1.1 Analyse theories, principles and models of learning
Theories enhance learning and effective application of knowledge to practical. There are many theories, principles and models of learning which attempt to explain effective learning and teaching amongst which are constructivist approaches, Learner based models and Anderson model
Constructivist theory is based on the principle that students learn by building knowledge on prior knowledge and experiences as well as getting actively engaged in the learning process as opposed to obtaining information passively from lecturers and memorization. Driver and Bell (1985) summarised the main assumptions of this approach as follows:
- Current believes of students which may be right or wrong.
- Personal ability to construct individual learning unique to each student despite same learning experience.
- Understanding a meaning as an active and continuous process.
- Learning may entail conceptual changes.
- Learning is an active process that is dependent on student’s taking ownership of learning.
- Students may lack confidence when they construct a new meaning even though such a meaning is provisionally accepted or rejected by them.
The theory acknowledges that knowledge is dependent of the knower and only the knowledge created for oneself from the information which is obtained from the environment while learners provide answers from their own perspectives. It is based on guided discovery, discussions on thoughts, ideas and activities to enable students learn effectively. It is learners-centred approach where students start with existing knowledge while teachers guide learners to discover knowledge thereby facilitating the learning process as opposed to giving direct instructions to learners.
This approach promotes diversity and different cultures than other theories due to being student-centred which entails involving them in learning process as active participants using all their senses. It facilitates learning in students who learn better by kinaesthetic approach and enables them apply the information acquired to life situations.
The constructivist curriculum considers learners’ previous knowledge, propels teachers to devote more time to topics of interest to learners and enables teachers to emphasise relevant and crucial information. It usually involves group work thereby providing opportunities for students to gain social skills, share ideas, knowledge and information together. It is particularly effective for enhancing learning for Special Education Needs students with sensory processing disorder like autistic spectrum through the teacher’s guidance, encouragement by challenging ideas and enabling them participate actively in learning. However, the theory has some short comings such as lack of structure which hinders the progress of students who need highly structured environment to succeed. Some students may lag behind others as it supports a more personalized study based on the prior knowledge of learners and formative assessment rather than standardised curriculum and summative assessment which enables the teacher to know the areas and levels of support required to enable them progress. This prevents grade-centred goals and rewards and measurement of student state-wide progress to be compared. It is difficult for teachers to customise the curriculum to every student due to differences in their prior knowledge.
The relevant training involved in constructive teaching is wide and usually entails high cost long-term professional development. The theory may also lead to confusion and frustration in learners as the success depends on students’ ability to establish relationships and abstracts between prior knowledge and their current knowledge. Constructivism principles when incorporated into learning may be beneficial but most students require more structure and evaluation to progress.
Learner based models (Dewey)
Dewey’s theory (2008/1902) is based on experiential education and the role of the schools in education. He believes that education is life itself and a process of living as opposed to being a preparation for future living. His experiential education centres on the concept of instrumentalism in education on ‘learning by doing or hands-on learning’ which falls under the educational philosophy of pragmatism (experience of reality) and implies learning by theory and practice. Dewey creates instrumentalism which is a theory of knowledge which views ideas as existing primarily to solve encountered environmental problems. He considers civil society and schools as two basic elements and main topics that should be addressed and modified to promote experimental intelligence and plurality for the improvement of life and environment of people. He believes that the interaction of students with their environment enhances adaptation and learning which ensures students and teachers learn together thereby promoting inclusivity. His approach is child-centred with focus of learning on the child’s needs and interests which involves supporting him to explore the environment.
Dewey acknowledges the facilitating role of the teacher in the process of allowing children to use their interests in modelling the educational environment as this enables teachers to apply their professional judgement in streamlining the process and curbing the excesses of children. He notes that an important mastery and control of a well-trained teacher ensures the child’ education is achieved. He acknowledges the role of schools in education as where to learn how to live in addition to where to acquire content knowledge thereby enhancing the aim of education which is the achievement of the full potentials of all learners and maximum utilisation of skills. He itemises his teaching methods in relation to the ages at which the tasks carried out by children progressively becomes complex from simple ones. He states children go to school to make things: cook; sew, work wood, and to make tools through clear acts of constructions whose context and consequences articulate studies such as reading, writing and calculus. He expects students to be active learning perceivers and critical thinkers as opposed to passive learners. His pedagogical key provides children with experiences of first hand on conflictive situations which are mainly time based on personal experiences. He notes that conducive conditions are vital to active participation of children in the personal analysis of their problems as well as participation in the methods for solution at the expense of multiple tries and mistakes otherwise the mind is not completely free. The theory is of limited application as it cannot be applied in all disciplines but only provides understanding and explanation in the inter-relationship in philosophy, pedagogy and psychology.
Procedural v Declarative (Anderson, 1976)
The two types of knowledge which originates from Newell’s symbolic framework are declarative and procedural (Anderson, 1976). He states that declarative knowledge is ‘Knowing that ’while procedural knowledge is ‘knowing how’. Procedural knowledge is based on naturally occurring reflexes which involve the application of declarative knowledge to a task to facilitate mastery in the long-term memory. It eventually results in problem solving skills through active participation using different senses thereby promoting inclusivity. Declarative knowledge is actual information (static) which is acquired by passive memorization such as ideas, symbols, numbering, semantics and formulas and it is based on theories, models and principles that are of practical application to procedural knowledge.
1.2 Explain ways in which theories, principles and models of learning can be applied to teaching, learning and assessment
Constructivists theory which involves critical thinking and learning is of significance in differentiated activities commensurate to the identified levels of support (e.g. resources, Student Net) as documented on the Individual Learning Plans of Learners. Learning goals are set using objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART) and commensurate to levels of support identified, action plans are made and implemented. These plans are evaluated for its impact/modification which can result in extended activities and progressive activities to enhance learner’ achievement.
This theory is applied through different teaching/learning strategies such as pair work, case studies, brain storming, group discussions, open ended questions, peer teaching, student led discussion, debates, group research work and presentation. This fosters positive interaction and promotes learning amongst themselves through sharing of experiences especially when given tasks and activities involving analysis and evaluation of information, ideas and data. Constructive feedback from formative assessment on a regular basis, recapping on prior knowledge for clarity at intervals, after and before lessons help to re-in force learning which facilitates links with future learning concepts. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Skills comprising of multiple levels of learning, moving progressively from the simplest to the most complex is used as teaching and learning strategy to map out the appropriate students’ learning outcomes and activities. The daily journal which learners are encouraged to keep and observed enables them to get a better understanding of the contribution of their experiences, theories and their observation notes which are compared with one another.
