Looking at the gap between our Year 10 SS program and NCEA Level 1 progress, there seems to be a significant gap, especially for our Stanine 3 and 4 learners.
How does this translate to the transition to NCEA Level 1, and what can we learn about about this progress?
Sasse and Wood (2017) explore this issue and recommend that rubrics developing values, perspectives and conceptual understandings are the most effective ways of helping to prepare our young people develop what are sometimes termed Higher Order Thinking Skills or HOTS. This concentrates on more critical and complex thinking patterns rather than mere content and regurgitation/ rote memorisation of material learnt in class.
Further work will be completed with Dr Bronwyn Wood from VUW in this regard as we look to ways to increase conceptual progression and further dissect values / perspectives participation in society.
Tables 1 and 2 below illustrate these levels of progression:
This closely mirrors work already underway in regards to the Junior Assessment Framework and also ties in closely with work on SOLO (Pam Hook and others) around extending abstract thinking etc.
Developing a hunch
|What are our assumptions about what is contributing to the situation?|
|My own teaching practice: perhaps only reflects less complex exploration of values/ perspectives and participating in society. How can I promote and encourage my own teaching practice to become more critical and complex? How can I promote this in my students learning? This creates questions of around / efficiencies of “delivering” standards using direct teaching methods. This links to a presentation that I heard at the Future of Education conference in Melbourne Australia in 2018. Peter Grattan identified that there is a “sweet-spot” between teacher directed methods and inquiry directed methods. This intuitively makes sense, however there is work (reproduced above) by McInsey & Co. (2018) that provides emerging evidence that “Students who receive a blend of teacher-directed and inquiry-based instruction have the best outcomes.” My assumption here would have previously have been focussed on facilitating good inquiry, this research necessitates a shift towards more teacher directed methods where appropriate. At a junior level, it is difficult sometimes to find the “sweet spot” between high engagement and directing students to Fullan’s “deep learning,” one of the PC way principles.There is a strong preference in my pedagogy to privilege Social Inquiry over Direct Teaching. How can I alter my teaching practice to hit the “sweet spot?” This spot is aiming the teaching and learning at the space where student interest is met by more teacher directed strategies to optimize student learning. This creates the need for students to be able to both take greater agency and control over their learning and the ability for these students to be able to take ownership of their own feedback. Currently, my hunch is that there is a wide variance in the ability of students to assess their own abilities.|
The major piece of work from our department this year has been a shift in our assessment practice towards a “generic” assessment criteria sheet (right). What this means is that all of our marks now are comparing “apples with apples” as all assessment fall under the Junior Assessment Framework.
For example, Year 9SS students did an inquiry into Earth Rights in Term 2, and also completed an inquiry in Term 3 that was focussed on Early (pre Treaty) New Zealand. This allows for direct comparison of results. Whereas previously, different mark schedules would mean that these results were not necessarily indicating a progression.
This will have significant implications for our practice here at the College.
Rapid Cycle of Inquiry (RCI) 1 – TLIF: “Self Reflection”
Using Derived Grade Exam results to require students to reflect and target their areas required to optimize their results.
RCI 2 – TLIF: Reflection Tools:
One of the outcomes from the recent TLIF project has been around finding strategies to help students reflect and grow from their reflections.
Some of the evaluation from students on themselves is too harsh – overly hard on their progress, while some are too lenient – over confident in their abilities. It seems that the edges are where expectations around results are where students need to temper their results – mostly through growth mindset strategies. For instance the Excellence student who says: “I’m going to fail this assessment.” versus the Not Yet Achieving student who would say: “Oh yeah, I did alright.” Both require a shift in thinking to become more able to more accurately identify their abilities and next steps.
Ignoring the outliers and what one colleague terms the “trumpeters,” I think that I’ve done my level best in helping to work with students this year in making a difference at the Year 10 and Year 11 “bridge” in helping students assimilate to the rigours of NCEA Level 1. …
The feedback from Year 11 Geography students on the help provided on this “bridge” can be seen in the student feedback in the course evaluation to the question, “How did your teacher help you to learn this year?” Students said:
“With helpful feedback and assistance throughout projects
“He told us about all of the aspects of each assessment that we needed to do so that we didn’t miss anything out.Students of Year 11 Geography in 2019 Course Evaluation
“A lot of good feedback and one on one conversations in class
“made sure that I understood what I was doing and tried to explain things to me
“he helped a lot by giving me feedback on all my work
“he gave the class resources on PC4Me and he could have maybe done some more one on one or early tutorials for externals.
“By giving detailed and specific feedback to assessments, and how better marks can be attained.. By growing my curiosity with cloud knowledge.
“I liked that he explained everything very clear[ly] (e.g what the exam looked like), he was easy to ask questions to and gave heaps of feedback.
“He provided lots of resources and examples for all the assessments, for achieved, merit and excellence and gave lots of helpful feedback on assessments.
“He explained everything in detail and guided people when they were struggling.
“He made sure not only me but the whole class knew what they were doing and if we needed help that he would help us.
“My teacher helped me learn by providing many different resources so that you could learn in many different ways [such] as audio and visual. He drew diagrams on the board and showed us how to do something before giving us work on that topic. He gave us freedom but structured freedom so that we were focused but it didn’t feel boring. He gave us feedback and many revision resources. He showed us videos and connected all topics to our life outside of school. “Tweet
“My teacher helped a lot with my learning this year. It was very helpful when he would leave us comments and feedback on our documents so that we knew what we had to change or add to make it better. He also helped by writing lots of important information on the board so that we knew what we had to know.“Tweet
And a comment from a Year 13 student, summarizes how this is perceived quite succinctly:
“… the thing I find a shame about [Humanities] is that it’s not widely recognised as a valuable subject or academic subject, because it just shows a different type of intelligence\ skill set to other subjects.”Tweet