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Planning to meet the needs of learners

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2a) Research Area: Reasons for carrying out initial and diagnostic assessments I have chosen to research reasons for carrying out initial and diagnostic assessments.

2b) Why I selected this aspect
Upon having explored the topic of initial and diagnostic assessment, there are many areas within this of interest including methods of carrying out initial and diagnostic assessment and good practice models. I chose to explore methods of carrying out initial and diagnostic assessment as in order to ensure that I can provide my learners with the best practice I need to first ensure that I am aware of their individual needs within the learning environment. As stated by Petty, G (2009: 530): ‘All students can learn if they are placed on the right programme, taught in the way they can learn and given any help and support they might need.’ If I, as a teacher, am able to effectively understand why initial and diagnostic assessment is used, this will enable me to produce and develop methods of assessment more effectively to ensure that I can provide outstanding teaching and learning from the very beginning of the course.

2c) The goal of the research
The aim of the research within this is to explore how members of staff within my school understand initial and diagnostic assessment. It is important at this stage to highlight the reasons why initial assessment is used: •To identify special educational needs or specific additional support needs for learners •To identify a starting point for each learner and ensure that learners are on the most appropriate course for them •To ensure that all learners have a clear understanding of course requirements and expectations of course, as well as involving learners •To identify previous experience of learners, as well as additional information that will need to be shared with colleagues •To identify minimum core requirements (literacy, numeracy, ICT and language)

Gravells, A. (2012)

2d) How you have carried out the research
I held a meeting with key members of staff within the sixth form of the school I work in and asked them two key open-ended questions: What is your understanding of initial and diagnostic assessment? Why do we use initial and diagnostic assessment?

There were 12 members of staff within this meeting that took part in this discussion.

2e) A summary of your research that includes a critical analysis and evaluation of your key findings and conclusions drawn The results of the discussion were as follows:
•8 out of the 12 staff who completed the questionnaire understood initial and diagnostic assessment to be ways in which teachers are able to assess what stage their learners were at prior to starting a course
•All staff understood initial assessment to be a key indicator as to whether or not a learner would be able to manage the course
•7 out of 12 members of staff recognised that initial and diagnostic assessment was also used to identify individual learner needs, such as special educational needs, support with travel arrangements etc….
•3 out of 12 members of staff mentioned that initial and diagnostic assessment was also used to identify learning styles
•Only 1 out of 12 members of staff mentioned involving the learner within the initial and diagnostic assessment

This information shows that within the organisation I work in there is a lack of understanding and involvement of learner’s at the beginning of a course. Initial and diagnostic assessment is key in ensuring that learners are supported as soon as they start a course; the impact of effective initial and diagnostic assessment is of key importance at the beginning of a course or programme (Tummons, 2011). Without effective initial assessment, the whole course for a learner can unravel and teaching a course without effective initial assessment can be a strain for a teacher, as they will not be able to diagnose individual needs of learners early on and as a result, will not be able to take this into account when planning lessons (Petty, 2009).

The information from the research project above was shared with the senior leadership team of the school and this led to a discussion about how we can ensure that learner’s are involved in initial and diagnostic assessment within the sixth form as a whole. Following this, a further meeting was held with sixth form tutors and teachers to discuss the use of initial and diagnostic assessment and how we can ensure that it is used optimally. This included a meet and greet on interview day, where learners are able to meet members of staff who will be teaching them. It also included a review of diagnostic assessments currently used and whether these meet the needs of new learners on the course. When exploring diagnostic assessment, it is of importance that members of staff understand what it is and why it is used.

As Tummons has stated, diagnostic assessment ‘provides initial guidance and advice….identifies entry criteria for the programme together with any possible claim for accreditation of prior learning.’ (2011:13). Staff within the organisation I work in have had clear guidance and information on diagnostic assessment and its impact following the research project above. This has also enabled us as a school to review our current diagnostic assessment and explore different ways of enabling effective diagnostic assessment for our learners. This has included investigating assessments such as Pupils Attitudes to School and Self (located online at http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/pass-pupil-attitudes-self-and-school ). This diagnostic assessment will enable the school and sixth form to find out how learners view themselves and the school; it will highlight individual learning needs and also provide feedback on the school environment.

