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Inside Teaching : August 2010
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org TEACHING TIPS 25 is the management of a class. For most, the frst panic-button impulse, straight away, is to focus on the management of poor or disruptive behaviour. Instead, early career teachers should try to look beyond the panic and focus on their pedagogies, and this is one focus of the Middle Schooling for the Middle Years course offered at the University of South Australia. ‘Pedagogy’ means everything we bring to the classroom, including our assumptions about students and their backgrounds and families, as well as our beliefs about how people learn, and therefore the strategies we choose to create the conditions for learning. When we shift our focus to pedagogy, we start to see a richer set of strategies from our emerging teachers, beyond ‘solutions’ to student behaviour management ‘problems,’ and we see the emergence of more effective teachers. The general aim of the Middle Schooling for the Middle Years course, in the words of the course booklet, is ‘To develop educators who are familiar with, and able to demonstrate and apply, the principles and practices of middle schooling for the middle years.’ During the course we also encourage emerging teachers to refect on the developmental phase the students are experiencing, as well as students’ home lives and values, and how they intersect with those of the school community. Another important connection is that between generations. Emerging teachers will fnd themselves in the profession with more experienced and often older colleagues – as well, they will be in the company of a group of much younger learners. It is important to help them clarify their own motivation and then navigate these waters in their