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JoTTER - volume 12


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Now showing 1 - 15 of 15
  • ItemOpen Access
    Confidence vs Correctness: a study of how assessment for learning (AFL) impacts confidence and attainment in a Year 10 chemistry class studying Collision Theory
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-06-01) Charnley, Kate
    The interrelationship between secondary school student confidence and attainment in science is a phenomenon that has been well documented by the science education community. The purpose of this action research intervention was to acquire an in depth knowledge of the relationship between self-confidence and academic attainment, and to explore the impact that a confidence based assessment for learning (AFL) could have on student self-confidence and attainment in science. The study was implemented during a five lesson sequence on Collision Theory with a representative top-set Year 10 class. A review of the literature indicated that a significant correlation exists between assessment, student self-confidence and attainment. The analysis of the results of the impact of confidence based AFL showed that the confidence of each of the students in the science classroom is significantly increased, yet altogether each student’s attainment remains similar. Further analysis using a questionnaire suggested that students with the lowest confidence levels in science could in fact experience the greatest increase in their self-confidence in assessments through the use of regular confidence based AFL.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An investigation into how high-attaining Year 9 students’ understanding of grammar is affected by contextualised grammar teaching
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-04-01) Thorpe, Georgina
    This paper explores an investigation, based on action research, into the impact of contextualised grammar teaching on a high-attaining Year 9 class’s understanding of grammar. Prompted by previous findings that have shown traditional teaching of grammar as a set of rules to have little benefit for student writing, these lessons sought to present grammar as a tool to create effect in written work. The findings suggest that students are able to make use of grammatical concepts learned through contextualised grammar teaching, and that such teaching does not have any detrimental effect on enjoyment or confidence. This paper argues for the potential of contexualised grammar teaching as an answer to grammar’s contested position in the National Curriculum for some classes, and as a way to engage students more meaningfully in the study of grammar.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Embodied aspects of intercultural pragmatic competence:investigating the effects of using authentic video-based materials on confidence, fluency and accuracyin a Year 10 mixed-attainment language class
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Archer, Wendy
    This paper reports on a proposed research project designed to explore the impact of using a video-baseddrama-inspiredintervention to improve levels of confidence, fluency and accuracy in relation to spoken French. Using anAction Research (AR) approach involving a sequence of 3lessons, Year 10 students of French working towards Higher-and Foundation-level GCSE were to be exposed to authentic video-based materials and invited to perform in a Conversational Shadowing activity and a process-drama exercise.Students’ confidence in relation to decoding and encoding of non-/paraverbal cues would be measured alongside the effects of the intervention on accuracy and fluency.Measures would include students’ perceptions of their own confidence and performance (to be assessed by pre-and post-viewing self-assessment tasks) and subjective teacher evaluations based on GCSE assessment criteria. The following offers a review of relevant literature and describes the proposed methodology. Anticipated findings and implications of the study for professional practice and the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Moments of mindfulness: exploring pupils’ perspectives on short daily mindfulness activities and their potential effects on the classroom learning environment
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Evans, Victoria
    This small-scale case study explores the perspectives of Year 4 pupils on doing a daily mindfulness activity in the classroom and whether there were any perceived benefits to doing this over a 4-week period. Initially participants completed a questionnaire to indicate their understanding of mindfulness and provide a brief summary of mental wellbeing. A separate post-questionnaire with pupils and teachers, alongside a focus-group discussion, afforded an understanding of the observed benefits and pupils’ perspectives towards the intervention. Findings appeared to suggest that mindfulness activities can be beneficial in the classroom, particularly for reorienting pupils after a breaktime in preparation for learning. Furthermore, these activities are largely well received by pupils with high levels of enjoyment and desire to continue the activity post-intervention.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Does what and how I read have an effect on my learning across the curriculum?”: An exploration of year 4 pupils’ perspectives on independent reading
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Connolly, Liam
