Teaching & Learning
Layers of Learning - P.E.A.R.L.S.
Students are at the heart of our teaching practice at Hillcrest Christian College and therefore our focus as a college is on developing a framework based on strong research that supports teachers to make tangible improvements in our students’ learning. The strongest influence for improving student learning is what occurs in the classroom; the pedagogy that is being used. Simply speaking pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching.
Our new Layers of Learning Pedagogical Framework has been developed to provide context, a common language and mutual direction to support pedagogical growth and development of Hillcrest Educators while reflecting the values and beliefs that we hold closely as a Christian College. Simply stated, it is designed to describe what effective teaching and learning ‘looks like’ in a Hillcrest classroom.
Six important ‘Layers’ have been developed along with elaborations, examples of practice and reflective questions. These layers are fundamental to learning, and therefore provide a basis for effective pedagogy.
The six Layers of Learning are:
- Professional Responsibility
- Engagement in Learning
- Authentic and Purposeful Assessment
- Real and Supportive Relationships
- Learning-Centre Environment
- Skills for Success
It offers a means by which teachers, year level teams, faculties, learning communities, and the College as a whole, can examine teaching practices, identify key areas for growth and improvement and develop an action plan to implement rigorous and relevant professional learning and development strategies.
The Hillcrest Layers of Learning are described in ways that do not refer directly to particular practices for specific learning areas. Furthermore, they refer to strategies that may look very different in practice depending on the age group of the students. However, with the tools that will be available to all teachers, our framework will support the continued development of our Teacher Learning Community so that we are supporting all students to reach their fullest potential academically.
Coaching & Mentoring
At Hillcrest Christian College we are creating a College where learning is embedded into the very culture of our community, not just for students but also for teachers.
As part of our Professional Learning Community, Hillcrest teachers regularly reflect on their teaching practice, improve their understanding of the science of learning and develop their craft of teaching. Their aim is to transform this knowledge into sustained practice as they work to support students to develop and improve in their learning. This process is strengthened by the new Layers of Learning P.E.A.R.L.S Pedagogical Framework which provides a common language for professional development.
Our Professional Development Framework, called The Barnabas Direction, works hand in hand with our Layers of Learning to provide focus, direction and suggest actions for development. An integral part of our framework is mentoring and coaching for teachers and leaders.
Michael Fullun, world-renowned educational researcher, emphasises the strong link between student achievement gains and structured opportunities for educators to learn from one another on a sustained, ongoing basis (Fullan, 2001)
- The Professional Development Framework includes:
- Educative Self-Reflection Surveys
- Student Perspective Surveys
- Educative Mentoring for Early Career Teachers and Teachers new to Hillcrest
- Peer Educative Coaching
- Peer Observation and Modelling Lessons
- Instructional Educative Coaching for Numeracy and Literacy, giving teachers access to colleagues with high-level skills and knowledge base
- Classroom walkthroughs and feedback
- Leadership Mentoring and Coaching
Our aim is for Hillcrest Christian College to be known for having a strong culture of professional, spiritual and personal learning for our staff that is underpinned by critical reflection, communal trust, a desire to excel in our teaching practice and reliance on God.