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Using ICT to promote Independent Learning


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#1 Neal Watkin

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:36 PM

Using ICT to STRENGTHEN INDEPENDENT LEARNING
The Rules of Engagement…

The Rationale for the presentation is that…
• ICT makes for good engagement. Engagement is essential for good learning
• ICT has the potential to promote independent learning
HOWEVER…
• Tasks have to be carefully constructed in order to create the correct circumstances

ICT is an essential tool in the modern classroom; it can engage pupils on a number of levels and make the job of the teacher considerably easier. However, the use of ICT does not necessarily ensure good learning. There could even be a situation where the class is quiet and engrossed in their computer/web-based activity, but getting no lasting benefit from the activity. All activities, ICT or not, should challenge pupils thinking at a high level and try to make them better learners.

It is impossible to separate engagement, from getting pupils to think at a high level and making them into independent learners - they are all linked. The aim of all three is to create an effective learning environment.

The Rules of Engagement
In their recent ‘Pedagogy and Practice’ Pack the DfES stated that, “People learn best when they are interested, involved and appropriately challenged”. This is hardly a revelation, but it is easy to forget the third clause in that sentence. Some of the ICT going on in History classrooms is exciting and captures the imagination for a short time, but does not involve a level of complexity and challenge students mentally. If learning is to be effective then interest, involvement and challenge all need to be addressed. With this in mind, and the research and Vygotsky and Piaget, the DfES came up with nine rules of Engagement:

1. Activities have a clear purpose and relevance
2. New knowledge is related to old
3. Presentation is varied
4. Activities generate curiosity
5. Pupils ask questions and try new ideas
6. Pupils see their achievements and progress
7. Pupils analyse their thinking/learning
8. Pupils gain satisfaction and enjoyment from their work
9. Pupils get a positive image of themselves a learners

Of these nine, ICT covers six of the points really well:
• Activities have a clear purpose and relevance
• Presentation is varied
• Activities generate curiosity
• Pupils ask questions and try new ideas
• Pupils see their achievements and progress
• Pupils gain satisfaction and enjoyment from their work

The benefit of most widely available applications is that they automatically give you an end product, e.g. a presentation using Power Point or a movie using Movie Maker. Also, the wealth of free applications can allow you to build variety into lessons; and, if lots of packages are used, then pupils will have to figure out how they work and interact with others to create the desired results. If the end products are realised then pupils should get a sense of achievement and satisfaction form their work.

This leaves three points that do not naturally appear in ICT activities:
• New knowledge is related to old
• Pupils analyse their thinking/learning
• Pupils get a positive image of themselves a learners

ICT activities can include these elements of learning, but they need to be thought about carefully and planned into any activity. We should not see this as a simple process: saving work from one lesson to the next does not constitute ‘New knowledge is related to old’. Teachers need to make review and linking points into a structured part of the lesson so that learning becomes connected. Analysis of thinking needs to tackled in a formal way – how the activity was completed and how the skills can be applied in other contexts.

Independent Learning
As well as fully engaging pupils with ICT, we should be trying to increase their general ability as learners. This can be easy to achieve and in some senses supports the way that applications are designed. The key is to make the principles of independent learning explicit to pupils and help them to analyse how these are enhanced through the learning.

For me, independent learning involves:
• Problem-solving
• Inter-personal skills
• Industrious activity • Self-motivation
• Creativity
• Being reflective

The question is, how can ICT activities be used to achieve these?

PowerPoint: Instruction/research
Teachers make good use of PowerPoint, whether they make effective use is another matter. If we simply use PowerPoint as a means of imparting information then it will cause paralysis among the masses. However, PowerPoint does come with a number of interactive elements and with a little manipulation you can create a meaningful activity that has a clear purpose and allows for independent learning.

Create a clear activity for pupils to follow: PowerPoint does not have to be passive. You can use it to create surprises and force pupils to discover information in order to complete an activity. The process of learning needs to be the same for any type of activity. We need to have a learning journey; for example, I have created a virtual battlefields tour that allows pupils to visit sites and monuments in order to complete the preparatory work for their coursework. The focus is clear and the information has to be found and carefully sorted. I have used the ‘grow/shrink’ option to help with the analysis pictures (different parts of the image can be emphasised at different times using a simple cropping and overlay technique). Also, transparent boxes can have hyperlinks attached to them to create interactive maps and diagrams. This increases the search element of the task and the idea of discovery.
Using action settings will allow you to set consequences for pupils rolling over a particular section. This can create interest and surprises and to some extent create interaction, simulate research and problem-solving.

