The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us about some of the key elements of successful teaching and learning and brought the needs of every student into sharp focus. That was the message from Professor Geoff Masters AO in his keynote at the Jigyasa 2022 learning festival.
Professor Masters, who is CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), shared 4 key insights into the impact the pandemic has had on the education community.
‘… a very important aspect of teaching is understanding students – understanding their starting points, understanding their backgrounds, their interests, their motivations, difficulties they may be experiencing. Teaching is a much more difficult and much more professional task than simply delivering a curriculum that somebody has provided.’
He told online delegates the pandemic has driven home that students have very different needs and are at different points of learning, adding that on their return to school following restrictions, knowing what students understand and can do, what the next steps in learning are and how to support them to achieve these steps is maybe even more important than the issue of learning loss.
The festival was hosted by ACER India. Principals and teachers from across the country gathered to participate in a mix of presentations, panel discussions and professional learning masterclasses.
Opening the festival, Professor Masters said the pandemic had ‘broken open’ the realisation that people can learn anytime, anywhere. ‘I think, as a result, the pandemic has encouraged us to think less about the formal structures of institutions, the formal business of schooling, and to focus more on learning itself, learning as a process …’
You can find out more about all 4 insights – including the important role schools play in supporting students’ mental health – in this video of Professor Masters at Jigyasa 2022, on the ACER India YouTube channel.
Professor Masters says: ‘… a very important aspect of teaching is understanding students – understanding their starting points, understanding their backgrounds, their interests, their motivations, difficulties they may be experiencing.’
How do you do this with your own students? How do you establish where
individual students are in their learning? How does this inform your
planning when it comes to the next steps in teaching?