All entries for October 2005
October 27, 2005
For my independent study, I would like to do some research on the proposed reforms to education for 14 to 19 year olds. I intend to look at:
-Why reforms have been made
-Why current and previous models for engagement of young people in employment/ purposeful education have been unsuccessful
-The main challenges & rewards for teachers delivering to 14 to 19 disaffected young people
I intend to draw upon the experience of e2e colleagues, current literature and attitudes of 'mainstream' colleagues amongst other sources for this work.
I can now happily say that I can access all of the on-line resources! The Warwick website has an impressive amount of relevant resources and acts as a good guidepost towards suggested further reading. I would still be inclined to use a combination of these and core textbooks to ensure my assignments have sufficient variety.
The following article was studied:
Marks,A et al 2003 'Not for the Likes of Me': the overlapping effect of social class and gender factors in the decision made by adults not to participate in higher education Journal of Further and Higher Education Vol 27 (4)
I chose this title for the following reasons:
1. I can see, with the onset of even larger student loans/ other debt, that access to university is potentially going full circle to be only available to offspring of rich parents and nothing to do with academic ability! Whatever social class you may fall in to, £12k + of debt is no way to start a new career!
2. The traditional male role of them being the breadwinner with the female being seen as the stay at home mother is very much a view of typical Irish families even now! This article explores the motivations of why females return to education.
This substancial article features references from over 25 sources. It's strengths lie within the fact that, through the use of a lot of sub headings, it is easy to read in bitesize chunks. It uses quotations from real students explaining their views and experiences. It also has a very comprehensive abstract that helped when searching for a relevant article.
What is a little off putting is the Appendices which feature an alarming amount of statistical data! I think this would only be of interest to readers with a real interest in lots numbers!
The main messages from this article were as follows (based on responses of subjects used in research):
Both males and females feel that to be a good parent is their No. 1 priority
Males interpret 'good parent' as being the main breadwinner. If they had the choice of taking on more paid work or continuing with studies, they would be more likely to abandon their studies
Females see that showing they are a decent role model in their communities is important to them. No matter what self-doubt arises during their studies, they are more likely to complete them.
Significant life changing events such as divorce were more likely to spur females on to achieve more in their learning
Looking at Learning Theories briefly in my 7407 I must admit that I didn't have an awful lot of time for it as I was very much on a steep learning curve, having only being in my teaching post for a few months. On revisiting this area in a greater detail for Stage 3, I still approached the topic with trepidation…the textbooks I was referring to were a bit hard going. The classroom session with Julie managed to sort the wood from the trees and I developed a better understanding of less familiar theorists (Dewey, Gagne) and explored Piaget a lot more.
I have outlined in my assignment which theorists I feel I can relate to with my e2e teaching. The humanistic approach, where the teacher pays a lot of attention to creating a comfortable learning environment is very e2e. I provide breakfast for monday morning sessions, sweets and drinks for other sessions and as a result, student participation improves.
I am a big believer in the incentivising of learning (Days out based on regular attendance in formal sessions) and know I can't preach to teenagers. This is why taking a role as a facilitator to learning gets a better level of interest from my students than more traditional, formal methods. The students are regularly involved in evaluating their course with Connexions and set their own learning targets which further increases this sense of student autonomy.
I do include behaviourism to a lesser extent, particularly the modification of student behaviour. Rather than focus my attention on poor behaviour from individuals, I make sure that the compliant students are praised and reinforce this via incentive schemes and cash bonuses.