Professional development, classroom practice and student outcomes: Exploring the connections in early literacy development

Year: 1999

Author: McKenzie, Barbra, Turbill, Jan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

One of the core aims for the implementation of teacher professional development programs is ultimately to improve student outcomes. Since 1996 the Broken Bay Catholic Diocese in NSW has been utilising the language and literacy program known as Frameworks as the staff development component for their three year literacy initiative. The program has two modules: the teacher module of the Frameworks program focuses upon developing links between current literacy theory, teacher learning and classroom practice; and the student module focuses upon three measures of student literacy acquisition implemented in the classroom by classroom teachers.

In this paper, the authors explore the changes reported by both teachers and students in a range of areas, including knowledge of literacy teaching and learning, changes in classroom practices and in assessment practices. They also discuss some of the methodological issues used in the initial study As a result of the initial research a three year Industry grant (SPIRT) has been awarded by the Australian Research Council to assist the University of Wollongong and the Catholic School Office, Broken Bay Diocese to complete further research in this area. This research is attempting to explore the links between teacher learning, student learning and classroom practice.

The paper will discuss some of the theoretical and practical issues that have arisen in relation to early literacy development.