08/01/2018

This was my first absence from the course; I utilised the time to review my new SOW and plan for the term ahead. This extra time provided an ideal reflection point, where I could specifically comment upon my approach to SOW’s. During my time teaching at HE, SOW’s were not necessarily required; there were overall plans and objectives in place, where timetables outlined the ‘gist’ of each lesson. Typically, the direction of such lessons, were as simple as, ‘Studio lesson on film noir lighting’. This approach did work, where in conjunction with the units learning objectives, the teacher and learners were aware of what to do. I will be honest in saying, that on numerous occasions, where double bookings, staff sickness and other such interruptions occurred, a ‘wing-it’ approach was taken. Now while the majority of educators will frown upon that idea and most likely deny their own experience in this; in truth, it is highly likely that all teachers, across all levels, have no doubtedly at stumbled through lessons and got through by the skin of their teeth. This is not ideal, but as long as learning took place, it was measured and produced results, then that is progress.

Now with my new educational pathway into FE, creating SOW’s were a requirement; I initially found them as an arduous task, where I just wanted to focus on the resources and handouts that would enrich and directly inform the learners. Now whilst this motive was excellent, there still needed to be a guiding document, which governed the approach and overall objectives of each weeks activities. This came to light recently, where I was unwell and could not attend two days of teaching; this did not impede the development of my learners, as they were approaching the end of the unit and were all on track. Yet upon reflection, I realised that if this interruption was at a crucial part of the term, it could have had an adverse, domino effect on the learners progression. I understand, that the role of a SOW, is to provide an overall map of the curriculum, where each week is clearly mapped, objectives are clear, content is accessible, so that any tutor could step in and deliver a lesson.

I spent countless hours creating an eleven week SOW, with a word count close to 3000; however, this time was was a worthy investment; where its formation will not only benefit my logistics and planning, but will strengthen and support the learners development through a more focused and guided vision.

Moving Forward
My objective is to backtrack last terms teaching and create a post-SOW based upon what was delivered. It is hoped, that these new detailed SOW’s, will be invaluable as a basis for the 2018/19 academic year; where through feedback and reflection points they can continue to evolve.

After a successful and very productive term, where I managed to complete UET6, the Christmas break was very welcomed. However, I could not simply stop working; so I invested a large proportion of my time, in formulating a new scheme of work for the 2018 spring term. The creation of this new scheme of work, was stressful, yet very rewarding; I believe I have structured an ideal format, based upon the college’s standard design. I have incorporated colour coding and like with my handouts, I have highlighted, key ‘higher order‘ thinking terms in red, to emphasise their importance in the learning objectives.

Another document I created, was a handout for my Level 3 Year 2 learners based upon the S.M.O.G readability test. I had this in mind for some time, as it will be great for the learners to understand, when analysing text. The primary unit, that they are undertaking this spring term, lends itself perfectly for such a workshop on ‘gobbledygook’. Unit 12 from the UAL specification examines the role of the audience within Art & Design; based on the guidance, I designed a project in which the final resolution were three double page, magazines spreads, where the primary topic was to examine the Equality Act 2010 and create the artwork and the story/text. As the learners would be examining various periodicals to understand the audience and their requirements, knowing about readability and targeted age ranges would be fundamental. Please see the PDF below of the gobbledygook workshop handout:

 

18/12/2017

This session was workshop based, where it provided the opportunity for learners to engage in self-direct study based upon smart targets set by our tutor. Overall the attendance was quite sparse, which was ideal for the learners that required some focused guidance and tutorial support; the primary theme of the session was understanding and exploring the functions of Scheme Of Works and Lesson Plans and what they each should contain. An activity that provided a broad range of ideas to take away, was for the class to write down ideas to incorporate the following elements into lessons plans:

• Fundamental British Values
• Equality & Diversity
• Employability & Industry Skills
• English, Maths & ICT
• Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

There were some great ides produced, such as a ‘Toolbox Talk’ at the start of a session to cover any health and safety points. This is mainly used in the construction industry, however, it could easily be adapted to accommodate another workshop environment, such as a salon. I gave an example, where in a creative class, the learners could vote for their favourite design; this then would strengthen democracy and fairness.

