Applying empirical learning progressions for a holistic approach to evidence-based education: SWANS/ABLES

Emily White

Abstract

Learning progressions have become an increasing topic of interest for researchers, educational organisations and schools as they can describe the expected pathway of learning within a content area to allow for targeted teaching and learning at all levels of ability. However, there is substantial variation in how learning progressions are developed and to what extent teachers can use them to inform their practices. The ABLES/SWANS tools (Students with Additional Needs/Abilities Based Learning and Education Support) are an example of how an empirical learning progression can be applied to support teachers’ ability to not only target teaching to a student’s zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978), but also to plan, assess, and report on learning. Across Australia, these tools are used to help of thousands of teachers of students with disability to make evidence-based teaching and learning decisions and demonstrate the impact of their work with students. This approach, which scaffolds student achievement towards goals informed by an empirical learning progression, combined with reflective teaching practices, can help teachers to develop their capacity as professionals and provide the most effective teaching and learning for e...Continue Reading

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