Social Studies: Fieldwork.

When learning about social studies, it is important to think of creative ways to get the class interested in the topic they are learning about as the class may find it hard to find a connection or find it relevant to their lives. For example, when learning about history, children may not find it interesting as it may not be relevant or may not find a link to their lives today. One way to make social studies interesting and exciting for children is through fieldwork/field trips.

Fieldwork can have a big impact on children’s understanding of Social Studies as it allows the children to gain a deeper understanding of the topic they are learning about and makes the learning more realistic for them. Fieldwork also allows children to gain a better understanding of their local area and helps them to create a “mental map” in their heads (Scoffham, 2013, p63)

Fieldwork can be applied to many different aspects of Social Studies. Fieldwork does not have to be far out of the classroom (Catling and Willy, 2009). This means that if there is not a big budget for field trips within the school, children can learn through fieldwork within the school grounds or in their local catchment area. However, when suitable, teachers can take children on a field trip to many different places within the city to further their understanding of the current topic they are learning about.

For History, children can take a field trip to many different places within Dundee or their local community to learn more about the history of their city or their culture. If the class is based within Dundee, there are many different opportunities to learn about the history of Dundee. Some of these include the V&A, The Verdant Works, the McManus Galleries, etc.

For geography, children can take a field trip to places that can teach them about how Dundee has evolved over time and has grown in size and with more businesses, which can also teach children about the business aspects of social studies. An example of a place to go to learn about this would be the McManus Galleries as there is a 3D plan of what Dundee used to be like and children can identify how much it has changed.

Visit to McManus Galleries

As part of our Social Studies elective, we took a pre-visit trip to the McManus Galleries to get a better understanding of what children could learn during a field trip to this museum. The McManus Galleries offers many different opportunities for children to learn about social studies, including both history and geography.

For History, the McManus Galleries offer many different sections on the history of Dundee, some examples including the evolution of games, Dundee during wars and evolution of clothes. For Geography, McManus Galleries offer opportunities for children to learn about what Dundee used to be like and how it has grown in size over many years.

It is important for teachers to have a pre-visit to the place of their field trip before they take their class. This is because it allows the teacher to identify any learning opportunities available for the children and if there are any risks that they need to be cautious of when there with the children.

Therefore, overall, when planning fieldwork for social studies, I think it is important to consider where is going to be the most beneficial place for the children to learn and to always have a pre-visit before the fieldwork to ensure there are learning opportunities and no risks for the children.


Catling, J. and Willy, T. (2009) Teaching Primary Geography. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Scoffham, S. (2013) Teaching Geography Creatively. Oxon:Routledge.

Health and Wellbeing: Relationships

During our Health and Wellbeing lecture, we were learning about relationships and how important relationships are for children. As our TDT after the lecture, we were asked to watch two videos. One on children’s brain development by Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk and another on the importance of the child’s early years by John Carochan.

In Suzanne Zeedyk’s video, she talks about how human babies are different to other mammals’ babies as they are born prematurely because of the size of their heads. Due to this, this means that their brains aren’t as fully developed as other mammals when born. The brain then develops as the child starts to grow outside of the womb and can be influenced by their surroundings and relationships and therefore means that the first four years of a child’s life are the most important and could influence their future.

In John Carnochan’s video, he talks about how important the first 4 years of a child’s life are and how they can have an impact on their future. In both videos, they talk about how if a child grows up in a threatening environment then the child focused on protecting themselves from the threatening environment and can hinder their development. John Carnochan talks about how children need consistency in their lives, especially during their early years. Children may not always get this consistency or safe environment from their home lives so it is very important for teachers to create this in the classroom so the children can feel safe and comfortable in at least one part of their lives.

After watching these videos, it made me more aware of how much a child’s life at home could influence their future if they don’t have consistency. It made me realise that when I am teaching the classroom, I have to try and create a safe and welcoming environment for the children in case they don’t have a safe place at home so at least they will feel safe in my classroom and will want to come to school.

