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Title: Supervisory Teaching and its Impact on Student Agency in Primary Classrooms
Contributor(s): Crowhurst, Paul Charles  (author); Cornish, Linley  (supervisor)orcid ; Jones, Marguerite (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2019-06-11
Open Access: Yes
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Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390305 Professional education and training
390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
930201 Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: undefined
160302 Pedagogy
Abstract: Teaching for agency is an emerging priority in education. Examining pedagogical approaches as to their suitability for promoting agency is needed. Supervisory teaching is the name given in this research to a classroom teaching practice that includes two key aspects: (1) student–teacher tutorial discussions where the number of students is between one and four students, and (2) extended times of independent learning for students while the teacher engages with other students in tutorial discussions. Supervisory teaching, while known by several other names, emphasises students' taking control of their learning. Its potential for agency development has been investigated in this research.
This exploratory case study utilised three primary classrooms at one Hong Kong international school. Student learning was observed over a period of five months and teachers were interviewed as part of the data collection process. Five key themes emerged in relation to how supervisory teaching supported agency development in these classrooms: ownership and independence, scaffolding, students as teachers, joyfulness, and reflection. Several key dynamics exist within supervisory teaching that support students to have more agency in their learning. These dynamics have been referred to as agency pathways. While this research provides direction for those interested in teaching for agency, it cannot claim to have a high level of external validity. That is, due to the scope of the project and size of the participating group it is uncertain whether these findings can effectively be transferred to other educational settings. The findings do however provide some clear directions for practising teachers and researchers seeking more clarity on the factors that may be significant in the endeavour to teach for student agency.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Description: Access to Thesis dataset provided at the following link:
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Doctoral

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