PowerPoint: Peer Instruction
A step forward from exciting presentations created for pupils to use, is allowing pupils the time and space to make creative PowerPoints of their own. In this way they can solve problems and reach a meaningful goal. The challenge does not have to come solely from the ICT aspect: pupils can be set the challenge of giving a lively presentation with PowerPoint as one aspect – integrating the ICT to achieve a wider objective. The opportunities for internal and external challenges make ICT a flexible option in the classroom.

If you are just using PowerPoint then challenge can be created quite easily by asking pupils to work with a restricted number of slides, points or words. Another idea is to include an evaluation scale. For example, if pupils have identified and discussed five factors then ask them to assign a numerical value to each one – they should distribute 15 points over the slides, with no two slides having the same value. This will create a hierarchy and force pupils to consider the idea of significance.

Another idea is to create ‘How to…’ guides. This could involve an aspect of history, or even be a structured look at how they achieved the task. For example, after completing a presentation, you could ask the group to produce a set of ICT resources for teachers to help them conduct a lesson entitled ‘How do you build an effective presentation?’

The most effective way to move skills forward is to blend ICT with Assessment for Learning strategies. As well as having pupil targets for History skills, they could have targets in Communication. This will allow them to see that the subject is a blend enquiry and development skills and finding ways to present that information effectively. These targets might be explicitly linked to ICT (e.g. Use the cropping tool to create more specific analysis of images) or they may be about more general communication concepts (e.g. Engage the audience more in your presentations). The first is an example of a scaffold approach that helps pupils to think about how ICT and communication skills can be built up. The second is more open and encourages pupils to think about a range of strategies (some ICT and some not) to help move them forward. Both have their place and should be used to maximise pupil learning.

PowerPoint is a little unfashionable these days. To dismiss it as a tool misses the point of its use in the classroom. All schools have access to it and so do many pupils at home. It does not matter if there are better tools out there for delivering presentations, what we need to focus on is the skills it can give pupils in terms of the possibilities of ICT. They can then take this to other applications and investigate these for themselves. We should always keep in mind that the ICT is there to support the History and applications should only be judged in terms of whether or not they can move historical thinking forward. PowerPoint can be used to support problem-solving, and manipulated to enhance inter-personal skills (e.g. to create an interactive back-drop for dramas or role-plays), it can be used in a number of creative ways enhance presentations and provides pupils with skills that they can analyse and reapply elsewhere.

Movies: Thinking Prompts
Movies can be a really effective way of demonstrating a point. This can be taken a step further by introducing a theme or idea for pupils to develop or debate. The principle here is that pupils are not just passive observers, but part of a joke or mental jolt. For example, the politics of interwar Britain can be presented as the six episodes of Star Wars (as in, Stanley Baldwin is the ‘Phantom Menace’ who caused the end of the Lloyd George Coalition). This can then become an exercise in lateral thinking with students continuing a story started by the teacher, or challenging the interpretation established in the film. In this way, Movie Maker can be used to set up a learning task that makes pupils think, evaluate and be creative.
In a similar way, music videos can be used to make links to individual lessons. More intelligent music acts will show an interpretation of the lyrics within their videos and so this offers two possible points for discussion: the images and the lyrics. So, when teaching Appeasement and the mindset of the British public, Radiohead’s ‘No Surprises’ makes an excellent start and end point for the lesson.

Pupil Movies can be effective too. Allowing pupils access to Movie Maker at regular intervals throughout a scheme of work means they can slowly build up a audio and visual record of the work the are doing. This works on a number of levels: pupils must carefully select information, but have regular opportunity to review and edit; adding layers of complexity actually improves work, because thinking is occurring at a higher level.

Movies can also be used to give pupils the space to work independently. After a session of history, getting them to report directly into camera - Big Brother diary room style – will allow pupils the chance to work without interference and still give the teacher something to assess and comment on (maybe in the form of a movie!). It can also be a stimulating end product for pupils when conducting Projects. They are useful for establishing chronologies and finding patterns.

