Volume 1, Issue 2, 2020

A Special Edition focused on Exampling Innovation and Change in Teaching and Schooling Across the Globe

Jake2020    Our Special Edition Editor,  Dr Jake Madden,  Dean, Australian College of Researchers

David Lynch   Our Special Edition Editor, Professor David Lynch, Southern Cross University, Australia.


Articles in this special edition provide an insight into themes that inform the improving teaching agenda. The Journal's goal for this edition is to identify and then condense key messages from our authors to generate an insight--- an answer if you like--- into ‘how to’ engender, support and sustain ongoing teaching improvement. To that end, this edition examples four key and inert-related elements: embedding of a research culture; the power of collaboration; the use and role of professional dialogue and the importance of improving teaching in context.  An article in this edition by Dr Jake Madden and Professor David Lynch specifically focuses on these inter-related elements.


 English as a Second Language in Kindergarten

Sabahat Nassar, Pakistan

This article looks at the theory and the practical applications of a kindergarten teacher in teaching non-English-speaking students English in their first year at school. The pedagogical approach used offers an interplay between the teacher and learner. It provides the reader with instructional strategies that inculcates meaningful learning activities leading to long term retention rather than the reliance on rote learning methodology. Pages 61 to 69


Teaching the Arabic Language: Dealing innovatively with challenges 

Reema Jallad, Jordan

This article sheds light on the situation of teaching of Arabic language in a bilingual school where the main delivery of learning is in English. It highlights the strides an Arabic Department is making in raising the attainment and progress levels of students in their knowledge and understanding of the Arabic language. The introduction of targeted learning strategies coupled with an influx of students with a skill set predominantly below expected norms, the challenge for Arabic teachers in raising standards is not an easy task. Teachers of Arabic reading this article will be immersed in strategies that have made a difference for students in the focal school. This timely article hopes that the information and plans provided will limit the difficulties faced by other teachers of Arabic and help the students achieve and build more effective Arabic language skills. Pages 70 to 76


Investigating Translation as a Key Strategy for Teaching Improvement

Aya Khantomani, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The significance of translation for humans is derived from the importance of language itself; for language is the subject matter of translation. Translation can be considered an intellectual effort that serves the purpose of transferring ideas, concepts, and cultures among different languages. It is therefore a practice that requires the mastering of different languages and understanding their culture. In this modern era of globalization, the world is becoming smaller and smaller thanks to the mass media, internet, social media, and the accessibility of information to everyone everywhere. Unfortunately, despite the close interaction between peoples, many communications are being misunderstood.  This is no less so in the business of schooling and engagement with parents when the language of instructions is not the same as the languages spoken at home.  This article focuses on the important role that translation plays in enhancing communication between parents and the school. Using a focal school in the United Arab Emirates, with a student population that has Arabic as its mother tongue, the study investigates ways to engage parents authentically in the teaching and learning. Pages 77 to 82


The Effectiveness of Peer Mediation on Students’ Discipline Referral Rates 

Dr Eman Samy Hassan, Egypt 

This article investigates the effectiveness of a peer mediation program on students’ discipline referral rates and their conflicts resolution skills using an action research design. A students’ survey and a behavior incident electronic report were used as data-gathering instruments in the research to determine if peer mediation improved the climate in the school. Students’ behaviors and their conflict resolution skills were measured twice before and after the training and the data was compared and analyzed. The findings of this study provided insight into the school's discipline needs and offers schools practical steps to implementing a peer mediation program.

 Pages 83 to 93


Pedagogical Practice for 21st Century Education

Dr Megan. Hastie1, Professor Richard Smith2, Dr Nain-Shing Chen3

1 Brisbane Australia, 2Central Queensland university, Australia, 3Prof. of Information Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

Debates about research into effective pedagogy have highlighted a potential crisis in Australian teacher education, that has wider implications for the teaching profession. These pedagogical debates identify misinterpretations about teachers and teaching over several decades, namely: teachers know how to teach effectively; that on graduation, new teachers can teach effectively enough to be employed; and that teaching is primarily concerned with ‘learners’ and their needs and interests rather than with ‘knowledge’. The pedagogy debates indicate that effective teaching is strategically important to the learning process if student achievement outcomes are valued. Instructional theory and design that lead to explicit pedagogical strategies are revealed as core knowledge for effective teaching. Hence, explicit instructional strategies challenge the hegemonic status of constructivist learning theories from early childhood to higher education levels. To illustrate these points, we cite evidenced-based research in which skilled e-Learning Managers, working in Blended Learning environments that used explicit instruction, proved effective in increasing the achievement levels of their students. The article proposes that teacher education programs ought to focus more strongly on how to teach effectively and its justification in the interests of students and their communities in a global digital environment. Pages 94 to 108


