About e5

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Teachers as professionals engage in continuous inquiry about their teaching in order to assess the impact it has on the students they teach.

To develop greater expertise, teachers need to understand what it looks like to improve in different domains of learning, and as importantly, believe they are capable of improving their practice. They must also be effectively supported within their schools where the work of teach and learning resides.

The e5 Instructional Model is not a recipe for teacher practice but rather a framework to inform conversations and guide the observation, critique and reflection of classroom practice. There are many different ways that teachers can vary in their approach and their behaviour and still be highly effective in the classroom. All teachers use their professional judgement to adapt their practice to the specific context they work in and to the particular cohort of students they teach. However, within this zone of discretion there are common practices that draw on a professional knowledge base in the classroom we can develop a great understanding of the nature of the professional learning teachers require to improve their practice.

Research agreement about what constitutes high quality instruction in the classroom to engage students in intellectually demanding work is central to the professional conversations that occur in educational settings. The e5 domain of engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate can be used as a common lens for understanding and improving teaching in all educational settings. This approach can facilitate a more planned and structured collaboration through a commonly understood language and framework.


If you don't have a powerful point of view about what high quality instructional practice looks like and what high level learning looks like, your work in managing and organising is pointless. (Elmore, 2006)

In 2007, principals endorsed the rationale and supporting research for an instructional model and the need for school leaders to develop a shared understanding of what constitutes high quality instructional practice, as the basis for a developmental continuum that shows teachers how they can improve their teaching practice.

The challenge was to develop a continuum that defined instructional practice and ensure that it integrated and aligned with existing student learning policies, including the Victorian Essential Learning Standards, the Principles of Learning and Teaching and a broad range of other resources and programs.

The models that were considered by the e5 Project Board included:

  • Authentic Pedagogy
  • Five Standards developed by CREDE
  • Productive Pedagogies
  • BSCS 5E Instructional Model

The project team examined the key domains of knowledge, skills and behaviours and uncovered significant overlap between some of the models.

The BSCS 5E Model was chosen as the starting point for a Victorian model because:

  • It could be used to frame a sequence and organisation of programs, units or lessons
  • Its simplicity would assist users to internalise the five action domains
  • It aligns closely with the principles of learning and teaching

The other models were referenced throughout the project.

The purpose of the e5 Instructional Model is not to describe all the work that teachers do in the school but to demonstrate how teachers use what they know in the classroom.

Defining what high quality teaching and learning looks like in the classroom allows us to describe how teachers use what they know in their interactions with students.

It is then possible to describe the professional learning required to improve proficiency in the model's five domains.

The e5 Instructional Model emphasises what the teacher is doing, not what students are doing in the classroom or what students are capable of doing when they leave the classroom (pdf - 45.68kb)


1. Domain descriptor

The first stage of the development of the e5 Instructional Model was to describe each of the five phases of instruction; that is, what the teacher is doing in the classroom to support student learning. The BSCS model (2006) provided the starting point for writing the descriptions.

There was a need to bring together what all teachers should know and be able to do in the classroom, the evidence base about effective instruction and learning theory that provided the rationale for particular teacher behaviours.

2. Capabilities

Once the domains of instructional practice were defined the next stage was to identify the capabilities a teacher would need in order to perform effectively in the particular domain.

The questions asked throughout this period were:

  • Is this capability learnable?
  • Is it possible to identify behaviours that would constitute evidence of a teacher having this capability?
3. Performance indicators

Performance Indicators were identified for each capability within each domain. Performance Indicators are behaviours and tasks that demonstrate an individual’s capabilities.


Capability: Develops language and literacy

Performance indicators

  • develops the language of the discipline
  • teaches the convention of the English language
  • employs the modes of language
4. Quality criteria

The next stage was to write quality criteria for each performance indicator. Quality criteria describe how well an individual performs a task. They specify varying levels of performance that differentiate between people.

As part of the methodology, protocols were used to guide and frame the writing of quality criteria.


Capability: Develops language and literacy

Performance indicators

  • develops the language of the discipline
  • teaches the convention of the English language
  • employs the modes of language

Quality criteria

  • identifies the student’s level of English language proficiency
  • models the use of English language conventions
  • differentiates teaching according to English language proficiency
5. Validating the quality criteria

To validate the quality criteria, 8000 teachers and school leaders from across the state were invited to assess themselves against the quality criteria. Each capability was represented by a number of questions that related directly to the indicators.

This analysis showed that the quality criteria

  • clearly differentiated between performances of increasing quality
  • described a series of performances such that each successive description implied a higher level of performance quality
  • included an adequate range of levels among and within the criteria
  • differentiated between levels of teaching experience and responsibility within a school
6. Profiles

The final stage in the process was to write the instructional profiles.

The quality criteria were ordered within domains, in terms of the increasing level of competence.

Using this method, levels of proficiency were distinguished in each of the domains to provide rich and meaningful descriptions of instructional practice.

7. Consultation and review

To ensure that the e5 Instructional Model was suited to the Victorian context, an extensive consultation process was undertaken. This process included consultation with academic specialists and subject matter experts:

  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • Critical friends
  • e5 Project Board.
8. Research and documentation

To ensure the e5 Instructional Model was informed by research, a systematic examination of local and international instructional models and related documentation was carried out. Instructional models from other Australian states and territories and other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, were analysed. Throughout the process, the project team referred to this research.

More information

For full citations of relevant documents, see the e5 Instructional Model Bibliography (PDF - 46Kb).

Construction of the model

The Domains of Instructional Practice describe the five major phases of instructional practice.

Instructional Practice Capabilities

Each domain comprises a number of Instructional Practice Capabilities. The Capabilities represent the expected knowledge, skills and dispositions required for effective instructional performance. Each capability:

  • describes a broad expected skill or knowledge that a teacher should be able to exhibit
  • is supported by a set of critical indicative tasks that need to be performed in order to demonstrate adequate and appropriate evidence of the capability
  • is unique, in that it describes an activity to be performed that is not presented elsewhere in the profiles

Each of the indicative tasks can be performed at varying levels of quality and it is these levels of performance quality that help to define the overall level of demonstrated capability.

Instructional Practice Profiles

Within each Domain of Instructional Practice, a set of level statements has been created to describe how a teacher performs across the range of Instructional Practice Capabilities relevant to that domain.

Each profile consists of a group of statements that combine to illustrate increasing proficiency in each domain. The statements are indicative of the behaviour at each level.

They are not an exhaustive list that can be used in the form of a checklist. They do, however, enable a teacher to understand how particular instructional practice capabilities could be evidenced at each level and to match their own performance to a proficiency level within all five domain profiles.

Each profile:

  • allows for multiple levels of performance quality to be identified along developmental continua
  • defines a series of levels that are hierarchical and sequential
  • is underpinned by theories of learning
  • represents a scale in which lower levels are generally precursors to higher levels
  • depends on the development and use of quality criteria that are expressed in the form of ordered, transparent descriptions of quality performance