Positive rapport and relationships between staff and students is very important as a mediating variable in classroom learning. At St Michael’s we have many vehicles for building and developing supportive relationships and a strong sense of community both within and outside of the classroom, and are fortunate to have staff who are innovative in their approach to teaching and engaging with students.
In Ms Caitilin Jones’ VCE Legal Studies class, Ms Jones uses role play and humour to create a fun and engaging atmosphere that facilitates student learning.
“I strongly believe, there is still room in the busy VCE curriculum to make learning fun and engaging,” said Ms Caitilin Jones.
Ms Jones incorporates role play into her classes to help students understand the context of what they are learning and apply their learning to different scenarios.
“The reason for providing role play in VCE studies, is in recognition that students often grapple with the content and sophisticated level of understanding required in Year 12 VCE,” said Ms Jones. “Humour is also an effective way to facilitate memory recall and helps students cope with the enormous amount of content in VCE.”
“It is also an inclusive approach to teaching as it benefits kinaesthetic learners who need more hands-on and immersive experiences to understand the content.”
Recently, the students were learning and discussing some particularly challenging content regarding Constitutional Law. As part of their discussions students dressed up and recreated a photo taken of Members of the Australasian Federation Conference in 1890.
Year 12 students Joe and Jamie both enjoy the humour and theatrics in their VCE Legal Studies classes as it helps them to consolidate their learning.
“It’s really fun and innovative, and helps me to create a visual way to remember what we’re learning,” said Joe.
“During SACs I’ve been able to read a question or scenario and easily recall what we learnt because I was able to relate it back to a memorable activity that we did in class around that topic,” said Jamie. “When I see Legal Studies in my timetable I know it’s going to be a good day!”