Planning Strategically … Pooling Our Pedagogies

Here is an example of a ‘Learning Element’ using the Learning by Design knowledge processes. For more examples, see

A group of high school teachers from different curriculum areas – English, Languages Other Than English, Music, PE, and Science – discuss their experience of planning and enacting a unit of work (Learning Element) together using the Learning by Design framework. The unit crossed and integrated their different disciplines.

‘We represent teachers from a range of learning areas and we have different levels of experience. We are all teachers of year 9 ‘Home Group’ who collaborated to create this Learning Element,’ offered Jane.

‘Our Learning Element includes a critical analysis of concepts of health, fitness and beauty, how they affect self-image and how this links to the media and popular culture.’

Lucy related her experiences of planning collaboratively for the first time.

‘For me, it was a revelation, we were planning strategically. We were pooling our pedagogies, and we were making a real difference. We were inspired.”

‘By the end of the year I had almost completed a second Learning Element,’ Lucy continued, ‘which I am currently teaching. It has made a vast difference to my practice and more importantly the learning achievements of my students. Anything that can make such a significant difference to students is something I want to be involved in.’

‘I think that what the framework helped us to do was to meaningfully integrate the students’ learning across our different disciplines, to develop deep understandings about the issues,’ observed Candice.

‘Yes, it helped us transcend our disciplinary boundaries and really collaborate,’ said Lucy.

Burrows, Peter, Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis, Les Morgan, Kieju Suominen and Nicola Yelland. 2006. Data from the Australian Research Council Learning By Design Project. Unpublished Manuscript.