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Approved ARC 02/09 meeting

Assignment cover sheet Note: (1) The attention of students is drawn to: the Academic Regulations, the Academic Honesty Policy and the Assessment Policy, all of which are accessible via http://www.acu.edu.au/policy/136703 (2) A de-identified copy of your assignment may be retained for University quality (audit) processes, benchmarking or moderation. Student ID Number/s: S00108601 Student Surname/s: CARLOS Given names: ALVAREZ

Course: MASTERS OF EDUCATION (PRIMARY) Unit code: EDFD657 Due date: 29/03/2013 Lecturer-in-Charge: Anthony Shearer

School: ACU

Unit title: Transition to the Profession Date submitted: /03/2013 Tutorial Group/Tutor: Anthony Shearer

Assignment Title and/or number: Assessment 1 OVERVIEW OF THE CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY By submitting this assignment for assessment, I acknowledge and agree that: 1. this assignment is submitted in accordance with the Universitys Academic Regulations, Assessment Policy and the Academic Honesty Policy. I also understand the serious nature of academic dishonesty (such as plagiarism) and the penalties attached to being found guilty of committing such offences. 2. no part of any assessment item has been copied from any other source without acknowledgement of the source. 3. no part of this assignment has been written by any other person, except to the extent of collaboration and/or group work as defined in the unit outline. 4. this assignment has not been recycled, using work substantially the same as work I have completed previously and which has been counted towards satisfactory completion of another unit of study credited towards another qualification, unless the Lecturer in Charge has granted prior written consent to do so. 5. a copy of the original assignment is retained by me and that I may be required to submit the original assignment to the Lecturer in Charge upon request. 6. the Lecturer-in-Charge may, for the purpose of assessing this assignment: 6.1. reproduce this assignment; 6.2. authorise the reproduction of this assignment; 6.3. provide a copy of this assignment to another member of the University; and/or 6.4. communicate, or authorise communication of, a copy of this assignment to a plagiarism checking service, such as the Turnitin service operated by iParadigms LLC (or such other service utilised by the University at its absolute discretion). I acknowledge that a plagiarism service provider may then retain a copy of this assignment on its database for the purpose of future plagiarism checking. Signature of student(s): CARLOS ALVAREZ CRUZ
Last updated: Approved by:

Date: _29__/_03__/_2013__

February 2013 University Learning and Teaching Committee

APPENDICES APPENDIX 1 Criteria Marking Sheet - Assessment Item 1 A Name: Due Date: Weighting 40% Criteria Research and present a Clearly and reflective analysis of a comprehensively teaching context identifies and explores relevant contextual information from multiple perspectives Identify and examine a Clearly and range of key components of comprehensively defines, this context and articulate examines and critically why those elements are analyses a range of important in your analysis relevant key components. of the context. Present and examine the Presents a clear and philosophical basis of this comprehensive critical context. analysis of the philosophical basis of the context. Draw on your developing Presents a clear and understanding of the comprehensive critical philosophical, pedagogical synthesis of multiple and curriculum issues issues contributing to the relevant to your context of complexity of teaching. teaching and relevant literature to present a synthesis of the complexities of teaching. Presentation Advanced level of professional written communication. Information is highly organised. Professional use of grammar, spelling, and referencing.

B Clearly and succinctly identifies and explores relevant contextual information drawing on some perspectives Substantially defines, examines and analyses a range key components

C (Pass) Identifies and explores relevant contextual information from a general perspective

D Outlines contextual information with limited indication of its relevance

E Limited identification of contextual information without any indication of its relevance

Clearly defines and examines some key components.

Some evidence of basic discussion about some components.

Very limited discussion about components.

Reflects on and examines the philosophical basis of the context. Presents a clear and substantial synthesis of multiple issues contributing to the complexity of teaching.

Describes and shows some reflective understanding of the philosophical basis of the context. Presents a clear and effective synthesis of some issues contributing to the complexity of teaching.

Describes the philosophical basis of some elements of the context.

Presents a limited synthesis of key issues contributing to the complexity of teaching.

No description or evidence of an understanding of the philosophical basis of the context. Does not present a synthesis of issues contributing to the complexity of teaching.

High level of professional written communication. Information is clearly and cohesively organised. Professional use of grammar, spelling, and referencing.

Effective level of professional written communication. Information is generally clearly and cohesively organised. Acceptable use of grammar, spelling, and referencing.

Fair level of written communication. Information is generally well organised. Some aspects of report demonstrate minor levels of inappropriate use of grammar, spelling, and referencing.

Poor and unprofessional written communication Information is not effectively organised. The report demonstrates inappropriate use of grammar and spelling, and referencing.


Introduction This assignment consists of two parts. Part A concerns the philosophical elements that underpin teaching in an educational context. The teaching context for this evaluation is employment in a Catholic primary school in Brisbane. The assignment commences with a brief overview of the Catholic primary school educational system. The curriculum and pedagogical expectations are discussed. The elements of the educational policy and their relationship to the philosophy of Catholic education are discussed in detail.

