First Edition of New Perspectives

Editorial

In this first edition we have four papers written by newly qualified teachers.

Cath Mijovic is currently teaching science in a Worcestershire middle school. She is an ex-international athlete and reports on a small scale study she undertook last year, looking at children’s fitness. Cath was interested to find out if teaching the children the benefits of exercise through role play, would have any effect on their activity levels.

Children’s activity level study CM

Laura Lucy Ward is also a local teacher and avid reader, she examines the role teachers and practitioners have in promoting a love of reading amongst their pupils. The impact of a new “the book corner” in her classroom elicited some interesting responses from her young readers.

Children’s attitudes to reading LLW

Ian Parker is a teacher with previous experience as a popular musician and song-writer. He presents a paper looking at Year 6 children’s attitudes to music lessons and to what extent these change after they are given the opportunity to write their own pop songs.

Can song-writing improve attitudes to music IP

Our final paper is by David Knapper who was pro-active in using the latest recording technology to investigate it’s use in facilitating reflection of teachers following Physical Education lessons.

The use of video technology as a tool for reflection

I hope you enjoy reading the papers, any comments would be gratefully received.

Karen Blackmore

4 thoughts on “First Edition of New Perspectives

  1. Pingback: Joining in the conversation – Talking Tuesday | The learning conversation

  2. Review of Cath Mijovic’s paper kindly submitted by Dr Colin Howard

    Catherine Mijovic’s paper was a timely reminder of the challenges to children’s health in terms of physical inactivity. It was an interesting and thought provoking examination of an issue where the solution is often taken by most, for granted. Catherine’s passionate commitment to improve awareness for her young learners was highly evident throughout the paper and it was clear that she was keen as a professional to find out children’s perspectives, first hand. The paper begins with a focused look at the literature available on child physical activity, including that of recent studies e.g. The Millennium Cohort study (Griffiths et al, 2013), against a backdrop of governmental agenda.
    The study design was well informed; the data collection tools were relevant and yielded interesting results. Using a human body role play as the teaching intervention, was both innovative and engaging. Catherine’s discussion focussed on the point that there was tantalizing evidence in her small scale study that children, once educated might be prompted to increase their physical activity, something which is clearly beneficial to them given their often sedentary life styles. The conclusion provided many professional insights into the role that education can bring to a healthy physically active lifestyle. Overall the reviewer felt this was a very reflective piece, especially in terms of study limitations and the impact of research on trainee teacher professional development.

    Editorial note: Colin Howard suggests it would be interesting to develop Catherine’s ideas surrounding teaching about the human body in light of Martin Braund’s (2014) article, Drama and learning science: an empty space?

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  3. Review of David Knapper’s paper kindly submitted by Dr Anthony Barnett

    David Knapper’s paper begins by focusing on how professional knowledge is advanced through critical reflection on practice. He identifies a range of contributors to the discourse of reflective practice and begins to identify some of the varieties of approach e.g. Schon’s (1983) model of Reflection in Action and Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle (1983). David Knapper refers to reflection as an art which is a positive move away from mechanistic, formulaic approaches. He emphasises the intuitively appealing aim of implementing “purposeful change and to continually improve the environment in which children are educated” (p. 2).
    The main focus of Knapper’s paper is to evaluate the use of video technology as part of a reflective process. He draws from a range of literature when considering the positive and negative value for users of video technology to support critical reflection. His specific case study approach, uses self-evaluation forms and questionnaires completed by primary school teachers teaching physical education lessons. He acknowledges the extensive ethical considerations when using video technology for research. This is an area that warrants further consideration. A strength of this paper is the detailed reporting of the responses of the participants and the links to Kolb’s reflective cycle. The author has also engaged with the technology personally and started to consider implications for his own continuing professional development. He concludes by reemphasising the role of video technology as a reflective observation stage within a broader process of reflection.

    Editorial note: Anthony Barnett suggests it would be interesting to explore the differences between various reflection models in more detail. He highlights Bradbury’s (2010) Beyond reflective practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning, as a particularly interesting edited collection of recent perspectives on reflective practice.

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  4. I found David Knapper’s article very interesting and well written. It seems we often neglect the technology available to us in our own evaluations, and I wonder why? David’s article also led me to consider, could the use of video technology also be a useful tool for external evaluation? Would we find a camera in the classroom less intrusive than an inspector? We teach children to use all the tools available to them in their approach to learning, perhaps we should be doing the same.

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