TS2 -Pupil progress & TS5 -Meeting the needs of all the pupils

Training – Child development and learning theories

The main focus of the day was the different ways that children learn and how they develop. We looked at many different theories and discussed these a group as to how these could be linked to our own classroom situations. This was very useful as this allowed me to look differently at experiences from my first 2 weeks teaching school. It has given me an insight as to why some things have occurred with the children. It was also discussed on the day the importance of motivation when it comes to retention and learning. Higher motivation = Higher retention. Skinner’s Conditioning implies that positive reinforcement and praise needs to be enforced to ensure that positive behaviour sticks with the child. This links to my classroom as I have had a focus on behaviour management but I have been too focused on the negative behaviour and I have forgotten about the children that are following the classroom rules and displaying the correct behaviour.

Consider mixed-ability groupings to ensure that lower ability children have the opportunity to have more access to a more knowledgeable other in accordance with Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory. This needs to not hinder the progress of the higher ability children and it needs to be ensured that these children are being challenged S5 – (know, when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable pupils to be taught differently).

Linking to Skinner’s operant conditioning, I am going to have a key focus on praise, positive reinforcement and rewards in my classroom from now on. This links to my target which was set on 20/09/2017, as I have been having a particular focus on the negative behaviour and the children who are not following the class rules. When children model and show the behaviour that I want them to show, I need to be proactive and ensure that I am praising and rewarding the correct behaviour, instead of punishing the negative behaviour.

In accordance with Flavell’s Metacognition, the importance of a clear learning objective is important so the children fully understand what they are working towards S2 – (demonstrate and understanding of how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching).

Possibly in the future I may give the children a minute to discuss what they will possibly need to do today, to ensure they’re successful (developing their own success criteria). I will follow this up by clarifying the success criteria, in case some children haven’t be able to discuss what they need to do to be successful. Recently I have asked the children at the end of a maths lesson, if they still didn’t understand what had been covered in the lesson today. Around 12 children raised their hands. Later that day, when marking the worksheets, I separated the sheets into groups (below expected, at expected, above expected), I discovered that only around 6 children had not completed the worksheet correctly, and had struggled to understand. This links to Flavell’s Metacognition, where he says that an individual’s self-assessment may be unreliable S5 – (demonstrate an awareness of the physical, social and intellectual development of children).

I am now going to consider how to raise motivation in my classroom and the lessons that I teach. The evidence of Vallerard et al. (1992) and Ebbinghaus (1904) is substantial that the higher the motivation of a child, the higher the retention and opportunity to increase learning. Linking to Flavell’s Metacognition, metacognition is difficult to occur if children possess a low motivation level S5 – (have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these).

Focused next steps:

  • Ensure that I am using praise and positive reinforcement in my classroom/lessons.
  • Consider mixed-ability groups to ensure that lower ability children have a more knowledgeable other to observe, but to make sure the higher ability children are not hampered.
  • Look at ways of increasing motivation levels in the classroom as the evidence linking higher motivation to higher retention and learning is high.
  • Guarantee the learning objective is clear and the children understand what they need to do to be successful in the lesson so metacognition can take place.