Problem solving tasks/activities are embedded into the curriculum to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills in students while they are guided to the right answers. This is facilitated by prompting learners to question themselves, their strategies and assess the impact of differentiated activities on their understanding and making the necessary improvement where required. Such activities include the use of sort cards, gapped handouts, matching and labelling activities, darts and graphic organisers. Sort cards are used as warm up activities to group ideas, identify process trends, key points and relevant details. Pictures are used and matched with materials, words, groups, answers etc. For instance, learners are made to sort pictures of different foods into the appropriate food groups like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Graphic organisers are used as instructional tools to activate prior knowledge, ask questions, visualise and organise information such as organising problems and answers, prompts to enhance academic performance of written research, sequencing and relating information to theories. Concept maps are used to establish links between ideas and to overview topics while mind maps are used to show visual representation of hierarchal information.
1.3 Analyse models of learning preferences
Learning preferences refer to the individual’s unique patterns of strengths, weaknesses and preferences in assimilating, processing and retrieving information. Different models are being used to explore the learning preferences to better understand the strategies and approaches that ensure effective learning. The most influential models of learning styles have been evaluated and documented (Coffield et.al., 2004) amongst which are Honey and Mumford Learning styles, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Metacognition.
Honey and Mumford Learning Styles
This style which is based on Kolb’s Model identifies four learning styles/preferences namely Activist, Theorist, Pragmatist and Reflector (Honey and Mumford, 1982). They state that these groups are natural learning approaches that are preferred by individual learners and suggest that every learner should endeavour to understand their learning style and harness the opportunities to gain mastery and excel. They encourage learners to learn in other styles to maximise learning. They develop a Learning Style Questionnaire to make learner smarter at fitting better between learning opportunities and learning best, increase their breath of experience from which benefit is derived and develop their learning skills and progress. Activists learn by doing through hands on experience and are open-minded to learning through involving themselves wholly without bias in new experiences. They enjoy new ideas and are prepared to experiment with anything by acting first prior to considering the consequences. They enjoy doing different activities and are dynamic in moving from one activity to another promptly after the excitement from an activity goes off. This learning style is being facilitated by involving learners in activities such as group discussion, debates, puzzles, brainstorming, role play and competitions.
Theorists are interested in understanding the theories responsible for actions and find models, concepts and facts useful for participation in the learning process. They have preference for maximising certainty, analysing and synthesising as well as building up new information into systematic and logical theory. They appear to be perfectionist who do not give up easily until things are done to standards and rational objectivity rather than to subjectivity. Activities that promote learning are application of theories, group discussions, debates, models, statistics, stories, background information and quotes. Pragmatists can visualise how to practicalize learning in the actual life and like to experiment with new theories, ideas, findings and techniques to see their workability. They are good at acting promptly and confidently on ideas interested to them and like to make practical decisions and solve problems. They take problems and opportunities as challenges that should be surmounted and hate open ended questions. They work towards continuous improvement by seeking better ways of doing things. The activities that are appropriate for them are case studies, problem solving and discussion in interactive and problem based learning.
Reflectors learn though observation and thinking on previous occurrences by standing back and viewing experiences from different angles. They obtain data and information from different sources (first hand and others) and prefer to take time to analyse them thoroughly before making appropriate conclusion which may translate to missing deadlines at the expense of quality. They are cautious and thoughtful people who enjoy observing and listening to people in action before making their own contributions. Their actions are based on the past and present and observations of others and theirs.
Relevant activities are coaching, mentoring, paired/group discussions, questionnaires (self-analysis, personality), observation, interview, presentation, problem solving and feedback from others. Honey and Mumford Model is unable to account for specific e learning styles which depend on time management skills while the questionnaire method fail to adequately reveal the preferred learning style but rather viewed as a personality questionnaire. Activists require a faster pace and shorter chunks of time than reflectors and might find self-motivation harder and find time to finish the tasks than theorists who are prone to be more disciplined and better at planning. Reflectors have the tendency of failing to meet deadlines at the expense of perfection and standardisation.
Gardner’ Multiple Intelligence
The model which is based on cognitive and developmental psychology, anthropology and sociology explains human intellect. It emanates from Gardner’s brain research and interviews grouped into eight criteria for nine intelligences.
The criteria are isolation of brain damage, existence of prodigies, idiot savants and outstanding persons, specific set of cores, development levels with an expert end state, evolutionary record and plausibility, susceptibility to encoding, experimental psychological tasks support and psychometric research support.
The nine intelligences are listed as Verbal/Linguistics, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Bodily-Kinaesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic and Existential.
Gardner’s theory (1985) defines intelligence as the ability to make and tackle problems, make products or valuable services within a society or culture. He states that every human being possesses all nine intelligences in different measures and each person has a different intelligence profile. Each intelligence takes up a different area of the brain and the intelligences may operate jointly or independently. He discovers that the assessment of learner’s intelligence profiles and the design of relevant activities impact positively on the education of learners.
This theory contrasts with the traditional views of intelligence which agrees that the intelligence of an individual is static all through his/her life and that intelligence is measured by logical and language abilities. The theory is beneficial to improving the learner’s ability at any intelligence level by providing adequate level of support to meet the varying strengths of learners and using student-centred and teacher-centred activities which is reflected on the lesson plan and implemented to ensure learners progress and achieve. It provides many teaching/learning options for teachers and learners and allows all forms of intelligence to be equally celebrated thereby ensuring inclusivity. It promotes a sense of self-esteem by enabling learners to consolidate on their strengths and progress to become experts in specific areas. It helps them to develop problem solving skills that can be applied to actual life situations. It falls in line with scholastic performance and it is based on clinical studies, case studies and educational evidence. Its limitations include failure to clarify the differences between intelligences and abilities and account for the reasons for differences in intelligence. The intelligences are not all crucial to effective adaptation and there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the theory.
Metacognition is higher order thinking which focuses on active control on the cognitive processes used in learning and it is defined as thinking about thinking (Livingstone, 1997). It is the ability to map out explicit, challenging goals, strategies to achieve goals and monitor success towards the goals. Metacognition is attributed to Flavell (1979) who states that metacognition comprises of metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences which he later sub-divided into three namely knowledge of person variables, task variables and strategy variables.
Metacognitive knowledge is the acquired knowledge on cognitive processes which controls cognitive processes while metacognitive experiences entails the use of metacognitive strategies (Brown, 1987).
