Home' Capricornus Quarterly : March 2012 Contents 15
continued from page 9
The digital world, according to RGS Prep
Teachers, is already a 5-year-old s reality.
"[Preppies are] competent, imaginative,
explorative, playful, talkative active
constructors of meaning. They are
already readers, readers of the world
around them." says Mrs Mehlhose.
"It s vital that teachers stay ahead of
such new literacies if we are to see the
world they way our students do.
We need to teach and model good
practice and establish modern literacy
habits both within and beyond the
classroom," adds Mrs Harris.
For Jodie Moore, who will read War
Horse with her Year 9 students this year,
sitting somewhere quiet and reading a
traditional bound book is among the
best ways for students to spend time.
"There is something about holding that
book in your hand. There are no pop-
up advertisements and no noti cations
from social media or emails. It is just the
person and their book. Many students
tell me they still love just reading."
Literacy is the mastery of a range
of practices that enables every
student to achieve his or her
potential and prepares them to
be successful, active participants
in 21st-century life. The abilities
to effectively comprehend and
purposefully construct meaning
through reading, writing, speaking,
viewing, creating and listening in
a diverse range of contexts are
developed across the curriculum in a
progressive way that acknowledges
prior understanding, enhances
con dence, fosters interest in
subject matter, uses technology,
engages thinking processes and
promotes further learning.
The Rockhampton Grammar
School Literacy Statement
At The Rockhampton Grammar School the teaching and learning programme
is based on the Dimensions of Learning framework (DoL). It is important to realise
that Dimensions of Learning is not a course or syllabus which students study. Rather,
it provides teachers and learners with a structure which can guide curriculum
planning and delivery. The framework seeks to synthesise the latest research on
cognition and the working of the human brain whilst adopting a learner-centred
approach. According to Marzano (1997) "the framework will help you to maintain
a focus on learning, study the learning process and plan curriculum, instruction
and assessment that takes into account the ve critical aspects of learning."
Parents of a Grammar student would be aware that providing a disciplined,
challenging and stimulating learning environment to inspire students to
become successful lifelong learners is the School s key aim. The Dimensions
of Learning framework is instrumental in facilitating the achievement of
this aim. The framework places a strong emphasis upon the deliberate
development and use of complex reasoning processes or higher-order
thinking. Development of such thinking skills and processes will prove
bene cial to Grammar students throughout their lives and careers.
One of the critical projects relevant to the School s 2012 Strategic Plan is to
"deliberately pursue the teaching and learning of complex reasoning processes
relevant to Dimension 3 from Early Childhood to Year 12." As educators we want
students to develop an in-depth understanding of knowledge they acquire and
Dimension 3 relates to extending and re ning knowledge. Marzano states "this
occurs as learners examine and analyse knowledge and information in a way that
helps them make new connections, discover or rediscover meanings, gain new
insights, and clarify misconceptions." This means as teachers we want students
to do more than recite a de nition or reproduce knowledge and consequently
deepening understanding necessitates the use of reasoning processes.
McRel (Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, a US-based
education research and development organisation) has identi ed eight
reasoning processes relevant to Dimension 3, which all aim to allow students to
demonstrate an insightful understanding of subject content. These processes
are: comparing, classifying, abstracting, inductive reasoning, deductive
reasoning, constructing support, analysing errors and analysing perspectives.
People use reasoning processes relevant to Dimension 3 subconsciously
each day, for instance when analysing the perspectives of others or
supporting their beliefs in discussions with colleagues and friends.
However, in order for students to develop the ability to use such processes
effectively it is necessary to teach them the steps involved with each. It is
this explicit teaching which will be the focus at the School this year.
It is important to recognise students at all year levels are able to use
these thinking skills and indeed should be exposed to and expected to
implement such processes. For instance, during recent visit to the Home
Economics class for Year 2B, students were learning to classify foods
into the healthy food pyramid using the attributes of the ingredients
they had just used to make chicken and pineapple kebabs with rice.
A key bene t of the framework is that it offers teachers a common
language in which they can communicate and discuss the processes;
this common language can also be shared by teacher and student
and also by student and parent. As a result, this means students can
transport the steps associated with each complex reasoning process
studied in one class to another and indeed to their life in general.
As educators we want students to
develop an in-depth understanding
of knowledge they acquire.
w ell read
The Hunger Games
trilogy is read widely by
students at the School.
Extend and Re ne
An Introduction to Dimension 3 by Reniece Carter, Director of Learning
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