Within role on the learning process of children,

 

Within
the context of your phase, explore a pedagogical strategy and its potential impact
on pupil learning.

 

 

Pedagogical strategies play a
vital role on the learning process of children, questioning and feedback being
one of the most influential. As discovered questioning can occur 30 to 120 times
an hour, whilst asking these questions teachers must think of the impact that
is it having on their students. Most questions asked are recall questions, this
must be something that changes to create deeper thinking and responses. To
create this deeper thinking, we can draw upon Bloom’s questioning of higher
order thinking, instead of the who or what, we should think of the how can we
tell, discuss or design to create the higher order thinking that Blooms
created. As discussed, all types of questioning play a role within the learning
journey of a child although some questions are more thought-provoking than
others. Drawing up Fusco’s question types, metacognitive questions will create
more exploration and deeper thinking in order to answer questions. Alongside
asking the right and appropriate questions, wait time is also another
pedagogical strategy that must be done correctly to achieve maximum potential,
if the wait time is too short then children do not have long enough to process
the question and give a worthwhile answer. Although if wait time if increased
too much then children start to come off topic and forget what the original
question was.  Assessment for learning

Conclusion

 

Hodgen and Wiliam (2006, pg. 5)
believe that “feedback should tell pupils how to improve”. Feedback needs to be
critical and constructive for it to have any impact on the learner. Black and
Harrison, (2004) agree with these ideas as they discuss feedback as a tool to
help learners to know “where they are and where they should go next”. (2004, pg.
11). They also discuss how often should feedback be given, too often teachers
are tied to their marking policy having to mark ‘in-depth’ several times a
week, Black and Harrison, (2004) comment that constructive useful comments
every two to three weeks are more effective than everyday marking. Wiliam,
(2011) discusses how much of the feedback that is given to student have little
or no impact and some can in fact be counterproductive. If feedback focuses
solely on that of the learner itself and their attainment rather than the work,
it can discourage low attainers for fear of failure. Effective feedback needs
to focus on the strengths and weakness of a piece of work, rather than the
student themselves (Hodgen and Wiliam, 2006).

 

Ron Berger tells
the story of ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ a first-grade student whose task was to
create a scientific drawing of a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. On first attempts
Austin had created a generic image of a butterfly although it did not represent
the picture he was copying. Berger states that he forgot to think like a
scientist and just drew the image in his head. The teacher then told Austin
that this was a good first draft now we can critique it to make it even better,
so the class gave Austin some specific alterations one by one. Their first
critique was to change the shape of the wing, his class told him the wings
could be pointier, they should be more like triangles, stretch this wing out
more. So, with these very specific critiques Austin went back and amended his
drawing. With each draft Austin took on the constructive feedback and listened,
by his sixth draft, Austin had created a scientific drawing of a Tiger
Swallowtail butterfly. This story shows how effective feedback can be in the right
context, Austin was given specific feedback that helped with his learning
journey and he was given feedback in a constructive positive way.

Feedback is most effective
when it focuses specifically on one thing at a time, if a marked piece of work
had three or four amendments for the child to consider. It would be
overwhelming for them to complete all to a high standard that will help their
learning.

What
is effective feedback?

 

Kurtoglu-Hooto (2016) used the
work and terminology of Egan (1990,2002) to discuss the kinds of feedback he
has categorised, Kurtoglu-Hooto has used his terminology and translated this
into the education sector. Egan divided feedback into two categories;
confirmatory feedback and corrective feedback. Kurtoglu-Hooto, (2016) proposed
that confirmatory feedback is that of positive praise and reassurance that a
piece of work or something in the class went well. Corrective feedback is that
of correcting either behaviour or work, the child can be steered into the right
direction of how to correct themselves.  Corrective
feedback is seen as the most effective type of feedback as it draws the learner
in to further their understanding of a topic and to pick up on any
misconceptions they have within their work. Confirmatory feedback can be seen
as less effective in students learning process although it can be seen as more
effective in students social and emotional state. Writing comments such as
‘well done or great effort’ has no real feedback on the work completed.
Although within lower attainers it can build self-confidence and help aid
within their learning journey.

