The Developing Child: Self- Concept

Critical Analysis: “How do differences between men and women, which have developed over many years, contribute o expectations about how male and female infants differ in temperament? In other words, in your view, do adults engage in what might be backward generalisation from adults to infants with regards to their opinions about the existence of gender differences early in life?”

After reading Boyd, D.G. and Bee, H.L. (2014, p.318) I could see that even during infancy parents start having an influence on how the infants view gender by the way they behave. It can also influence parent-infant relationships. In the text Boyd, D.G and Bee, H.L (2014, p.318) discuss that parents can respond positively to an infant girl who is calm. This is because their experiences and have led them to have this perception that this is ‘girly’ and therefore desired in an infant girl. If an infant girl behaves in a much more active way, this is seen as stereo typically masculine. Without sometimes realising parents can act disapprovingly because of their perceptions. This as a result leads to gender- bias expectations at it is inborn in the children inborn character.

After watching the video No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free? 21:00 16/08/2017, BBC2 England, I can see that, parents treating boys and girls differently even as early as infancy can affect how they perceive boys and girls. The video shows that boys and girls associate the word ‘strength’ with boys, that they have stronger muscles and cry much less. This is also discussed in the text McClure (2000) cited in Boyd, D.G and Bee, H.L (2014, p.318), who says that girls are often perceived as being much more emotional.

So, to answer the question; “do adults engage in what might be backward generalisation from adults to infants with regards to their opinions about the existence of gender differences early in life?”. From what I have read and watched I think that yes, parents do treat infants differently because of their perceptions, but these perceptions have probably come from the gender- difference perception their parents have and are influenced from how their parents treated them differently if they were a boy or a girl as infants.

I believe that as a teacher it is important to challenge these perceptions in a way that will help the children understand but also not to upset them. This is because, the video showed one of the boys getting very upset and angry when it turned out he wasn’t the strongest. One girl had greater belief in herself at the end of the strength test, this was fantastic to see. But, I think having a positive impact on one child shouldn’t result in having a negative impact on another. Therefore, changing these perceptions can be quite a difficult task to do effectively, but I believe it can be achieved. Involving the parents in this is a great idea as they influence their children’s thoughts and perceptions greatly.

References:

‘Gender Differences in Temperament: Real or Imagined?’ Chapter 10 (p318) of Boyd, D.G. and Bee, H.L. (2014). The Developing Child. 13th edn.

No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free? 21:00 16/08/2017, BBC2 England, 60 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0F7AFD86 (Accessed 01 Oct 2018)

How the First Year of University Has Impacted My Ongoing Teacher Journey

My first year of University really has changed my perspective of teaching. When I first decided to be a teacher I thought that I would go to university and get told what all the basic contents are that need to be covered from Primary 1 to Primary 7. I knew that there would be a lot to do with child development and theories behind this, but I didn’t know we would look at ourselves as teachers.  I had never really thought much further than this or about myself as a teacher. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in children life and help them succeed, but I hadn’t realised that the first step to doing this started with looking at myself, what I believe about what is important in teaching and what my beliefs and morals are.

But, the very first lecture of Values: Self, Society and the Profession changed this. I started to really question what I believe and the lectures where very though provoking. I started to really think about my values and morals and thinking about the experiences which shaped my thoughts and beliefs. This has progressed throughout my first year. I began to realise how much teachers really do, how much of an impact they can have not only on children but also on society, as well as how much in society can influence teaching.

My first-year placement did not fully go to plan with me having to change schools due to changes out with my control within my first school. I stayed in the Nursery for a week before moving to a school outside of Dundee. At first, I was stressed and worried and I didn’t like that things weren’t going to plan. When I arrived at the new school my teacher was off for my first week, this was also not ideal but again out with my control. As placement went on I found that I was good at being flexible and being able to take on lessons with being given short notice, sometimes on that same day, and still having the ability to come up with an effective and well-planned lesson plan.  I realised if I hadn’t had that experience at the start of my placement I wouldn’t have been able to be as flexible. This also gave me a very realistic experience of what working as a teacher will look like in the future.

This placement gave me the ability to see what I thought was negative, turned out to be a very positive experience with a positive impact on my professional development. As Bass and Eynon (2009) describe the process of critical reflection, I can see that my first year at University has improved my skills of reflection, especially seeing what I can do to improve my practice. It has enabled me to think much more deeply about how I learn and why it is important for children in my class to know how they learn as well.

 

IB Primary Years Programme

Reflective activity 4:

  • The similarities and difference of PYP and CfE.

IB’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) encourages teachers to deliver child focused learning, to help them make meaning for themselves, constructing knowledge. Engagement comes from delivering a bigger picture, with big ideas. It is also about the children learning together and from each other, from different countries around the world and creating new ideas together, in a variety of ways.  PYP is also very focussed on reflection, so that pupils know what they have done very well and what they still need to do to reach their goal. PYP is known as not being a curriculum but as an approach instead, so instead of focusing on one subject such an English, they use cross curricular learning. An example used in the video was that the children were learning about plants, but this was not only science based, it led to the discussion and exploration of deforestation and the impact of this on people, bringing in social studies. The PYP gives the children a good start in letting them understand these connections. In CfE we do use interdisciplinary learning and combine subjects together, but I think that perhaps the difference between the IB and CfE is that the IB is more progressive and flexible, as the practice reflects itself constantly.