Metacognitive strategies are progressive processes that are used to control cognitive activities, and enables cognitive goals to be achieved which ensures the regulation and overseeing of learning. It involves planning and monitoring cognitive activities and checking of outcomes. It has been established to support learners to succeed and linked with intelligence (Borkowski et al,1987).
A variety of approaches are used to measure metacognition which entails tools which must meet the development levels of learners and objectives of the assessment. Multiple measures are encouraged to serve as converging evidence so that educators will have greater confidence when making conclusions if the results are equal. Appropriate activities include planning on approaches for a learning task, monitoring understanding and progress evaluation of tasks.
Metacognition enables educational psychologists to have insights into the cognitive processes in learning and differentiation of successful learners from less successful ones. It is useful in providing instructional interventions like sensitising students on awareness of their learning processes and products; and the manipulation of the processes to foster effective learning. It is beneficial in the sense that it facilitates and enriches learning experiences, higher learning and problem solving skills. It creates self-awareness and self-monitoring which develop independent learners that are capable of controlling, monitoring their own learning and become actively involved in their learning thereby taking responsibility for their learning. Its success depends on the thinking ability of the learner and if the learner has poor thinking ability it will not be effective.
1.4 Explain how identifying and taking account of learners’ individual learning preferences enables inclusive teaching, learning and assessment
Identifying and taking account of learners’ individual learning preferences allow the teacher to create awareness of the different learning styles and work together with the learners to identify the learning preferences which promotes effective learning for the individual learners. This is done by capturing information on questionnaires (Honey and Mumford, VARK) which are analysed for their preferred methods of effective learning.
VARK is a multisensory approach which takes account of differences in learning preferences of learner and embraces all the learning styles. It enables the four learning styles to be incorporated into the lesson plan and delivered accordingly. Learners can be supported to learn effectively by incorporating different teaching and learning methods, strategies, styles, activities, instructional alternatives that focus on the learning styles of learners as basis of differentiated instruction (Tomlinson et al, 2008) to ensure inclusivity.
Fleming and Mills (1992) assert that multi-sensory approach embraces four learning styles (VARK) where V- is visual through seeing, A-is auditory through listening, R- is read and write and K-is kinaesthetic (doing and experiencing). V represents visual styles which requires the use of visual aids to learn (such as graphs, pictures, maps, you tube), A is Auditory style which entails learning by hearing and requires learners to listen to teachings, discussions and audio recordings, R stands for read/write style which entails learning through reading and writing notes while K stands for kinaesthetic style which involve learning through touching such as practical, demonstrations and hands on experience.
Some people who learn by all these styles tend to have strengths and weaknesses in a specific learning style while some people learn equally well in more than one style (multimodal style). However, learners should aspire to learn in all modes in addition to their preferred mode which helps in challenge their dormant preference to maximize learning. It has been reported that prospects of utilising a knowledge of learning to boost the self-awareness of students and tutors about their strengths and weaknesses lies in ‘supporting learners to see and question their long-held habitual behaviours’ (Sandler-Smith, 2001) and individuals can be taught to monitor their choice and use of various learning styles and strategies (LSRC, 2004).
2. Understand the application of theories, principles and models of communication in education and training
2.1 Analyse theories, principles and models of communication
Communication is a double-way means of transferring information from the sender to the receiver and transpires between two or more people. It is crucial for inter relation with learners, professionals, parents and other stakeholders and as such it is imperative to eliminate all barriers to effective communication. A proper understanding and skills can be developed through critical engagement with key principles and relevant communication theories (Machin et.al., 2014). There are many theories, principles and models of communication amongst which are Piaget, Vygotsky and non-verbal.
Piaget focuses on cognitive development which entails certain changes which take place in human beings between conception and death. These changes are those that occur systematically and exist for a long time. Aspects of development include physical, personal, social and cognitive development while principles of development include the development of people at different rates, development that occurs relatively orderly and gradually. His theory focuses on the universal stages of development as well as biological maturity. Piaget (1983) states that cognitive development consists of four stages which are sensorimotor (0-2years), pre-operational (2-7years), concrete operational (7-12years) and formal operational (12 years to adults).
Sensorimotor stage is when children starts to imitate, memorise, think and learn the principle of permanence of objects. They progress from reflex actions to goal activity. Children begins to interact with the world through movement and sensations such as putting objects into their mouth, smiling, throwing objects, handle and playing with toys and imitating the sound of adults in talking.
Pre-operational stage is when children begins to use language to talk, able to think in terms of mental images and egocentric and may find it difficult to understand from others’ perspective. They learn through experience with visible objects around them, can use symbols to generate ideas and differentiate between the past, present and future.
Concrete operational stage involves the children gaining more experience and can perceive events that happen around them. Salkind (2004) states that this stage is significant in the transition from the pre-operational to the formal stage. They have problems with understanding abstracts/hypothesis but are more logical about concrete and specifics with the ability to reason (e.g. stories) and solve problems (e.g. mathematics). They have a better understanding of mental operations and capable of reasoning along with people. Rathus (2008) acknowledges that this stage is characterised by the ability to focus on many aspects of a situation or problems at the same time (decentration).
Formal Operational stage is the final stage which is characterised by hypothetic-deductive reasoning and propositional nature. Hypothetic-deductive reasoning enables learners to formulate a general theory of factors that might influence the solution to a problem and deduce specific hypothesis that may result. The hypothesis is tested to determine the ones that are real thus their problem solving commences with possibility and moves to reality. Propositional nature enables learners to concentrate on verbal assertions and evaluate logical validity without any reference to the real world which opposes the concrete operational learners where evaluation of logics of statement are considered against concrete evidence alone.
The limitations of Piaget theory include doubt about the generalisability of his data by researchers as it is obtained on a very small sample mainly drawn from European children from high socio-economic status. The age ranges associated with the stages are questioned as studies reveal that progress to formal operational stage may not be realistic. For instance, Keating (1979) reports that 40-60% college students fail at the formal operational tasks, and Dasen (1994) reports that one third adults ever attain the formal operational stage. The theory fails to examine the impact of the social setting/culture on cognitive development (Dasen,1994). Piaget conclusion may be inaccurate as his methods (observation and clinical interviews) are prone to bias as observations are made himself and the data are obtained by him.
Several studies reveal that the abilities of children are underrated as his tests are sometimes unclear due to failure to differentiate competence from performance (Hughes, 1975). Baillargeon and Devos (1991) discover that young infants (4 months) look longer at a moving carrot which failed to do what is expected, implying infants possess some sense of permanence. Moreover, his theory fails to consider all learners and address development but focuses majorly on children and learning.