Overall, it is clear that in the organisation I work in that there is a lack of understanding of initial and diagnostic assessment. Carrying out this research has enabled to highlight limitations within the organisation and work with colleagues to ensure that we use initial and diagnostic assessment effectively to support the needs and progression of our learners.

2f) Sources of information, including referencing using a recognised system

Gravells, A (2010) Preparing To Teach In The Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Routledge. Petty, G (2009) (4th Edn) Teaching Today. London: Cheltenham Nelson Thornes. Pollard, A (2002) Reflective Teaching. London: Routledge.

Tummons, J (2011) (3rd Edn) Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector London: Learning Matters

1b) Inclusive learning and teaching

2a) Research Area: Methods to provide effective inclusive learning and teaching Within this aspect of teaching learning, there is a variety of information and research conducted. Research from Gillingham School, Dorset into learner’s preferences in methods of teaching and learning has found that from submitting questionnaires to learners aged 11-18 years old that 80% of learners like group discussion and games, with only 11% of learners liking lectures (Petty, 2009: 140).

2b) Why I selected this aspect
Methods to provide effective inclusive learning and teaching are very varied, and due to the range of methods, it can be quite overwhelming for a new teacher with regards to what is effective (Hillier, 2002). In order to ensure that I am using effective teaching and learning methods, it is important to ensure that I have an awareness of the range of teaching and learning methods, how they can be used and their effectiveness within the learning environment I teach in.

2c) The goal of the research
Following on from research above on preference of methods and teaching and learning, the goal of the research is to identify learners’ preference of teaching and learning methods. This should enable me to plan schemes of work and sessions plans that incorporate learners preferred teaching and learning methods as and where possible, as well as being able to identify where support is needed for learners if a particular teaching and learning approach is required to ensure learners are able to achieve their potential (i.e. examinations).

2d) How you have carried out the research
I submitted a questionnaire to 15 learners aged 16-17 years of age that were on Psychology AS level course within the sixth form. This was completed during sixth form tutor time, in which learners had twenty minutes to complete the questionnaire, which asked the learners their preferred teaching and learning method. The teaching and learning methods given were methods that were used regularly within the learning environment. Learners were asked to rate their preferred methods in order i.e. 1 for their most preferred, down to 20 for their least preferred (see appendix 1 for full methods and ratings).

2e) A summary of your research that includes a critical analysis and evaluation of your key findings and conclusions drawn

The findings of the questionnaire were as follows:
•Question and answer was the most preferred teaching and learning method
•Examinations were overall the least preferred method
•Teaching and learning methods were grouped; learners who preferred question and answer also preferred other talking methods such as group discussions and debates. Similarly, those learners that preferred independent research also preferred more solitary learning methods such as essays, reading and assignments.

Looking at the findings in more detail, it appears that there are grouped teaching and learning methods by learner. For example, those learners that preferred online learning also preferred independent research, essays, reading, reports and assignments. These learners therefore may prefer to learn independently of others. Whilst it is important to encourage learners to learn independently, it is important for learners to be able to work with others (Armitage et al, 2012).

This can provide them with invaluable social skills such as negotiation and active listening, as well as gaining valuable information from their peers (Pollard, 2002). With regards to this research, I did not ask learners to rate all of the teaching and learning methods used within Psychology (Case studies, simulations, field trips etc… are also used. This was due to not wanting to overload learners with information whilst still being able to ascertain their preferred method. There was also an opportunity for learners to put their preferred teaching and learning method if this was not in the table. This information has helped me in a variety of ways:

•As a result of finding out that examinations were the least preferred teaching and learning method, I need to explore ways to support learners to feel prepared for examinations as this is a teaching and learning method that all will have to engage in at the end of the course in order to obtain a qualification. This could include revision techniques for examinations, stress management techniques and mock examinations to prepare them (Wallace, 2011).
•Learners within the environment appear to have grouped their teaching and learning methods. It is clear from the table that those learners that prefer question and answer also prefer presentations, debates and group discussions. It is important for me as a teacher to ensure that I am supporting all learners by using teaching and learning methods that they are comfortable with, to ensure that maximum learning potential is reached, as well as balancing this with encouraging learners to learn within a teaching and learning method that they do not prefer so that they have the opportunity to acquire new material in a variety of contexts (Gravells and Simpson, 2010).

