24 November 2023
Teachers at Mary Mackillop College Nundah are “transforming” their classroom practices through a research-based partnership with 4C Transformative Learning.
Not only has it changed the way learning looks in the classroom, but it has also made an impact on student learning just six months into the project.
Mary Mackillop College Nundah Principal Erin Wedge said the partnership allowed teachers to expand their teaching practices to ensure they help learners in contemporary Australia.
“We realised coming out of COVID the students sitting in front of us were different to those from five to 10 years ago,” Ms Wedge said.
“The way we interacted with our students during COVID, wasn’t landing anymore. We were keen to work with the transforming team from Sydney because their interest is around 21st century learning, and we wanted to bring joy and challenge into the classroom for students and teachers.”
4C Transformative Learning focuses on building capabilities in ‘Creativity, Critical reflection, Communication and Collaboration’ through engaging and practical learning processes.
Business, economics, and geography teacher Melissa Eychenne said using this approach, her students were given time out to imagine, create and reflect during class time.
“We changed the room, faced each other and aimed to place students outside of their comfort zone,” Ms Eychenne said.
“The whole purpose is designed to break down barriers and work as a team so we can get the best from everybody. There is an emphasis on physical movement in the classroom, it is fast paced but there is also time to reflect.
“I think transforming learning allows teachers to experience the thrill, struggle and excitement of learning with students. Both teachers and students then empathise and connect with each other more meaningfully.”
Sharon Sweeney, Middle Leader – Pedagogy and Outcomes, said students were already showing more confidence, were more collaborative and therefore are enhancing their skills in critical and creative thinking.
“This is because 4C’s allows experimentation and physical activity to be at the centre of the class,” Ms Sweeney said. “This is a joyous opportunity to love your job and love your role as a teacher and to find new and interesting professional practices that are fulfilling.
“Yes, students are at the centre, but so are you in the transformative learning. It is a new opportunity to find the joy in your work and the learning of your students.”
BCE Senior Manager – Research, Innovation and Impact Dr Brendon Hyndman said the partnership with 4C was important to help capture the impacts of transformative educational approaches.
“Educators need support with capturing processes to ensure they can then make informed decisions on whether an innovation that is initiated should be considered, maintained or adjusted,” Mr Hyndman said.
“Partnerships such as this can help build key insights towards capturing impacts, processes and implementation so that other schools can then consider adopting pedagogical approaches for their own unique contexts.”