Genuine Understanding, Contemporary Learning, and Positive Education

Simply put, not all education approaches are the same!

The pedagogical approaches utilised (that is the Teaching and Learning philosophy and methods/ approaches used) vary greatly across schools. These methodologies are critical to learner engagement and the visibility of the learning outcomes – the outcomes we hope students will achieve.

Some schools leave this for individual teachers to decide whereas others have an over riding philosophy and approach that teachers are required to utilise and develop for their students. Sadly, many schools have an over-reliance or focus on the acquiring of knowledge and do not develop genuine understanding nor the ability to apply or transfer the skills developed.

Bayside Christian College enables and focuses on the development of genuine understanding and not mere knowledge acquisition. Our Teaching and Learning Framework is based on credible research from Harvard University, the work of Marzano, the research of John Hattie and that of leading psychologist, Martin Seligman and asks teachers to consider the following:

  • How can I encourage deeper understanding?
  • What skills must I impart to my students to ensure their success?
  • How can I support students to understand these concepts so they can apply learning to new contexts?
  • How can I create an environment of active learning in my classroom?
  • What are the real-world examples in which this concept is applicable?
  • How do I enable greater engagement through the development of the individual strengths, virtues and conditions that enable young people to thrive and flourish?
  • What does the Bible teach us about the Human life – about our purpose, and our relationship with God? What does it say about how we are to live our life? How can we witness and feel God’s love in everything we do? How does our very existence point to a loving and generous creator?

The development of genuine understanding still requires knowledge to be acquired but this goes so much further in asking students to demonstrate their understanding by applying this knowledge to new and real-life situations. Further, because we seek the understanding of the Truth found in the Word of God, we seek to apply the important teachings of the Bible to our everyday lives. This approach puts the goal of ‘understanding’ as the central aim of every lesson.

This enables teachers to demonstrate the wide application of theoretical and abstract concepts from our learning in all subject areas, and also the spiritual messages from the Bible to bring meaning to the learning experience. Our Teaching and Learning Framework also includes the development of the essential Contemporary Learning Skills that our young people will need as they navigate the many new opportunities, areas of study and jobs that will be developed in this century.

No longer should education aim to develop people for a single career or job, but rather, develop a broad range of skills and abilities that will enable our young people to apply their understandings, skills and abilities to a wide range of jobs and applications.

These essential skills are included in all years of our education and include:

  • critical thinking
  • creative thinking
  • communication
  • collaboration and teamwork
  • personal and social skills
  • ICT skills

Our students are encouraged to deepen, share and demonstrate their understandings in innovative ways. This has been facilitated by our technology-rich learning environments and approaches. Education has now recognised that there are a number of Character Traits which when developed enable learning to be enhanced and applied to new situations and contexts. The development of these character traits increases our openness to new ideas, our ability to effectively engage in learning and with others, our understanding of how to engage with others and new situations, and ultimately our ability to transfer and adapt our learning.

These approaches as described in the literature as Positive Psychology enables young people to be at their very best dynamic for learning.

These contemporary and research-based approaches enable the Bayside difference!