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Evaluating class programmes

Effective teachers modify their programmes according to their students' responses to the learning experiences that have been provided. Essential information for forward planning comes out of teachers' own reflections, feedback from students and their families, and comments from colleagues, senior management, and the community. Teachers continually review and modify their programmes, taking note of particularly effective strategies and incorporating a range of resources to engage their students and foster their enthusiasm for learning.

Reflecting on the quality of teaching and learning in HPE programmes

The following sentences describe the programmes of highly effective teachers. Teachers may like to reflect by comparing their own current programme with this model.

  • Each programme or unit of work is based on the students' identified needs. It has a clearly defined and authentic purpose reflecting priorities and targets related to the intended outcomes for students.
  • Each unit of work includes a wide range of flexible, interactive, student-centred activities through which the students learn independently, as a class, and in pairs and groups.
  • Each unit of work includes activities that are challenging and enjoyable (exciting and fun).
  • The students understand the purpose of their learning tasks (including homework tasks), know what the activities involve, and increasingly take responsibility for their own learning. Written descriptions of the purpose for the task and of its success criteria (developed with the students) are displayed.
  • The teachers consistently model the skills, attitudes, and behaviours that they want the students to learn.
  • The students have many opportunities to acquire, practise, and refine skills and to learn and use effective processes.
  • The students have many opportunities to express their ideas and demonstrate their skills, to reflect on these, and to receive feedback from both their peers and their teachers.
  • Both the teacher and the students ask open-ended questions that require people to consider different viewpoints, think critically, debate issues, and justify their conclusions.
  • A wide range of relevant resource materials is available or accessible for the students. For example, some schools set aside an area where the students can find health-related pamphlets.
  • The teachers demonstrate that they value each student's unique contributions. They provide feedback on progress, encourage all their students to extend their capabilities, and make it clear that they have high expectations for the achievements of all their students.
  • The teachers and others encourage the students to explore options and consequences, to make health-enhancing decisions, and to take critical action.
  • The teachers try out new teaching strategies and analyse their effects.

Reflecting on a specific unit of work

  • The following questions can guide teachers as they reflect on the teaching strategies and learning activities they have used in a unit of work. The questions below are related to the assessment information that has been gathered.
  • Did the students have a clear understanding of the intended learning outcomes of the unit?
  • How did the range of activities in the unit cater for the students' various learning needs? What evidence is there that they catered, or did not cater, for all the needs?
  • Did the activities enable the students to learn a range of skills and processes and/or to use them in new ways? If so, which skills and processes were they, and what was the new learning?
  • In what ways did a specific activity enable the students to meet the intended learning outcomes?
  • How did the students feel about that activity? Did they enjoy it? Did they gain the expected learning and, if so, were they satisfied with their learning?
  • What information about progress towards intended outcomes relates to achievement targets?
  • What achievement-target-related information about progress should be given to school management?
  • Ask the students to evaluate the unit by considering the above questions (perhaps in co-operative groups) and to report back to the class. Alternatively, students and teachers could use the critical-thinking cycle to evaluate a completed unit of work.

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