by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Inside Teaching : June 2010
Inside Teaching | June 2010 FEATURE 12 cooperatively and feel free to express opinions. The more open and approachable you are, the more people in the community will feel free to come in and lend a hand for the benefit of students. 'Leaders set the tone of a school by being consistently positive, non-judgmental, respecting what each person brings to the school and realising that everyone has something to contribute. I've learned a lot about the Aboriginal understanding of the world which has been to my benefit. I've learned that there are different ways of looking at the one problem, and that a team approach is a better solution to a problem than any one person's efforts. Those insights might benefit a lot of other people too.' Mills, an action area contact for the national Indigenous education project Dare to Lead, has also lent her expertise to regional workshops. 'Dare to Lead is doing a fabulous job promoting Aboriginal education and strategies to improve outcomes,' she says. 'We've presented to local Dare to Lead meetings, we've been to Dare to Lead workshops on effective community engagement, and we've shared strategies with other schools at those meetings. It's positive feedback that what we're doing is recognised.' Positive feedback about the Tabulam PS approach also comes from school education director for the Richmond Valley, Selwyn Nix. 'Lesley Mills has worked sly to improve student outcomes and her strength of leadership has enabled staff and the community to develop a positive and enthusiastic team to better fulfil student needs,' Nix says. 'The inclusive process of consultation and decision making has led to the Tabulam Schools in Partnership Agreement, the focal point of the school's operation. The programs resulting from this consultative agreement have had major benefits for student learning and continue to do so.' Tabulam PS continues to innovate. For the past three years it has hosted an Aboriginal film festival. The community comes together for a meal and screening of short films made by Indigenous filmmakers or with Indigenous themes. Last year, many acclaimed movies were shown, but the most enthusiastic response was for a DVD made by the school about local boys diving for turtle. On a deeper level, the film showed how the school is helping the community, gaining engagement and trust, and improving learning outcomes along the way. There may not be pearls for those who dive in the Clarence River, but the educational rewards at the local school are priceless. ■ Michael Winkler is the communications officer for the Dare to Lead program. LINKS www.tabulam-p.schools.nsw. edu.au www.daretolead.edu.au The collaborative and sustained approach at Tabulam Public School is backed up by research. Research by Stanford University's Linda Darling-Hammond and a team of researchers from Stanford's School Redesign Network, published as Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A status report on teacher development in the United States and abroad by the US National Staff Development Council in February last year, shows that professional learning is effective when it's sustained, focused on content and embedded in the work of collaborative professional learning teams. The professional learning most US teachers receive, according to Darling-Hammond, is episodic, often fragmented and disconnected from real problems of practice. 'The research tells us that teachers need to learn the way other professionals do -- continually, collaboratively and on the job,' Darling-Hammond says. REFERENCES Wei, R.C., Darling-Hammond, L., Andree, A., Richardson, N. & Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A status report on teacher development in the United States and abroad. Dallas, TX: National Staff Development Council. Collaborative and sustained: What the research says