Vygotsky is a contemporary of Piaget who believes that social interaction is important to cognitive development and the Child’s development stems out from a social context in co-operation with a person more skilful (MKO). The social interaction enables language opportunities and establishes language as the foundation of thought. Vygotsky (1978) claims that the development of language and thought are inseparable and that the beginning of reasoning involves more of ability to communicate with people than interactions with the real world.
Vygotsky theory is a social constructivist theory which views learning as an active process in which learning draws development up to higher levels with emphasis on social interaction. He believes that cognitive development of children occurs through communication and interaction with more capable cultural group in the society. These people (teachers, parents, mentors, professionals etc.) guide and teach them through support and provision of information that is vital to their intellectual growth.
The knowledge acquired by families and members of community at work, home, culture and religion constitute the basis for teaching. He develops the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) which states that differences occur between what can be done and learned independently; and what can be done or learned with the support of a more experienced person. This involves giving resources (such as templates, worksheet, books, objects) and guidance to enhance learning a new task which is gradually reduced as the students’ understanding improves to enable the cognitive skills of the learners consolidate on the learned concept.
The theory which is referred to as instructional scaffolding implies that a more learned/experienced person provides guidance for a task to less learned person by showing, giving clues/prompts, dictating, demonstrating, observation, checking and monitoring as opposed to mere delivering information to learners. This is relevant in enabling learners achieve their target goals and develop their skills.
The drawback with this theory lies in its failure to provide a complete development picture of a child’s learning and the absence of common measurement of a child’s zone and failure to describe the developmental needs. The theory assumes that social groups are whole and equal, with the possibility of removing the same meaning from social interaction ignoring the fact that collaboration and participation for learners vary. Modern Psychologists opposed that cultural influences are vital to language development.
Non-verbal communication (NVQ) involves communication through different means apart from words. It involves kinetics which is the study of body movements, and gestures such as eye contact, facial expressions, smiling, observations and body gestures which is time saving in teaching, learning and Assessment. Hargie (2004) identifies six basic emotions which are decodable as sadness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise and happiness. However, Rayudu (2010) believes that Non-Verbal Communication have no universal meaning. It can be misinterpreted in diverse cultures worldwide as a well-meaning gesture in one culture may translate to a bad meaning in another. It may be prone to incorrect assumptions about learners and teachers due to absence of standard means of gauging and interpretations.
2.2 Explain ways in which theories, principles and models of communication can be applied to teaching, learning and assessment
Strong communication skills have a significant impact on classroom management and as such verbal and non-verbal communication skills should be improved where necessary to enable teachers become effective role models of appropriate behaviour. Verbal communication involves the use of words to convey a message which can be written or oral.
Scaffolding theory is applied by using differentiated open and closed questions (simplified) for weak learners with increasing complex as they show understanding while strong ones are asked closed and challenging questions. Hypothetical questions are asked to evolve innovative ideas and possibilities.
Effective teaching and learning is achieved by using clear speech, appropriate voice modulation, pitch, volume and pace supported with appropriate gesture and body language to ensure learners are actively engaged in learning while leading questions and clues are properly used to aid learners in expressing themselves.
Discussions, presentations and debates on one to one basis and in groups (3-6) using group dynamics are useful in assessing learners level of participation and understanding which helps to reveal the required level of support which is provided accordingly. Learners are also engaged in discussion on one to one basis to provide them with oral feedback on the way forward and to involve them in their individual learning plans to enable them succeed.
Non-verbal communication can be made applicable by creating awareness on the use and interpretations of body languages amongst the students by educating them on its meanings, implications and impacts which leads to greater and mutual understanding by all. Body language is made open to learners to make them more receptive to the teacher and to prevent it from being wrongly construed. This is done through role playing where learners act the uses, students watch people, television, you tube and pictures, and are made to observe and record their findings on gender, culture and language without being judgemental. Video is used for online teaching, learning, assessment, evaluation and assessment of lessons during and after teaching and end of module/course evaluation. Smiling, nodding and thumbs up are used to denote approval/well-done while frequent crossing of arms depicts closing oneself off to communication is avoided.
Observations are made on all learners to read and monitor their moods, check their understanding and enthusiasm. If they seem to be bored, the instructional methods are modified to embrace their preferred methods such as group activities, creating tasks or giving them options. Checking, moving around, and watching learners enables those that are diverting from the teaching and learning (e.g. using phones) to be spotted, corrected, challenged and made to receive the appropriate punishment in line with the behavioural management. This helps to check inappropriate behaviour and institute a conducive environment for learning. Eye contact is used to get the trust and attention of learners such as five second stare at a learner acting up informs the learner of a negative behaviour which requires adjustment.
Prompt, constructive and effective feedback including medals (what learners have done well) and mission (what needs to be done to improve) serves to establish that learning has taken place and is improving the skills and knowledge of learners in formative and summative assessment. It encourages learners, improve their self-worth, and motivate them to attain their full potential. Handouts can be provided as back up to power point presentation and digital materials that are decoded as symbols, discrete data transmission, equations, formulas and abbreviations can be accessed online or visually (PowerPoint, you tube) and used by learners to improve their understanding and learning.
Learners are supported to access the required level of support that ensures inclusivity and enhance learning by ensuring flexible delivery models and appropriate resources are in place. The resources are made to meet the needs of learners including special needs such as providing voice recognition software, braille, and modified print (Arial font 14 and above) to visually impaired learners; modified prints, visual materials, computers and simplified language/tasks to dyslexic for learners with learning difficulties; Minicom, hearing aids, visuals, and handouts for deaf/learners with learning impairment; lifts, adjustable chairs/tables, learning support assistance for learners with physical impairment; and learners who need additional support with languages can be referred to language therapists or given one to one/additional support required depending on their levels of needs.
3. Understand the application of theories, principles and models of assessment in education and training
3.1 Analyse theories, principles and models of assessment
nitial assessment can be said to be a diagnostic assessment that is done prior to the learner embarking on a course to ascertain the current knowledge, skills and aptitudes of the learner. This helps to ensure that the learner meets the minimum or standardised requirements (e.g. core skills) for embarking on the course, progress and achieve. It is also used to obtain information on the achievement and previous knowledge of learners and to identify their preferred learning styles. Murphy (2009) reports that early assessment and prompt feedback motivate learners, show their progress and areas of improvement and measure the effectiveness of teaching methods in relation to the progress of learners.
