Australia’s national education evidence body

Our rubrics outline a set of capabilities to do with an evidence-based practice, and consist of 3 elements: capabilities, indicators and quality criteria. All of the capabilities are drawn from AERO’s Tried and Tested guides on formative assessment and explicit instruction. For each broad capability (along the bottom), there are some indicators just above them that specify different ways the capability is demonstrated. Then, for each indicator there are a set of quality criteria that describe different levels of how well that indicator is being implemented.

Where to start

This rubric focuses on the evidence-based practices of explicit instruction and requires that you work upwards - like climbing a ladder.

  1. Focus on one capability at a time. Read your chosen capability and choose an indicator you would like to work through the criteria for. The criteria describe increasing levels of quality; the higher on the rubric, the higher the level of quality and difficulty of implementation.
  2. Start at the bottom criterion for the capability you have chosen to work through. If you are able to demonstrate the first criterion, highlight it and continue to move upwards in the same column and read the next criterion. Keep moving upwards in the same column and highlighting each criterion that matches your current practice. When you reach a criterion that does not yet match your current practice, do not highlight it. This criterion (above the one(s) you have highlighted) outlines the behaviours or activities that you can focus on to further develop your skills and confidence in implementing this evidence-based practice. Similarly, if you are using the rubric to observe the practice of a colleague, the criterion directly above your marked observation level should be considered the next step in their skill progression. You can revisit the rubrics at any time, and aim to mark off each higher criterion as you become more skilled and confident in your practice.
  3. If you are not currently implementing anything from a particular column, highlight ‘I am yet to include any of these behaviours’. From there, the first criterion in the column is your starting point.

Why are there gaps in the rubric?

The criteria across one row of the rubric are all aligned at the same level of difficulty. Within one column, there may be a gap between one criterion and the next. This suggests that the next criterion is significantly more difficult to implement than the previous one. The gaps in the rubric arise because of a pair-wise comparison, which is the process of comparing one criterion with another to determine their comparative level of difficulty. The same process is repeated with all the criteria in the rubric, shifting criteria up or down the rubric as required.

Ways you can use this rubric

Individual reflection

  • Reflect on and assess how well you are implementing certain teaching practices and identify clear and actionable next steps to enhance your practice.
  • Use them as a tool to record evidence of what you’re doing, your strengths and weaknesses, and what your goals are towards improving your evidence-based practice. Collaboration with colleagues
  • Ask a colleague to record their observations of your practice and record where you’re up to on the rubric.
  • Use them as a tool to guide feedback cycles and professional development conversations. For example, as a team, discuss approaches for implementing the next criteria up.

As a school leader

  • The rubrics allow you to provide targeted and specific feedback about what teachers can do to improve their practice.
  • Use them to record evidence, reflect on, and plan for whole-school improvement and reporting.

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