Catholic Philosophy There are crucial elements that underpin Catholic education which differentiate it from mainstream secular education. These elements include the provision of an encounter with the living God (Pope Benedict XVI, 2008).A Catholic education seeks to help students grow in an understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ (National Catholic Education Commission 2013; Pope Benedict XVI, 2008). Within the Catholic education system, teachers seek to provide instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice (Pope Benedict XVI, 2008). The development of the person is often more holistic and the orientation more spiritual than within the traditional state system. Catholic teachers should seek to develop the person intellectually, spiritually, physically, morally and emotionally ((National Catholic Education Commission, 2013). One of the aims is to promote social justice and a better world (Pope Benedict XVI, 2008).

Implications for Curriculum The challenge for Catholic teachers is to meet the secular requirements of the state system and to achieve this within a Catholic ethos. The teacher must therefore seek to integrate curriculum with the Catholic Tradition as well as meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). This presents a greater responsibility for teachers in the Catholic education system and places additional pressures on them. Catholic educators need to provide leadership and direction in secular education in order that they can become part of the transformation process of education (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013).

Implications for Pedagogy There is a need to use the three pedagogical models (Shimabukaro, 2008). These models are: transmission model where knowledge is transferred from the teacher to the student; generative which promotes discovery, collaboration and exploration; and transformative which promotes personal change

and growth (Shimabukaro, 2008). There is a need to adapt the learning environment to meet the learning needs of the student (Prensky, 2001). This involves creating a collaborative learning environment founded on teamwork that is infused with life purpose, is individualised, creates dynamic and engaging life experiences, is structured, uses technology and is goal orientated (Nicoletti and Merriman, 2007; Sweeney, 2006).A Catholic teacher needs to create a learning space that enables the creative spirit of God to enter into the lives of the students (Shimabukaro, 2008). It must provide opportunities for that creative spirit to be expressed (Shimabukaro, 2008). This requires integration and careful thought to the creation of experiences that can allow the student to experience the Holy Spirit.

Implications for Staff Selection Within the Catholic education system, there is need for staff to have formal training in providing religious education in a classroom. Teachers must understand the nature of spiritual experience and its transformative potential; have a deep understanding of the contemporary context; be generous, compassionate and forgiving; have strong empathy and sensitivity and be strong in their moral and spiritual position (Jacobs, 2005). The personal moral, ethical and religious preparation for a teacher seeking to enter the Catholic system is likely therefore to be stringent than for secular teachers.

Implications for Assessment and Reporting Students must be provided opportunities to demonstrate the work that they have done to their parents (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Work samples should be kept. Focus is on the work done rather than marks and grades (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Teachers should report regularly on the progress of the student. This must be non-judgemental (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Students work should be displayed (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013).Teachers need to record their observations of the student (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Teachers should only make judgements after they have collected sufficient evidence of the students performance (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Assessments must be made against expected learning outcomes (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013).

Implications for Instructional Best Practices The learning must be student centred (Zemelman et. al., 2005). It must be experiential, holistic, authentic and challenging (Shimabukaro, 2008). It must promote cognition through the development of the learner, opportunities for students to construct and create, opportunities for student expression and moments for reflection and self-evaluation (Zemelman et. al., 2005). It must provide the opportunity for socialisation through collaboration and the practice of democratic principles (Zemelman et. al., 2005). Implications for Student Behaviour Management

The management of student behaviour must ensure that an environment of safety is promoted founded on mutual respect for self and others. Conflict needs to be resolved through healing, reconciliation and forgiveness. Students need to have the skills developed that enable them to be more resilient. A climate in which the student is valued should be cultivated. Errors of judgment must be viewed as opportunities for personal growth and to promote greater inclusion rather than exclusion. The approach should be driven by the philosophy of restorative practices. Restorative practices are founded on the need to create an environment that is inclusive, impartial and fair (Marshall et. al., 2002). This requires the presence of a dispute resolution system founded on mediation and negotiation (Marshall et. al., 2002). The focus is on the behaviour and not the person (Marshall et. al., 2002).This requires the development of the skills of listening, perspective taking, the expression of emotions in an appropriate manner and appropriate questioning (Marshall et. al., 2002).

Implications for Professional and ethical behaviour The teacher must have a strong commitment to the values of the Catholic church and be able to embed these values into the classroom setting (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Other teachers and parents need to be seen as partners in the development of the child (Brisbane Catholic Education, 2013). Action must be driven by a strong set of Christian values. This implies that the teacher has a strong sense of social justice. The teacher needs to understand that Catholic schools are a major expression of the Catholic faith in society (Belmonte and Cranston, 2009). The teacher must foster a values based Christian community in the classroom that is linked to the wider community (Belmonte and Cranston, 2009). All students need to be made to feel included and that they can trust the teacher to act in their best interests (Belmonte and Cranston, 2009). The teacher must lead by example and become a living example of the Catholic value system in all that they say and do (Belmonte and Cranston, 2009).

