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Individual learning goals Essay

1.1 Analyse the role of initial and diagnostic assessment in agreeing individual learning goal Gravells, (2012 p98), Initial assessment is a check on learners’ prior skill, knowledge or understanding which is carried out at the beginning of a programme or topic. In agreement with it could be formal, and mainly internal task which is produced by the school (ILP) to identify learners existing skills & achievements before the programme, gather information for course tutor, and individual background. In my practice, I carry out Individual Learning Plan (ILP) interviews to support the team and the Academy leader or to observe the new intakes as they complete their baseline work sheets which are part of requirements of the learning programme for individual or group of learners who have been admitted into the school on a long or short term contracts to set achievable targets, a realistic action plans and give teachers a starting point on each learner predicted grades.

Also, I always carry out initial assessment at the start of each lesson to ascertain learner prior knowledge of the topic to be discussed using multiple choice questions, Oral Q&As, open and closed questions which motivates the learners and gets them engaged and to create an inclusive learning environment from the start of the lesson. In my practice, I facilitate the teaching and learning environment by planning for all individual leaners identified learning styles enhanced with appropriate resources like audio, video etc discovered by encouraging each learners to complete a self-evaluation questionnaire called a Learning Style Inventory (LSI) designed by Kolb (1984), while each learner chooses and develops an understanding of his or her learning preferences and use that understanding to enhance his or her own learning experience.

Gravells (2012 p98) explained that diagnostic assessment could be used to ascertain information regarding practical/basic skills and minimum core like literacy, numeracy, ICT skills identified using learning or training needs analysis by observation and questioning to conform current competence, and understanding. It is a formal workplace assessment requirement in lifelong learning that helps to identify learners’ individual, support needs, preferred learning style.

Diagnostic assessment is an essential device in a teacher’s “tool kit”. It can be used to diagnose strengths and areas of need in all students. Diagnostic assessment involves the gathering and careful evaluation of detailed data using students’ knowledge and skills in a given learning area. The data assist teachers to plan for appropriate pedagogy and targeted learning to more effectively scaffold the learning needs of their students. Consequently, diagnostic assessment is used ‘for learning’ where taking action to adjust teaching plays a significant role in improving learning outcomes for all students.

Fig1. Diagnostic assessment flowchart. Adapted from the ‘decision-making loop’, Saubern,R (2010 Learners are required to complete questionnaire like The VARK Questionnaire; http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire to help analyse, identify and meet individual learners needs, preferred learning style and support to allow the learners attain their aim on the programme.

2.3: Reflect on how teaching methods meet the needs of all learners Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) promotes higher forms of thinking in education activities or learning like analysing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning) which includes three domains cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge), affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self) and psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills). For example, it is summarised as KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude), DTF (Do, Think, and Feel). In my practice, I mostly apply the cognitive domain teaching method approach which is appropriate to all the learners and the subject being taught because it promotes individual and collaborative learning, lectures, team-teaching, practical, research, case studies, discussion, peer teaching, role play, games etc which help me to meet the learners’ diverse needs.

The learners get fully involved in the lesson and apply their mental knowledge to develop their intellectual skills (Bloom, 1956), by recalling or recognising specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills which start from the simplest behaviour to more complex ones As laid out in the citizenship scheme of work, I assess the learners to meet the assessment objective in the content and skills set by the awarding body AQA using the (Bloom, 1956) approach which meets all the learners needs in terms of KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude). In my practice, the learners are informed of the topic to be discussed (Child Abuse), they think and try to recall data on the issue in the community, they discuss amongst themselves which promote LTT and interaction takes place.

Figure 2 Abstract from AQA 2012 p32

They are able to explain in their own words what they understand by the topic being discussed, apply relevant laws that they researched using the website with past and recent events on child abuse, thereby meeting VAK (2009) Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic learning styles model as they move around and look to get the recent information. They also discuss and shout out researched examples that they know, revise and brainstorm by trying to suggest possible ways to stop the abuse by reporting, joining and advocating for charity organisations like NSPCC and so on and also suggest what the government needs to do in terms of increased punishment to offenders which promotes an inclusive class and meet the needs of all learners one way or the other.

A four-stage cyclical theory of learning, Kolb’s experiential learning theory is a holistic perspective that combines experience, perception, cognition, and behaviour.’

Figure 2. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model

Kolb believes “learning is the process where knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (1984, p.38 cited in class Note 2014 pg. 5-7). The theory presents a cyclical model of learning, consisting of four stages shown above. One may begin at any stage, but must follow each other in the sequence: concrete experience (or “DO”), reflective observation (or “OBSERVE”), abstract conceptualisation (or “THINK”) and active experimentation (or “PLAN”). In my practice, I facilitate and lead the teaching and learning environment by planning for all individual learners’ identified learning styles, enhanced with appropriate resources like audio, video etc and discovered from learners’ completed self-evaluation questionnaire called a Learning Style Inventory (LSI) designed by Kolb (1984), which promotes and encourages learner-centred and fun independent learning as each learner chooses and develops an understanding of his or her learning preferences and uses that understanding to enhance his or her own learning experience.

