A creative teacher professional learning approach to student engagement

In 2016, a team of Griffith’s School of Education and Professional Studies researchers (Associate Professor Jeanne Allen (team leader), Dr Glenda McGregor, Professor Donna Pendergast and Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia) were commissioned by the ACT to develop measures to support the educational engagement of high school students (Years 7-10).

The team developed the Young Adolescent Engagement in Learning Model (YAEL) which provides a best practice, holistic model of schooling support for all students, and with increasing levels of assistance and alternative educational pathways for students with additional behavioural, emotional, psychological, and educational needs.

Building on the development of the YAEL Model, the team of researchers, in conjunction with senior technical researchers, designed and developed a baseline application (app) aimed at enabling teachers to draw on the YAEL Model for professional learning to enhance their skills in engaging and retaining students in learning.

The app, entitled the Student Engagement and Teacher Reflection App (SETRA), has been successfully piloted for proof of concept, enabling the research team to move to the next stage of a fully developed and sophisticated app, which will provide teacher access to a range of inquiry questions and to preventive, supportive and corrective measures and strategies for learner engagement.

The SETRA app will provide an innovative, cutting edge professional learning approach to enhancing student engagement, and there is currently nothing like it in use in Australian schools.

“We piloted the base-line app in a state secondary school in the south-east region in 2017, which provided us with valuable data for the next stage of development,’’ says Associate Professor Jeanne Allen.

“SETRA is an opportunity to partner with Griffith University and play a leading role in the future of professional learning for teachers. We are seeking partners from Queensland schools with middle years, young adolescent learners.”

Griffith University researchers are Associate Professor Jeanne Allen (team leader), Dr Glenda McGregor, Professor Donna Pendergast, and Dr Kevin Larkin.