A school is only as good as its teachers. Regardless of how good a curriculum is, without qualified teachers, it would amount to nothing. Teachers are an integral part of a child’s education. Hence, it is crucial that you know about the teachers’ experience and qualifications when deciding a school for your child.
Two things that make Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) so coveted to parents is its Visible Learning approach to learning and teaching, and its immensely dedicated teachers. However, it is not easy to be a Visible Learning teacher since this method employs only the best education practices from around the world. Let’s find out what it takes to be a Visible Learning teacher at AISM.
“I think the Visible Learning approach is the only way schools should operate!” says Mr Nicholas Richards, Visible Learning Impact Coach and Year 2 homeroom teacher at AISM. And, this feeling would probably be echoed by every teacher, student and their parents who have been associated with Visible Learning.
The most important thing to know about this learning approach is that it is a compilation of all of the best practices in education. Mr Richards explains, “It is based on John Hattie’s ground-breaking meta-analysis of tens of thousands of studies involving hundreds of millions of students worldwide. The research shows us which teaching practices are the most effective when it comes to educating children and students learning.”
A Teacher’s Role in Visible Learning
Students take the central position in this learning approach. They are encouraged to take charge of their own learning and the teachers’ responsibility is to guide them throughout their education journey. It is not as easy as it sounds, because teachers have to understand and be mindful of the progress of each student, support them where they need, and help them try to ascertain their chosen destination.
Mr Richards clarifies, “To be a Visible Learning teacher requires a great deal of consideration. You have to clearly identify the learning needs of your students, plan carefully to ensure these needs are met, teach well, and evaluate the effectiveness of your teaching. The most important aspect of Visible Learning is a collaboration between teachers to achieve the best outcomes possible.”
The learning approach puts a lot of emphasis on feedback, which helps the teachers to understand how they can help student progress. Understanding where the students are in relation to the learning intentions of the curriculum allows the teachers to focus their attention on teaching concepts which have not been understood.
“Feedback is crucial to the learning process, between student and teacher and also peer to peer. Gaining immediate feedback during a lesson enables the teacher to adjust their teaching and encourages the student to continuously evaluate their own progress,” Mr Richards emphasises.
According to him, knowing where the students are now in their learning journey, where they need to go next and how to get there enables both the teachers and students to use their classroom time effectively.
Another important aspect of Visible Learning approach is goal setting. Students set their own learning goals and teachers guide them towards reaching their destination. The responsibility of the teachers of Visible Learning is to provide a route map to the students based on the destination they choose themselves and ensure that they stay on their path.
“Other learning approaches tend to focus more on just the content coverage rather than differentiating for the needs of each student. This is the reason Visible Learning works because it focuses on each student individually. WE focus on the needs of each student, help them to reach their full potential and be the very best version of themselves,” Mr Richards says.
The outcome on a Student’s Learning
The question is does Visible Learning really work? Does it make a difference in how students learn and grow?
Mr Richards answers excitedly, “Visible Learning really works! Speaking as a Year 2 homeroom teacher I can say I have seen significant amounts of progress in my students over time, both in academics and in independence. Students who join us from other schools typically see education as a one-way street, directed at the student by the teacher. Visible Learning enables students to become their own teachers, take responsibility for their own learning and seek feedback from others to help them improve further.
This approach encourages students to think critically, become more independent, identify their own strengths and weaknesses, and take the next steps required for progress. And, the difference it makes to the learning outcome of a student is evident within a few weeks of attending AISM.
Australian International School Malaysia and Its Approach to Visible Learning
AISM is the first certified Visible Learning school in the world and as Mr Richards points out, “Visible Learning is everywhere at AISM”. The school strives to employ the best practices of Visible Learning in every way possible and it is most evident within the classrooms where feedback and goal-setting are an essential part of everyday learning.
To learn more about AISM and how the teachers incorporate this cutting edge, research-based learning approach in everyday classrooms, schedule a virtual chat with AISM's Admissions team. You can chat live with the team and explore our campus. So register your interest soon at aism.edu.my/contact-us to get an opportunity to know about AISM and our unique approach to learning.