Different
types of feedback

 

Butler, (1988) set up a study
where she assessed three types of feedback; marks, comments and a combination
of the two. Marks can be grading or percentage of correct work, and comments
that of verbal and written notes reflecting work. Her study showed that the
greatest form of learning from feedback was the from the comments feedback,
whereas the other two showed no gain. Butler found that the teachers within the
study were shocked of the results, as they could not comprehend how comment
only marking could raise achievement within their classes. Whereas some
teachers were concerned of how it would work in their school with marking
students work and using comments only. Although when considering the results, the
teachers saw justification for Butlers’ findings, it was suggested that
comments in mark feedback are rarely read and only the mark is acknowledged, it
is often compared with their peers, comments are often too brief, and the same
comments are often found, showing no impact of comment. Black and Harrison,
(2004) agree with Butlers findings, they confirm that mark feedback have no
place in a ‘formative environment’ because learners do not gain any advice how
to improve their work with marks, marks can be seen as a competition between
peers and it can demotivate low attainers and not challenge high attainers.

Feedback is an essential part
of formative assessment; Assessment for Learning is conducted within the
classroom during the learning process of students. Formative assessment can aid
students learning and to provide ongoing feedback to identify student’s
strengths and weaknesses. Askew, (2000, pg. 5) describes feedback as “a gift
from the teacher to learner”. Although not all feedback can be seen as
beneficial, giving feedback just to tick a box pays no benefit to the students
learning process.

Study
on types of feedback

Feedback

 

Rowe, (1974) conducted a study
looking at pauses in the classroom, particularly the pauses after questions are
asked. Rowe, (1974) notes that there are two separate wait times, the first
occurs when the teacher has asked the question, the second when the student has
given the answer and when the teacher pauses before they react. She discovered
that the average wait time given to students was 0.9 seconds, this was too
short to create an extensive answer.  Within her study she found that most teachers
asked simple, closed questions to generate a quick response. She conducted a
study where teachers gave a longer wait time and they found out that; students
gave a longer more in-depth answer, they were more confident with their answer
as they had longer to think and students were then able to challenge each
other’s answers.

Teachers recognise that
questioning is a vital part of their teaching practice, however we must also
look at the responses that teachers pose when asking questions. Often teachers
will have the answer to the question already. Fusco, (2012) discusses that having
a precise answer to a question before it is given discourages the discovery of
the answer. In this instance, why do teachers have a specific answer they want
to hear before children have had chance to process the question? Black et al.,
(2011) comments on how teachers fear the unbearable silences, kids switching
off and children misbehaving.

Wait
time

 

Whilst wearing the hats the
children feel safe in their environment, as everyone is wearing the same hat,
this avoids any confrontation or insecurities as all children are using the
same thinking skills and encourages creative thinking. Using this approach in
the classroom will break down any barriers that some children may have in terms
of their own self confidence. Due to all children having the same thinking
approach it deters from any negativity or judgement from others, when wearing
the red hat children are able to just say how they feel and do not have to
justify or explain their answer. Some children shy away from answering
questions for fear or failure or judgement, with De Bono’s approach children
will feel more confident and will be able to participate in the lesson.  

The thinking hats are used within
a lesson where the teacher wants to promote a discussion or deeper thinking
into a subject, during the discussion the children ‘change hats’ to alter their
thinking process. The hats can be changed at any time depending on how the
teacher feels the discussion is going, the teacher usually wears the blue hat
so they can manage the questioning.

The Blue Hat – is the
organisation and management, when wearing the blue hat, they are the organiser
of the thinking hats in which colour to wear. 

The Green Hat – embodies
creativity and innovative ideas, this hat explores what is new and exciting,
green shows fertility.

The Red Hat – signifies
emotions and feelings, with this hat the thinker can put forward their answer
without any justification, red indicates passion, anger and feelings.

The Black Hat – is the
judgement hat, this thinking needs caution and risk assessment why something
may not work, black is the colour of care and caution.

The Yellow Hat – symbolises
brightness and optimism, in such arguments then the benefits should be put
forward, yellow symbolises the sun therefore promotes positive thinking.

The White Hat – represents
information needed, this can be facts or figures, white indicates neutrality.

De Bono, (2000) created a
framework for teachers to understand the importance of developing children’s
potential into deeper thinking. De Bono created six different coloured hats
that represented six modes of thinking, the hats can be worn by children
metaphorically or literally to help young children visualise. Each of the hats
are worn in unison so that each child is thinking parallel to each other and
using everyone ideas and experiences.