The training needs of learners are carried out and Individual Learning Plans of learners are made with the provision of the relevant support which is reviewed periodically for the progress made. QIA (2008) establishes that information obtained from initial assessment serves as the framework for Individual Learning Plans even though it is used for other purposes such as negotiating goals, planning, recording achievements and tracking of learner progress. Diagnostic assessment is usually a formative assessment which is done before the beginning of and during the programme even though it may involve summative assessment. It is valuable in providing a two-way feedback about the learner’s progress and the effectiveness of the teaching and learning methods of the teacher. It provides the teacher and learner information about the current abilities and the specified requirement needs of learners on an ongoing basis.
Diagnostic assessment has the prospects of providing a baseline in the class through the creation of opportunities for better differentiation plans which are captured on the lesson plan (resources, teaching/learning methods, strategies), ensures reasonable adjustment for special education needs and structural framework to consolidate future assessments and ensure inclusivity. QIA (2008) acknowledges that Individual Learning Plans (ILP) has the prospects of empowering and motivating learners through the development of learner’s ownership of learning and progress when effectively implemented. Since it is not graded or scored for underperformance and the feedback is ideally constructive, learners are motivated to improve and progress. Martinez (2001) points out that learners could be demotivated by reinforcing low expectations when attainable set targets are over simplified. ILP may be prone to evolving into box-ticking exercise to inform quality systems at the expense of learner’s progress.
The Standard National Assessment such as GCSE, QCF and QCA provides predetermined assessment criteria on the same platform level for learners at specified levels. This ensures that standardised checks and assurance specifications are being met at the same level. They all have assessment criteria/learning outcomes that should be met while the grading criteria are well spelt out and documented accordingly. Learners writing same level of examinations are required to answer the same questions and satisfy specified learning objectives (informal assessment) and are assessed and scored accordingly using same marking criteria. This enables a standard comparison of the performance of learners at same level or from different schools/colleges to be made. This informs healthy competitions in terms of ranking per performances thereby promoting accountability. However special needs learners may have different assessment criteria outline and guidance which takes into consideration the nature of the needs to access test/examinations thereby ensuring inclusivity. It is convenient to be adopted and implemented easily, saves time and resources due to clearly established assessment criteria that are reliable, valid, transparent, sufficient, current and authentic as guideline.
The grading system is objective and make provision for external verification, reference group measures and longitudinal comparisons and used to assess large number of students. Limitations include measurement of relatively superficial learning, possibility of matching the specified goals and objectives of a program, norm-referenced data may not be as useful as criterion-referenced data, possibility of norm data being more user norms than true national sample and more summative than formative. Assessment for learning (formative assessment) focuses on the process of learning and it is ongoing to ensure continuous improvement. It monitors the student’s learning by checking, providing prompt and constructive feedback to learners and it involves the teacher receiving feedback from learners on the effectiveness of their teaching and the relevant improvement needed to enhance teaching and learning.
Florez and Sammons (2013) describe it as a constructivist approach to learning which focuses on improving personal understanding as opposed to rote memorisation. They identify the benefits for learners and teachers as improvement of results, building learner’s self-concept and confidence in participating effectively in class activities. Teacher moves from being an overly behaviourist to being a constructivist moderating and facilitating learning through collaboration with learners, supporting and monitoring their progress (Florez and Sammons, 2013). It informs learners and teachers of their achievements and future development needs. However, it is subjective and assessment can be viewed differently and it has a limited impact as some professionals avoid giving more responsibility to learners for the risk of losing control.
Dunn and Mulvenon (2009) believes that Assessment for Learning appears to be small scale, unreliable and lacks detailed research, terminology and concepts. Moreover, researchers tend to attribute its failure to other factors apart from validity of the its concept, in addition to absence of detailed research in which techniques thrive best. It is qualitative and may involve time which may slow down the areas of coverage by the teacher. Assessment of learning (summative assessment) places emphasis on the result which is quantified (pass, fail, marks, grades). It helps to establish the standards, benchmark and achievement of learners as well as providing evidence of learners’ achievement in terms of recognised qualifications, professional competences, certification and awards.
Black et al (2003) notes that it enhances learner’s employment prospects or academic progression. It motivates learners to value their qualifications and boost their self-esteem. It ascertains the knowledge, skills and understanding of students in line with set standards, performance and goals. It could be administered by examinations, tests, projects and assignments which involves grading. The grading may not be a true measure of learning as poor performance could be due to emotional problems and this may the demoralising to an extent that learners may lose interest in learning. Learners may have examination tensions and their motivation could be reduced with poor scores which they do not bother to improve on.
3.2 Explain ways in which theories, principles and models of assessment can be applied in assessing learning
Initial assessment will be carried out on the learner to ascertain the current level of the learner, ability to embark on the course and meet the pre-requisite qualifications to embark on the course before enrolling the learner on a course. The information obtained from different areas such as core skills tests, interviews, questionnaires, forms, CV and standard qualification requirements is documented, analysed and used for the selection process. If the learner fails to meet the standard requirements and does not have the potentials of progressing on the course, admissions is denied and advice may be provided on possible alternatives.
The established entry behaviour of learner is used to institute appropriate level of support to bridge the gap between their present skills/knowledge and the standard requirements. These needs are developed into Individual Learning Plans by active involvement of learners on one to one basis, action plans are put in place and reviewed periodically to assess the progress made. learners are given opportunities to provide feedback which enables teachers to adapt their teaching to leaners needs while the effective feedback and guidance is made available on the next teaching/learning level by the teacher. This is valuable in making learners know their levels, gaps in their learning goals and how to achieve the goals. Initial and diagnostic assessments are employed in identifying the strengths and weaknesses; and opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the learner.
The information obtained is developed into the learning need analysis with focus on the identified needs of individuals which is developed into Individual Learning Plans aimed at bridging the identified gaps in learning/teaching. These needs are addressed appropriately by mapping out lesson plans with differentiated objectives, activities, resources, teaching and learning methods. Additional diagnostic assessments are carried out periodically to ascertain the impact of the support provided on the progress attained which may inform further changes to be implemented.
Formative assessment is done by using exit cards, traffic light cards, inclusive questioning, no opt out, cold calling and constructive feedback amongst others. Exit cards are effective in analysing learning due to its quickness and simplicity of assessing student’s progress towards the comprehension of the stated objectives of lessons at the end. Learners are asked to fill sheets of paper with 3 to 5 questions or questions with clues are posed by the teacher on the stated objectives to show understanding. The cards are ungraded but marked to show understanding while minus sign means additional help is required, corrections are made and support is provided to ensure mastery and progress. Learners are not permitted to leave the class unless the cards are returned to the teacher. The cards are used in engaging learners in self-reflection activities such as journals/individual student conference to ensure continuous improvement.
