Under the microscope: Research into a middle years innovation in a rural secondary college

Year: 2006

Author: Keamy, Ron, Selkrig, Mark, Bottrell, Christine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

For almost half their learning week in 2005, Year 7 students at a rural Victorian secondary college participated in an innovative program known as SCOPE.

The main purpose of the research described in this paper was to identify successful teaching practices used by the SCOPE teachers in the program's first year. The research involved interviews with the SCOPE teachers; questionnaires with parents and other teachers in the school, and focus groups with Year 7 students.

Considered from a perspective of change, the major findings of the research were that there was neither overwhelming support nor dissatisfaction with the SCOPE program, although there was strong resistance from some quarters of the school community, and communication about the program needed to be improved. The demands on the teachers in SCOPE were heavy and the teachers' health and well-being were major issues.

The main recommendations were that the SCOPE teachers better acquaint themselves with pedagogical approaches suited to larger groups of students and to the nuances of interdisciplinary teaching; that the school's administration develop ways of monitoring the health and well-being of its staff members, and that existing approaches to communicating with all members of the school community be reviewed.