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Introduction : [Dimensions of learning in practice in Australian primary, secondary and tertiary education]
This chapter has four sections: 1. Section One provides a background to the book: why it has come about and why it is important. Both editors of the book are lecturers in the Bachelor of Learning Management (BLM) at Central Queensland University (CQU). Dimensions of Learning (DoL) is an integral component of the learning design within this undergraduate program (see Section 5 below). Keen to learn more about the DoL framework, they were frustrated by the lack of published information about it. Anecdotally, they knew that educational institutions that have implemented DoL have reported improved teacher capability, better classroom organization and climate, improved teacher pedagogy and as a result improved student outcomes, but there is very little in the literature to support this. This book is important because it demonstrates, for the first time, how DoL has been applied in primary, secondary and tertiary practice in Australia. Through the related experiences of its contributors, the book is a how to account that will provide invaluable guidance and insights for practitioners interested in implementing the framework. 2. Section Two gives an account of the framework in the Australian context. DoL is gathering momentum in Australia, particularly in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. One of the major reasons for this is that educational institutions are responding to the identified lack of pedagogical skills among our teachers (Ainley, 2004; Education Queensland, 2001). DoL fills a pressing need for a research based-framework that informs how to teach. First introduced into Prince Alfred College in Adelaide in 1994 (see Chapter X), DoL is now used in a number of leading educational institutions, many of which have reported significant gains in student outcomes since implementing the framework. 3. Section Three outlines the implementation of DoL into the Education Faculty of Central Queensland University (CQU). This is the only tertiary institution that is known worldwide to use DoL as a primary feature of its pre-service teaching program the Bachelor of Learning Management (BLM). DoL was incorporated into the course structure of the program in 2003 to provide pre-service teachers with a practical framework for the delivery of pedagogy that achieves demonstrated learning outcomes in students (Smith, Lynch, & Mienczakowski, 2003). There is evidence that the success of the BLM in producing quality graduates is due, in part, to its adoption of DoL as an organizing framework (Ingvarson, Beavis, Danielson, Ellis, & Elliott, 2005). 4. Section Four outlines the organizational structure of the book and gives an overview of the chapters and their content. It introduces the reader to how DoL has influenced the practice of teaching (Marzano, 1992).