Jotter: Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research Volume 13

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Selected papers from Jotter Volume 13 (2022). Original papers are located on the University of Cambridge Apollo Repository and linked from each item page.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    What role does a ‘sense of place’ play in pupils’ ability to construct large-scale historical narratives? An investigation into the ability of Year 9 pupils to narrate the history of the Cambridgeshire Fens
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2022-04-05) Mellor, Joshua
    ‘Sense of place’ is a concept whose currency is growing in history teaching, but whose elements and purpose remain elusive. Drawing on cultural geography, environmental history and work in history education around world-building and narrative, this paper documents an explorative case study that aimed to examine the role that building a ‘sense of place’ might play in pupils’ historical learning. The case study centred around a five- lesson enquiry in which Year 9 pupils explored the story of the Cambridgeshire Fens since c.1600. The paper argues that a ‘sense of place’ can be framed as a tool which supports historical thinking or as a constitutive element of historical thinking itself. Considering this choice can help teachers to determine the types of knowledge that pupils need in order to build a ‘sense of place’, and how such knowledge can be built.
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    To what extent does the use of metacognitive strategies support Year 12 physics students’ learning of thermal physics?
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2022-05-01) McNab, Alasdair
    Thermal physics is well-known for presenting conceptual challenges that prove highly resistant to traditional teaching and learning. These challenges often stem from students only developing a surface-level understanding of phenomena, without forming deeper generalisations between concepts. This investigation explores whether the use of metacognitive strategies in lessons (specifically, concept mapping and prompted planning and evaluation of problem solving) may promote Year 12 students to consciously examine their own understanding of concepts and, in turn, develop more coherent and valid knowledge schemata. Results show that, during a five-lesson intervention, students displayed subtle signs of increased use of metacognitive skills, particularly those relating to planning and to linking concepts with prior knowledge. This paper argues that such strategies therefore warrant consideration for inclusion in teachers’ classroom practice, but that significant further work would be needed to prove a causal link to improved student understanding.
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    Encouraging creative composition through use of extra-musical stimuli: A critical evaluation of a Year 7 class making programmatic music on GarageBand
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2022-04-06) Mastrolonardo, Isabel
    Despite its importance in music education, there is a lack of clarity surrounding definitions of creativity and how it can be taught, learnt, and assessed through composition. This investigation follows a case study of Year 7 class at a comprehensive school in Eastern England taking part in virtual and non-virtual lessons. It looks to KS3 to consider how students are creative and compose ahead of their GCSE ventures, and how this is facilitated, with a hope to influence further research and good practice. Findings suggest that the use of extra-musical stimuli is a helpful strategy for encouraging creative composition in the secondary school music classroom, if stimuli are carefully selected and the pedagogical strategies used to help students utilise the stimuli are thoughtfully planned and flexible. Creative process models are evaluated and investigated, with a focus on inspirational moments, but further research is required in this domain
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    A critical analysis of the benefits and problems of shifting in and out of mathematical register in a Year 9 class
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2022-05-01) Morland, Elizabeth
    This case study examines the differences between mathematical and everyday language, the need for both kinds of speech in the classroom, as well as some of the problems that can occur. Lesson observations, written work and interviews were conducted with the students and teachers of a Year 9 middle-attaining set in a UK comprehensive school. This data is used to explore how teachers switch between registers, the benefits and drawbacks of different translations between registers and ambiguity created by the different meanings of the word “regular”. The study concludes that, while two registers are in play, the boundaries between mathematical and everyday speech are often blurred. This creates a specific set of problems around how to interpret speech in the classroom and how to encourage students’ use of mathematical register.
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    Learning The World As Well As The Story: Applying ‘Worldmaking’ to the study of Greek Literature. A case study with an examination class in a boys’ grammar school
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2022-11-16) Christofi, William
    This study investigates how a teacher might purposefully use historical context to enhance GCSE Classical Greek or Latin students’ first reading experience with classical literature in the original language. I argue that students’ observed tendencies to use whatever pre-existing knowledge they have to comprehend a new text makes it expedient for a teacher to carefully plan what contextual knowledge students should bring to the text. When given the chance to apply a Meaningful Historical Context to their reading, students in this study showed an improved ability to respond to the text’s content and explain how it fitted into its genre.