2f) Sources of information, including referencing using a recognised system

Armitage et al (2012) (4th Edn) Teaching and Training in Lifelong Learning London: Open University Press Gravells, A. Simpson, S. (2010) (2nd Edn) Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters Hillier, Y (2002) Reflective Teaching in Further and Adult Education. London: Continuum Petty, G (2009) (4th Edn) Teaching Today. London: Cheltenham Nelson Thornes. Pollard, A (2002) Reflective Teaching. London: Routledge.

Wallace, S (2011) (4th Ed.) Teaching, Tutoring and Training in the Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Learning Matters.

1c) Use of the minimum core in relation to planning inclusive learning and teaching (language, literacy, maths, ICT)

2a) Research Area: Understanding the minimum core and its relevance to teaching and learning

2b) Why I selected this aspect
The Minimum Core is a reference to skills and theory relating to literacy, numeracy, language, and most recently, ICT. This was designed as a strategy to ensure that teachers, particularly those training within Further Education, are able to support their learners’ development of Functional Skills. The importance of understanding the minimum core should not be underestimated. As stated by Wallace: ‘The teacher’s ability to assess and develop learners’ competence in the Functional Skills…..is implicit through the Standards.

The teacher’s grasp of the Minimum Core- and particularly the language and literacy elements of it- is essential to this process’ (2011: 82). The minimum core is covered under three key aspects with literacy, language, numeracy and ICT. These are: •Personal, social and cultural factors influencing language, literacy, numeracy and ICT •Explicit knowledge of language, literacy, numeracy and ICT •Personal skills in language, literacy, numeracy and ICT (Lifelong Learning UK, June 2007)

In order for me as a classroom practitioner to be able to support the learners, teach and encourage them to achieve their full potential, it is essential that I have a clear understanding of the minimum core.

2c) The goal of the research
As a classroom practitioner, I have a basic understanding of minimum core. As a result of this, and to enhance my teaching and learning within the classroom, I will be conducting a literature review on the minimum core and how it is relevant to teaching and learning for me as a practitioner.

2d) How you have carried out the research
I carried out this research through use of books, journals and experienced practitioner views within my workplace. This enabled me to acquire a balanced view of what Minimum Core is and its relevance within teaching and learning. The full list of literature that I have reviewed can be found at the end of this section.

2e) A summary of your research that includes a critical analysis and evaluation of your key findings and conclusions drawn

The minimum core has strengthened the importance of inclusive approaches to literacy within vocational and academic programmes. It also gave emphasis to the personal literacy knowledge and skills required by teachers working in a post-compulsory setting (Hickey, 2013: xiii). The minimum core can best be described as ‘ensure sufficient emphasis on how to teach vocational and other subjects in ways which meet the needs of learners whose levels of language, literacy and numeracy would otherwise undermine their chance of success.’ (Fento, 2004a, cited in Hickey, 2013: xiiii). Related to teaching, when looking at key aspects within the Minimum Core, it is important to look at application within teaching and learning. Within the Minimum Core, a key area within this is personal, social and cultural factors influencing language, literacy learning and development (Lifelong Learning UK, June 2007).

Within this, trainee teachers are ‘required to be aware of a range of personal, social and cultural factors including: attitudes in the wider society, motivation, age, gender, socio economic status, ethnicity and disability or learning difficulty (Lifelong Learning UK, June 2007: 4). If trainee teachers like me are able to achieve this, they should be able to have an understanding of different attitudes and expectations of learners as well as being able to review and evaluate their own teaching. In relation to my own teaching practice, I am now more aware of individual needs relating to minimum core within my classroom, such as language and gender stereotyping and alternative cultural perspectives on language and literacy; this in particular is highly relevant for my teaching due to working in a sixth from that has a makeup of learners that are predominantly Asian.

