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Once the leadership and staff of a school have made a commitment to implement the Walker Learning Approach we recommend a number of key strategies during the process of implementation. It is important to recognise that implementing an actual pedagogy as opposed to a discreet program requires forward planning, time and support.
There are 4 stages to this process: Stages 1 and 2 are the most important and are considered to be the ideal preparation and support for successful implementation of the WLA. Stages 3 and 4 are additional options for schools/staff wishing to proceed further.
The step by step implementation plan is attached as 2 PDF's at the bottom of this page.
Successful implementation of the WLA requires:
A synopsis of these opportunities follows:
Informing and Empowering Leadership:
The Importance of Leadership Support and Understanding: It is important to have the leadership of the school supportive and understanding of the approach.
Professional Development for Teachers:
For more information view "Professional Development"
WLA Half Day Introductory Sessions: We offer half day PD symposiums in Melbourne, rural, regional and interstate awhich provide an overview of the approach and the steps needed to successfully implement the WLA.
WLA Half Day Extension Sessions: After a team has been implementing the WLA for 12 months it is recommended that they attend an extension session for more explicit details related to linking investigations to explicit teaching.
2-Day (WLA P-2) and 1-Day (WLA 3-9) Study Tours: Study Tours offer a practical and theoretical immersion in the approach, including professional development sessions alongside visits to at least three schools in either metropolitan or rural areas with a range of different socioeconomic and cultural demographics.
Visiting another school: Schools implementing the WLA (Preschool to Year 9) throughout Australia provide opportunities for teachers to observe the learning environment and talk with teaching and leadership staff. The teachers at these schools are usually WLA accredited and visitors are able to talk with them and gain further insights into the approach. Most schools host visitors on days of symposiums.
Mentoring: One information session is not sufficient to successfully implement and sustain the WLA. In order to embed the approach, to ensure quality teaching and learning and to sustain the approach, we recommend between 2-4 mentor visits each term in the first year of implementation or in the year prior to implementation. Mentor visits are a combination of modelling teaching in the classroom as well as discussions and sharing between the team and the mentor. It is recommended that after the first 12-18 months mentoring continue at the school at least once a term or needs based to help staff and new staff continue to implement the approach successfully.
Whole School Overview: Informing and Educating Teachers in the School
Even if only one team within the school is implementing the WLA we strongly recommend that a whole staff meeting/PD session is provided for all staff so that accurate information and explanation about WLA is provided. This helps to support teams who are implementing the approach, helps the whole school community understand the approach, and dispels potential misunderstandings such as: "It's just play, the children don't learn, the teachers stop teaching explicitly, it's what we did in the 70's."
Parent Session: Informing and Empowering Parents
During the process of implementation it is helpful to have parents informed about the approach and to help them understand what is involved. We provide these parent information sessions during or after school hours.
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