Raising Standards Together

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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Literacy

7

Lead on change: challenging current literacy practice

7.3

Making judgements to improve provision

This sub-topic can be used in conjunction with sub-topic 7.3 Auditing literacy as a logical next step or it can be used independently if an audit of literacy provision has already taken place. You will develop the skills to use information to make informed judgements in a way that prioritises progression in literacy learning and teaching.

The topic includes:

  • scenario learning
  • data management exercise
  • graduated film clips relating to SWOT episodes.

Scenario learning

Scenario learning is a way of analysing a particular situation and using his information to make informed judgements about potential outcomes. It can help you think through the decision making process and consider the implications of each choice.

Activity 7.7

Action

Design a mindmap showing your potential decision pathways with outcomes. You may like to use an app such as SimpleMind (external link) or FreeMind (external link) for this activity.

Consider your action points and the resultant consequences with reference to the following headings.

  • No action.
  • Monitor.
  • Intervene.

Discussing different scenarios can be a useful tool for extending viewpoints and thinking about the potential outcomes before actions are taken. You may like to use this example of further reading on scenario based learning (external link) as a starting point for additional further reading.

Activity 7.8

Often decisions affecting learning and teaching have to be made in a fast-paced environment. This activity helps you think about the ways that you prioritise actions concerning literacy provision.

You have 15 minutes to complete this activity.

After completing the electronic in-tray, you can view an example of the completed exercise and some points for reflection. However, it is important to note that there are many successful outcomes to this exercise.

Start
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Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

A SWOT analysis is a popular method of assessing and evaluating a particular aspect of an organisation. For example, you may want to use a SWOT analysis to evaluate your literacy curriculum, or your reading resources. The key to useful SWOT analysis is to ask questions that generate meaningful data by going beyond the obvious. In particular, you might like to prepare questions that will help you identify existing evidence or data to support strengths, or reveal gaps in provision.

This summary of SWOT analysis for educational settings (external link) may prove useful.

Activity 7.9

In this activity you are presented with 1 minute, 3 minute and 5 minute film clips of learning and teaching in literacy. The aim is to help you develop a 'critical eye' when observing learning and teaching in order to quickly decide upon the areas for development and those that can be considered a strength.

For this activity you will need three copies of SWOT grids. There are many examples available but it is best to create one suitable for your learning environment.

Watch the film clips only once and complete the grids within a 15 minute timeframe. This is to replicate decision-making in a busy classroom and provide you with an opportunity to develop a critical sense of observation.

Activity 7.10

In this activity you are asked to consider what happens to the quality of literacy when the introduction to the lesson is interrupted.

Watch the introduction to the lesson in Clip 1. Then select and watch both of the interruption clips. Consider these points of reflection:

  • What happens to quality and consistency of literacy learning when learners miss parts of the introduction to a lesson?
  • What is the potential effect on the teacher and the other children?
  • What strategies could be put in place to ensure the quality of learning is sustained?
  • Whilst some interruptions are unavoidable, what do you think about protecting lesson introduction times from disruption?
Watching
In this clip, the children in a Year 5 class are using film as a stimulus for writing. The carpet-based introduction shows how the learning objective is shared and how initial responses to the film are generated. The class teacher gives the children particular points to observe in the film which helps to focus the observation. The Assessment for Learning strategies of talking partners and lollipop sticks are shown and the teacher sustains the dialogue with different children by asking them to provide evidence to justify their answers. The viewer may like to consider the pattern of the discussion in that most answers are given in response to teacher questioning. Download audio [mp3]
Length 0:13 Watching
In this clip an interruption to the introduction of a literacy lesson is considered. The class teacher has begun the introduction to the whole class when the headteacher interrupts to call certain children to an Eco Council meeting. The children who are members of the council have to make their way across the carpet and out of the class. The viewer is asked to consider the impact on the children leaving the lesson but also on the class teacher and the remaining children. The question is also raised about how the children will integrate into the lesson on their return and whether literacy lesson introductions should be protected time.
Length 0:09 Watching
In this clip the teacher has begun the introduction to the lesson and is engaging the children in the learning objective for the day. Suddenly, she is interrupted by two children entering the lesson from a sports practice. The children have news to share and enter the classroom noisily and full of excitement. The clip is open-ended and invites the viewer to consider whether the teacher should embrace the interruption; recap the introduction for the incoming children or continue from the point of interruption. Again this clip raises the issue of whether literacy time should be protected in order to maintain a high-quality provision.
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Summary

In this sub-topic you have considered other types of audit and evaluation tools which will help you evaluate your literacy provision. These have included scenario learning, prioritising actions and a SWOT analysis. Using a variety of tools will help you make judgements based on evidence which will lead to more justifiable changes.

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