New $3.5m initiative helps teachers manage the classroom

New $3.5m initiative helps teachers manage the classroom

A new $3.5m project will help Australian teachers manage their classroom, boost student engagement and lift academic outcomes.

Research shows one in three teachers report losing teaching time due to disruptive behaviour, significantly impacting students’ ability to learn.

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows the disciplinary climate in Australian schools is one of the “least favourable” compared to other OECD countries.

The ‘Engaged Classrooms’ initiative, announced by Federal Education Minister Jason Clare today, will use the latest evidence “to help guide teachers to deliver routines, strategies and approaches that maximise student engagement in their classrooms”.

The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) will be working with teachers to design a suite of resources to support classroom engagement and professional learning for teachers and school leaders.

Former teacher and academic, Dr Tim McDonald – who has extensive experience working with schools to improve student engagement and de-escalate misbehaviour and conflict – has been appointed subject matter expert to the AERO project.

Together with teachers, school leaders, and Dr McDonald, AERO will develop a range of professional learning resources to be released over the next two years.

They include easily accessible evidence guides, adaptable best practice templates, video demonstrations, and written case studies.

There will also be online and face-to-face training materials, including targeted training for schools; materials for school leaders for running their own in-school professional learning; materials for initial teacher education.

“A lot of teachers tell me that when they leave university and jump into the classroom for the first time they don't feel as prepared as they should to manage a classroom full of students,” Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said.

“By providing more resources to teachers we can help them manage the classroom better which is good for them and their students. When students are fully engaged in the classroom, they learn at their best and teachers have more time to teach.”

AERO CEO Dr Jenny Donovan said maximising students’ learning time in class is critical for them to effectively learn.

“This can only happen if teachers can minimise disruptive behaviour and disengagement. This initiative will give teachers and school leaders clear evidence-based guidance and tools for ensuring all students have the opportunity to learn.”