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Ross Fox with students at a Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn school. (ABC News/ Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn)

A report from the Teacher Education Expert Panel 2023, written by University of Sydney vice-chancellor Professor Mark Scott, has important insights into how to make teachers highly effective, writes Catholic schools leader Ross Fox. Source: SMH.

The approach taken by Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn is closely aligned with the report, which is based on the science of learning.

We are in our third year of a professional development program for all our teachers which is intended to educate all teachers on how children’s brains learn. The teachers receive coaching and support in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment which combines their knowledge of individual students and the science of learning and reading.

It’s heartening to read the report’s first recommendation – to establish core content in universities that reflects evidence-based practices. When I started as director of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, there was a sense that students weren’t fulfilling their potential. This led us to an examination of available evidence on effective pedagogy in classrooms and the science of learning.

We now understand clearly that the teacher is the most important learner in our system and the education of the teacher is essential to the quality of learning that we can provide.

We are in the process of providing all of our teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to be highly effective. The feedback from teachers and students in our system is that the practices we have adopted are paying dividends. We now see great results for students. We hear stories of children who could not read after many months of effort from their teachers who can now read supported by our change in practice and evidence-based intervention.

Ross Fox is director of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.


How to help children learn: the evidence is in (Opinion by Ross Fox, SMH)


Universities given two years to overhaul teaching degrees after education ministers’ meeting (ABC News)