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Sharing day reflections

On 6 September 2002 the teachers, mentors and community members came together to share reflections of the journey. The day allowed each school community group using a PMI (Plus-Minus-Interest) strategy to discuss the positives, challenges and interesting aspects of the project. These were shared with the whole group. A summary appears below.

Positives

  • Teacher development
  • Professional honesty with each other
  • Process has been viewed as positive and has been seen as a success
  • Professionally and personally rewarding
  • Increased knowledge of syllabus
  • Met great people
  • Felt we were a team – where everyone's ideas were valued and we looked after each other
  • Mentors – were supportive guides
  • ASSPA meetings – teachers attending, worked both ways
  • Changed attitudes, different ways of operating, using outcomes teaching
  • Students experienced success
  • Better insight into Aboriginal culture
  • Mathematics was seen as hard; now find a more positive attitude (community)
  • More confident in Mathematics
  • Increase parent involvement in Mathematics and the school
  • Whole school interaction
  • Another program on nutrition has been developed from this
  • Everyone valued – teachers asking parents translated into children being involved/interested
  • Process of reflection very positive
  • Development of different teaching perspectives

Challenges

  • Multigrade class
  • Teaching principal role meant constant interruptions (positive and negative aspects)
  • Organisation of activities involving wider community
  • Small school, isolated community
  • Distance (mentors from the school)
  • Structure of school, eg number groups
  • Mentor days – relay sharing of time
  • Casual replacements were not always great
  • Lack of recognition and support from colleagues and executive at school
  • Time (project) – high expectations
  • Attitudes of non-Aboriginal parents
  • Living within the community – relationships
  • Clarification of roles – mentors
  • Conflict – research vs process (getting in and teaching)
  • Feeling comfortable about putting extra load onto staff and school
  • Not able to observe learning outcomes (mentors)
  • Parents' history of school experiences

Interesting points

  • Parents and children learning together
  • Comparing our journeys – Walhallow PS and Crawford PS – each one is different
  • RESPECT for teachers, parents, children and teachers
  • Opportunity to observe different approaches and interactions
  • Parents beginning to get involved in Mathematics and the school
  • Another chapter will begin
  • Direction – what could happen?
  • What differences we can make?
  • How well community rallied when asked (Noula's snake painting)
  • Tutors have been so involved they are interested in seeking careers in teaching
  • Growth of program – enthusiasm of teachers, spread to community and shops!

The later sessions focused on discussion of three challenges:

  • What encourages or impedes the development of innovative curriculum development in schools?
  • How do we sustain long-term parental involvement?
  • How do you address situations where existing structures create barriers to curriculum development and teacher learning?
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