Focus on deeper thinking, collaborative learning

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Encouraging deeper thinking and collaborative learning were top of the list for teachers at a professional development day at St Peter’s College on Monday.
It was presented by Brisbane adjunct professors Peter Taylor, of Griffith University, and Erica McWilliam, of the Queensland University of Technology, school principal Kate Nicholson said.
“They are both adjunct professors in education working in Brisbane but are part of conferences worldwide. We are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have them working with our staff.”
Mrs Nicholson said the professional development day allowed teachers to examine their own teaching practices.
The emphasis was on empowering pupils to learn collaboratively and develop a love of learning for learning’s sake rather than just focusing on assessments, she said.
Prof Taylor said the aim was for teachers to be able to equip pupils with the skills to be able to work collaboratively before they left school.
Learning to value different attitudes and opinions was vital for the pupils to be able to succeed in the workplace, he said.
Prof Taylor said he had observed teachers in the classroom and had a good
feel for how they taught pupils.
There were different levels of collaborative teaching, he said.
Effective collaborative teaching resulted in a wider view.
Prof McWilliam said the programme was about ensuring pupils were employable.
Styles of teaching had varied down the centuries.
The teacher imparting knowledge from the front of the class with little input from the pupils was used in the past, she said.
However, teaching could now also encompass collaborative learning and deeper thinking.