Professional learning course at Trinity Catholic College

Teachers become students at conference

TEACHERS from Port Macquarie to the Queensland border stepped into the role of students for a two-day conference on the best teaching practices.

The professional learning conference in Lismore came just in time for the start of term, which will begin today for Trinity Catholic College and other Lismore diocese schools.

It was hosted by the Marzano Institute of Australia, a "highly regarded" organisation that supports teachers with classroom strategies founded in more than 40 years of research.

Trinity's director of pedagogy Travis Lyon said the "size and significance" of the Marzano Institute and its reputation in education circles made the conference a big win for Lismore diocese teachers.

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"The power of having 150 educators from Port Macquarie to the border coming together for two days with an absolute blow torch focus on learning is just so powerful and the collaboration and support is just unsurpassed," he said.

"This will help us to plan better and generally teach better in the moment and help us reflect better. There is a bit of science to teaching; we know what works and it's founded in research.

"Being able to diagnose at the time what's working for someone and what's not, that's the art of it."

ART OF TEACHING: Dr Janelle Wills, conference facilitator and director of the Marzano Institute of Australia, and Travis Lyon, director of pedagogy at Trinity Catholic College, Lismore.
ART OF TEACHING: Dr Janelle Wills, conference facilitator and director of the Marzano Institute of Australia, and Travis Lyon, director of pedagogy at Trinity Catholic College, Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Conference facilitator and Marzano Institute of Australia director, Dr Janelle Wills, said the event was about reflecting and refining best-practice teaching, based on years of extensive research.

"What we're talking about is effective teaching ... all of the things that we know from research that make a difference in terms of student achievements," she said.

"These are things like having clear learning goals for students, monitoring and tracking student progress, good feedback, opportunities for kids to deepen and practice their learning, and co-operative learning."



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