Teaching and Learning  >  Teaching For Understanding

Teaching For Understanding

A.B. Paterson College is recognised internationally as a leading school in adopting the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework from Prep - Year 12. TfU was developed by Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA.

The College has implemented the TfU approach since 1999 with great success. At its core, TfU seeks to ensure that students not only understand what they are taught, but can expand upon and apply this information in new and real life contexts and situations.

Whether measuring the chemical balance of local creeks, building rockets, creating multi-dimensional models in mathematics or art, composing songs,or digging for artifacts, students learn better by becoming practically involved in the learning journey.

In every class, students learn by participating, exploring, leading and collaborating. Teachers constantly encourage students to learn by searching for new possibilities and experiences. This method ensures relevance to the academic curriculum, stimulating interest and application.

When we understand why we are doing something, it is much easier to apply ourselves to any task. The task becomes purposeful and relevant - in other words we have gained understanding, not just knowledge.

At every age, enquiring minds are given opportunities that allow them to grow into inspired young men and women.

Our Director of Teaching Learning, Mr Richard Worsey is an internationally recognised and accredited leader and coach of the Teaching for Understanding framework, providing professional development to teachers around the globe.

                                                                                                                          My name is Richard Worsey and I moved to Australia in 2010 to take up the position of Head of Science here at A.B. Paterson College. I was born in Nottingham in the United Kingdom and taught at various schools in England after graduating with a degree in physics from Lancaster University. My past roles include Head of Physics, Head of House, Student Achievement Leader and Science College Leader.

My key role as Director of Teaching and Learning is to develop a team of curriculum leaders who,with my support and guidance, will ensure that A.B. Paterson College continues to be at the forefront of the very best educational practice and pedagogy, as we move through the twenty first century.

Our key objectives are to design a College teaching and learning programme that incorporates the strengths of Teaching for Understanding, engagement, differentiation and challenge to ensure that we create opportunities for deep learning to occur. The intention will be to immerse students in a rich curriculum that allows them to discover the joy and challenge of learning.

I have successfully completed the Wide World Teaching for Understanding Course and was selected by the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become an international coach.  I am well versed, therefore, in the intricacies of Teaching for Understanding and intend to maintain this as our key framework around which the teaching and learning is based. I have presented at international conferences alongside key Wide World representatives to guide schools who are introducing TFU.

As a College we must continue to develop innovative programmes that provide individualised pathways to differentiate both ability and interests. A.B. Paterson College has a long and proud tradition of academic excellence. 

In 2013, I chaired the eLearning committee which researched electronic learning as its next major strategic goal for the College.  As a result, the College has adopted an active, motivational, engaging, effective, constantly evolving and accessible eLearning platform in Desire2Learn that is supporting students in their learning environments.

The College teaching staff will keep themselves informed through well-founded educational research, maintain a strong focus on Teaching for Understanding and begin to incorporate the best learning technology into our lessons and pedagogy.


Mr Richard Worsey
Director of Teaching and Learning.