further information about Vygotsky see 'Overview of Literacy Learning/ Scaffolding learning – Vygotsky, Bruner and Rogoff'. The teaching strategies, learning activities and resources created for this partnership are similarly underpinned by the theories of Vygotsky.

The materials were assembled over a three-year period, from 2010 to 2012, with input from teachers and specialists from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Teachers were involved in workshops examining existing data on developmentally targeted numeracy and reading comprehension teaching strategies to build understanding and to inform subsequent action. Follow up sample strategy writing workshops based on a process described by templates refined in the teacher workshops were carried out as well as validation of the strategies. The project team would like to thank these teachers and specialists for their valuable input into creating these resources.