I need to be aware of the impact of the language I use within the learning enivronment in relation to this. When exploring literature related to the minimum core, and functional skills for learners, it is clear that it is of key importance for ensuring that trainee teachers are trained to the highest standard to ensure all learners are supported to achieve their full potential (Department for Education and Skills, 2004). As stated in Inclusive learning approaches for literacy, language, numeracy and ICT: ‘all teachers need to develop a heightened awareness of the literacy, language, numeracy and ICT needs of their learners in order for them to teach their area of specialism as effectively as possible.’(Lifelong Learning UK, November 2007: 5). In order for me as a teacher to be able to do this, I need to ensure that I am competent within the 4 key areas of the minimum core.

The minimum core is essential to my preparation for teaching and learning in several ways; a clear understanding is essential in order for me to be able to develop inclusive approaches within the classroom, and in respect of those learners with additional needs within literacy, language, numeracy and ICT (Duckworth, Wood, Dickinson and Bostock, 2010). Having completed this literature review and through researching minimum core in detail, I know that I need to have a clear understanding of expectations of supporting learners in developing their functional skills by ensuring that I have competency in literacy, language, numeracy and ICT (Lifelong Learning UK, November 2007). Having spoken to colleagues within my organisation in respect of minimum core, I have been able to analyse my session plans, scheme of work and use of resources to ensure that I am adequately able to support learners to achieve their full potential with regards to their functional skills.

This literature review has also highlighted limitations within my teaching and learning role in respect of minimum core, and has helped me to identify areas where I need to improve within language, literacy, numeracy and ICT. Following this review, and now being aware of lack of numeracy within my minimum core, I have adapted session plans for A2 Psychology to include more numeracy related objectives for my learners, for example, ‘Learners will define and recognise different types of correlation.’ Overall, after completing a literature review of minimum core, I have a clear understanding of what is expected of me as a trainee teacher and feel more able to ensure that I am able to achieve the minimum core within my session plans and schemes of work due to undertaking this review.

2f) Sources of information, including referencing using a recognised system

Department for Education and Skills (2004) ‘Equipping our Teachers for the Future: Reforming Initial teacher Training for the Learning and Skills Sector.’ London; Department for Education and Skills Department for Education and Skills (2006) Further Education; Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances London: Department for Education and Skills Hickey, J (2013) Literacy for QTLS: Achieving the Minimum Core. London; Routledge Lifelong Learning UK (June 2007) Addressing Literacy, Language, Numeracy and ICT Needs in Education and Training: Defining the Minimum Core of Teachers’ Knowledge, Understanding and Personal Skills- A Guide for Initial Teacher Education Programmes. London: Lifelong Learning UK Lifelong Learning UK (November 2007) Inclusive learning approaches for literacy, language, numeracy and ICT. London: Lifelong Learning UK Wallace, S (2011) (4th Ed.) Teaching, Tutoring and Training in the Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Learning Matters.

1d) Communication

2a) Research Area: Models of Communication
‘Communication is the key to encouraging student’s motivation and respect, managing behaviour and disruption and becoming a successful teacher.’ (Gravells, A. 2012: 98). Communication is of key importance when exploring how to ensure good teaching and learning within the learning environment. Communication itself is present in a variety of forms within any given situation, including tone and pitch of voice, body language and what is actually being said. There is a vast amount of research conducted to explore communication; methods, models, effectiveness and barriers are all areas that have been researched in order to support effective teaching and learning within the classroom.

2b) Why I selected this aspect
I have chosen to research models of communication due to the vast amount of research done into effective models of communication to support learners to achieve their full potential and progress academically, emotionally and socially. There is importance in ensuring that learners within the classroom are supported holistically (Pollard, 2002). This enables learners to achieve their maximum potential; therefore, researching models of communication and identifying effective communication models to use within my teaching and learning will have a positive impact upon my learners.

As stated by Pollard (2009: 261); ‘In the rapidity of encoding and decoding processes, there are endless possibilities for misunderstanding.’ Ensuring that I, as a classroom practitioner, have a clear understanding of communication and the models within it, will support me in engaging learners in the teaching and learning process, giving them the opportunity to have clear understanding of topics and units, as well as promoting deeper understanding and development of critical skills to ensure information is embedded and learners are actively involved in the learning process (Gravells, A and Simpson, S., 2010).

