Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quality Teaching Model

I spent the best part of today learning about the Quality Teaching Model and how to utilize it in my school, classroom and practice. We began the day by discussing words we think of to describe "quality teaching". Words and phrases I came up with (after group discussion) were: meaningful, inspiring, engaging, catering for needs (and not rehashing material students already know), providing tools for lifelong learning, and stretching students' brains.

We learnt the history behind the Quality Teaching Model, beginning with it's roots in the work on authentic teaching and assessment by Fred Newmann. Fred Newmann was involved in research in Chicago where they looked at cognitive activity of adults who worked successfully in a variety of occupations.

From this research they determined three broad criteria for authentic work:

  • Construction of Knowledge

  • Disciplined Inquiry

  • Value Beyond School

See here for more information on this research.

From what I understand, QLD kicked off the research and application of this in Australia. NSW then conducted a study on the Systematic Implications of Pedagogy and Achievement (SIPA) and introduced the Quality Teaching Model. The ACT has now adopted the Quality Teaching Model as well.

This model involves pedagogy that:

  • promotes high levels of intellectual quality

  • promotes a quality learning environment

  • develops and makes explicit to students the significance of their work

Each of these dimensions are broken down into 6 elements which teachers can include in their programming, teaching and assessment.

After learning about the research and examining an example lesson, we teachers discussed the benefits we could see with using the Quality Teaching Model and any concerns we had about it's implementation. We felt that it would be a useful tool for teachers to use to reflect upon their practice and engage in professional dialogue with other teachers. It gives some direction for planning and programming and helps teachers to consider best practice. Some concerns that people had were with the use of the coding system - we don't particularly want people assessing our teaching using the coding, particularly if this will impact upon our pay (which is not the case at this stage).

My first thoughts for implementing this are to:

  • find a way to use the model in everyday routines - spelling, classroom management, maths mentals etc.

  • create authentic tasks to assess student learning

  • refer to the model when planning Integrated Inquiry units

It will be interesting to see how things progress with this new model. As was pointed out at the session today, it's not really 'new' material, it's just setting things out in a way that's more accessible. If you've had any experience with the Quality Teaching Model or authentic teaching and assessment, please share your thoughts in a comment below.

Update: Just in from my PLN, the Queensland model that paved the way in Australia is the Productive Pedagogies Model. You can find out more here.

6/9/09 This link will take you to an overview of the dimensions and elements of the Quality Teaching Model.


  1. I wonder whether anyone has studied what differences the Quality Teaching Model makes in students outcomes. By that I mean, do students achieve in demonstrably different ways because their teachers have used this model? In what ways? Do they actually write essays that include, for example, more points about the content covered, connections among concepts in the content, etc.?

    In a nutshell: What differences does the QTM cause, not just in theory, but in actual, measured ways?

  2. I am a university student doing my Masters in Teaching (secondary) and we are currently doing a whole course on learning about the QT framework and how to use it. It has been proved through research that this pedagogy is "closing the gap" in learning achievements between the high and low SES (socioeconomic students). For more, check out the following reference:

    Amosa, W.A., Ladwig, J.G., Griffiths, T.G. & Gore, J.M. (2007). Equity effects of a multi-dimensional model of pedagogy. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, Chicago, USA.


I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions. Please don't be shy...