Captivate or the free programme ‘Wink’ can provide something similar. The rollovers and interactive elements can create an environment which provokes thought and allows pupils to develop their own routes through a particular problem. It can also give teachers and pupils the facilities to make interesting ‘How to…’ guides. Podcasting is an alternative to this. Pupils and teachers can get a lot from audio recordings if they learn lessons from radio. Try to include interviews, linked music, quizzes, news slots and reviews. All of this introduces an element of thinking to the production and to the listening.

Conclusions
Kim Cavanaugh & Debra Maupin argued, ‘Focusing on the process rather than the tools reverses that dynamic so that students are able to appreciate not only how a particular task is accomplished, but also which technology is appropriate for the assigned task—a common skill they will need when faced with real-world work requirements’. This must be the starting point of all discussions about the use of technology in the History classroom. If we add in ICT as an easy way to grab attention, then we will make little headway in turning out good quality learners. The skills we value as historians must be reflected in our use of technology, otherwise there is little to justify its inclusion. In the workplace, use of technology is fully integrated into wider systems and we should be trying to prepare pupils for this.

For this to occur, it is important for teachers to hand control of ICT over to the pupils. This will give pupils the chance to find out strategies for themselves and become independent learners. A step on from this is to give pupils clear criteria and then allow them to select the most appropriate mode of presentation. This can throw up some interesting results, with pupils exploring the possibilities of technology as diverse as Flash and mobile phones.

In order to manage such situation, I find a flexible classroom model the most helpful. Rather than taking pupils to a suite of computers, six are installed in the teaching room. This allows teachers and pupils to experiment with group dynamics and computer time. For example, a class of 30 could be given a problem and then split into groups of five; they can be told that they can access one computer per group over three lessons. This will focus their attention on what can be achieved and force them to think of alternatives to ICT.

Whatever strategies are employed, the most important section of any task is the ‘debrief’ and looking at transferable skills. This type of metacognition allows pupils to build on their skills and continually move forward. This is what ICT in education should be about.

Neal Watkin

#2 Roy Huggins

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:50 PM

Hi Neal,

Thanks for a brilliant seminar. I really enjoyed your seminar and walked away with some great ideas.

Kind Regards

Roy

#3 Andy Walker

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 12:16 PM

Neal, thank you for an interesting seminar and for reminding us that PowerPoint doesn't have to be used the bore one's audience rigid. The very worst example of the misuse of ppt I have witnessed was at ironically enough at a teacher training institution a couple of years ago (it wasn't Terry ;) ). On this occasion the tutor was bent over his laptop at the front of the room with his back to his audience - as his rather naff slides emerged on the screen and he read them to us I got the very real impression that he was actually talking out of his arse :lol: .
However as ppt is the presentation software that most teachers use and most teachers have access to it is very sensible to reflect on how the software can be used more effectively and I think the examples you gave in your presentation were excellent ones

For my part I very rarely use ppt to present text to a class, not least because it makes me talk and think like a dotmatrix printer and makes me even more boring than usual. However I do use it to good effect to present images as a starter to a lesson to encourage discussion. I think its also quite useful to get students to edit and develop presentations as a lesson progresses. A fair example of both of these can be accessed HERE which is an online lesson I helped my GTP student develop last year.

Maybe we should start a thread on how ppt can be used effectively?

#4 John Simkin

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:19 AM

In their recent ‘Pedagogy and Practice’ Pack the DfES stated that, “People learn best when they are interested, involved and appropriately challenged”. This is hardly a revelation, but it is easy to forget the third clause in that sentence. Some of the ICT going on in History classrooms is exciting and captures the imagination for a short time, but does not involve a level of complexity and challenge students mentally. If learning is to be effective then interest, involvement and challenge all need to be addressed. With this in mind, and the research and Vygotsky and Piaget, the DfES came up with nine rules of Engagement:

1. Activities have a clear purpose and relevance
2. New knowledge is related to old
3. Presentation is varied
4. Activities generate curiosity
5. Pupils ask questions and try new ideas
6. Pupils see their achievements and progress
7. Pupils analyse their thinking/learning
8. Pupils gain satisfaction and enjoyment from their work
9. Pupils get a positive image of themselves a learners

Of these nine, ICT covers six of the points really well:
• Activities have a clear purpose and relevance
• Presentation is varied
• Activities generate curiosity
• Pupils ask questions and try new ideas
• Pupils see their achievements and progress
• Pupils gain satisfaction and enjoyment from their work


Thank you for this simulating seminar that poses all the important questions about the future of history education. The DfES nine rules of Engagement contain all the current “buzz words”. I have no complaints about the points included in the list. However, they are not enough in themselves. It is all based on the traditional paradigm of learning with the emphasis placed on information being transmitted from the teacher (or approved resource) to the student. This is to be expected from a government obsessed with measurement.

