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August 28, 2018

How being research–informed has impacted on my practice – Georgina

The PGCE course involved assignments which required us to gain understanding, appreciation and knowledge of research in teaching. This exposed me to an area that I was not familiar with. Initially we were required to look into the original learning models and theories of Pavlov, Vygotsky, Bruner and various others. These theorists set the baseline for educational research, regardless of this, I found most of it hard to read but the underlying message was common sense. Consequently, I felt I gained very little and these theorists gave me no inspiration into becoming research informed.

However, during my research into my PG1B essay I discovered that there was an extensive amount of academic research on education outside the original theorists. The research I read was extremely interesting, educational and demonstrated that the issues I observe in my current setting are issues nationally. With a foundation of a STEM career before retraining to become a teacher, the topic of girls not following into STEM post GCSE, regardless of high attainment at GCSE level was fascinating. Through the research I discovered that stereotyping, lack of female role models (evidence: Role model form filled in for Southam), lower self-efficacy and girls being more rounded educationally was still an issue. With more and more equality in the UK, why is this still an issue? The research book by Smith (2014) into gender participation in Mathematics covered the main reasons girls do not go further in STEM and therefore laid the foundation for my further research to support this work (Smith, 2014). He identified that girls preferred to understand ‘why’ in mathematics which leads to needing to adapt teaching to respond to the needs of pupils (TS5).

On my research for PG2, the focus was on behaviour management in schools. This was highly relevant to my training today when dealing with certain pupils, especially the low-attaining pupils. Payne found that there was a high level of discrepancy between the perspectives of pupils to teachers within a classroom (Payne, 2015). He concluded that pupils react better to positive encouragement and in particular positive feedback to parents (TS8: communicate effectively with parents). Consequently I have implemented a positive reward process (Evidence: HAPS rewards) in my low attaining group and also called home to positively praise (Evidence: call home) or show concern attaching a positive spin.

Being research-informed has enabled me to get an increased level of understanding of issues in education outside my current setting, it has enabled me to ensure I am a good female role model and practice positive behaviour management. After the initial struggle I had with the early theorists, I have found the more current research more accessible and useful. I will continue to refer to academic literature through my teaching career to find ways and understanding into my practice as a teacher. On the other hand, I did identify that all the research is based on very small subsets and will strive to look for research which is more at a national level.

Evidence:

  • Role model form I filled in for Southam.
  • Haps status demonstrating the positive structure in place.
  • Call home email.


References

Payne, R., 2015. Using rewards and sanctions in the classroom: pipils' perceptions of their own responses to current behaviour management strategies.. Educational Review, 67(4), pp. 483-504.

Smith, c., 2014. Geneder and participation in mathematics and further A-Level: a literature review for the further Mathemeatics Support Proggramme. London: Insitute of Education.


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