Research Meet 2018

The Deanery’s annual Research Meet was held on the evening of Wednesday 4th July 2018 at the Department of Education. This event allows all the teachers in partner schools who are undertaking an MSc in Learning and Teaching to share their research with one another and with researchers in the Department of Education and any other interested teachers. All the presentations outlined below are available in the Research Activities section of the Deanery website

A number of the studies by Part 2 students focussed on students’ experiences and their perspectives on their own learning.

  • Both Sean Masterson (Oxford Spires) and Luke Brewer (Cherwell) were interested in students’ responses to feedback – and its impact on their motivation and sense of self-efficacy.
  • Edwin Gavrito Munoz (Blessed George Napier) asked important questions about the potentially harmful effects of using FFT predicted grades routinely with students.
  • Megan Froud-Davies (St Birinus) was unable to attend the event to present her work, but her project on challenging a culture of indifference and raising aspiration is available with the others.

Two of the studies presented were concerned with metacognition and self-regulation:

Sara Fletcher (Oxford Spires) looked at teachers’ use of questioning, comparing their claims about the way in which they asked questions with the practice that she actually observed (and found a continuing tendency to use hands-up questions and to allow little, if any, wait-time).

The evening finished with a strong subject focus:

  • Jake Wilson (King Alfred’ Academy) conducted a very interesting exploration of maths teachers’ beliefs about problem-solving in the secondary classroom – with important implications for developing shared understandings and practice across his department.
  • Annemarie Wintle (Wheatley Park) shared a range of strategies she had used to good effect in supporting low-attaining Pupil Premium students in Geography – prompting a very interesting discussion about the value of effective modelling while preventing students from becoming over-reliant on model structures for their responses.
  • Amelia Kyriakides (Didcot Girls School) showed how thoughtful engagement with cognitive science research in relation to the recall demands of the new Science GCSEs could also stimulate collaborative professional learning as teachers worked together to develop and trail different strategies.
  • Robin Conway (John Mason) shared a strategy (influenced by work at Stanford) for modelling his own thinking aloud about working with historical sources, and so helping history students to move beyond mere source comprehension, locating sources within their own historical context and making effective links between them to answer questions about the past.
  • Emma Raven (Matthew Arnold) provided a perfect end to the evening, not only reflecting on how the use of different media (art, texts and narratives) could be used to achieve two specific aims of Philosophy and Religious Education, but also demonstrating how engaging young people themselves in the process of research can promote highly effective thinking about their own learning strategies – and thus contribute to greater metacognitive awareness.

Although we tried to follow the strict deadlines of a Teach Meet style of event, there were so many questions for the presenters that the evening over-ran by some 20 minutes – and still teachers were keen to stay afterwards to exchange ideas and pick up on suggestions made by members of the audience. One of the highlights was the way in which presenters and audience members made reference to previous presentations and to the ideas that they had taken from them and put into practice within their own schools. Jake Wilson’s original work on problem-solving in Maths, carried out at King Alfred’s has proved particularly valuable to Matthew Arnold, which has been working on developing students’ metacognition as is main staff development focus all year. Several others made reference back to Lesley Nelson-Addy’s work on the ways in which regularly giving students model answers and writing frames can prove counter-productive.

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