When reading about the PYP, one thing which really stood out for me is that children above the age of seven get the opportunity to learn more than one language, although in CfE there is a chance to learn languages, I don’t think there is as much of a focus on this and not as many opportunities in this particular area, and it shows that CfE and the IB do differ in some ways. Another way in which I see that they differ is the IB mission. This mission aims to:

“Develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Curriculum for Excellence also aims to create knowledgeable and caring people who are responsible citizens and effectively contributes, but the focus is mainly on the community that they live in. Although the aim is to also contribute to the world, the focus is much more on community whereas for the IB it is much more about global contribution

The Exhibition in the IB is about the final year of the programme. This is where pupils are required to suggest solutions for real life issues and problems, this prepares the pupils for life beyond school. This aligns with CfE as real-life issues are also discussed, they are also explored deeper to allow understanding to occur. This is where the two programmes are similar, they both focus a lot of what is happening in the world and share the importance of knowing what is happening in the world and how we can be affecting this.

Another similarity between the two programmes is that the IB programme aims through the six PYP subject areas: language, maths, science, social studies, arts and Personal, social and physical education. The areas in curriculum for excellence are almost identical: expressive arts, health and wellbeing, languages, maths, sciences, social studies, religious and moral education and technologies. One of the largest and most significant differences between the two programmes is that PYP is much more focussed on languages as there is opportunity to learn more languages. These are also learnt at a much younger age, starting at age 7. This aims to widen opportunities for communication around the world and participation in the world, building and supporting these connections for younger generations.

Overall the IB and CfE have very similar aims and goals. The values and morals in their teachings are very similar and affective teaching styles. The biggest difference between the two curriculums, I believe, is that the IB focusses on learning much more globally.

 

 

Management and Organisation in the Classroom

Organisation and Management:

  • Having tables of 4 or 6 helps avoid noise during the lessons. I would also make sure children get to sit with people they get along with, but if it becomes too chatty it is good to mix the groups to ensure children are focussed and so that they also get a chance to work with others within their class.
  • There are many whiteboards and chalkboards around the class, this allows the teacher to clearly display the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, as well as putting any notes on the other whiteboards. Although some kids will have their back to the chalkboard and small whiteboard, all of them have a clear view of the smartboard which is what will be used for the majority of the time. If children can’t properly see the smartboard they can become bored and distract themselves with other things. This can also put limitations on their learning.

Use of Resources:

  • There is a located area for all the scissors, glue, rules etc. This allows the children to access resources easily and feel to do so freely. Having these resources out also means the children won’t have to constantly ask the teacher for resources.
  • Keeping the jotters in the same place also allows anyone in the class to hand out work as it is always kept in the same place. Finished work is also kept in the same place, this allows good routine within the class and avoids confusion.

Effective class rules and routines:

  • The class rules are located next to the teacher’s desk, in the front of the class where all pupils can see it. There is also one sheet laminated with all the pupils signature, showing they have agreed to these class rules.
  • The pupils are all expected to know the routines for coming in every morning, from breaktimes and the routine for how the classroom should be left at the end of the day.
  • There are also normal routines such as asking to go to the toilet before leaving the class.
  • Another good routine to have is for the children to have the expectancy to walk around the school quietly, taking into consideration everyone else’s learning.
  • Morning routines are important so that you can get your class settled down and ready for the day, it is also good to keep the class organised, such as doing a morning activity while the lunches and register are taken.
  • Routines are overly very positive to have as it gives children consistency which they may not get anywhere else.

Allocating activities:

  • Giving children specific jobs is beneficial as it gives them a sense of responsibility, while also learning responsibility, which is a big part of social development.
  • Having responsibility also gives the pupils a sense of importance.

Display and Presentation:

  • On the displays there should be topics that have recently been covered, this is so that children can refer back to this if they are getting stuck.
  • I think it would also be good to have displays of the children’s achievements, this would show a good classroom ethos. Children would also then feel like a part of the class and feel a good sense of community.
  • Having on display what the pupils will be doing throughout the day is also very beneficial as they can be prepared and aware of what thy can expect throughout the day.

Overall organisation in the classroom is important, it reduces stress for the teacher, promotes good behaviour management, and promotes a good learning environment for the pupils.