Traffic light is used to check the level of understanding and the ability of learners to apply a concept or idea. Questions (open, closed, multiple) are asked and students are made to display a red/ yellow/ green card on their tables or in their hands to enable the teacher read the results and adjust the teaching strategies effectively. The traffic light cards are combined with a ‘No Hands Up’ rule to provide all learners with opportunity to make a comment or response and check the eager beavers who always raise up their hands first thereby ensuring orderliness and inclusivity.
Teachers and learners give and receive progressive feedback both ways thereby providing empowering experience for everybody in the class. Learners are made to understand that Red indicate ‘I am stuck’, Amber indicates ‘I am not sure’ and Green indicates ‘I fully understand’ Different forms of assessment including extended activities are given to challenge strong students while struggling ones are given simple activities commensurate to their abilities to ensure inclusivity. Learners are given mock tests periodically, prompt and encouraging corrections and feedback (praise and medals).
Random grouping (group work), assignments, presentations and project are given to learners to aid their understanding and participation in class and build their confidence. Learners are also provided with assignment briefs to aid them in answering questions tactfully and correctly.
Task 4 Understand the application of theories and models of curriculum development within own area of specialism
4.1 Analyse theories and models of curriculum and development
Curriculum has a wide range of definitions which was viewed in the broadest sense as just about everything that occurs in the educational setting (Gray et al, 2000) which includes the numerous factors influencing the learning process, staffing, buildings and policies. Print (1993) defines curriculum as every planned learning opportunities accorded the learners by the educational institution and the experiences of learners in the implementation of the curriculum. There are many curriculum theories and models that can be used to develop food technology curriculum amongst which are Product Based (Tyler), Process Based (Stenhouse,) and Maslow.
Product Based Model (Tyler, 1949)
The model emphasises the role of teacher as an expert providing guidance to the students to achieve the required knowledge and level of competence to succeed (end state). The end state is usually set and clarified by external bodies with focus on assessment which is often summative. Tyler’ Model is one of the most popularly known and used curriculum models which considers planning as emanating from the answers to the questions stated below:
- What are the educational purposes that the organisation seeks to achieve?
The curriculum centres on the aims and learning outcomes while the courses are organised in specific ways and designed for implementation.
- What educational experiences can be made available to likely achieve these purposes?
- How can these experiences be effectively organised?
This is done by organising the curriculum to enable students learn what is expected of them through different strategies (e.g. appropriate learning activities).
- How can one determine if these purposes are being achieved?
This is determined by evaluation using the best possible way. The model is based on behavioural approaches with important links to questions about the aims and objectives which are included in the organisational documentation such as schemes of work, teaching and learning plans. Tyler (1949) notes that it is vital to recognise any statement of objectives of the school as a statement of changes taking place in students more so as the main purpose of education is not for the instructor to carry out activities but to bring about vital changes in the pattern of behaviour in learners.
This view translates into a well-structured procedure that is like the technical or productive thinking made up of seven steps (Taba,1962) itemised as Diagnosis of need; Formulation of objectives; selection of content; Organisation of content; Selection of learning experiences; Organisation of learning experiences; and Determination of what to evaluate and how to evaluate.
Objectives are set, plans are drawn, then applied, and the learning outcomes (products) are clearly defined and measured in terms of knowledge and skills framework. Objectives are crucial to teaching and learning plans and as such adopting the model would enable great efforts to be made to determine if the objectives are met. Wilson (2009) acknowledges that its advantage of being able to evidence the manner learning is standardised even though the approach may result in shallow learning in different topics.
The theory is beneficial for learning due to the high level of organisation which includes structuring, availability of clear teacher/student guidance and precision of the assessment and learning outcomes which clarify vague general statement of intent. It enables levels of learning and achievement to be clearly defined and measured.
The limitations include discouragement of creativity, much restriction to subject and failure to address feelings as it only addresses behavioural objectives effectively at lower levels while behavioural objectives can be complex to address at higher levels. Moreover, affective domain which entails attitudes is not easily addressed amongst a list of specific behaviours. The model does not promote creativity and tailor teaching to examination thereby becoming over-prescriptive.
Process Based Model (Stenhouse)
The model perceives the role of the teacher as that of a facilitator guiding learners to participate in the learning process and to improve their learning capacity thereby promoting learners’ autonomy and individualised learning This model assumes that learners respond specifically to learning experiences and that activities significantly improve their cognitive skills while suppressing the objectives as it focuses on the means rather than the ends. He acknowledges that his theory is more important to learning of skills ( such as developing recipes, baking} than a deeper understanding of the topic.
Process Model (Stenhouse, 1975) considers the acronym WWHT where W stands for what (conditions of learning for different individuals), W for what student learning activities to be designed, H for how to involve students in making learning choices and T for tasks and assessment negotiation with participatory teacher’s style. The model is useful in promoting the active engagement of students and gainful interaction between the teacher and learners. It can meet the different learning needs of students, enhance their learning skills and cherish the intrinsic value of learning activities. It is constrained by failure to explicitly address the content and failure to apply to all subject areas.
There is difficulty of carrying out assessment objectively and tendency for learners to become over dependent on the guidance of the tutor as a facilitative resource while they may become confused in the absence of clear and strict guidelines.
Maslow (1954) identifies and depicts motivative needs of human beings into a hierarchal pyramid which is shown below:
Maslow theory (1954): Hierarchy of needs The theory is based on humanistic approach which sees the teacher as a facilitator promoting learning. It establishes that the realisation of student’s potentials depends on successive progression through the five levels of identified needs from the bottom to the top of the pyramid in hierarchal order as follows:
- Physiological: The basic human needs must be met at this lowest level first in preparation to next higher level (safety). This includes basic needs (food, light, warmth and shelter) that ensures a supportive and convenient environment to motivate students to learn are available.
- Safety: This ensures that learners are guaranteed of safety which makes them feel emotionally stable, secured and physically protected from dangers, harms, noise and risks such as broken windows, trailing cables and violence. This creates a positive and conducive environment where learners are prepared to learn
- Belonging: This borders on social needs, friendship and family to ensure learners are comfortable, relate with others (including staff) mutually and are actively engaged in classroom activities such as debates, questions/answers, group discussions/presentation and peer work.
- Self-esteem: This entails gaining mastery, becoming independence, status awareness, self-respect and mutual respect such as acknowledging and rewarding positive behaviour and checking inappropriate behaviour such as bullying, stigmatisation. This helps to assure learners of their learning capability.
