What works for re-engaging learners in the Titans learning centre

Year: 2014

Author: Emma, Yates, Susan, Whatman, Katherine, Main

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The first paper by Yates, Whatman and Main critiques what works to re-engage learners in a registered alternative curriculum in place in two Queensland schools. Representing a partnership between the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) and the Gold Coast Titans Rugby League Club, the centre is known as the TLC. Drawing upon five key learning areas of the Queensland curriculum, the health and personal development strands of HPE inform an integral daily experience for TLC students. Regulative discourses essential to "get along" and "be ready to learn" in school are explicitly taught to the children, whose selection for the program is often determined by indicators such as absenteeism, work refusal, victimisation and bullying. The integrated curriculum approach, which Bernstein argues is essential to "de-code" pedagogic messages for children restricted in their access to social and cultural capital, enables the children to build the connections between what they are learning and why, and most importantly, teaches the children that they do have what it takes to know ‘how' to learn back in their regular classrooms. The ten week program offers specific insights into what thoughtful curriculum planning and responsive teaching looks like in a knowledge producing school.