The key issue surrounds the freedom of the student to ask questions. Although educationalists are keen to stress this activity, how often does it really happen? I am not talking about student questions that are subtly fed to them by the teacher. I mean questions that naturally occur out of the student’s own studies. For this to happen, we need to completely change what we do in the classroom. We also need to completely reform the examination system.

#5 Simon Ross

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 08:48 AM

We also need to completely reform the examination system.


John, you're getting me in to trouble. All fired up from the experience of Toulouse I went to an AS standardisation meeting yesterday. At lunch my team leader asked me what I thought of the merits of AS examinations. Well! The table went silent, before quickly turning to a discussion of the weather. :unsure:

Anyhoo, thanks Neal for your interesting presentation. I took some practical things away from it, such as ppt hyperlinking, action settings, and capitvate. I also thought it was good, with both yours and Johannes' presentations to see teachers trying to make visually attractive resources with the appropriate but interesting use of colour, fonts, images, animations. The way our resources look is, I believe, too often overlooked.

On a wider level, it was also reassuring for me to see the parallels with my presentation in your justification for using ICT. However, I think you are making a very important point which I hadn't really thought enough about:

it is important for teachers to hand control of ICT over to the pupils. This will give pupils the chance to find out strategies for themselves and become independent learners.


This is an interesting challenge and one which I'm grateful to you for raising.

Edited by Simon Ross, 18 June 2006 - 08:50 AM.


#6 John Simkin

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 12:03 PM


We also need to completely reform the examination system.


John, you're getting me in to trouble. All fired up from the experience of Toulouse I went to an AS standardisation meeting yesterday. At lunch my team leader asked me what I thought of the merits of AS examinations. Well! The table went silent, before quickly turning to a discussion of the weather. :unsure:

Anyhoo, thanks Neal for your interesting presentation. I took some practical things away from it, such as ppt hyperlinking, action settings, and capitvate. I also thought it was good, with both yours and Johannes' presentations to see teachers trying to make visually attractive resources with the appropriate but interesting use of colour, fonts, images, animations. The way our resources look is, I believe, too often overlooked.

On a wider level, it was also reassuring for me to see the parallels with my presentation in your justification for using ICT. However, I think you are making a very important point which I hadn't really thought enough about:

it is important for teachers to hand control of ICT over to the pupils. This will give pupils the chance to find out strategies for themselves and become independent learners.


This is an interesting challenge and one which I'm grateful to you for raising.


That is the point I am trying to make in the Roy Huggins' thread.

#7 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 05:47 PM

As someone who was unable to see your presentation, can I also thank you for the clarity of your seminar. I really enjoyed reading it and found a lot of overlap with my own thoughts about history and ICT. I tend to use ppoint as a way of quickly exposing the students to alot of different images, but my favourite ppoint came from schoolhistory http://www.schoolhis...lersschools.ppt which uses ppoint to trick the students into believing that schools in the uk have been changed in the way that they were in nazi germany. One of the most effective ways to make student use of ppoint into a higher order activity is to allow them to produce their own presentations and then ask them to merge some of their slides with a partner to create a better outcome, thus forcing them to synthesise the material.

#8 John Simkin

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:03 AM

Some people believe that teachers should be using mediator rather than powerpoint:

http://www.matchware...tor/default.htm

#9 Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 10:56 AM

A late thank you for both the seminar in Toulouse as well as a very well written seminar here. Sometimes being blinded by all the opportunities of modern ICT it's easy to forget the main purpose of technology - to serve as a tool for education. One of the good things with Power Point is as been remarked above it's availability. Another one is the fact that it is very easy to learn. This is something I stressed before - both teachers and pupils try to find ways of saving time (definitely not adding...) and en easy available program is one way of doing it. You show several good ways of using Power Point and samples like that (and a few other that's been suggested here) can take these teachers and pupils a bit further.
One of the main obstacles I find is the problem of resources in my own classrooms (since we have so many classes we never get to be in the same classroom all the time - I usually change between 7-10 different rooms during the week).