2c) The goal of the research
The goal of the research I am undertaking is to explore models of communication and their effectiveness within the learning environment. This goal is quite broad and as a result, the research undertaken can be quite detailed and varied. As a result of this, I am going to focus on two key models of communication; the transmission model and the constructivist model. The transmission model of learning has previously been called the most common form of education, and still remains at the heart of teaching practice (Pollard, 2002). However, this focus has shifted towards the constructivist model in recent years. Both of these models have their individual strengths and weaknesses and can be used effectively within different contexts. To aid understanding, I will review briefly both models and their place within the teaching and learning environment.

The transmission model of communication (Shannon and Weaver, 1949, cited in Abdal-Haqq, 1998) is also known as the informational approach to communication (Pollard, 2002). This is largely a teacher centred approach, whereby the learner is seen as passive, with the learner simply taking in the information (Petty, 2009). The constructivist model, based upon research findings in cognitive, social and behavioural psychology, is one in which learners construct their own meaning, which can come from instructional experience, as well as the individuals own prior learning and experience (Abdal-Haqq, 1998).

Whilst the transmission model places importance on rote learning, the constructivist model places key importance on deep learning, in which learners are able to construct meaning for new learning, by making existing connections between information they obtain and new learning that is acquired (Petty, 2009). The key difference between the two models is that the transmission model focuses on learning being passive, whereas the constructivist model focuses on learning being active (Pollard, 2002).

2d) How you have carried out the research
I researched both the transmission and constructivist model of communication and tested out their effectiveness within the learning environment by recording 2 sessions on abnormality with my AS level Psychology learners and evaluated the model by reviewing learner feedback through independent question and answer worksheets (see appendix 2). I completed the same session with two different Psychology AS level groups to examine effectiveness of the models.

The question and answer worksheets were designed to see which model of communication was most effective in aiding learner’s understanding of the behavioural approach and treatments within this, as well as looking at whether deeper understanding had been obtained by learners in both sessions. Group 1 consisted of 16 learners aged 16-17 years old and the model of communication used was the transmission model. Group 2 consisted of 17 learners aged 16-17 years old and the model of communication used was the constructivist model.

2e) A summary of your research that includes a critical analysis and evaluation of your key findings and conclusions drawn The findings of the research I conducted is as follows; Group One findings:
•Learners were able to answer questions 1-5 (basic level of understanding) relatively well
•The majority of learners were not able to answer questions 6-7 adequately, although some had attempted the question (deeper understanding).

Group Two findings:
•Learners were able to answer questions 1-5 well, including evaluation and analysis.
•All learners attempted question 6-7 and all were able to answer this correctly.
•Some learners had shown further understanding and analysis by answering questions 6-7 in relation to not only fear of spiders, but fear of heights and fear of social situations.

The results clearly show that the constructivist model of communication is more effective in ensuring deeper understanding and clarity of knowledge imparted to learners. When looking at the transmission model of communication, it is clear that it is not effective when supporting learners to engage in a deeper level of understanding of the information being given. It also does not support pupil centred approaches to learning, which have been shown to enhance pupil understanding and engage deeper thinking skills, such as critical thinking, evaluation and analysis (Gravells, A and Simpson, S. 2010) However, research shows that there are a number of advantages of using the transmission model within the learning environment.

Teachers have countless demands to meet targets, manage behaviour and ensure that learners achieve. The transmission model allows the required amount of instruction to be delivered (Abdal-Haqq, 1998). The transmission model of communication allows me as a classroom practitioner to impart new key knowledge and terms to learners in order to manage curriculum targets. It is also important to note that transmission of objective knowledge is needed in part throughout most educational courses. When looking at the subject area I teach, which has a large amount of statistical data and new information that learners need to acquire, learners need to be taught an established body of knowledge in order for their learning to progress. Whilst there is some support for the use of the transmission model within education, it is largely seen as outdated and ineffective (Wrencii, Richmond and Goriian, 2009).

The transmission model ignores critical need for dialogue between learner and teacher on how we think and learn. With regards to learners within my learning environment, pure use of the transmission model of communication overlooks how well learners are prepared for the learning experience (Abdal-Haaq, 1998). The transmission model has been shown to be memory-orientated and didactic, which may be useful for learners when completing examinations, but does not take into account the learner as a holistic individual. There is no importance placed on context- situational and social context can be of key importance with regards to communication within the learning environment. Learners are treated as isolated individuals within the transmission model, without though given to meaning, interpretation, relationship or purpose (Wrencii et al, 2009).

