Semester 1 2022

This edition of the Journal of Professional Learning (JPL) is a collection of diverse and exciting articles for all teachers. It includes constructive advice on how modern assessment theory can help teachers plan to effectively assess their students’ Higher Order Thinking Skills centred on student cognitive growth. We also delve into the Stage 6 English syllabuses with a helpful and practical guide to the teaching of Reading to Write and the Craft of Writing. Teachers are invited to explore how using literature in primary classrooms can better address all students’ academic and emotional needs, with a particular emphasis on LGBTIQ+ families and young people and are provided a comprehensive appendix of children’s texts with links to the K-6 curriculum. An on-the-ground article outlining the process and resulting benefit for teachers undergoing accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher is complemented by another that gives an insight into how schools can draw on the knowledge of their expert teachers to lift the capacity of all teachers. The significance of former Federation president, Sam Lewis, and his influence on the fundamental beliefs and values of our union is presented in a biographical form as a reminder of the importance of teacher union activism.  This edition also introduces the international project, Conviction Politics, through an in-depth exploration of the role played by convicts transported in the 18th and 19th centuries in the development of both Australia’s chartist democracy and the trade union movement. The importance of the revival and teaching of Aboriginal languages is shared through an insight into the journey to create the Dhurga Djamanj (We all talk Dhurga) Language Program, along with the compilation of the invaluable Dhurga dictionary. The edition ends with a passionate call to action to share the message of the Uluru Statement of the Heart; providing teachers with a rare opportunity to advocate for a constitutionally protected Indigenous Voice to parliament.

For your Classroom

Understanding students’ higher order thinking skills through the lens of assessment

Rayanne Shakra and Jim Tognolini give clear and comprehensive advice to teachers on how to use modern definitions of assessment to better assess their students’ Higher Order Thinking Skills.


Stay still, dive deep-approaches to read to write and the craft of writing

Jowen Hillyer and Rosemary Henzell give some practical advice on how to teach "Reading to Write" and Module C of "Writing of HSC English Advanced and Standard" syllabuses.


Dhurga dictionary and learner’s grammar journey

Waine Donovan and Kerry Boyenga give teachers an insight into the journey they took to create the Dhurga Djamanj (We all talk Dhurga) Language Program in NSW public schools.  


For your Staffroom

Viva La Difference: Exploring LGBTIQ Diversity in the Primary Classroom

Dr Lorri Beveridge, Michael Murray and Hannah Gillard explore the high gravitas and practicalities of raising awareness of intersex, sexuality and gender diverse people in the primary classroom through teaching LGBTIQ literature.1 Teaching students LGBTIQ texts can better address students’ academic and emotional needs…


Higher levels accreditation… So much more than a fancy bit of paper

Abby Saleh explains why accreditation at Highly Accomplished of Lead Teacher (HALT) level is something that expert teachers consider and gives some practical advice to those teachers who are seeking such accreditation.


Enabling school leaders and teachers to drive practice and build capacity

Lila Mularczyk, Melinda Haskett, Emma Mansfield, Maurie Mulheron, Belinda Giudice, Abby Saleh and Karen Graham share their insights into how schools can draw on the expertise of their HALTs, along with creating connections to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, to build the capacity of their teachers and to create a standard -based teaching and learning culture. . .


For your Future

Understanding the Uluru Statement: Taking the invitation to the people through the classrooms

Thomas Mayor explains why teachers should be aware of the significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and outlines...


Sam Lewis: A biography

Maurie Mulheron gives us all an insight into the life of the man behind the NSW Teachers Federation’s annual Sam Lewis Peace Prize. Maurie argues that Sam Lewis’ influence, both within the Federation and the wider union movement, was extraordinary and is still evident in the Federation today.


Conviction Politics: How convicts shaped Australian democracy and the labour movement

Associate Professor Tony Moore (Monash University) and Dr Mike Davis (Griffith University) give us an insight into the international digital history project ‘Conviction Politics’ (located in the Monash Arts School of Media, Film and Journalism). This project is researching the story of radicals and rebels who were transported to Australia as political prisoners and how they, and the many ordinary convicts who resisted the exploitation of their unfree labour, played an integral part in creating Australian democracy and our unionism. This exciting new online resource for teachers, which melds well with many of the NSW syllabuses, will bring Australian history to life!