Jotter: Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research Volume 08

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Selected papers from Jotter Volume 08 (2017). 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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    Choice and Motivation in the Art Classroom
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-06) Juncosa Umaran, Elisa
    This research focuses on the effects of autonomy on motivation and year 7’s perspectives on choice-based art projects. It explores the implications and possible contradictions of autonomy in the context of a diverse, ‘requiring improvement’ school in East Anglia. Data from questionnaires, interviews and participant observation revealed that a choice-based project had a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards materials, outcomes, teacher exemplars, perceptions of competence, general interest and external recognition. Implications for future research and classroom practice are also discussed.
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    “Pronounced Empowerment?”: An analysis of the impact of an explicit multi sensory phonics teaching intervention on the pronunciation skills and motivation levels of KS4 pupils of French
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-04) Hewett, Kristian
    Numerous recent studies have found that UK secondary school pupils of French typically have poor ability in “decoding” this language. That is, they struggle to correctly pronounce the language when seen in its written form. It has been contended that pupil lack of confidence in this area may be contributing to low levels of motivation for the subject. A common support strategy for pupils experiencing difficulties with spelling-sound links in their first language is the use of multisensory teaching activities. This study outlines and analyses an intervention trialling multisensory teaching of French phonics with a class of KS4 pupils. The findings suggest that multisensory teaching could well be effective in improving pupils’ foreign language decoding ability. There is some evidence that explicit spelling-sound link teaching can empower pupils to feel more in control of decoding processes generally. However, this appears to have little impact on wider levels of subject motivation
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    ‘Should we accept Syrian refugees? ’Developing Year 8 students’ understandings of place with reference to the European refugee crisis
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-04) Ellis, Christopher
    This paper describes an attempt to develop Year 8 students’ understandings of place over a short lesson sequence about the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. Conceptually, it aimed to move students beyond a static view of place - as manifested in populist anti-immigration stances - and towards a relational understanding of place informed by the theories of Doreen Massey (2004). Students’ thinking was tracked across five lessons framed around an enquiry question: ‘should the UK accept Syrian refugees?’ The paper documents how students’ understandings developed in multiple, complex, and at times contradictory ways. This is important as pedagogical research on migration – in education studies generally and school-based geography in particular – is severely lacking.Moreover, the shift in some students’ views from anti-refugee to pro-refugee demonstrates the potential of geography teaching to engage with controversial issues and guard young people against indoctrination.
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    Overcoming barriers for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Modern Foreign Languages : a critical evaluation of the impact of ASD strategies on the attainment and engagement of learners in a Year 7 class
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-04) Eloise Johnson
    The increasing presence of pupils with special educational needs in the mainstream classroom is heightening the requirement for teachers to differentiate their practice for the expanding range of needs. This study focusses on one special educational need, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) classroom: a largely unexplored area of research. Focussing on one Year 7 French class, including 2 learners with ASD, in a British comprehensive secondary school, this paper seeks to look at the impact of suggested strategies for facilitating the learning of pupils with ASD in the MFL classroom. A scheme of work was developed, and differences in engagement and attainment were measured throughout. Findings suggest that the benefits on attainment are significant, both for learners with ASD and ‘neurotypical’ learners. Engagement of the class also improved over the intervention.The study opens up possibilities for future research, including the potential benefit of MFL learning for pupils with ASD, and it highlights the need for a set of comprehensive guidelines for ASD in the MFL classroom.
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    Re-visiting the Reluctant Writer: Exploring the writing-composing behaviours of boys and girls in a Year Two class, contextualized through the use of pupil perspectives
    (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2017-01-06) Hadley, Laura Catherine
    Disparities between the performance of boys and girls in school writing assessments continues to be a focus in current discourse (Alexander, 2016). Following on from an earlier study with Reception children (Hadley, 2015), this project sought to investigate the cognitive-behavioural implications for next-level boy and girl writers of the ‘multi-conscious manoeuvring of content and form’ involved in composition (Meek Spencer, 2001, p.10). Three boys and girls in a year two class were observed engaging in independent writing. Focus group discussions before and after this activity contextualized the children’s performances via ‘reflective conversation with the situation’ (Schön, 1983, p.77). Findings broadly suggested a lack of reluctance on the part of the boys who exhibited the ‘rapid-switcher’ writer-profile more commonly associated with the most successful writers (Jones, 2007). Transcriptional considerations were pre-eminent in the mindsets of all the writers with minimal negative impact on ideation for either gender.