On a personal development note, this session was a great milestone as I had my work for UET6 formally signed-off, this now completes this intense and informative unit. I still have a few artifacts that I wish to included to strengthen my investigation, however, these may be best suited to further support other units, that are connected and build upon curriculum design. One idea is to develop a workshop based on SMOG; this would be ideal for my Level 3 Year 2 learners, who are currently engaged in magazine research; this would strengthen their awareness and understanding of readability and audience awareness.

Moving forward, over the break I will continue to develop material and start on UET3 & UET4

11/12/2017

This evenings session was postponed as the majority of the class had parents evening to attend. Even though I have been in education for about fourteen years, parents evening does not occur at University; so this was my first!

Overall, I found it to be a rushed affair, where there was only a limited time to engage in a meaningful discussion about the learners progression. However, I found it interesting to gain further insight into the learners behaviour from the parents, where some divulged some interesting points about their child.  The majority of the parents wished to know how their child was progressing, specifically what they are doing. It appears that most learners, do not convey to their parents what their project work is about or what kind of work they are producing. So, for the parents that attended without their child, this provided an ideal opportunity to showcase their child’s work and explain their progress. This process, highlighted the effectiveness of the online learning log/blog, where I could bring up the learners work and guide the parents through their child’s progress.

Moving forward, It would be logical produce a checklist of sorts, which would bullet point key areas to discuss with each parent. However, this could change as each learners parents, wanted to know different aspects of their child’s progression.

04/12/2017

The first half of tonight’s session was interesting, where it challenged the groups different perceptions on how to measure specific learning outcomes. Spread out over three tables, were ten learning outcomes; our objective was to assess these and judge whether or not they were measurable. Once we had visited each descriptor and made a decision, as a group we then voted which ones were measurable or not measurable. Our tutor carried out targeted assessment of knowledge and learning, through asking each of us to justify our reason. For the learning outcomes, that were deemed vague, we then discussed and proposed alternatives to ensure that they were measurable. An obvious edit, was to state that the learners had to create a product, which would provide evidence to then measure. However, the majority of the vague learning outcomes, could be transformed into measurable outcomes through simply changing or adding a Higher Order thinking verb from Bloom’s Taxonomy. This exercise was designed to get us to consider how to write effective learning outcomes.

Aside from adding Bloom into our learning outcomes, ensuring that they are actually readable and understood by the learners is important; if they make no sense, then how can a learner achieve the outcome?

The second half of the session, was practical based development in the IT suite; new educators were paired with with more experienced peers, where they could then present their Scheme of Works and Lesson Plans and discuss their benefits and structure. This was helpful for the new educators as it gave them some pointers and guidance on curriculum structure. Towards the end of this session, each learner had their own objectives in which they were pursuing. I was researching into the given homework task of the ‘Kirkpatrick Learning Model’

Key points to take away from this session:

• ‘Know’ is a no verb
• ‘Understand’ is vague and generally not measurable
• Ensure that outcomes are Smart
• SMOG test your learning outcomes
• Consider using two, Higher Order verbs

27/11/2017

Tonight’s session was very informative as there was a very engaging exercise on visualising our allocated curriculum models; it had a Blue Peter-esque theme, where we were presented with straws, coloured pipe cleaners and Play-Doh. The objective was that we each, had to create a 3D representation of our curriculum model; as my model was linear, I simply created four arrows from the pipe cleaners and joined them together in a linear manner, as an irksome Meerkat says ‘Simples’. The most informative part of this session, which utilised last weeks homework, was to present our model to the class; we each briefly described the overall function of our models and suggested its application within practice.

The learning objective of the session that followed was the most pivotal, as this will support the Report for LO4 from UET6.

