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Pupil Gains: a contested concept University of Aberdeen 18 th Sept 2008 Kevin Stelfox.

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Presentation on theme: "Pupil Gains: a contested concept University of Aberdeen 18 th Sept 2008 Kevin Stelfox."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pupil Gains: a contested concept University of Aberdeen 18 th Sept 2008 Kevin Stelfox

2 Overview Policy context Towards a definition Examples from Moray pilot study Discussion

3 Background Exploratory research to develop wider indicators Linking into the Teacher Action Research Fellowship Teachers

4 Policy context Dominant discourse –Performance culture Among the reforms of the farsighted governors of the 1980's was the adoption of mandatory standardized testing of all pupils on a regular basis in the public schools. Some of those governors paid a heavy political price for their advocacy, but the governors knew that without some measure of student learning discussions of school reform would continue to be about everything but learning. Someone had to establish units and a yardstick to measure when and how progress was occurring. In the absence of a yardstick, a constructive debate about how to improve the schools was a frustrating if not futile exercise. D Fallon (1999)

5 Policy context Collectively Scotlands teacher workforce has never been more accountable, observed, statistically analysed and held firmly in the grip of a growing plethora of policy exhortations, requirements and priorities. Doherty et al (2007)

6 Emerging discourse –AifL –Curriculum for Excellence –Integrated Children's Services –HIGOS 3 2:1 Learners experiences The extent to which learners are motivated and actively involved in their own learning and development

7 Pupil gains A one dimensional view of pupil gains is inadequate: – it fails to challenge the dominant performance discourse –it impacts on the professional identity of teachers restricting it by and large to a transmission model of teaching and learning

8 Towards a definition Two strands of pupil gains 1)Young peoples attainment measured through standardised testing value added - subject based- cognitive gains Data available but problematic

9 Towards a definition 2)Wider definition - achievement/social gains within the school context – Young peoples gains using Curriculum for Excellence capacities which can be viewed through subject focus –also the potential for pupil gains through a non subject focus i.e. social/relational context

10 Pupil gains model Teachers Assessment Tests ? Young Persons Assessment Social based cognitive gains Subject based cognitive gains

11 Pupil gains research Aims –Explore and develop an understanding of broader educational outcomes –Develop range of indicators –Develop practical tools that can be used by teachers to support assessment of broader conceptions of learning outcomes

12 Pilot study method 105 pupils from four primary schools in one LA area participated Stage range P1 to P7 Classroom activity –Involving thinking about research –Thinking about Learning –Undertaking research (Pictures/writing about pictures) –Meta analysis of activity Questionnaire to staff taking part in activity

13 Analysis of data Coding –Inside Formal / Informal –Outside Formal/ Informal –Cognitive subject/social

14 Themes Places and sources of learning –Playground –Music room –Library –Recycling area –Girls Toilets –Football Goals –Bike Rake –Play Park –Hall –Classroom –Teacher –White Board –Notice Board –Safety Board –Girls Steps

15 Formal learning outside

16 Informal learning outside

17 Formal learning inside

18 Learning for themselves

19 Discussion Teacher assessment - The expectation is that teachers will be able to revisit teaching approaches and to undertake an evaluation of the young persons level of achievement supported by evidence using the outcomes and experiences as a basis. This approach to assessment requires the teacher to take stock through broad summative judgements when they believe that a young person has a secure grasp of a significant body of learning. (Curriculum Review Programme Board 2006).

20 Discussion Self assessment - the voice of the learner should be an accredited part of the learning process. Learners learn, reflect, move learning forward, learn, reflect and so on in an iterative cycle. S Heppell (2006) Tests?

21 Discussion Start of discussion about learning How we define pupil gains impacts on teachers professional identities A really good teacher tells us things and allows us to do things without sitting and we get to find out for ourselves.

22 Discussion Places and spaces where learning takes place –Formal/Informal, inside, outside –Cognitive subject/social –(What's included in pupil gains) How do we evidence gains?

23 References Curriculum Review Programme Board (2006) A Curriculum for Excellence progress and proposals. Scottish Executive, Edinburgh p pdf Curriculum for Excellence: Doherty, R. and McMahon, M., Politics, Change and Compromise: Restructuring the Work of the Scottish Teacher. Educational Review, 59(3), pp. p Fallon, D Our Grand Opportunity. Remarks on Teacher Education for College and University Chief Executives. University of Maryland September 15, 1999 Contact details

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