Health and Wellbeing

The main messages sent in Suzanne Zeedyk and John Carnochas videos, was all to do with the importance of early brain development in children. Both videos explained that babies are born prematurely compared to most mammals. Because of this baby’s brains are not only more fragile but also more flexible. They are not fully developed, and they continue to develop not only because of genetic codes but they also develop based on the relationships and environments they are presented with. As teachers we need to take into consideration that there are consequences to the brains we are asking children to develop. The pathways the brain makes in early years, will be the pathways that continue onto adulthood. If a child lives with domestic violence where there is a lot of shouting their brain has to develop to cope with those situations. Their brain is constantly monitoring when the next threat comes from, so they can’t have learn about a lot of other things in the world as they are too busy looking for threat. Cortisol: helps to cope with stress, if have this hormone all the time it starts to swamp the brain with the stress hormone. Brain is almost drowning in stress hormone.

We have to carefully consider the environment we present to children because their brains will develop in response to this environment. As Suzanna Zeedyk says in the video: “If we are giving them a world that is calm and predictable then their brain is developing in this and they will carry on this motorway system into adulthood and expect everything to be calm and predictable.”  Children need consistency in their life, and their only chance to have that may be in the classroom. If children haven’t built relationships it can have a very negative impact on them, they can then struggle to build relationships all throughout their life.

As teachers we need to consider what kind of brains we are asking children to develop and what kind of motorway systems we want them to develop. The pathways that are created in their brains need to give them the ability to make decisions, communicate with others and also empathise with others.

Semester 1 Reflection

 

Reflect on one of the most important moments for your professional development in semester 1 and write a post about what you think you have learned from this critical incident and what the process of reflection is beginning to mean to you.

One of the most important moments for me in my professional development during semester 1, was when writing the values essay. This was the first essay I had to write at a University level standard. At first, I was really excited about writing the essay, this was because I had enjoyed the module so much and learnt quite a lot of new things. I had not only learnt about values in our society but also about myself and my values, trying to identify what they are, though this was quite a challenge.

I firstly had decided to write my essay based on gender and gender equality, although it was something I was really interested in, I found that I didn’t have much resources to evidence what I was saying. So, I took all this on board and made the decision to base my essay on poverty, as I had much more knowledge I this area and resources.

Reflecting back, I believe it was a very professional decision. In the end I was very pleased with my essay, but I was much to worried about referencing. The referencing I had left slightly too late, so it took up a lot of my time as I had never used that sort of referencing before, neither had any of my peers so we were all mostly guessing.  This meant that proof reading the essay was rushed and lead to silly grammar mistakes. So, when writing an essay again I will now keep a better record of resources and not rush the proof reading, making sure silly mistakes don’t lose me marks in my final grade, I will also seek the advice of peers in year groups above me as they are more experienced and can give help when it comes to referencing.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland states that it is vital to critically examine personal and professional attitudes and challenge assumptions. I believe that during the values module I started to critically look at this, challenging my own assumptions. I hadn’t realised how much stereotypes were built into society and how much my unconscious biases were adding onto this. I know am much more aware of things that I may think and say, I realise this is extremely important in the teaching profession.

Resource Allocation Workshop – Reflection

Our first workshop for MA1 Education withing the Values: self, society and the professions took place on Tuesday the 19th of September. It was one of the most confusing workshops to start off with but once we understood the reason behind the workshop it was a very good lesson, and a good way to bring the message of the workshop across.

We were all split into different groups and given an envelope with resources. We were all asked to open up our envelopes and see what was inside. My group had an elastic band, some blue tac, one sticky note, two paper clips and a pen. Everyone else around us had more, and one group had much more than anyone else. The task was to create something that would help 1st year students like ourselves. With such limited resources our group decided to create a map with all the places to go during your freshers week, it also gave you different challenges to complete, such as joining a society.

Once we were all finished we had to present what we had produced to Derek. This is when it became clear that Derek was treating each group differently and unfairly, when the first group was presenting to everyone else they received a lot of praise from Derek, as he went round everyone’s groups the amount of resources the groups had lessened as did Derek’s attention to what they were saying.

Because our group was the one that received the least amount of praise and had the smallest amount of resources we became really frustrated, I became quite confused and started thinking we had done something wrong. when Derek started paying more attention to his phone than what we had to say that’s when we all became quite agitated. The confidence of the first group who had received most resources and praise grew throughout the workshop, while the last group who received no praise, no attention even became less confident and also quite frustrated.

Once everyone was finished Derek explained that his performance was to demonstrate that in our profession we will come across children who have less and children who have more, from different cultures and backgrounds. How much children have, where they are from or what they believe in should not affect the way teachers treat them, they should all receive an equal amount of support and praise. Children shouldn’t be limited because of resources, but should all be treated equally, receiving support so that they can grow in their learning but also grow in themselves. Our job as teachers is to help every child reach their full potential.

After everyone in the workshop understood the reasoning behind the input, he asked if anyone had noticed what was happening. My group had noticed quite quickly but the group;s that had received more resources were too focused on completing the task, not taking into consideration that they could share their resources, and help those who had less.

Overall, I think this was a really effective way of demonstrating that not all children will come into our classrooms with the same upbringing, with the same resources or the same background and as teachers we must not create a gap between children and treat them differently, we should treat them all equally and give them the same opportunities.

 

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Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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