This in itself goes against the view of a learner as a holistic individual, and learners engaging in the learning process are not deemed as an important part of this model. With regards to the research I undertook, it is clear that learners were not able to engage and enhance their learning and understanding as they were unable to answer several key questions. It is important to note that part of the exam that Psychology learners undertake include case studies that are aimed to check learner’s deeper understanding, analysis and evaluation of topics and key themes. Purely using the transmission model within my teaching would not enable learners to do this, therefore as a stand alone model, this would not meet the needs of my learners or the summative assessment requirements of the Psychology AS level course.

The constructivist model, on the other hand, engages learners more, is a learner centred model, and knowledge that is retained allows learners to apply what they have learned in a practical sense (Huitt, 2003). Engaging in the constructivist model of communication allowed me as a teacher to identify quickly learner’s understanding of the behaviourist approach and enabled me to differentiate between methods of teaching and learning. For example, I was able to use mentoring and pair up learners’ dependent upon level of understanding so that learners could support each other in gaining clear understanding of approaches and key terms.

Research shows that teachers who use the constructivist model attempt to know more about the background of their learner and look to promote a development of knowledge that is purely relevant to the learner and the physical and social environment (Dougiamas, 1998). This supports seeing the learner as a holistic individual, and enabling deeper understanding to take place within the classroom environment.

As a result of the research into the transmission model and its effectiveness within the teaching and learning environment, I have formulated a checklist for ensuring effective communication within the classroom (see appendix 3).

2f) Sources of information, including referencing using a recognised system

Abdal-Haqq, I. (1998)’ Constructivism in Teacher Education: Considerations for Those Who Would Link Practice to Theory.’ Washington DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education Dougiamas, M. (1998) ‘A Journey into Constructivism’ [online] Available from www.dougiamas.com Date accessed 04.05.14 Gravells, A (2010) Preparing To Teach In The Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Routledge Gravells, A. Simpson, S. (2010) (2nd Edn) Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters Huitt, W. (2003) ‘Constructivism’ Educational Psychology Interactive, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA Petty, G (2009) (4th Edn) Teaching Today. London: Cheltenham Nelson Thornes. Pollard, A (2002) Reflective Teaching. London: Routledge.

Wrencii, J. Richmond, V and Gorinam, J (2009) Communication, Affect and Learning in the Classroom. USA: Burgess Publishing

1e) How technology can enhance learning and teaching

2a) Research Area: Using technology to improve teaching and learning in further education

2b) Why I selected this aspect
There have been dramatic changes in the use of technology to enhance and improve teaching and learning over the past ten years. The government have previously set up an agency whose primary aim was ‘to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning’ (BECTA National Archives, Department for Education, 2012). In order for me to provide the best educational experience for the learners I work with, it is important for me to have an understanding of technology and learning and how it can be used to improve teaching and learning.

2c) The goal of the research
The research I have chosen to undertake is a literature review with the primary aim to understand how technology can be used to improve teaching and learning in further education.
2d) How you have carried out the research
This research was carried through undertaking a literature review of available journals, books and articles on the use of technology within education. This has included research from Department for Education, BECTA, articles from the Guardian and books written on education.

2e) A summary of your research that includes a critical analysis and evaluation of your key findings and conclusions drawn There is a large amount of research available that explores the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. In order for the research to be valid for the learners that I work with, I have used literature for both secondary school learners and higher education learners, specifically focused on how technology can be used to improve my teaching and learning. The Department for Education (2012) completed a study of effective use of technology within secondary schools and explored the use of technologies across the curriculum. They found several key features of successful practice: •A focus on educational outcomes

Technology developments should be strategically linked to school improvement plan and used to its full potential to specifically improve educational outcomes. Whilst I as a practitioner have no direct involvement in the school improvement plan, I can feed ideas to relevant members of staff with regards to this. •Effective use of a learning platform

Schools were use of technology is used successfully integrate their learning platforms into effective teaching and learning. This included, but was not limited to, communication with parents and pupils, communication with other schools and colleges to share good practice, to post relevant teaching material and resources, and blog with pupils, thereby engaging with their learners more readily through the use of technology.

