Jotter: Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research Volume 12

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Selected papers from Jotter Volume 12 (2021). 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 15
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    Moments of mindfulness: exploring pupils’ perspectives on short daily mindfulness activities and their potential effects on the classroom learning environment
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2021-03-01) Evans, Victoria
    This small-scale case study explores the perspectives of Year 4 pupils on doing a daily mindfulness activity in the classroom and whether there were any perceived benefits to doing this over a 4-week period. Initially participants completed a questionnaire to indicate their understanding of mindfulness and provide a brief summary of mental wellbeing. A separate post-questionnaire with pupils and teachers, alongside a focus-group discussion, afforded an understanding of the observed benefits and pupils’ perspectives towards the intervention. Findings appeared to suggest that mindfulness activities can be beneficial in the classroom, particularly for reorienting pupils after a breaktime in preparation for learning. Furthermore, these activities are largely well received by pupils with high levels of enjoyment and desire to continue the activity post-intervention.
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    How do authentic materials representing LGBT+ identities impact on the learning of a high attaining Year 10 group studying French?
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2021-05-01) Crosby, Natasha
    I present a study of authenticity in language pedagogy and analyse the findings of action research into the effects of authentic materials representing LGBT+ identities on the learning of a high attaining Year 10 French group. Interactional authenticity between the language input and learners emerges as a principal concern, with focus given to the teacher’s role in its construction. Student work was found to demonstrate some interactional authenticity with source texts through relexicalisation, but conclusions on the emergence of ‘authentic voices’ remain unclear and complex. Points for further research into cross-curricular approaches and potential for LGBT+ advocacy in education are also suggested.
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    Investigating the Effect of Using Modern Language Vocabulary Teaching Strategies on the Recall and Application of Scientific Vocabulary with a Year 7 Class: A Case Study Proposal
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2021-05-01) Uttley, Josh
    Vocabulary is essential to understanding and participating in scientific discourse and is therefore integral to learning science. Science teaching,however, has a notable lack of explicit vocabulary teaching. Scientific teaching may benefit from using the vocabulary teaching strategies that can often be observed in modern language teaching. Strategies observed in the modern language classroom have been adapted for scientific vocabulary teaching in this case study proposal. Improvements in the recall and application of scientific vocabulary following the intervention would suggest that the strategies are beneficial to scientific learning. Such results would encourage further research that could investigate whether the strategies could help to close the attainment gap that exists between the socially advantaged and disadvantaged. Further research would be shaped by considering students’ perceptions of vocabulary learning.
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    Exploring teaching strategies to promote mathematical resilience in a Year 10 set 4 mathematics class
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2021-03-01) Smith, Hannah
    Many students experience the phenomenon of mathematical anxiety when approaching mathematics inside and outside the classroom. Literature suggests that mathematical anxiety may be reduced through the development of mathematical resilience. However, few studies have considered how to develop such a characteristic. This piece of action research suggests that mathematical resilience can be developed through the introduction of teaching strategies which encourage student discussion and collaborative work. Several strategies were introduced and evaluated whilst teaching a middle-set Year 10 mathematics class at an all-girls school. This study has shown that mini whiteboard work, question tickets, matching activities and confidence-building starters are particularly useful tools. The success of such teaching strategies being applied elsewhere will rely upon the presence of a positive learning environment as well as the regular recognition of what it means to be mathematically resilient.
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    “Does what and how I read have an effect on my learning across the curriculum?”: An exploration of year 4 pupils’ perspectives on independent reading
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2021-03-01) Connolly, Liam
    Reading is a fundamental skill that aids learning across the curriculum and is essential to success in school and beyond; indeed, in 2002 the OECD found that reading enjoyment surpasses even socio-economic status in its centrality to educational success. Using a questionnaire alongside semi-structured interviews of a selected sample, this study enquires about children’s feelings towards independent reading and its relation to their schoolwork. It finds that the choice of material available to them and the presence of a supportive reading role model in the shape of a parent, most often a mother, are crucial extrinsic factors in their reading lives.