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JoTTER - volume 08


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • ItemOpen Access
    A critical analysis of the use of ‘Sumaze!’ within a secondary school mathematics classroom
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-06) Singh, Sukhjeet
    This case study examines the usefulness of the Sumaze! game for teaching mathematics in secondary school. The game was recently released by Sigma jointly with MEI in December 2015. The study consisted of two lessons which were taught to a year 9 class as part of their usual mathematics lessons. The first was taught in exam conditions and students were given questions to answer on paper. For the second lesson students had the choice of working in small groups and had no questions to answer on paper. Selected students were then interviewed and their knowledge of the topics that they had explored was assessed via a set of questions. Findings suggest that students found the game engaging and were interested in playing the game again. However, there was little evidence to suggest that they learnt mathematics from it in either of the formats that it was presented to them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Choice and Motivation in the Art Classroom
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-06) Juncosa Umaran, Elisa
    This research focuses on the effects of autonomy on motivation and year 7’s perspectives on choice-based art projects. It explores the implications and possible contradictions of autonomy in the context of a diverse, ‘requiring improvement’ school in East Anglia. Data from questionnaires, interviews and participant observation revealed that a choice-based project had a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards materials, outcomes, teacher exemplars, perceptions of competence, general interest and external recognition. Implications for future research and classroom practice are also discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Re-visiting the Reluctant Writer: Exploring the writing-composing behaviours of boys and girls in a Year Two class, contextualized through the use of pupil perspectives
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-06) Hadley, Laura Catherine
    Disparities between the performance of boys and girls in school writing assessments continues to be a focus in current discourse (Alexander, 2016). Following on from an earlier study with Reception children (Hadley, 2015), this project sought to investigate the cognitive-behavioural implications for next-level boy and girl writers of the ‘multi-conscious manoeuvring of content and form’ involved in composition (Meek Spencer, 2001, p.10). Three boys and girls in a year two class were observed engaging in independent writing. Focus group discussions before and after this activity contextualized the children’s performances via ‘reflective conversation with the situation’ (Schön, 1983, p.77). Findings broadly suggested a lack of reluctance on the part of the boys who exhibited the ‘rapid-switcher’ writer-profile more commonly associated with the most successful writers (Jones, 2007). Transcriptional considerations were pre-eminent in the mindsets of all the writers with minimal negative impact on ideation for either gender.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Pronounced Empowerment?”: An analysis of the impact of an explicit multi sensory phonics teaching intervention on the pronunciation skills and motivation levels of KS4 pupils of French
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-04) Hewett, Kristian
    Numerous recent studies have found that UK secondary school pupils of French typically have poor ability in “decoding” this language. That is, they struggle to correctly pronounce the language when seen in its written form. It has been contended that pupil lack of confidence in this area may be contributing to low levels of motivation for the subject. A common support strategy for pupils experiencing difficulties with spelling-sound links in their first language is the use of multisensory teaching activities. This study outlines and analyses an intervention trialling multisensory teaching of French phonics with a class of KS4 pupils. The findings suggest that multisensory teaching could well be effective in improving pupils’ foreign language decoding ability. There is some evidence that explicit spelling-sound link teaching can empower pupils to feel more in control of decoding processes generally. However, this appears to have little impact on wider levels of subject motivation
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Please be seated”: A study of pupils’ perspectives on the nature and purpose of seated learning activities within a year 2 class
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-04) Jayne, Samantha
    This research project investigates children’s views on the purposes of seated learning activities and what is important to them when completing such activities. Clark and Moss’ (2001) mosaic approach was used to explore the heterogeneous spatial literacy of a group of year 2 children,selected using random stratified sampling. Themes identified by the children included increased work output, spatial ownership, physical comfort and working independently. The latter provides a challenge to existing literature on Vygotsky’s (1978) notions of social learning and Alexander’s (2011) research into dialogic teaching. This highlights an opportunity for teachers to work with children at the beginning of the school year to discuss the varied purposes of different learning activities and to collaboratively create a learning environment that authentically reflects and facilitates these purposes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘Should we accept Syrian refugees? ’Developing Year 8 students’ understandings of place with reference to the European refugee crisis
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-04) Ellis, Christopher
    This paper describes an attempt to develop Year 8 students’ understandings of place over a short lesson sequence about the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. Conceptually, it aimed to move students beyond a static view of place - as manifested in populist anti-immigration stances - and towards a relational understanding of place informed by the theories of Doreen Massey (2004). Students’ thinking was tracked across five lessons framed around an enquiry question: ‘should the UK accept Syrian refugees?’ The paper documents how students’ understandings developed in multiple, complex, and at times contradictory ways. This is important as pedagogical research on migration – in education studies generally and school-based geography in particular – is severely lacking.Moreover, the shift in some students’ views from anti-refugee to pro-refugee demonstrates the potential of geography teaching to engage with controversial issues and guard young people against indoctrination.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Overcoming barriers for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Modern Foreign Languages : a critical evaluation of the impact of ASD strategies on the attainment and engagement of learners in a Year 7 class
    (Faculty of Education, 2017-01-04) Eloise Johnson
    The increasing presence of pupils with special educational needs in the mainstream classroom is heightening the requirement for teachers to differentiate their practice for the expanding range of needs. This study focusses on one special educational need, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) classroom: a largely unexplored area of research. Focussing on one Year 7 French class, including 2 learners with ASD, in a British comprehensive secondary school, this paper seeks to look at the impact of suggested strategies for facilitating the learning of pupils with ASD in the MFL classroom. A scheme of work was developed, and differences in engagement and attainment were measured throughout. Findings suggest that the benefits on attainment are significant, both for learners with ASD and ‘neurotypical’ learners. Engagement of the class also improved over the intervention.The study opens up possibilities for future research, including the potential benefit of MFL learning for pupils with ASD, and it highlights the need for a set of comprehensive guidelines for ASD in the MFL classroom.