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Insight’s All System Day February 2024: Reaffirming Knowledge on the Science of Learning

Feb 2024

Over 1,500 educators from across Catholic Education Tasmania came together at five different venues across the state to explore and refresh their understanding of the Science of Learning.

Dr Gerard Gaskin, Executive Director of Catholic Education Tasmania, said All System Days enhanced educational development by providing access to global and national teaching expertise.

“We are blessed to have accessed experts in the Science of Learning. This will provide our educators with an even deeper understanding and appetite to apply the principles of the Science of Learning in our daily work,” he said.

The focus of the Professional Learning Day was ‘Questioning’, a key element of Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction.

The team was thrilled to welcome Tom Sherrington (UK) a former Head Teacher with over 30 years’ experience who now has a successful education consultancy. Tom presented virtually on the key components of Questioning and how it can apply in the classroom setting. Natalie Wexler (USA), a well-known Education writer and the author of “The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—And How to Fix It”, also joined the event virtually from New York. Both guest speakers tuned in live to field questions from participants.

The middle portion of the day involved interactive workshops, differentiated by year-level (early years, primary and secondary teachers). Dr Nathaniel Swain, a teacher, instructional coach and researcher, curated a dynamic virtual workshops series based on Checking For Understanding (CFU), drawing upon his experience in his own school, and in schools across Tasmania.

The afternoon session involved two in-person presentations featuring Rebecca Birch, a leading English teacher and the Director of Research and Practice at a top 20 independent school in Sydney, and Toni Hatten-Roberts, a leader in the Science of Learning and bridging the gap between theory and classroom practice.

The event boasted an impressive set of highlights, including:

  • Tom Sherrington’s session, which explored the connections between Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, particularly around questioning and the process of supporting writing, particularly in more technical subjects and complex classroom environments, to ensure the success of every student and educator.
  • Natalie Wexler’s session, which emphasised the importance of writing in improving reading comprehension and analytical thinking. Her insights helped educators understand the importance of basic comprehension skills.
  • Toni Hatten-Roberts’s session, which focused on how best to support students in maths fluency, particularly the need for speed and automaticity in mathematics learning.
  • Rebecca Birch’s session, which encouraged all teachers to understand the power of writing and why it is essential for secondary teachers to teach writing to achieve the sophistication needed for upper secondary levels, ensuring that students can express their knowledge with clarity and confidence.

The Insight team would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the event. We are looking forward to delivering the next All System Day in July 2024.

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