- Self- actualisation: This is the highest level of human needs which propels learners to achieve set goals, attain personal potentials, succeed in examinations, obtain awards, aspire towards future visions and self-fulfilment. At this stage, they can sympathise, empathise and support others to succeed.
The theory is beneficial by offering perceptive insight into human nature through the interpretation of human behaviour and motivation. This helps to facilitate learning by ensuring that the basic needs of learners are met to propel learners to progress through the hierarchical level to attain goals and full potentials.
The theory fails to offer explanation for cultural and social differences between individuals and individual differences are not considered in the hierarchical order. Terms such as self-esteem and security are not clearly standardised in meaning thus making it difficult for researchers to measure these needs.
The theory is based on studies conducted on a narrow segment of human population and there is no significant empirical evidence to back up his theory. There is no evidence to suggest that learners experience these needs in his hierarchal order while the success depends on the ability of the teacher to establish and foster a good relationship with students.
National Curriculum Model in England is based on a framework for key stages 1-4. The framework includes contextual information on school curriculum and statutory national curriculum, aims for the statutory national curriculum, statements on inclusion, learner’s competence in numeracy/mathematics, language and literacy in the school curriculum and study programmes for every National Curriculum subject. It is aimed at outlining the core knowledge as a base for developing enthusiastic and stimulating lessons to enhance the development of the knowledge, understanding and skills of learners.
Curriculum 2000 is a reform of national curriculum and qualification of post 16 which is primarily designed to replace all traditional awards for 16-19years. The Government maps out the expectations (Blackstone, 1998) and guidance (QCA, 1999) to adequately inform providers and learners on expected response to the new qualification. It is aimed at instituting a coherent national framework of academic and vocational qualification for easier comparability between qualifications. It provides wider programmes of study for the alignment of vocational and academic subjects and move towards increased variety of advanced level subjects such as diplomas (NVQ level 3) and apprenticeships. It also involves main changes in A levels in which each course is broken down into three modules, three are written in the first year at AS level while three are sat in the second year at A2 level. Vocational qualifications such as GNVQs were replaced with AVQEs which was aligned with the AS/A2 qualification thereby promoting mixed study programme.
Colleges, schools and learners can make a choice of their desired qualification while universities decide their entry requirements.
4.2 Explain ways in which theories and models of curriculum development can be applied in developing curricula in own area of specialisation
Theories and models of curriculum development is applicable in developing curricula in own area of specialism by ensuring that the scheme of work and lesson plans are designed and implemented in line and within the scope of the curricula (food technology). The scheme of work and lesson plans are made to capture the requirements of the curriculum in terms of subject content, learning objectives/outcomes, resource, learning/teaching strategies and approaches which enables inclusivity. This ensures standardisation in the learning at different stages and provides a level play platform for ensuring the assessment criteria used are authentic, valid, reliable, realistic, transparent, current and sufficient.
Tyler’s theory is applied in planning through structuring of courses to reflect clearly defined aims and learning objectives, plans are drawn, then applied, and the learning outcomes (products) are clearly defined and measured in terms of knowledge and skills framework.
Objectives are no doubt integral to teaching and learning plans and as such adopting the model enables great efforts to be made to determine if the objectives are met.
Stenhouse theory is of relevance in own practice by aiding me in ensuring that the learning environment is made safe, accessible and conducive for all learners, differentiated activities, variety of different teaching/learning methods/strategies and approaches are put in place to meet the identified learning needs of students and promote active participation of learners to enhance their maximum potentials. Learning/teaching activities are varied in such a way as to promote individual, critical, analytical and creative skills of students. The model is useful in promoting the active engagement of students and gainful interaction between the teacher and learners through discussions, research, demonstration, laboratory and practical.
Maslow theory is applied by supporting learners to achieve the level of actualization and succeed by ensuring the needs are provided though availability of adequate lighting, good spacing/sitting arrangement and conducive learning environment. Learner’s health and wellbeing are monitored and learners that sleep during lesson are engaged on one to one basic to know the reasons behind such and useful advice is given to them such as early to bed and early to rise and planning of their time. The importance of complying with the organisation’s policy and procedure on health and safety is stressed and everybody is made to realise that everyone is responsible for safety which entails risk assessment, compliance and measures in place.
Problem solving is applied by involving negotiating with learners based on implementation of individual learning plan and discussion which is reflected in the design of lesson plan per the curriculum. Functional skills (Numeracy, Literacy, English and ICT) as specified in the National Curriculum are embedded in the scheme of work and lesson plan as regards the required subject content/topics to be covered in such a manner as to prepare learners adequately to levels that will enhance their employability, cope with the job and succeed.
5.1 Analyse theories and models of reflection and evaluation
Reflection can be defined as a process of analysis and evaluation by using a variety of strategies which include those that support the ability to critically reflect on one’s practice (Machin et al, 2014). It involves crucial activity that enables one to think about one’s experience, what went well or wrong, how the experience can be used to improve and ensure better teaching and learning progress (Boud et al, 1985).
Critical reflection entails the development and use of metacognition (thinking about thinking) skills. Evaluation involves the use of available evidence, facts and views to make a judgement. Reflecting and evaluating involve a continuous cycle of self-observation and self-evaluation that enables teachers to comprehend own actions and the reactions prompted in themselves and learners (Kolb, 1984; Brookfield,1995; Moon, 2006). Theories and models that can be used for reflection and evaluation amongst others are Brookfield, Schon and Kolb.
Brookfield’s four lenses
Brookfield (1995) states that reflection and evaluation of practice involves a four-lens approach namely:
- Autobiographical lens as a learner and teacher
- Seeing oneself through colleagues’ eyes
- Seeing oneself through learners’ eyes
- Theoretical literature
Autobiographical lens as a learner and teacher It involves relating a situation to one’s past experiences and current feelings by considering how one’s personal story and past have impacted on what occurred or on possible resultant negative physical/emotional reactions and responses. He believes that autobiographies provide significant sources of insight into the teaching that is accessible to teachers. Brookfield (1995) acknowledges the importance of considering one’s reasons behind one’s thought (assumptions being made and how might views differ in the absence of the assumptions) during the process of self-reflection.
Colleagues’ eyes. Pre-held views and assumptions about oneself may prevent one always from seeing oneself or aspects of one’s practice in the same manner as peers or colleagues do. Discussing own practice with colleagues and observing others’ practice help to see own practice through various lenses and to distinguish the elements that need to change. Discussions should be purposeful and maintained within trusted relationships to guarantee honesty and confidentiality.