Six
Thinking Hats – De Bono

 

 

(Source: Grigg, 2010)

Table 1:1

Level

Original terms (1950s)

New terms (1990s)

Features

Higher Order

Evaluation

Creating

Invent, design, construct,
blend

Synthesis

Evaluating

Debate, judge, conclude,
measure

Analysis

Analysing

Distinguish, question,
experiment, inspect

Lower Order

Application

Applying

Illustrate, paint, model,
interview

Comprehension

Understanding

Describe, observe, classify,
compare

Knowledge

Remembering

Listen, group, choose,
record

 

In 1956
Benjamin Bloom created a framework on higher order thinking, he identified six
different levels: knowledge, comprehension, application,
analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Blooms taxonomy has assisted teachers in
framing questions to encourage critical thinking and has created a hierarchy of
thinking skills. Grigg, 2010) identified that in the 1990s, one of Bloom’s
students Lorin Anderson revised and changed some of Bloom’s taxonomy, mainly
changing the names of the six various levels. These names were changed from
nouns to verbs to better reflect the thinking process (see Table 1.1). Grigg,
(2010) explained that students work at different levels of thinking, he argues
that students are mainly at the lower order thinking for the majority of the
lesson although there is usually one activity or question that will require
higher order thinking. Blooms’ theory has helped aid teachers to create deeper
thinking within their students.

Blooms Taxonomy

 

With all these questions being
asked by teachers throughout the day we can look into the types of questions
that are being asked. Many theorists categorise them in separate ways splitting
them into groups. Fusco, (2012) separates the types of questions into three
categories; literal, inferential and metacognitive. Literal questions, often
seen as closed questions asks for the answer right there, there is only one
correct answer, such as When is Queen Elizabeth’s birthday? Who is the
president of the UK? Whereas inferential questions often rely on a text,
although it is not specially stated. Inference questions rely on the students’
prior knowledge and draws on its exploration into a text or subject. These
types of questions are often known as open questions as there is more room to
explore and no single correct answer, these questions allows students to
develop their own reasoning (Fusco, 2012). Fusco explores the final type of
question; metacognitive, in which students reflect on their own thinking and
learning. Fusco’s three types of questioning is not too dissimilar to Wragg’s,
(1993) findings, he claimed that the three types of questioning are;
managerial, lower order or factual recall and higher order questions.

Types
of questioning

 

What occurs in many classrooms
is what Tharp and Gallimore, (2002) call the ‘recitation script’ where teachers
ask questions, and students answer, this is seen in many classrooms. Tharp and
Gallimore later claim that recitation questioning only gathers predictable and
correct answers. “Recitation includes up to 20% yes/no questions. Only rarely
in recitation, are teacher questions responsive to student productions” Tharp
and Gallimore, (2002, pg.14). Both Cohen, Tharp and Gallimore support each
other’s ideas that questions need to be purposeful and what happens after a
child gives an answer to a question is vital to further and deeper thinking.

Fusco (2012) explains that
often, after asking a child a question who answers incorrectly, teachers often
pass over a students’ response and doesn’t allow for the student to expand on
their thinking. A simple question of why do you think this, or explain your reasoning
can create more exploration of the answer for the student. Teachers may also miss
out on a discussion that they may not have thought of themselves. As a teacher,
they must think what is the purpose to the question, if the question has no
purpose then why should it be asked? This is not saying that simple recall or
closed questions are insignificant. It is often said that teachers are one of
the few professions that ask questions they already know the answers to (Cohen,
2012, pg. 237). He cites an account of a child that was asked the question 8+4,
in which he did not reply because he said, “the teacher already knew, and I
already knew, so I don’t know why she asked the question”. Cohen, (2012) makes
the argument that children need to know the purpose of the question in order
for them to answer it effectively.

Effective
questioning

Delamont, (1976) expresses
that children can find the nature of questioning threatening and intrusive. If
they are unconfident or unsure of an answer, then this can deter the student
from answering another question again. In addition, Delamont notes, cross-questioning,
interrogating and checking up is frowned upon in everyday life but crucial for
learning in the classroom. Questioning is such an effective pedagogical
strategy only if it is done effectively. Asking children question after
question, especially recall questions, play no major significant role in
teaching and learning. Using the right questions and often to the specific
child is much more effective. This lets the child explore the question, take it
in, think about it and discuss with peers, even if the answer if incorrect, the
journey of creating the answer is much more effective than producing the
correct answer.

