During 2020, the Churchie Research Centre will focus on four capstone research projects, which seek to translate emergent theory into practice within this schooling context. Each project attempts to evaluate an aspect of boy’s learning over time through unpacking processes that make a real and sustainable difference to their outcomes. Collectively the focus of the Churchie Research Centre in 2020 will inform the knowledge of the wider school community about what makes a difference, how and why. At the same time, the activities of the centre will continue to focus on further understanding the instrumental role of the classroom teacher and how to best support their everyday practice.
2020 Capstone Projects Briefs
Project #1 A Learner’s Toolkit
2020 sees the translation of initial findings of the Churchie and UQ SLRC Study Skills project throughout the Senior School’s academic timetable. The project has piloted, evaluated and refined a preparatory approach to better understand the development of a learner’s attitude and behaviours and how these affect their self-efficacy and approaches to learning and study.
The Learner’s Toolkit will be translated throughout the Senior School through the strategic Year 11 and 12 Academic and Pastoral Excellence (APEX) programme, Academic Skills and Mentoring (ASM) programme in Year 9 and Year 7 Pastoral Care structure. The nature of the translation acknowledges the importance of integrating both pastoral and academic systems. A more integrated approach seeks to nurture a learner’s confidence and resilience to absorb, circumvent and work through the various challenges and situations through their journey.
Project #2 The Staff Professional Development Culture Project
This project seeks to unpack the characteristics of a high-quality professional learning culture in a Churchie context. It will examine key ideas and investigate critical questions around staff perceptions about the role of teacher professional development and appraisal. It will consider the individual and collective responsibilities for developing and maintaining a productive culture of learning. The project will seek practical, sustainable, achievable and targeted professional learning models that inspire and support teachers in achieving their goals.
The project will implement and trial new strategies for teachers to evidence their practice, engage with classroom observations, collect and document feedback, evaluate their impact on student learning, and reflect on personal goal achievements. It will consider how teachers can be supported by their peers as well as leaders to be innovative (and innovators) in the classroom. The models that are trialled will be tested to evaluate their role in developing the culture of continual learning at Churchie. The project will link professional learning to the school strategy, goals and initiatives while engaging with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).
Project #3 Balancing the Well-being and Resilience of Elite Performers in a High-Stakes Assessment Environment
The project will better understand the pushes, pulls and pinch points that elite performers experience as they navigate the high-stake assessment environment. Recent shifts to the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma systems alter the rules of senior schooling. These rules, the breadth of learning, along with the nature and timing of assessment, can add a new layer of stress to already committed elite performers as they navigate a balance. The project will focus on better understanding how the well-being of these performers is affected by various, and at times conflicting, demands, and how this affects their resilience. The aim is to discern a possible correlation with multiple factors (i.e. fatigue, stress, sleep, mood, injury, illness and workload) on well-being, resilience and performance in the classroom, sporting arena or stage.
Project #4 - Developing teacher capacity in supporting all learning in an online teaching environment
Schools are responding to emerging challenges in shifting to an online teaching and learning environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Churchie is focused on developing the capacity of teachers to successfully navigate the change from a physical to an online teaching environment. The project will integrate key learnings from Capstone Projects 1, 2 and 3 in building the ability for all teachers to adapt to online teaching, while, supporting the learners in the physically disconnected online space. The project seeks to share the experience of teachers in what works, why (and what doesn’t), so that they would just not survive, but their practice would thrive.