    Reading is a fundamental skill that aids learning across the curriculum and is essential to success in school and beyond; indeed, in 2002 the OECD found that reading enjoyment surpasses even socio-economic status in its centrality to educational success. Using a questionnaire alongside semi-structured interviews of a selected sample, this study enquires about children’s feelings towards independent reading and its relation to their schoolwork. It finds that the choice of material available to them and the presence of a supportive reading role model in the shape of a parent, most often a mother, are crucial extrinsic factors in their reading lives.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sampling composition: how Year 12 music technology students use sample-based processes to compose electroacoustic music
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Bates, Callum
    Composing with music technology is often perceived and documented to introduce the additional challenge of technological mediation to the composition process, especially when the technology is viewed as a tool which enables students to expand their creative musicianship as hyphenated musicians. In this article, I present a case study which outlines the particular processes and features behind four Year 12 music technology students’ electroacoustic compositions (a genre which only exists due to the creative utilisation of music technology), and consider the effectiveness of a pedagogical approach which I term a ‘semantically informed pedagogy’. Findings highlight the importance of catering for the students’ different musical roles and placing the listening experience at the heart of the composition process, in order for the human skill and determination behind the work of art to remain fundamental when threatened by the potentially mediating effects of music technology.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Collaborative learning and moral reasoning in the Religious Education classroom. A case study of a year 8 class
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Breakwell, Thomas
    This case study of a year 8 class explores if collaborative learning could help year 8 pupils develop both their moral reasoning skills and increase their retention of RE subject knowledge. The research assumes that knowledge is epistemologically grounded in a ‘knowledge rich’ curriculum with ‘moral reasoning’ understood through a Kohlbergian framework of moral development, in contrast to postmodern or character-based approaches. Through observation of pupils’ engagement with collaborative learning, analysis of group and individually produced answers, and qualitative analysis of Kohlbergian style moral dilemmas to investigate the extent to which pupils engaged with collaborative learning tasks, retained knowledge of RE subject knowledge (Christian ethics) and developed their moral reasoning skills. Overall, findings suggest that collaborative learning could help some pupils learn and retain subject knowledge. However, collaborative learning was largely ineffectual at helping pupils develop their moral reasoning skills, with pupils limited to preconventional and conventional stages of moral reasoning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A case study exploring how Year 7 pupils’ understanding of India can influence their conceptions of place
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Thorpe, Megan
    This research explores how Year 7 pupils’ understanding of India can influence their conceptions of place. Findings reveal that pupils expected to learn about distant place through comparison to their own experience, a customary technique in both primary and secondary geography education, which fosters a binary understanding of the world, reinforcing ideas of ‘us and them’. By explicitly discussing the complexities of representation, place, and everyday life – concepts not usually addressed until A-level – pupils were able to dispel the idea of ‘a single story’, and began to develop empathetic understanding of the diverse reality of everyday life in distant places. India served as a contextual backdrop for their learning, and as they were exposed to more and more contemporary images and facts about India, the more they moved towards a continuum, rather than binary approach (Picton, 2008), and began to think in more relational terms (Martin, 2013).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring teaching strategies to promote mathematical resilience in a Year 10 set 4 mathematics class
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Smith, Hannah
    Many students experience the phenomenon of mathematical anxiety when approaching mathematics inside and outside the classroom. Literature suggests that mathematical anxiety may be reduced through the development of mathematical resilience. However, few studies have considered how to develop such a characteristic. This piece of action research suggests that mathematical resilience can be developed through the introduction of teaching strategies which encourage student discussion and collaborative work. Several strategies were introduced and evaluated whilst teaching a middle-set Year 10 mathematics class at an all-girls school. This study has shown that mini whiteboard work, question tickets, matching activities and confidence-building starters are particularly useful tools. The success of such teaching strategies being applied elsewhere will rely upon the presence of a positive learning environment as well as the regular recognition of what it means to be mathematically resilient.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Queering the English Classroom: could Year 9 students’ learning about Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice be enriched by studying its LGBTQIA+ themes?