In a typical day is it
estimated that teachers pose between 30 and 120 questions each hour, the
majority are managerial questions while high order, open ended questions do not
feature as much, (Woolfolk, 2008). With this to mind we must think why do we
question children so much? If most of the questions that are asked are only
factual recall (Grigg, 2010) what is the use of asking the majority of closed
questions? Asking questions helps us aid discussion, it enables teachers to
pitch their lessons to an appropriate level, where to aim for, and in some
circumstances to start again from. Some questions can be simple retrieval
questions whereas many other questions can form discovery and desire to learn
more into certain topics and subjects. Alexander, (2004) believes that questions
are the building blocks of successful teaching, questioning is the time for
children to have discussions and collaborate with one another. Children must
feel comfortable with both the teacher and students for them to feel safe and
confident in answer questions that are propelled at them at such a high speed.
The simplest use of a question within the classroom setting is to ensure that
children have understood the basic parts of the lesson, (Fusco, 2012). Fusco
further discusses that effective questioning should stimulate deeper thinking and
new discovery into new interests and ideas, it should also create a safe
environment for children to delve into different discussions. Grigg, (2010)
supports Fusco’s ideas on questioning he confirms ‘questions can be asked for
many reasons, a desire to stimulate interest, check understanding, model
enquiry skills and to show genuine interest’. With this though, questions must
be varied depending the child and their ability. Burns and Myhill, (2004) state
that both high and low-level questions can be effective although each student
is different. For lower ability children, simple questions that have a higher
rate of correct answers will build their confidence and encourage more
participation. This however, does not mean that simple questions should be the
only type of question to answer, all children regardless of ability need to
discover more thought-provoking questions, and how to answer them.

Why
we question.

Questioning

 

Effective pedagogies are
inclusive and take the diverse needs of a range of learners, as well as matters
of student equity, into account

Effective pedagogies embed
assessment for learning.

Effective pedagogies focus on
developing higher order thinking and metacognition, and make good use of
dialogue and questioning in order to do so.

Effective pedagogies involve a
range of techniques, including whole-class and structured group work, guided
learning and individual activity.

Effective pedagogies involve
scaffolding pupil learning. Scaffolds have two main purposes that Husbands and
Pearce, (2012) suggest; to support the learner and to develop the learner and
change themselves. They propose that scaffolding must change with the learner
and with it changes the learners itself, by giving the learning a higher and
deeper level of understanding it means scaffolding is no longer required.

Effective pedagogies build on
pupils’ prior learning and experience. Prior learning is vital within the
development and progression of children, teachers must pick up on any
misconceptions to break down any barriers to learning.

Effective pedagogies involve
clear thinking about longer term learning outcomes as well as short-term goals.

Effective pedagogies depend on
behaviour (what teachers do), knowledge and understanding (what teachers know)
and beliefs (why teachers act as they do).  Siraj-Blatchford (2008) argues effective
practice is having good subject knowledge, good knowledge of play based
strategies and the understanding of child development. Teachers need to know
the needs of the children they are teaching, without this, students will have
many barriers to learning that they teacher will not be able to aid.

Effective pedagogies give
serious consideration to pupil voice. It is vital that we get and listen to the
voices of the students that are being taught. Ferguson, Hanreddy and Draxton, (2011)
aspire for teachers to make meaningful dialogue with children or we ‘may cause
minority perspectives to become invisible’.

Husbands and Pearce, (2012)
created nine claims from research that pinpoints the effectiveness of how a
pedagogical strategy should work.

What
makes a good pedagogy

 

The term pedagogy cannot be
easily defined; the word itself seems to be obscure and ambiguous. Watkins and
Mortimer, (1999, pg. 3) define pedagogy as “any conscious activity by one
person designed to enhance learning in another”. Whereas Anderson, (2005, pg.
53) proposes “pedagogy determines how teachers think and act. Pedagogy is the
framework for discussions about teaching and the process by which we do our
jobs as teachers”. Anderson continues to discuss how pedagogy can be seen as a
belief that all children can learn and is a body of knowledge. Anderson, (2005,
pg.54) further discusses the ambiguity of the word, he argues that dictionary
definitions of pedagogy discuss it as “an art of science” and further goes on
to question, which is it, art or science? Watkins and Mortimer, (1999, pg. 3)
support his concept as they believe that pedagogy has been briefly defined as “the
science of teaching”. They state that this creates its own difficulty in
understanding as it depends on the readers expectations of science and
teaching.

Pedagogy
definition

 

Within
the context of your phase, explore a pedagogical strategy and its potential
impact on pupil learning.