Equity and pedagogy: Familiar patterns and QT based possibilities

Year: 2007

Author: Griffiths, Tom, Amosa, Wendy, Ladwig, James, Gore, Jennifer

Type of paper: Refereed paper

International research highlights the persistence of educational inequities within school systems, with some specific national variations. In the Australian context, two of the most persistent dimensions of educational disadvantage are socio-economic status (SES) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) status. In this paper we report on the distribution of pedagogy received by cohorts of students being tracked in the Systemic Implications of Pedagogy and Achievement (SIPA) Longitudinal Study being conducted in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Specifically, we examine differences in the quality of pedagogy received – measured using the Quality Teaching framework to rate the quality of classroom practice and tasks – according to students’ SES and ATSI status.

At the school level, we report a relatively even distribution of pedagogy, with some mild correlations with SES and ATSI. At the micro level, we compare results between classes and report some strengthening of these patterns, in particular a moderate to strong positive correlation between SES and the quality of pedagogy received, measured in both classroom practice and tasks. These findings are considered in light of teachers’ interview data which show how differential expectations for students are expressed, raising questions as to whether and how the Quality Teaching framework may assist teachers in changing their practice, as a strategy for changed expectations and improved learning outcomes.