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Simpson, Matt
    Heteronormativity is commonplace in schools, highlighted by the 2019 protests concerning LGBTQIA+ education at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham and the prevailing pathologizing narratives disseminated by LGBTQIA+ charities. This study explores how heteronormativity could be challenged in the English classroom and whether this process could improve indicators of attainment in the subject of English as well as pupils’ knowledge of LGBTQIA+ topics and issues. The investigation was undertaken with Year 9 students from a state-maintained, non-selective, all girls secondary school. Findings suggest that English as a subject, particularly the works of Shakespeare, offer an excellent opportunity to challenge heteronormativity in the classroom.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How do authentic materials representing LGBT+ identities impact on the learning of a high attaining Year 10 group studying French?
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Crosby, Natasha
    I present a study of authenticity in language pedagogy and analyse the findings of action research into the effects of authentic materials representing LGBT+ identities on the learning of a high attaining Year 10 French group. Interactional authenticity between the language input and learners emerges as a principal concern, with focus given to the teacher’s role in its construction. Student work was found to demonstrate some interactional authenticity with source texts through relexicalisation, but conclusions on the emergence of ‘authentic voices’ remain unclear and complex. Points for further research into cross-curricular approaches and potential for LGBT+ advocacy in education are also suggested.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “As clear as night and day”. Using models to aid students’ conceptual understanding of space and the Solar System in a Year 8 science class
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Derrett, Andrew
    Scientific explanations for basic astronomical phenomena such as the cause of night and day and seasonal variation are notoriously difficult for students to conceptualise, resulting in widespread misconception. Effective teaching of space and the Solar System often suggests the use of models as effective teaching tools. This case study, spanning six astronomy lessons with a Year 8 class, therefore investigates the impact of using seven common teaching models on enabling students to change their conceptions through implementation of a Collated Astronomy Test (CAT). The study also investigates how these students perceived the models in respect of their learning of astronomical phenomena, and provides a basis upon which possible results may guide future teaching of the Earth-Sun-Moon system and the Solar System.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A case study exploring the types of knowledge year nine students need to work effectively with similarity and difference as a concept when learning about the Holocaust
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Mason, William
    This paper documents an explorative case study aimed at investigating the knowledge and ideas held by myself, as a teacher, and those of students when working with the complicated and often confused historical second order concept codified as ‘similarity and difference’ in the latest History National Curriculum. This case study centres around a seven-lesson enquiry exploring the variation in lived experiences of several different persecuted groups of people during the Holocaust. This paper argues that whilst the ideas and application of similarity and difference as a concept from myself and students were widely divergent, students chose to argue conceptually in several different ways. In observing and defining the different forms of conceptual argument students engaged in, I am able to draw tentative ideas about progression when arguing conceptually with similarity and difference.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Investigating the Effect of Using Modern Language Vocabulary Teaching Strategies on the Recall and Application of Scientific Vocabulary with a Year 7 Class: A Case Study Proposal
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-05-01) Uttley, Josh
    Vocabulary is essential to understanding and participating in scientific discourse and is therefore integral to learning science. Science teaching,however, has a notable lack of explicit vocabulary teaching. Scientific teaching may benefit from using the vocabulary teaching strategies that can often be observed in modern language teaching. Strategies observed in the modern language classroom have been adapted for scientific vocabulary teaching in this case study proposal. Improvements in the recall and application of scientific vocabulary following the intervention would suggest that the strategies are beneficial to scientific learning. Such results would encourage further research that could investigate whether the strategies could help to close the attainment gap that exists between the socially advantaged and disadvantaged. Further research would be shaped by considering students’ perceptions of vocabulary learning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A case study inquiry into how dialogic practice influenced Year 7’s understanding of Britishness
    (Faculty of Education, 2021-03-01) Shepherd, Jake
    This case study research concerns itself with controversies surrounding the Fundamental British Values (FBV) policy within secondary education and offers a persuasive case study which shows geography to be a promising subject for schools seeking a critical pedagogic response to the FBV policy. Dialogic practice in the form of students’ self-reflection was found to be influential in synthesising Year 7’s understanding of FBVs with strands of geographical learning. Finally, this research has purposefully positioned geography as a relevant and versatile subject, equipping students for life in modern Britain.