‘Recommend ways to effectively combine curriculum models for your own practice’

I proposed that Linear, would be the underlying model that governs the direction, as with any curriculum, there would be a logical start and end point; the start would be setting the goals/objectives and the end would be some method of measuring and assessing the learning. The specification I am currently delivering is considered, Modular; this is because it is comprised of various Units/Assignments. Although these units are numbered and are delivered in a linear manner, it is not imperative that the learners have to complete one unit to progress to the next. However, due to the interspersing nature and that learners could revisit a unit or topic from previous unit, a loose Spiral Model would encircle the other two.

I formed the the visual representation as an idea of how the three would interact:

 

The second half of the session was researching into Educational Ideologies and how they are used to shape and guide curricular. I was assigned ‘Liberal’, the quick bit of research I conducted and my interpretation resulted in the statement below:

‘A liberal Educational Ideology is aimed at providing all people individual freedom and that it should be governed by law; within current curriculum, this would be protected by the Equality Act 2010, where Exemplifying British Values would be paramount. A liberal approach, would influence curriculum development as it would aim to accommodate all learners and provide them with a basic right to learn. As liberalist believe that most people can be reasonable, when applied to teaching the planning of curricular, would need to support a rational approach to learning. 

This would be applied in my subject specialism of the creative visual arts, where it is encouraged that all learners have the ability to freely express and comment within their peer group in a rational manner. It is envisioned that all learners can effectively critique upon their peers work in free and open approach, where change is key in progressing and developing.’
Overall a productive session, which has helped me to finalise, which curriculum models to write about in my report.

20/11/2017

Tonights session was split between the classroom and the IT suite; we started of with an engaging Tarsia puzzle/jigsaw exercise. Primarily used in mathematics, they have been adapted, to accommodate multiple subjects, through word/question based solutions. These puzzles, involve a matrix of equilateral triangles, which typically have a word, statement or question along the edges. The aim is to locate a corresponding statement/question combination, where upon completion all edges match, where a target shape is formed, typically a triangle or other geometric shape. Below is an example of a maths based hexagon.

Our tarsia puzzles had an assortment or learning/curriculum practitioners and models; so our objective was to find the matching description of the model/theorem and match it with the practitioner. This was a good exercise, where it engaged us to review what we have learnt, discuss and confer with our peers,  which helped reinforce our areas of research, thus pushing that information further into our long-term memory.

Onto the IT Suite: The last two groups presented their pitch on their assigned web-based resource, which involved describing its structure, benefits, then concluding with highlighting its unique selling point. Along with Jo, we presented out findings on using blogs within teaching and education. Overall, it is the accessibility and security of a blog for the documentation and evidence gathering of research and coursework, which was the highlight. I specifically made reference to this course, where we are collecting evidence and documenting our development in traditional workbook folders. I then proposed the worst case scenario of losing the folder just before handin! With my evidence on this blog, I feel secure. Also, I find the structure and the technology more logical to my working methodology.

For the last hour we started to structure our assigned homework tasks of creating a ‘Teachers Guide’ on various curriculum models; my model is ‘Linear’.

It was briefly discussed how exploring the curriculum models will guide our report for UET6. This is because, in our current teaching environments, we do not rigorously stick to one curriculum model when developing and delivering our subject. Our practices are an amalgamation of all models; some may be more evident, but generally, our governing frameworks will encompass aspects of each model.

To digress back to tarsia puzzle development, I have created one that focuses on colours and their various alphanumeric representations, for example a visual swatch/dollop of colour to be matched against a either its hexadecimal, RGB or pantone representations. For example, please see below:

13/11/2017

We started by analysing the various Communication Models and categorising them under the following three headings:

• Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare
• Behavioural Management
• Inclusive Learning

It was concluded that all the models could be selectively categorised; however, they can span across all categories dependent on the circumstances.