Conclusion Given all these factors, the teacher in the Catholic education system has a greater level of moral, spiritual and ethical responsibility to their students and the Catholic Church than teachers in the secular school system. This creates significant challenges for the teacher. A strong starting point is that the teacher should have a strong foundation in the belief system and values of the Catholic Church and have been actively seeking to perfect the integration of the moral, spiritual and intellectual self within this paradigm. This personal integration will enable the teacher to better meet the challenges of creating a learning environment that can support and facilitate students to seek their own personal integration within the framework of a secular curriculum. The teacher must be a guiding light, an exemplar of Catholic living for their students. If they are not integrated themselves, it will be very difficult to provide the leadership in the classroom that is required to fulfil the mission of the teacher within the Catholic education system.

Part B: Synthesis of Teaching Expectations Prior to this assignment, I considered that my deep knowledge of Catholicism would be sufficient grounding for me to be an effective teacher within the primary school system of Catholic education. I considered that my Catholic family upbringing, attendance at a Catholic school and being an active member of the Catholic Church at Acacia Ridge would be sufficient to meet the teaching expectations that I would be presented with. However the reflective analysis of the philosophical expectations and their implications as a primary teacher has revealed the challenges of teaching within the Catholic system. The greatest of these challenges is the development of the capacity to integrate the moral, spiritual and ethical ethos of the Catholic Church within the secular framework. This integration not only requires a strength and confidence of faith but also the capacity to identify and create the opportunities for the spiritual development of the student within the classroom. The responsibility that this places on the teacher is considerable and requires a rethinking of my educational approach. It is simply not sufficient to be a skilled teacher with a Catholic ethos. Rather these elements must be integrated in a manner that facilitates student development and learning as a holistic and integrated person. Being able to implement this on a daily basis is a significant challenge. To better prepare myself for this challenge, Byrnes (2004) suggests that there are five elements that I need to cultivate. The first, and most important, is charity (Byrnes, 2004). This involves the cultivation of an attitude that accommodates all people. The second is fairness (Byrnes, 2004). I must be cautious in seeking to pass judgment without objective reflection and must always seek to help the student to grow (Byrnes, 2004). The third, and most challenging, is unselfishness (Byrnes, 2004). I must learn to give freely of myself and to be totally committed to the development of the student. The fourth is humility (Byrnes, 2004). This means that I must be a walking question mark and be continually learning. In essence to be a great teacher one must be a great student. The synthesis of these expectations highlights that teaching in the Catholic system is more than making teaching a profession. I must become more than this and understand that teaching in the Catholic education system is a ministry. By developing the qualities and skills that I need to meet the expectations that are placed on me, I must not only understand my craft but is must have synthesised this craft with my faith. In essence, becoming a teacher in the Catholic education system is to take up a ministry. This is a deep personal challenge that exceeds the expectations that are faced by those teaching in a secular system. It is challenge that, if responded to, will evolve myself as a better person and elevate the Catholic system through my efforts. This is more than simply meeting the challenges of being a primary school teacher. This is a challenge of becoming a better person in order to be a beacon to others and to be able to support the growth of an individual into the spiritual fold of the Catholic Church.

References Belmonte, A .& Cranston, N. (2009). The religious dimension of lay leadership in Catholic schools: Preserving Catholic Culture in an Era of Change. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 12(3), 294- 319. Brisbane Catholic Education (2013). Catholic Education. Accessed 20 March 2013, http://www.bne.catholic.edu.au/Pages/default.aspx. Byrnes, D.W. (2004). Why teaching in a Catholic school is far more than a profession. AD2000, 17(7), 20. Catholic Education Commission National Catholic Education Commission (2013). Australian Catholic Schools: Why we have them? What they aim to achieve Accessed March 20 2013, http://www.ncec.catholic.edu.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61:australiancatholic. Jacobs, R.M. ( 2005). Building spiritual leadership in density in Catholic schools, Washington: National Catholic Educational Association. Marshall, P., Shaw, G. & Freeman, E. (2002). Restorative Practices Implications and Conclusions. Dreaming of a New Reality, Minneapolis: Third International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices. Nicoletti, A. and Merriman, W. (2007). Teaching millennial generation student. Momentum, 38 (2), 28 31. Pope Benedict XVI (2008). Address to Catholic Educators. Washington DC: Catholic University of America. Prensky, M. (2001). Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9( 6), 1-9. Shimabukaro, G. (2008). Toward a pedagogy grounded n Christian spirituality. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 11(4), 505 521. Sweeney, R. (2006). Millennial behaviours and demographics. Newark: New Jersey Institute of Technology. Zemelman, S., Daniels, H. & Hyde, A. (2005). Best practice: todays standards for teaching and learning in Americas schools, Portsmouth: Heinemann.