Reflections on small scale research study by beginning teachers

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Reflections on small scale research study by beginning teachers. Mike Martin LJMU m.c.martin@ljmu.ac.uk. Introduction. Witnessed the benefits of research study by beginning teachers ( >15 years, 4 ITE + 4 EE) Concerned about it’s future - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Reflections on small scale research study by beginning teachersMike MartinLJMUm.c.martin@ljmu.ac.ukIntroductionWitnessed the benefits of research study by beginning teachers ( >15 years, 4 ITE + 4 EE)Concerned about its futureRelatively under-researched area (Price 2001, Smith and Sela 2005, Phillips and Carr 2009, Kotsopoulos et al 2012)Complex area with different roles and agendas

Presentation of what we do, why and how along with reflections and thoughts for the future of this area of workRationale for research studyWhat we say to studentsThe importance of reflecting on your teaching practice cannot be underestimated and many teachers find that investigating issues in a structured way helps to improve the quality of learning for pupils. Many of the successful teachers you see in school have achieved that level of expertise by reviewing their practice and exploring areas of concern through an academic research framework.Rationale for research studyWhat others sayforging links between research and practice in meaningful ways during pre-service teacher education is essential. (Kotsopoulos et al 2012:21)The transition from student to teacher can be eased and supported by doing action research. Through developing systematic reflective practice, beginning teachers can learn to integrate taught theory with actual practice, becoming professionals in every sense of the word. (Smith and Sela 2005:297)pre-service teachers may tell their own stories of learning to teach rather than having those stories told by others doing research about them.(Phillips and Carr 2009:210)

Students research study at LJMULong history of research study built into programmes of teacher education (not optional)Integrated part of final-year BA undergraduate programmeIntegrated part of PGCE programmeData collected whilst on placement(s)Worth significant academic credit high stakesPostgraduate research studyPGCE academic module (20 credits at M Level) consisting of 2 componentsLiterature reviewLiterature review of an aspect of learning, teaching and assessment ReportCritically evaluative account of a small-scale research study Postgraduate research studyResearch Theme The research theme for this module is personalised learning. You will investigate theories and strategies relevant to subject (or transferable) pedagogy (including aspects of Learning, Teaching and Assessment). Suggested areas that you might choose as a research focus, within personalised learning, are: Inclusion Diversity Special Educational Needs (SEN) Gifted and Talented (G&T) English as an Additional Language (EAL)Postgraduate research studyApproachIntroductory lectures and subject seminarsFocus very much on action researchDevelopment of literature reviewFeedback on literature reviewDevelopment of proposed studyPeer-review of proposed study prior to final placementSubmission of report whilst still on final placement

Undergraduate research studyUndergraduate research module (24 credits at level 6) consisting of 2 componentsProposal Section 1 - Provide a critique of the role of practitioner research in education. Section 2 Proposal along with a rationale supported by reference to literatureAppendix - Completed University Ethics FormReportLiterature review, Methodology and methodsResults and interpretationDiscussionConclusion & implications for practiceUndergraduate research studyApproachIntroductory lectures and subject seminarsDevelopment of proposal and ethics formFeedback on proposalAmendments made prior to first placementReview of progress between placementsSubmission several weeks after completion of second placementUndergraduate research studyProposed topicsDoes physical activity improve pupils concentration?Attainment and Attitude changes towards Mathematics from Year 6 to Year 7.The effects of using differentiated tasks within a class upon the feelings of the learners: a case study.To explore any anxieties experienced by pupils and parents during the KS2/3 transition, and to discover what programmes are in place to counteract these?Differences in childrens attitudes towards gender stereotypes in mathematics across transition.Undergraduate research studyProposed topicsHow does learning a modern foreign language at Key Stage Two affect attainment in this modern foreign language at Key Stage Three?Evaluating pupils and teachers views on different assessment strategies in Design and Technology.What pupils and parents know about and think about SATs.How do pupil and teacher attitudes to the use and purpose of practical work in science differ in primary and secondary education?Target language use within the secondary classroomGathering reflectionsPostgraduates on placement their reflections are yet to comeUndergraduate students asked questions to get them to consider purpose, preparation benefits and drawbacks.Questions to studentsIn what ways was the experience of being a researcher valuable?What have you learned from your research study?How has your study helped your development as a teacher?How prepared did you feel before starting your research?What changes would you suggest could be made to the Module?What drawbacks have there been?

Reflections studentsIn what ways was the experience of being a researcher valuable?It has given purpose to my placement, giving me targets to aim for, complete and achieve It allowed us to explore areas of teaching that we may not have considered to be of importance. It has made me very critical of almost all published research, especially those highlighted in the media which suggest they have been commissioned with an agenda in mind!It really taught me to question the very nature of a curriculum...who decides it, on what basis and how do pupils' day-to-day views actually align with literature on good practice in curriculum and educational institution construction?It enabled me to (in a limited sense) step outside of education and look at its development neutrally and actively consider/question it, instead of being just caught up in the midst of what needs to be taught that day.Reflections studentsWhat have you learned from your research study?I have learnt firstly, don't ever anticipate that you will get everything back that you hand out. Students may have the best intentions of helping out, but they often let you down at the last minute.I've learnt that I am naive and a novice at researching an aspect of my subject area, and so I would need to observe and study how other researchers operate in future to produce a quality research studyMy personal study considered a specific point of teaching in transition.. Currentissues regarding performance related pay have put this into context andhave tied in with my research as teaching being a shared responsibility Every teacher a teacher of reading.Reflections studentsHow has your study helped your development as a teacher?I have discovered gaps in teaching practice which need addressing and I feel that I am in a suitable position to help make that change in my first teaching post.It has given me more awareness of the effectiveness of my teaching, its helped me pinpoint the things that work and why the things that are not successful don't work. I understand the importance of influences outside of school and has made me ask questions that I would like to do in further research.I have realised the greater, holistic,needs andto be considerate of the wider abilities of children when planning and delivering lessons.

Reflections studentsHow prepared did you feel before starting your research?Very unprepared as I have need seen or observed how a research study is practically undertakenI was worried at first abouttopic choice and finding something I had a bit of a passion to actually write effectively (hopefully!) about...once I sorted this though I thought it was a really interesting module and itgave me a good insight into what social science research is, and how it is carried out, not just from a teaching point of view.Quite well prepared, the proposition sessions and assignment focussed what and why very well...

Reflections studentsWhat changes would you suggest could be made to the Module?Study ways in which researchers have undertaken research. (i.e. their methods and their proposals and how they linked). The online power point that you did were probably more helpful than the actual lectures, because they could be revisited and were better than reading some poorly taken notes. Because the module is covered way before the actual project, more of these online lectures would be good to refer back to.

Reflections studentsWhat drawbacks have there been?I had issues with photocopying, one school refused to let me do it, so I had to pay for it myself (20!!), and the students struggled to get the questionnaires back to me (especially in secondary school as I didn't see the students as often). Finding time to do interviews that suited the students was also difficultFinding time on placement even to administer a questionnaire, let alone carry out interviews. In my case, sample number was almost insignificant which has almost negated the actual research. However, I am now more aware of research practices and shall be in a better position to implement such research in the future.

Reflections - studentsGeneral observationsAn unexpected highlight of the course which empowers participants to become research savvy (not experts) and acquire a skill set they will cascade through their teaching career!Having that broader understanding (that included multiple perspectives) really added a context to what I was doing. It's funny but having done a realin-depth review into studies on praise, I now appreciate a) how complex the topic isb) how other people may not realise they are giving praise in potentially damaging ways. I know I'm not really, but I kind of feel like an expert in that area now and almo