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The Design for Learning model

The new model for Academy Education design: supporting the day-to-day needs of teachers and their long-term career development.

The core intent of the Academy’s education programs has always been to support teachers to use effective inquiry practices that enhance student learning.

For a long time, we’ve achieved this through creating and distributing teaching resources and facilitating professional learning workshops. As the education environment shifts and technology advances, we see an opportunity to rethink how our programs can support teachers through new delivery mechanisms and models.

Today’s teachers have a complex job to do with lots of demands on their time. While plenty of static lesson plans are available, they don’t always meet teacher needs and can take away the agency of teachers to employ their expertise. Our recent research engagement with teachers and school leaders offered some key insights that are driving our Design for Learning model and the development of our new digital educative teaching resources.

Foundations of Design for Learning

Teaching is a practice

Teaching is a profession where teachers build their practices over time as they respond to students’ needs, draw on experience and continue learning. Teaching is less about imparting knowledge and more about designing and facilitating learning experiences that build skills, understanding and connection to the real world. Working with students demands constant adaption of practice to support their progress.

Teachers should be afforded opportunities to develop, grow and innovate

Current school environments are often not conducive to such fluidity and reinforce knowledge delivery models. Teachers are extremely time poor, which can create a bias towards preparing for content delivery (what students need to know) over designing conscious application of practice (how students will learn). Lots of planning to meet requirements can lead to fixed approaches and risk aversion can create further barriers for trying new approaches in the classroom. Under these conditions teachers are more likely to teach what they know and stick to how they typically deliver it or how they were taught.

Professional learning programs, for the most part, have not been designed to support teachers in this environment

Many professional learning programs sit outside daily routines and are disconnected from the reality of the classroom. They may build new knowledge but rarely (effectively) support the transition of new concepts into classroom practice or build new experiences for teachers. They offer interesting theories and models, but they do not always acknowledge a teacher’s existing strengths. They are also often the sidekick to the tasks and content in a lesson plan. With these existing models, learning is a task for teachers (one that is likely low on the to-do list) and not a mindset.

Digital educative teaching resources

Our new teaching resources are designed to be responsive for what you need right now. The resources are fully online and feature teaching strategy support embedded directly into the teaching sequences. Each lesson or task fits into a structured sequence that provides coherence, with step-by-step directions and practical advice for implementation in your classroom.