Teaching English in a Second Langauge Classroom: Harnessing technology

Alberti Strydom, South Africa

The use of technology in education has become a critical part of teaching in our ever-changing world where technology has found a way to infiltrate our everyday lives. The use of 21st century teaching methods has become a vessel to help schools strive towards moulding and shaping our children to become informed and responsible citizens in a global community. This action research project explored the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as a tool to enhance learning in a Grade 4 class. A VLE was created and used as a tool for collaborative learning, flipped teaching and as a communication network for students. Students were interviewed and asked to complete questionnaires about their learning experiences while using the VLE. Assessment scores for tests in Science and Math, reading assessments and project rubrics were analysed. Comments and posts from students were revised and included in my research evidence. The results indicated an increase in engagement in learning and social skills. Students showed more confidence in their language application and most students improved their test scores. Some challenges were managing students’ use of their devices and motivating them to access at home. Pages 109 to 118


Parental Engagement: Teachers and Parents Working Together for a Common Goal

Cathy Quinn, Australia

Schooling needs to teach the next generation the skills they require to thrive as adults. The problem lies in the fact that schools were set up for an industrial age and so a new way of thinking and teaching is required for students to be prepared for world they will be a part of, one that is, constantly changing and hasn’t been created yet. This world in which knowledge is seen as a commodity is known as the Knowledge Economy (OECD, 1996) and requires the capacity to access and use knowledge to create new knowledge and new ways of doing things (Sell, Lynch & Doe, 2016). This will require the preparation of a different type of teacher (Smith & Lynch, 2006) and a different type of school (Sharratt & Planche, 2016).  Schools need to be a place where all students can access and express their learning (Sharratt & Planche, 2016). This article will argue it will require a different type of parenting and a different relationship between parents, teachers and schools to achieve authentic parental engagement. Pages 119 to 131


Digital Portfolios on the Learning Process: A report on a pilot program

Nadine Abou Harb, Palestine 

This article reports on a pilot program within the early childhood section of Al Yasat Private School. In using digital portfolios to communicate and share student progress with parents and student, monitoring of student progress is deemed to be more effective. In this project, the portfolio demonstrated evidence of applying learning skills required for both developing and mastery levels. The findings of this research project indicate significant improvement in student achievement and that teachers found these portfolios to be a valuable tool in monitoring student behaviour and communicating future educational goals to parents, administrators, and other teachers. Pages 132 to 138


Teacher Feedback and Student Learning: Investigating the Use of Interactive Notebooks  

Gayle Macklin, USA

With the focus of many schools on e-learning and implementing technology into instruction, the purpose of this article is to reflect on the practice of instruction and the benefits of using an Interactive Notebook (INB) as an effective tool to engage critical thinking in an organized format. An INB is a tool that bridges students’ learning through a collection of notes from reading, listening and discussions. Carter, Hernandez, & Richison, (2009) propose a shift from students taking notes for the purpose of rote memorization for a future summative assessment to a stimulating practice of daily journaling to include both reflective and metacognitive responses students make on their own notes. The literature on brain research, multiple intelligences, and note taking all support the classroom use of interactive notebooks and by implementing the INB teachers can use the strategies to improve student progress and attainment in all subjects (Wist, 2015). By implementing the INB teachers can use the strategies to improve student progress and attainment in all subjects. Pages 139 to 145


Health & Safety: Its role in the effective school

Joseph Jamal,  India

The effective school recognizes the relevance and importance of Health & Safety as a necessary ingredient for students to grow and develop as well as learn and achieve at school. This article argues that by understanding and adhering to health and safety standards, a school is best able to support and enable its teachers and students to achieve optimal levels of learning. This article attempts to highlight the significance of safety measures in schools and explains how one school maintains a safe and secure environment for the students and staff. Pages 146 to 153


Improving Student Learning: A review of key improvement messages 

Professor David Lynch, and  Dr Jake Madden,  Australia

Articles in this special edition have provided an insight into themes that inform the improving teaching agenda. This article condenses key messages therein to generate an insight--- an answer if you like--- into ‘how to’ engender, support and sustain ongoing teaching improvement. To that end this article explores four key and inert-related elements: embedding of a research culture; the power of collaboration; the use and role of professional dialogue and the importance of improving teaching in context. Pages 154 to 163