Learners’ eyes This entails empathising with learners by putting one’s self in learner’s position and reviewing the situation by seeing the occurrence through their eyes by considering their reactions and how their stories may have led to the experiences. This makes one ruminate over the experiences of learners based on hidden curriculum. Reflecting and evaluating one’s practice though own learners’ eyes provides useful information on their learning needs
Theoretical literature This helps in understanding one’s experiences through references as tools to change one’s approach. It serves as a theoretical framework which provides relevant information for presenting arguments and reducing group-think. The knowledge and application of theories to one’s practice is crucial to becoming a better teacher by increasing knowledge thereby improving decision making. The theory facilitates self-expression, provides significant links to existing knowledge, modifies learning experiences, impact changes and facilitates teacher-student relationship. It is an integral part of educational pursuit which promotes continuous self-evaluation, views things objectively and helps learners reflect in multiple dimensions.
The demerits include unreliability, much time and labour, shallow reflection, possibility of conflict between teachers and colleagues due to emphasis on learning rather than teaching. Its success depends heavily on the relationship between learners and teachers which involves emotions which may be difficult to manage.
Schon (2002) reflection in and on action model focuses on the ability to reflect in action when doing something and on action after carrying out an activity. Schon notes that the ability to reflect is an important criterion for characterising professional practice of teachers. He believes that the capability to reflect in action and on action is an important combination.
Reflection in action entails thinking on one’s feet and the actual techniques of teaching (e.g. questions/answers, observations) and its impact on learning which may inform adaptation of techniques during teaching. Reflection on action is made after the teaching by ruminating over what went, and what improvements or changes could have been done better to achieve the desired learning outcomes, improve skills and inform future practice.
The information obtained is developed into a learning cycle which centres on do, plan, review and do until it produces the desired result and eventually adopted. It may however not be easy and objective to reflect during the doing act as it is almost impossible to de-personalise reflection, have time to stop and think (Machin et al., 2014). More so, reflection is not automatic which is further compounded by the fact some deeply held believes and views might have to be challenged. Schon (2002) proposes the involvement of relevant people capable of asking appropriate questions that deter one’s thoughts from being influenced by espoused theories or theories in use to ensure effective reflection is achieved.
Espoused theories are those one feels he/she uses while theories in use are those that fall in line with what one really does. Schon (2002) states that theories in use inform actions and might not necessarily be the best or only action to be taken.
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory is one of the most widely used educational theories which describes learning as a process in which knowledge exists through the processing of experience and making sense of it. Usher (1985) defines experience as raw materials which needs to be processed before it produces real learning. The theory centres on construction and adaptation during study and gives clear understanding on the use teaching approaches that promote better learning in students. kobb’s (1984) designs a model of reflection which is known as an experiential learning cycle. It consists of a four-stage cycle as shown in the diagram below:
Kobb’s Experiential Learning Cycle. The stages are summarised as follows:
- Concrete experience is the actual event which entails doing and/or having an actual experience such as teaching a session and students being active participants.
- Reflective observation involves reviewing and reflecting on actual experience and considering what happened from different perspectives such as teacher’s feelings and student’s view and what could be done differently in the future.
- Abstract conceptualisation focuses on the learning and drawing conclusions derived from going through reflective process on the initial experience. This involves questioning why it happened and analysing the occurrences in stage two and looking for answers to why some things went well and wrong. Reflections are re-packaged and processed into a theoretical understanding thus analysing the event by applying theory.
- Active experimentation involves using the results of the analysis to map out action plans on the way forward and testing newly generated ideas as opportunities unfold itself.
The approach helps in developing lesson plans and strategies which serves as basis for the improvement of future lessons which are better-structured to reflect all learning styles that adequately meet the varying needs of learners. It helps in broadening the understanding of learners by offering them real experience by doing, reflecting on what have been done through experience (e.g. experimenting), from which new ideas are generated on improvements. This is practiced through application to life’s situations around them and if it fails it is repeated by going over and over the cycle until the learning goal is attained. It encourages independent learning, learning by doing and problem solving. It has wide applications by enabling learners to discover themselves, to be actively involved in their learning, identify their learning styles and the effective combination of these styles to maximise learning. It helps teachers to develop core skills and become effective in their reflective practices. It facilitates the development of group project work and Information and Communication Technologies (Sharlanova, 2004).
However, the learning is based on actual experience and the type of experience one has determines its success. Students with little, no or bad experience may not be able to benefit from the theory. It requires experience for teachers to be able to manage it effectively and achieve continuous improvement and the model fails to account different cultures.
5.2 Explain ways in which theories and models of reflection and evaluation can be applied to reviewing own practice
These can be applied to reviewing my practise by employing reflection questions which entail the use of empirical and an analytical review of my teaching which is reflected on and used to modify my practice thereby ensuring effectiveness. Reflection questions from instructional mentors which serve as corrective strategy for specific feedback given to me have helped me to channel developmental efforts consistently to those identified areas which ultimately leads to greater improvement in my teaching. This enables me to get a wider understanding of my teaching styles and to adapt my teaching in a way that address the learning needs and respond to feedback received from learners.
Learners are actively engaged using different questioning methods such as open, close and multiple choice questions structured per their varying abilities. Learners are given sufficient response time to questions, clues and opportunities are used to generate and answers/questions by asking them to take turns in responding (e.g. yes/no, false/true) and actively engaging them to ensure inclusivity.
The Models and theories of reflection and evaluation enables me to review my practice by providing me with SWOT as situational analysis framework which aid me in identifying, analysing and evaluating my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the improvement of my teaching and to maximise learning. I use this to consolidate on my strengths, overcome weakness, explore and harness opportunities and survive threats to ensure effectiveness of learning and teaching is achieved. I analyse my personal experience by self-reflection on my lesson delivery and through consideration of teaching and learning situations from the learners’ perspective.
The information obtained is analysed to determine areas of improvement and devise actions plan to take which are then structured into lesson plans. This helps in modifying learning experiences, promoting self-confidence/self-expression, incorporating alternative approaches into planning, informing changes and improving teacher-student relationship. The theories and models have impacted my practice through the collection of prompt oral, post-lesson, written and formative feedback from learners such as sticky notes, with comments, placed on own desk or a brief evaluation sheet completed by learners at the end of each lesson.
End-of module and end-of course evaluations, attendance and achievement records and observing learners’ motivation and engagement in learning are used. I participate in professional learning by networking with colleagues, experienced staff and subject specialist to gather valuable experience and improve my practice through making online research and updating myself on educational website like TES and www.educational.com
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