In one of the lessons, the learners requested to seat in an informal manner like seating sideways or on the computer. After negotiating with them, they accepted to follow the seating arrangement in the physical classroom to accommodate their different learning styles, which is the traditional desk and chair, pair setting that allows them to perform and concentrate better and be engaged in the lesson as illustrated by Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model cited in the class note (2014).In agreement with Kolb, (1984), I plan and develop variety of learning activities that will accommodate the different learning styles of the learners (role plays, instructional games, reading, individual assignments, group discussions, brainstorming, online research, design a poster, etc.) which the most difficult, and time-consuming task. In conclusion, I believe that learning models facilitate the process of linking instructional activities to individual learning styles, thereby increasing the learner’s ability to acquire and retain knowledge after they’ve been armed with the knowledge of how they learn, they are able to select appropriate activities, allowing them to learn more quickly, and retain the new information, their study would be much more productive.

2.4: Identify ways in which session plans can be adapted to meet the individual need of the learners Schools awarding body, AQA, (2012 p20) explains in the GCSE specification handbook that diversity and inclusion are promoted by making arrangements for candidates with special needs to help them access the GCSE qualification and subject criteria assessments whether any of the skills or knowledge needed by the subject presented a possible difficulty to any candidates, whatever their ethnic background, religion, sex, age, disability or sexuality. In my practice, I plan to promote equality in the classroom to meet the needs of individual learners by differentiating my lesson.

For example, in my starter activity, I set higher targets for the gifted & talented learners like level 4 learners to complete 5 questions & level 7 learners to complete 10 questions which keeps them engaged and challenged to throughout the lesson. I always remember when planning to take a step back at some point of the lesson, by encouraging the G&T learners to record ideas, teach and model their writing or thinking on the smart board, as they demonstrate, explain answers/solution to a task to a neighbour or the class while the less able learners get engaged and consciously correct any error made. The Education Act (1996), Human Right Act (1998), The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA), in agreement with The new Statutory Guidance on Inclusive Schooling from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES, 2001) gives clear and strong messages to LEAs, Schools and other bodies that the development of inclusion in schools is ‘principles of an inclusive education service’ which is cited in SCCD Note 2012 p20)

3.1: Review ways in which elements of the minimum core can be demonstrated in planning inclusive learning and teaching The minimum core includes literacy, numeracy, language & ICT. It is a current government requirement across the National Curriculum initiative (2002) which has now been implemented into each school and teachers need to enhance and provide opportunities for the learners to demonstrate appropriate knowledge in functional skills (Ellis, 2004 p92). For example, the Numeracy across the Curriculum initiative (2002) was adapted by each subject department especially maths by organizing, and designing a numeracy co-ordinate scheme of work to link using maths in the real world. It set out an agreed approach to the teaching of agreed numeracy skills, methods of calculations, and the use of calculators and ICT etc as explained in Ellis (2004 p94). In my practice, I created a starter in my lesson plan to identify learners’ prior knowledge and build upon the maths with which they have been exposed to and makes them feel confident.

This allows me to identify learners who have particular difficulty with maths or with every other numeric issues as argued in Ellis, (2004 p97), allowing all the learners to interact positively and discuss as a group telling each other what they know and when they learnt it (mostly in their primary schools) which creates an inclusive learning and teaching atmosphere. In agreement with cross-curricular priorities (2002, cited in Ellis, (2004 p97), I ensured that I decided on SMART and differentiated learning objectives which focuses on and relates to accuracy, interpretation and presentation and reasoning and problem solving which will normally involve consolidation of maths skills and application of the topic being taught. I recall use real life long multiplication problems to provide opportunities for the all the learners to interpret and apply just multiplying 2 or 3 digits numbers together to reasoning on how it is used on a daily basis without knowing which was fascinating to them.

In my practice, I decide and plan several teaching and assessment strategies like questioning, worksheet, discussion, individual/group/ peer assessment etc which allows the learners to think and reflect on their knowledge of mathematics in order to decide by themselves what is expected of them. For example, in my last mathematics lesson, I handed out mental maths worksheet with 10 questions without explain to them what to do as a starter, they attempted all the questions and self-evaluate themselves. Also, the National Curriculum (DfEE/QCA 2000) and the Framework for Secondary English defined literacy as reading, writing and speaking and listening to maintain parity. Wray (2001), makes the point when discussing literacy in relation to teaching and learning that: “It is usual for secondary teachers to recognise that many of the processes involved in supporting literacy are also involved in developing learning” (Wray 2001, p50 cited in Ellis 2004, p83)