Professional Development in Semester 1

As a student teacher, we are constantly asked to reflect on what has happened so far so we can learn from the past and develop into qualified teachers. I have been asked to reflect on my professional development during semester 1 and one moment stood out for me. During semester 1, we were required to do a module called “Working Together” in which we had to work with people from teaching, CLD and social work. As a part of this module, we had to visit an agency to see how they work together with others and our agency happened to be CLD workers within a primary school . Before this visit, I didn’t think that teaching would have much to do with other professions like CLD and social work, however, during and after the visit I realised how important it was to be able to work with other professions.

When on the visit, we talked to two CLD workers and they told us about how much involvement they had with teachers and social workers. This made me realise how important it is for me to be able to work with other professions during my career, even if it can be difficult at times. It is important to put the needs of the child in front of your own opinions of people to make sure the child’s needs are met. When the CLD workers were talking about times when they had to work about other professions and it wasn’t always going as they had planned, it made me feel better about working with other professionals in the future. They talked about scenarios when things didn’t go as they had planned and they had to compromise to get the best results for the child. This made me relax a bit, knowing that if I have to work with other professionals and things don’t happen as planned, I will know that it happens in a lot of scenarios and it takes time to and effort to compromise with others but always works out for the best for the needs of the child in the end.

Reflecting back on the agency visit now, I realise that this visit to the agency has taught me how important it is to be able to work together with other professions and being able to compromise on decisions if it is for the best. I think when I am teaching in schools, I need to keep this in mind to remember that it is always important to put the child first to make sure their needs are met.

2B. Getting the Basics

It is very important to have the basics in relation to punctuation, spelling and grammar as this allows the reader to be able to understand the message you are trying to get across. By having these skills, it makes it easier for the reader to read your work and having a better understanding of it. It is very important for a teacher to have these schools to be able to pass them on to the student so they can learn it at a young age and will be able to carry that with them throughout their life.

Punctuation and Spelling

There are many different types of punctuation and depending on what punctuation is used in a sentence can change the meaning of the message that is being made. Punctuation is important as it allows the reader to be able to understand the message that is being said. When a person is writing something, the use of different punctuation allows the reader to pick up on the different tones and meanings of the message. In books, the punctuation the author uses allows the reader to understand if someone is speaking or understand what is happening in the situation.

Spelling is also important, as there are many words that are pronounced the same but spelt different, such as there, their and they’re. Hence depending on how the word is spelt depends on the definition of the words; therefore it is important to know the correct spelling of the word you want to use to get across the right message.


Grammar is also very important to have when writing an essay because without having the correct grammar, the sentences won’t make sense. If a sentence doesn’t have the correct grammar, it can have a completely different meaning to what is intended. To have the correct grammar, it is important to use the correct punctuation to completely ensure that the sentence makes sense.

Sentences and paragraphs

When writing essays or long passages, it is important to write in paragraphs as it allows the piece of writing to flow and not sound like a long story. There are different types of paragraphs such as an introduction, conclusion, and body of the writing. By having paragraphs, this makes it clear what part is the introduction of the essay and what part is the final conclusion. In the paragraphs, it is important to write in full sentences throughout the paragraphs and essay to allow the essay to ‘flow’ and allows the reader to have a proper understanding of what is being said. By writing in full sentences, this ensures the reader is able to comprehend the message that is being said.

Overall, when writing essays it is important to have correct punctuation, spelling and grammar throughout, as well as full sentences and paragraphs to ensure the correct message it being made through the essay and not being misunderstood by the reader.

C. Engaging with Learning

Benefits of Active Learning and Collaborative Working.

Benefits of Active learning:

  • Uses real life situations so it can be relatable
  • Can make learning more interesting
  • Can change people’s perspectives on learning
  • Can increase creativity and critical thinking

Benefits of Collaborative Working:

  • Reduces stress as workload has decreased.
  • Support system if needed during times of stress.
  • Builds trust and relationships
  • Allows you to view things from different perspectives

B. Managing My Learning

Activity 1

Complete the table below to identify and reflect on those factors and plan actions for each.

