Have you been following the ABC’s Revolution School documentary?

June 16 / 183

Year 9 boys and teachers from Kambrya Secondary School. Picture: ABC TV
Year 9 boys and teachers from Kambrya Secondary School. Picture: ABC TV

The trials, challenges, joys and disappointments of teaching secondary school students make captivating viewing in the new documentary Revolution School, currently half way through a four-episode run on ABC TV.

Researchers from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education are featured offering support and advice to staff at Kambrya College in Melbourne’s outer east while the school works on transforming its performance, using the most up to date evidence about what really works to improve outcomes.

Episode one saw teachers welcoming students to the new school year, grappling with disengagement, unstable behaviour, poor attitude, and stress, and testing out new classroom management strategies.

Laureate Professor John Hattie from the MGSE tells viewers that debate in both the public and policy sectors about what should be done to improve educational performance is focused overwhelmingly on “things that don’t matter very much”.  

“Class size, school facilities, the choice between public or private don’t really have much impact,” he says. “What really matters is the student’s interaction with their teacher, and the teacher’s continuous assessment of their students’ learning.”

By successfully applying world-class research, Kambrya has lifted from rock bottom to the top 25 per cent of study scores in recent analysis.

Dean of Education, Professor Field Rickards says the documentary shows just how hard teaching is. 

“You’ll witness Kambrya’s teachers relentlessly strive to maximize the potential in each student, addressing struggling students and stretching the high achievers,” Professor Rickards says.

“Our academics work with the school to take a clinical approach to teaching and evaluate the impact of each lesson. We are involved in trialing new teaching innovations including classroom management and wellbeing approaches that improve the quality of education.”

You can catch up on the first two episodes of Revolution School on ABC iView until 6 July.

Story by Katherine Smith.


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