We recognised that during our delivery, we all draw upon prior experience, more specifically experience and tales of how, we as practitioners have applied what we are teaching into our past activities. In effect we provide anecdotal evidence to our learners to place what we are teaching into a comparable context. This is important, as doing so, will reach more learners and evidence a stronger all inclusive learning environment. However, it is not unknown for educators to fabricate such tales to get their point across; this is fine, yet it could lead to mistrust if the learners pick up upon these tall tales.

To strengthen our knowledge of Communication Models, learners who were assigned the same Communication Model, were teamed up to provide an impromptu verbal presentation of the theory to the class. Each presentation concluded with an open Q&S session, where other learners could ask questions about each Communication Model.

During the second half of the session, we were again paired up to conduct research on various web-based resources and tools, such as RSS Feeds, VLE, Podcasts, webinars, blogs etc. Overall, it was concluded that using such technology, increases the inclusivity and strengthens the differentiation of delivery and assessment within our teaching.

Homework:
Research our assigned Curriculum Models, where we are to: Describe the structure, Benefits, Limitations, Uses and Effective combination of other models. For this I was assigned ‘Linear’.

 

06/11/2017

This session was led by Jane Lemar, who is Head of Employer Services at Fareham College. We were lectured about work experience, where its history, current state of affairs and future development was covered. The lecture was quite intense, where we were bombarded with statistical information, dates of various reports, reforms, changes etc. Looking back at my notes and being quite honest, I can see that I started to drift and switch-off, very early on. However, there were some interesting parts, specifically how apprenticeships are changing, with regards to the age boundaries, tax gained funding, who are leading them etc. But overall, I was not entirely engaged with this subject matter.

One interesting point was the topic of funding, which bought up some questions, regarding access and the possible abuse by larger companies, who could effectively train a large proportion of their staff to higher levels, mainly because they can.

I have a slightly jaded view on apprenticeships, mainly because of how they work, or don’t work with the arts sector. There are certain creative pathways, which can be very well supported and developed through apprenticing, an example was given about costume design and dress making within theatre companies. However, becoming an ‘artist’ is always a solo and fraught pathway, in which no apprenticeship nor degree for that matter will be able to fully support and guarantee successful employment upon completion.

However, an important topic arose from this session, which was the changing relationship between apprenticeships and education institutes. Historically, you either pursued an academic or vocational pathway; to an extent this is still the norm. However, over the years we have seen dramatic changes within education; more so within Higher Education, with student fees being at an all time high and the overall devaluation of degrees, hey how many art school graduates have a job in their chosen discipline?

At the end of the day, academia and apprenticing are businesses, they are competing for customers; so if apprenticeships are evolving and drawing in more business, colleges and universities need to take heed and look at adapting to meet the demands of the market.

That said, the two sectors should not be seen as competitors, but two sides of the same coin, with the commodity of that currency being the future.

Homework:
Read the ‘Post-16 Skills Planand study the flow chart!

I found this interesting infographic from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

30/10/2017

This evening was set aside for a reading week; again, this was needed as I have gotten slightly lapse in my other design and teaching duties. However, I scheduled a meeting with my supervisor to discuss ‘fast-tracking’ the course in hopes of finishing it before the summer of 2018. The meeting was fruitful, where my timeframe was deemed achievable. To aid this, my supervisor went through my logbook and signed-off a lot of the learning outcomes as I have been a very busy bee. It was pointed out, that I was doing too much in areas that were not needed; for example, typing up a ‘Reflection Sheet’ for every lesson is not needed; these only need to be done for key lessons and observations.

To further support my goal and to reiterate the nature of the course, it was pointed out how the units are linked together, so when one task is accomplished you start to see how it evidences the learning outcomes in the other Units. The course is seen and expressed as being holistic; however, for me I still like the logical approach to a linear checklist of tasks to complete; this is something I will need to work upon.

I was given an approximate deadline for when to complete UET6. I still have a bit of work to complete for this, mainly the report, however I still wish to write a dedicated scheme of work set to the assignment criteria. I will hopefully get on track this week.