Dinham on knowing your students

The best schools of all types know their students as learners and as people, according to Professor Stephen Dinham.

Following his keynote address at the Excellence in Professional Practice Conference (EPPC) on the Gold Coast, Dinham sat down with Teacher editor Jo Earp to discuss the balance that schools need to find.

‘In some schools the focus is more on the learning side, “we're an academic school”, “we get very high results”', Dinham shares. ‘On the other hand, often in a low-SES school for example, the focus is more on, if you like, student welfare, wellbeing – rather than the academic side – and people have low expectations for those students.'

But the best schools of all types, according to Dinham, have got the balance right between the academic and the personal.

‘They know them as learners, through assessment, but they also know them as people. So, that relationship between teachers and students we know is very important in student learning, [a] good, healthy, professional relationship,' he says.

In today's video, Dinham also says we know that students essentially want teachers who care about them, and teachers who are fair.

‘…So knowing them as learners, knowing them as people, caring for them and being fair with them come through as being really important,' he says.


Professor Stephen Dinham says the best schools of all types know their students as learners and as people. How do you try to get to know your students as people?