In order to manage such situation, I find a flexible classroom model the most helpful. Rather than taking pupils to a suite of computers, six are installed in the teaching room. This allows teachers and pupils to experiment with group dynamics and computer time. For example, a class of 30 could be given a problem and then split into groups of five; they can be told that they can access one computer per group over three lessons. This will focus their attention on what can be achieved and force them to think of alternatives to ICT.

I fully agree with you. I would also like to add a Smartboard. :lol: The actual classroom is very important to bring up when you try to encourage the use of ICT at our schools. Most Swedish Schools have Computer Labs which are often occupied and as I see it not the environment you want for a creative history class (this last statement comes from some practical experiences since I have tried to run some of my classes completely from a Computer Lab). In my case I would then also need to provide 7-10 classrooms with the equipment necessary plus get a better schedule... The timeschedule is our next big problem which is of such proportions that it needs its own seminar - Maybe we need to make a seminar about "How to prepare schools for modern learning with the help of ICT". This would include the classroom environment, the schedules, technical equipment, programs available, conflicts with exams, basic skills of students, basic skills of teachers, time scare (the fear of something consuming your valuable time), etc... ;)

#10 Neal Watkin

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 08:16 PM

"The key issue surrounds the freedom of the student to ask questions. Although educationalists are keen to stress this activity, how often does it really happen? I am not talking about student questions that are subtly fed to them by the teacher. I mean questions that naturally occur out of the student’s own studies. For this to happen, we need to completely change what we do in the classroom. We also need to completely reform the examination system."



Sorry for the delay in replying John.

You raise an important point here. I have recently been experimenting with my Year 7 class and getting them to design their own assessments - nothing at all to do with National Curriculum Levels or school tracking. The results have been staggering, especially in the area you highlight. Pupil interaction has increased and I can observe sophisticated questions being asked among themselves.

However, I would like to point out that it has taken a lot of groundwork to get to this point (e.g. metacognition in plenaries, structured peer asessment, explicit skills teaching). Pupils still need asssistance to become sophisticated learners and their is still a need for teachers to inspire and give them new outlets and opprtunities. I agree that the traditional model of teaching needs to be looked at, but careful planning and monitoring of progress are still essential. Maybe the profession needs to see independently engaged students as the goal and work towards this (gradually shedding those traditional approaches as the pupils get nearer to this).

I would be interested to read your thoughts.

#11 Neal Watkin

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 08:34 PM

One of the main obstacles I find is the problem of resources in my own classrooms (since we have so many classes we never get to be in the same classroom all the time - I usually change between 7-10 different rooms during the week).


Anders,

Good to hear from you.

I would completely agree with you and face a similar problem. As a subject leader I was constantly involved in a struggle to keep History lessons in history rooms. The learning environment is vital - a teacher needs to have stability and more importantly, so do the pupils. Accomodation is a valuable commodity, but so are teachers and allowing them to do their task effectively is important too. Even if I get limited access to the room with six computers, I believe it is the right way forward.

I want pupils to engage with ICT in a critical way, this often means looking at when ICT is NOT appropriate to use. Having one machine for a group of five students makes them focus on what is the best way to achieve a task - via computer, or elsewhere. A spin off of this approach has been an increased use of the library by students, since they recognise that if basic information is needed in a hurry, then a library is easier and more effective than the internet. It has also broadened the use of ICT within the classroom, with pupils experimenting with mobile phones and pocket cams to create visual effects.

As I pointed out in the seminar, it is the skills inherent in the technology that are important and not the technology itself. I find that having separate computer suites encourages the latter and limits the choices of some pupils. For example, I have one student who is top level gamer, but givnthe freedom to chose and he will always pick to hand produce his work - it is just the way he prefers it.

#12 John Simkin

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 10:40 AM

"The key issue surrounds the freedom of the student to ask questions. Although educationalists are keen to stress this activity, how often does it really happen? I am not talking about student questions that are subtly fed to them by the teacher. I mean questions that naturally occur out of the student’s own studies. For this to happen, we need to completely change what we do in the classroom. We also need to completely reform the examination system."



Sorry for the delay in replying John.

You raise an important point here. I have recently been experimenting with my Year 7 class and getting them to design their own assessments - nothing at all to do with National Curriculum Levels or school tracking. The results have been staggering, especially in the area you highlight. Pupil interaction has increased and I can observe sophisticated questions being asked among themselves.

