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Education a university for the real world

QUT innovates and collaborates to enhance literacy teaching skills

First published 9 September 2019

A collaboration with Kelvin Grove State College to create a suite of learning videos will enhance early childhood pre-service teachers' literacy teaching skills.

Early childhood lecturer and literacy expert Dr Stacey Campbell set out to create her own learning videos when she couldn’t find materials that were relevant and suitable for her English, Literacies and Language unit.

“Pre-service teachers need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to support reading and writing in the classroom,” said Dr Campbell.

“If a student is unable to read or communicate effectively, this can impact on all areas of learning.”

Dr Campbell said teaching literacy was a common challenge for beginning teachers and pre-service teachers on their Professional Experience placements.

She also found there was a lack of authentic and effective learning materials to help pre-service teachers learn how to teach literacy and English.

“I wanted to give students a real-world learning experience beyond what’s currently available, which are mostly readings and outdated videos.”

Dr Campbell chose to collaborate with Kelvin Grove State College (KGSC) to gain real-world insights into the challenges of teaching and learning literacy. 

“KGSC is highly dedicated to improving literacy outcomes and also supporting pre-service teachers – this was our shared vision,” Dr Campbell said.

“Through shared expertise, knowledge and experience, we worked together to create a sequential series of six videos that we hope will improve pre-service teachers’ literacy teaching skills.”

Dr Campbell collaborated with KGSC Junior Principal Damien Greig, Head of Curriculum Diana Morgan and Year 1 Teacher Lynette Swart.

The videos include how to teach the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model (commonly used in Queensland schools), how to plan a sequential literacy lesson, managing reading groups and teaching phonics.

KGSC staff also attended the lectures when the videos were shown to offer their advice and expertise to pre-service teachers.

Dr Campbell said the feedback from pre-service teachers has been positive so far, and that the collaboration with KGSC will have long-lasting impacts.

“Forging a relationship with KGSC to improve the skills of pre-service teachers was a highlight,” said Dr Campbell.

“The school will be using the video as a staff development resource, so the collaboration has wide-reaching impact.”

Dr Stacey Campbell is a lecturer in early childhood English, literacies and language in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, QUT Faculty of Education.

Dr Campbell also runs a series of online modules on Teaching Phonics in Early Childhood, including a free introductory course available on FutureLearn.