In my practice, I plan to embed activities like literacy Skill activity to provide opportunities for the learners to demonstrate their reading, writing, listening etc skill in my lesson, in my literacy objectives (taken from the Strategy’s Framework), but I first of all identify, before I select the aspect of literacy that the learners needs to develop, which will blend in with the topic being taught, and decide the appropriate strategies that will help them to be able to meet the objectives in the lesson as mentioned by Ellis (2004, p83). As explained by Ellis (2004, p83), my school maths department, adapts the scheme of work from The Framework for Secondary English (2008) which includes literacy objective in combination with QCA’s scheme of work their publications Language for Learning (QCA 2000) and language at Work in lessons (QCA 2001) which demonstrate, through worked example, how literacy objectives can be employed effectively in planning the classroom practice.

For example, I recall always asking the learners about their prior knowledge (Langer, 1981 cited in Ellis 2004, p83) at the start of each lesson on a topic to be discussed, which allows me to assess their knowledge as a basis for further planning, allowing them to listen, speak and have a good interactive discussion amongst themselves which automatically creates an inclusive learning and teaching atmosphere. I also, plan to observe the learners as they read, write and compose, demonstrate, carry out individual/group activities etc as the main part of the lesson which is an idea derived from Vygotsky (1962). In plenary to reflect upon and take control of the learning which can develop their metacognitive intelligence, (one of seven different intelligences identified by Gardner, 1993 cited in Ellis, 2004 p85) ICT Across the Curriculum initiative (2004) was described as “the technical and cognitive proficiency to access, use, develop, create and communicate information appropriately using ICT tools.

Learners demonstrate this capability by applying technology purposefully to solve problems, analyse and exchange information develop ideas create models and control devices. They are discriminating in their use of information and ICT tools and systematic in reviewing and contribution that ICT can make to their work as it progresses” (DfES 2004, p.7 cited in Ellis 2004, p105). In line with write ups in Figure 10.1 cited in Ellis 2004, p105), and with the other cores, I firstly plan the activities like learning outcomes, assessment point, timing, and learners expectations in detail, I prepare support materials like interactive worksheets, displays, plan to assess and evaluate what I want the learners to achieve from the activity with the use of learning objectives, refer to the actual aspect of the activities that provided opportunities for the learner to demonstrate ICT, and discuss and get feedbacks from the learners in terms of access to the equipment and link, and students capabilities.

In my practice, I plan to provide opportunities for the learners to demonstrate their ICT skills by introducing the topic and outlining the lesson objectives on the smart board, and instruct them to access the ICT and on the familiar world wide web links www.mathsisfun.com I plan for them to research the topic and study independently on it for few minutes before handing out the worksheet for them to check for their knowledge, have a group discussion and self/peer/ peer assessment. I plan for learners with ADHD to complete their work and access the maths game, which serves as a short break before returning to their work which always encourages all the learners to be engaged and complete their work and meet the set target for the lesson promoting inclusive learning and teaching environment.

1. Anderson, L. W. et all (2013) Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html 2. Chapman, A (2005-2012) free VAK learning styles test. “vak – visual, auditory, kinesthetic – learning styles model and free selftest” http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm (online) accessed 20/06/2014 @ 11.30 3. Ellis et al (2004) “Learning and Teaching in the secondary school” Professional knowledge across the curriculum (Part 3) Teaching Literacy across the curriculum (chapter 8) 4th Edn. Learning Matter 4. Ellis et all (2004) “Learning and Teaching in the secondary school” Professional knowledge across the curriculum (Part 3) Teaching Numeracy across the curriculum (chapter 9) 4th Edn. Learning Matter 5. Ellis et al (2004) “Learning and Teaching in the secondary school” Professional knowledge across the curriculum (Part 3) Teaching ICT across the curriculum (chapter 10) 4th Edn. Learning Matter 6. Fleming, N (2011) “VARK – A guide to learning style” The VARK Questionnaire-How Do I Learn Best? http://www.vark-learn.com/ english/page.asp?p=questionnaire accessed 19/05/2014 @ 12.00 7. Gravels, Ann. (2012) Passing PTLLS assessments 2nd Edn. Chapters10,11 12 sage publications, UK. 8. Kolb, David A. 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood, Cliffs, N.J. 9. SCCD Hand Notes (2012).”Developing Differentiation and lesson planning skills” What makes a good lesson (pg. 17-20) 10.SCCD Hand Notes (2012).”Developing Differentiation and lesson planning skills” What makes a good lesson (pg. 17-20)

11. SCCD Hand Notes (2014 pg.5-7 ) Learning-approaches-principles-and-theories-2011-09-12.pdf Division of Learning &Teaching Services 2011 12. SCCD Note (2014) “Chapter 1: Know Yourself — Socrates Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model” Unit 3: Foundations for Success Lesson 7: Learning Models accessed 21/06/2014 @ 01:00


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