•Technology embedded in teaching practice underpinned by good technical support Use of a wide range of technologies to ensure outcomes for learners, whilst taking into account mobility and flexibility. Again, whilst I have no direct involvement in purchasing technologies, I am able to communicate this to other members of staff to open up a discussion.
•Harnessing pupils’ expertise and enthusiasm for technology Use of pupil experts in lessons to teach other pupils how to use technology effectively to enhance their learning, as well as trialling new devices and software with learners’, thereby giving them responsibility and increasing their motivation for engagement.
•Sharing good practice and equipping teachers to use technology effectively Staff were given time and space to develop their own skills, as well as supporting others. This is an idea that I could effectively implement within the organisation I work in, as I am able to organise a meeting with other colleagues within the sixth form to discuss how we could do this.
•Engaging parents and carers through technology

Increased engagement of parents was seen through effective use of learning platforms, as well as an improvement in the dialogue about a learners’ progress. As I teach 16-18 year olds primarily, whilst we do encourage an environment of independent learning, there are still occasions when parental engagement is important. It is vital to have support from parents and carers when working with young people to ensure that all learners are supported as best they can (Every Child Matters, 2004)

This study has enabled me to have a clearer understanding of how technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning and has given me the confidence to raise key issues within my organisation. Whilst primarily based on secondary school pupils, a lot of the research can be used with the learners that I work with, as comparability levels between secondary school and sixth form are quite high.

The use of technology to enhance teaching and learning is a key area of discussion within education currently. The Department of Education has recognised the importance of this, stating ‘technology has a transformative power’ (Digital Technology in Schools, Department for Education, 2013:1). It is important to use classroom assessment tools which can be used as a working document to ensure that teachers understand what learners can and can’t understand. This can be used as a type of formative assessment, and enables teachers to quickly adapt resources or lesson plans to ensure that learners can progress (Reece and Walker, 2007).

The Department for Education also endorses the use of a wide range of media resources, such as video clips, games and interactive software to engage learners (Department for Education, 2013). As a practitioner, it is of importance to ensure that learners are engaged in the learning environment, and ensuring that resources are practical, meet learning objectives, and are engaging will support learners to achieve their full potential (Petty, 2009). Whilst the vast amount of research supports the use of technology in enhancing teaching and learning, it is important to note several concerns. Firstly, confidence of the teacher is important. If I do not feel confident using technology, this can hinder my ability to maximise full potential from my learners.

I need to ensure that I am exploring ways to increase my confidence, such as working with experienced colleagues or going on appropriate professional development (Reece and Walker, 2007). I may also not have access to hardware or software within my classroom; it is my responsibility as a practitioner to be aware of what is available within my normal teaching environment, and if I need access to other technologies, I need to plan and prepare for this accordingly (Reece and Walker, 2007). Lastly, I need to be aware of time. This includes planning and preparation for using technology, as well as allowing for time within my lesson plans to ensure learners are able to use the technology effectively.

Overall, the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning is of key importance due to the increase of its use within society and everyday life over the years, as well as learners having more accessibility to technology than previous years (The Guardian, 2013). Having completed this literature review, I have more clarity regarding the use of technology, and limitations to be aware of when putting use of technology into practice so that learners I work with can achieve their full potential.

2f) Sources of information, including referencing using a recognised system

Petty, G (2009) (4th Edn) Teaching Today. London: Cheltenham Nelson Thornes. Reece, I. Walker, S. (2007) (6th Edn) Teaching, training and learning: A Practical Guide. Tyne and Wear: Business Education Publishers Ltd. Department for Education (2012) BECTA [ONLINE] Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151655/http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/armslengthbodies/a00192537/becta (accessed 5th May 2014) Every Child Matters (2004) Change for Children Programme, HM Government [online] Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DFES10812004.pdf (accessed 5th May 2014) The Guardian (2013) ‘What is the future of technology in education?’ [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/19/technology-future-education-cloud-social-learning Accessed 6th May 2014

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Emma Taylor

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