Led through the lectures and readings to a consideration of the question of what makes for a quality teacher; as both a personal question and in relation to research and policy development in this area.

Woolfolk and Margetts (2010) in their introduction to educational psychology express this as a combination of content knowledge and teaching practice. A focus on psychology leads us to questions about how we develop a passion for learning in our students and must therefore include a consideration of how we connect personally with our student. This is in addition to the knowledge of your subject content, of your curriculum outcomes and classroom management.

The ABC 4 Corner documentary, “The Education Revolution” suggests that this interpersonal dimension is vital to getting result in both low and high socio-economic student cohorts (6 February, 2012).

The outline of the attempts to create a National Curriculum by Marsh (2010) adds to this consideration of quality teaching an overview of attempts to define what we should be teaching. It considers whether or not national standards of what we teach are beneficial through a consideration of successive attempts to define what a national curriculum may look like.

The consideration of reflective practice by Samuels and Betts (2007) and by Hume (2009) considers the role of reflective practice in building up all of the domains of knowledge required to be a high performing quality teacher.

I think it’s very important to think about your role as a teacher and to consider the lessons learnt by others in how to gain the passion of your students and how connected this is to the quality of the relationship you can build with them.

Reflective practice does seem to be a good way to develop and record for later access important learning but it may be difficult to report, respond, relate and then re-construct each week as I feel at times you need to build and consolidate new content before you can adequately respond to it in a deep or critical manner.

Generally the efforts to define what is important to learn about have all added something to educational debate. I personally am not sure about being too definitive about how we teach but think it does not hurt to have an aim for all students to cover off on in the introduction to key areas of knowledge. I think there needs to be more focus on inter-disciplinary models as I believe it is this kind of thinking that will help our society to deal with the myriad of – what has been termed - “wicked problems” that we face.

Personally I have found that teaching is a combination of inter-personal skills and knowledge of content – you need to have a range of techniques to engage a classroom and break down barriers. I have found the theories of Bennett et. el to be quite useful in this regard – as their focus on the importance of establishing safety and accountability in the class room.

The use of reflective practice as well as being a personal tool offers a teaching tool that connnects well with social constuctivist pedagogies which as Samuels (2007) and Betts (2008) highlight can help to facilitate connections between a students existing knowledge and the connnection to and construction of new frameworks of understanding.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership website as well as providing in the National Professional Standards for Teachers a very detailed analysis of the types of knowledge and competencies required by teachers provides many resources to help student teachers understand how this might translate into practice and how we might look to evolve and build on these skills through our professional career (2012 a). This website is in and of itself a great starting point for Standard 6.1, requiring student teachers to "identify and plan professional learning needs" (2012 b)

There are a lot of resources that have been generated that will help personally in a consideration of what it is to be a quality teacher and what has been debated as important to teach. These are resources I feel I should delve into to help to build my own considered response to my personal teaching style and pedagogy.

The many attempts to define a national curriculum highlight that it can be politically or ideologically driven as well as genuinely seeking to ensure all students achieve a certain knowledge and skills base. It makes you think about how your own cultural beliefs may influence what and how you teach and raises the importance of issues of equity and recognition of a wide range of cultural backgrounds. This needs to be done in a way that does not leave us without any spiritual or moral value system and needs to include a consideration of values and tenents to live by that are universal to us all.

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2012). National Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved 14 March 2012, from
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2012). National Professional Standards for Teachers. Graduate Teachers Retrieved 20 March 2012, from
Bennett, B., Rolheiser, C., & Stevahn, L. (1991). Cooperative Learning: Where heart meets mind. Toronto: Educational Connections.
Carney, M., & Cohen, J. (Writer) (2012). Revolution in the Classroom [Television], 4 Corners. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Hume, A. (2009). Promoting the highler levels of reflective writing in student journals. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(3), 247-260.
Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge Skills and Issues (5th edition ed.). Australia: Pearson Education
Woolfolk, A., & Margetts, K. (2010). Educational Psychology (2nd ed.). Australia: Pearson Australia.