Quotations Are Not Included in the overall word count for any of the segments. However, direct quotations should be minimal. If you haven’t already done so, you must look at the short section on Source Dependency in the MA Education Participant Handbook on the Moodle site.
The parts of the course relating to the sections below are listed in a grid in the Section 10 learning materials.
Describe the nature of your workplace including an overview of the pupil population, its socioeconomic context, and your role within it.
Discussion of the definition of pedagogy and the key strands
Show you understand that pedagogy is a complex concept, with theorists providing different definitions as to what it is. The Ireson et al reading gives you a list of ‘strands of pedagogy’ as sub-headings, e.g. relating to ‘clear goals’ and ‘learner orientations’.
Take some of these strands (perhaps those you think the most important) and compare what is written about these topics here with other course readings. You may notice that there is less specific emphasis on talk and interaction than in other articles (e.g. Alexander), so this is a critical point that you can discuss. Note: these strands are crucial to the next section in the assessment. If this section is weak, it follows that the one below will be weak as well.
Discussion of the contradictions and tensions at national, school and individual practitioner level.
Now, thinking about the recommendations for good pedagogy in the strands that you have just read about, are they realistic to carry out at your own school? If not, what is it about school policy or practice that makes them difficult to implement? Give specific examples from your own classroom teaching. (School practices are likely to be influenced by government policy, which you could also mention if you are clear on the government’s educational agenda.)
Overview of the link between learning theory and pedagogy
This is where you compare and contrast 3 theories of learning: Reception theory, Construction theory and Social-constructivist theory. Identify links between theories of learning and models of teaching; in other words, say how these shape the decisions made by teachers. Then pick the theory that underpins your own practice, explaining why.
A discussion of social constructivism and the pedagogical principles developed from this
This is about the role of language and interaction in pedagogy. Discuss the Zone of Proximal Development as a concept, and how learning activities are designed based on the ZPD. Knowledge is seen as being built up through a 2-way dialogue. Show you understand that the link between talk in the classroom and children’s learning is important. Then relate these 3 aspects of social constructivist principles to your own pedagogical decisions:
Discussion of scaffolding and the practical implications of this concept in the classroom
As this is the longest section of Segment 1, it tells you that this should be a key piece of writing in your assignment. If you haven’t mentioned so before, it is important to say that scaffolding theory is how a learner can be supported through the ZPD. The teacher’s role gradually decreases and the learner is allowed to take increasing responsibility for a task. Finally, they carry out the task independent of the teacher. You must indicate an understanding that scaffolding is a moment-by-moment response to learning needs.
Sum up briefly what you have learnt from the literature, and the implications of this learning for developing your own practice.
Highlight in yellow the features which are similar in all the photos
Explain why I think these features are similar
Explain why I think that place has these features
Put up a photograph from the class trip to the conservation centre. Children to note down key features of the place on whiteboards. In pairs then say why this place has these features. The description above does not get any marks; aim to be succinct so that you don’t use up your word allowance unnecessarily. It is the comments below that demonstrate your master’s level thinking and success in meeting the Learning Outcomes for this segment.
(1) This learning outcome is not entirely new, as children have described features of photographs before and say why they think the features are there. The session will include modelling of how to highlight similarities and differences, as this aspect is new to most children. The activity is therefore within the ZPD for the class as a whole.
(2) These can be used as a set of instructions for most of the class to follow. They can self-assess whether they have reached each goal as they work, an important self-scaffolding strategy (Holton and Clarke, 2006).
(3) The task draws on an experience that the children have all recently shared. This increases the cultural relevance (Bruner, 1983), builds on schema already developed (Piaget, 1977), and should increase initial engagement with the task or ‘engagement’ (Wood, Bruner and Ross, 1976)