However, I would like to point out that it has taken a lot of groundwork to get to this point (e.g. metacognition in plenaries, structured peer asessment, explicit skills teaching). Pupils still need asssistance to become sophisticated learners and their is still a need for teachers to inspire and give them new outlets and opprtunities. I agree that the traditional model of teaching needs to be looked at, but careful planning and monitoring of progress are still essential. Maybe the profession needs to see independently engaged students as the goal and work towards this (gradually shedding those traditional approaches as the pupils get nearer to this).

I would be interested to read your thoughts.


I also apologise for being late with my reply. I have been in Sicily doing research that will eventually find its way on my website.

I agree entirely that students need assistance to help them “to become sophisticated learners” and the role of the teacher is to “inspire and give them new outlets and opportunities.”

As W. A. Ward once pointed out: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." Or as J. Albers said: "Good teaching is more a giving of the right questions than a giving of the right answers." Or in the words of Ionesco: "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question."

The problem is, how can we do this given the restrictions imposed by the examination system? Unfortunately, we currently have a system that only rewards students who provide the “approved answers”. It is only when they get to research degree level that they are rewarded for asking good questions.

#13 Neal Watkin

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:32 PM

The problem is, how can we do this given the restrictions imposed by the examination system? Unfortunately, we currently have a system that only rewards students who provide the “approved answers”. It is only when they get to research degree level that they are rewarded for asking good questions.


True, the exam system imposes limitations on the both teachers and students - although I am hoping that this will be lessened with the introduction of 'Hybrid History' in 2008. My biggest disappointment of the last few years has been the changes made to the personal study at A level. Initially, it was a chance for students to do exactly what you were describing happens at University: forming their own questions and research methods. I can recall a few exceptional titles from my first years of teaching...

'Was the term POW universially accepted in World War II?'
'Have National Celebrations become more international in 20th Century?'

Neither of these would be suitable under the new criteria since the scope is big and they are not measurable against the published markscheme.

However, I can still see ways of getting around this. I might be a little idealistic, but I have faith in the processes of History. I see no problem in setting historical problems and allowing pupils to run with them and see what occurs. This does eat into the time available, but I believe that the skills gained from such approaches, if properly ecvaluated and discussed, will ensure pupils can cope with any exam situation. Therefore, I begin the Year 12 course on Inter-warBritish History by allowing students to work on a project entitled 'The Conservative Party 1918-1939'. They have to construct the questions and choose the media, but I do insist that they produce a series of satricial cartoons.

They are not examined on this as such (questions are more specific and usually related to a single issue), but I want them to be independent learners. I am open at the begining of the course and say that A level has to be about more than getting the grades.

#14 John Simkin

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 11:22 AM

The problem is, how can we do this given the restrictions imposed by the examination system? Unfortunately, we currently have a system that only rewards students who provide the “approved answers”. It is only when they get to research degree level that they are rewarded for asking good questions.


True, the exam system imposes limitations on the both teachers and students - although I am hoping that this will be lessened with the introduction of 'Hybrid History' in 2008. My biggest disappointment of the last few years has been the changes made to the personal study at A level. Initially, it was a chance for students to do exactly what you were describing happens at University: forming their own questions and research methods. I can recall a few exceptional titles from my first years of teaching...

'Was the term POW universially accepted in World War II?'
'Have National Celebrations become more international in 20th Century?'

Neither of these would be suitable under the new criteria since the scope is big and they are not measurable against the published markscheme.


The same thing has happened with the Sociology "A" level. The previous personal study was a great preparation for university. In fact, the project itself often persuaded them to study Sociology at university.

What are your current views on the recent examination changes? Do they take account of recent developments in ICT?

#15 Terry Haydn

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 05:04 PM

I think Neal makes a really important point; often it's not the technical functionality of the ICT application that delivers the learning but the imagination and creativity of the teacher in devising a well designed learning task or problem through the application - Neal is particularly good at this, and models it very powerfully in a session he does with my students. Above all, it's about using the technology to make learners think, to problematise the issue or topic in question, not just to 'tell them stuff' and deliver the answer. PowerPoint is a good example of an application that can be dire or brilliant, depending how it is used, and it's not about technical brilliance with PowerPoint, it's the ingenuity and imagination of the task design and questions posed by the presentation




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