Recognition/ Reflection Action
What helps my learning? How can I utilise this?
Discussing ideas Meeting up with others to share ideas or having a study group.
Making notes Making notes during lectures to make sure I have all the important information and reading over the notes later to make sure I understand it.
Planning ahead and being organised. I set targets for my work to make sure I am on top of my work to ensure I don’t get stressed closer to deadlines, especially with assignments.
Studying alone I think I work better when doing assignments alone in my room as this allows me to stay focused on the task and not be distracted by anyone or anything.



Recognition/Reflection Action
What hinders my learning? How can I address this factor?
Spending time on social media ·       Stay away from my phone when studying or working on assignments.

·       Avoid going on social media on my laptop unless absolutely necessary

People talking around me. To study or work on assignments alone in my room to stay way from any distractions.

Activity 2

I have a diary of all the assignments, placements and modules I have throughout the year to ensure that I can stay on top of my work load and not be stressed when it comes to the due dates of my assignments. This allows me to plan ahead to have time for reading, researching and writing assignments.

A.Identifying Skills and Abilities

Activity 1

  1. Below are a list of skills and abilities. Complete an audit of where you are now. Record this in your learning journal/portfolio.

Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self confidence    
Self discipline    
Work under pressure    
Set personal goals    
Take risks    
Share opinions confidently    
Team work    
Take responsibility    
Build social networks    
Manage Time    
Act as a leader    
Make presentations    
Listen to others    
Debate formally and informally    
Contribute to discussion    
Converse confidently    
Take notes    
Write for academic purposes    
Computing skills    
Be creative    
Use technology    
Problem solve    
Generate new ideas    
Work on own initiative    
Organise and plan    
Think critically    
Evaluate information    


Activity 2

  1. Complete the audit below, using the information from the table above.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Flexibility To be able to compromise with others, especially in group work. In the working together module, I had to be flexible when working with the group when sharing ideas and had to compromise on some things.
Team work I will use teamwork when I have to work in a group for a project, as it is important to work together to get the project done. From the working together module, we worked as group to plan and make our presentation and then present our presentation at the end of the module.
Organise and plan Plan assignments and have to do lists. For both working together poster and the values essay, I had to plan the layout and content of my poster and essay before I started them so I knew what I was doing.
Take responsibility Be responsible for my actions. When working in a group in the working together module, I always tried to have my work done ahead of meeting up as I had to be responsible for my own actions and not let the group down.
Manage time Being able to plan ahead. When it comes to deadlines, it important to manage my time to be able to meet the deadline. I always have to plan my assignment in advance to ensure I can meet the deadline.
Negotiation Being able to compromise and negotiation with others. When working in groups previously, I have been able to negotiate and compromise well with others to avoid conflict.
Make presentations Making presentations for assignments in working together module I have previously made many assignments during my IB, however, I will continue to do so in the working together module for my poster and group presentation.
Listen to others When working in a group It is important to listen and respect others opinions and ideas when working in a group and I have done so during the working together module and other times previously when working in a group especially during IB.
Take notes Taking notes to reflect on my learning later I take notes during every lecture to remind myself later of what I thought was important or relevant to know. I also take notes when studying as I feel this helps me.
Computing skills Using computer for assignments, blogs or online units. I have used my computing skills during my online tasks and using it for assignments and presentations.
Use technology Using laptops or phones to research things for assignments, using online resources or complete assignments. I use technology to do my assignments and using online resources and have previously used technology a lot during my IB course to complete coursework.
Set personal goals I set personal goals to achieve by the end of the week/day on what I want to be completed. When completing assignments, I set goals on what I think I should have completed by the end of the day to ensure I am managing my workload.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Self confidence I can use self confidence in my work and presentations I will be more confident in my work when submitting assignments or presentations
Self discipline Having self control on working on assignments and not being distracted easily.  
Work under pressure Sometimes when there are a lot of assignments due around the same time, I can get under a lot of pressure. I can work on this by trying to control my workload more.  
Take risks By being more confident in myself and to not be afraid to try new creative ideas.  
Share opinions confidently To share ideas and opinions more openly in group work and lectures and not to worry about other peoples opinions. I have been working on this by sharing my ideas to my peer group more during the working together module.
Build social networks Trying to talk to new people and always staying in contact with people.  
Act as a leader Being more confident in myself to take control of situations during group work.  
Debate formally and informally By raising discussions with friends and during group work.  
Contribute to discussion Voice my opinion more during group work and not just sit back and allow others to talk. I have been working on this by contributing my ideas to the group discussions more with my peer learning group.
Converse confidently Have more confidence in my ideas and opinions.  
Write for academic purposes Working on my essay writing skills. Always reflecting on my writing skills after receiving feedback on an essay.
Be creative By doing more research for ideas and having more confidence in my ideas.  
Problem solve Looking from different perspectives and thinking outside the box.  
Generate new ideas Doing research on ideas and increasing my knowledge.  
Work on own initiative Have more self-confidence in my initiative and not be afraid to try new things.  
Think critically Being able to reflect and analyse something so that I can improve on it.  
Evaluate information Focusing on feedback from assignments and working on improving the negatives.

First Values Workshop

Last week, we had our first values workshop. We got separated into four groups and we had to sit around 4 separate tables with a large brown envelope; each envelope with a different number from one to four. Each envelope contained different things such as sheets of paper, paper clips, elastic bands, envelopes, etc. We were then given a task to work as a group to create something that would be useful to a new student at the university. We had 10 minutes to think of an idea before we had to present this idea and were then given a further 10 minutes to create our idea before presenting to the group again.

I was a part of group 1 and in our envelope we had a lot of stationary that would help us with the project, however, looking around at the other groups, you could see that each group had different materials; our group having the most materials and group 4 having the least.

Our group decided to create a “Survival Backpack” for a new student at the university. This backpack would contain a paper timetable, a map of Dalhousie, a diary, a notebook, vouchers and a pencil case. When it was time to present our idea to the group, Derek was very complimentary to our idea and said it was very innovative. However when the other groups were presenting, we could see that they had less resources for the project compared to us and Derek wasn’t as positive with feedback for them, especially for group 4. Although we were very happy about our feedback from Derek for our project, we were confused at the bad feedback that group 4 had got for their idea as they had thought of a good idea for what little resources they had.

After we had created our idea using our resources, we had to present it to the group again and this time Derek would be giving us a mark out of 10 also. As we were group 1 we had to present first. After presenting our idea, Derek gave us a 9/10; which we were extremely happy about. As the other groups continued to present, the marks began to decrease. Group 2 had a similar idea to us as they had similar resources, however, Derek gave them 7/10. Group 3 had less resources again and still created a good project but only received 4/10 and group 4 with the least resources, only received 2/10; even though they created a good idea with the little resources they had. Although my group was extremely happy with our mark, we couldn’t help but feel bad and sympathetic for the other groups for receiving lower marks with just as good projects.

It was soon discovered that Derek had done this on purpose to teach us a lesson that everyone should be treated equally, even if they have less resources as they can still produce something just as good as having a lot of resources. Personally, I think this workshop has taught us all a very valuable lesson that we should try to treat everyone equally, even if some people are less fortunate or disadvantaged than other people. This lesson is something that I shall carry with me throughout my teaching experience and one lesson that I shall not forget.

Why teaching?

As I was growing up, I was always the older cousin that the younger cousins would turn to at family gatherings as their entertainment for the evening. By being almost a role model for them in this way, it inspired me to consider a career in teaching. As I got older, more opportunities became available for me in the Education world, which further encouraged my interest in teaching.

When I moved to Thailand, it opened many doors for me in Education. It allowed me to gain experience in teaching by going to local Thai schools and teaching the young children how to speak English. During this time in the local Thai schools, it made me realise how much I enjoyed teaching the young children and being able to make a difference in their lives. What made me enjoy teaching so much was the fact that I could help the children develop and learn new skills at such a critical stage in their life. I want to continue this throughout my life by teaching young children and help them to grow and develop and help them to fulfill their potentials.