How I will evidence what happens

My enquiring approach aims to look at the development of certain core skills for learning, life and work through loose parts play. Whilst this is an area I am interested in and know I will learn from, I have found it really challenging to think about how I will evidence this in a useful, accurate and feasible way. It will be difficult to provide concrete, quantitative evidence from this form of enquiring approach however I still want my qualitative data to be easy to interpret and not too abstract or questionable.

I will be working with my class of Primary 7 pupils and want to evidence their development of certain skills. I think the skills I will focus on are related to solving the problems of the future which we are not yet aware of. I think too often we teach to suit the current problems in society and forget to look to the future and potential problems which may arise. To solve unknown problems of the future, pupils need critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills. To measure the development of these skills I want to monitor pupil reflections of their development within a reflective journal as well as noting observations of these pupils myself. By combining the data from these two pieces of evidence I hope to be able to track whether or not the activities have developed these skills further.

Any advice on how to take this further would be much appreciated as this is still quite vague in my head.

1 Response to “How I will evidence what happens”

  • I see you are highlighting critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills and that you want your enquiry to measure the development of these skills in some way. In order for the children to reflect in their journals – and to make your ideas and plans explicit to others too – will you break down what those skills are to ensure the children understand, or do you have a resource which does so already? I know I have had particular difficulty understanding what people mean by creativity (and I know that probably says something about me!) and I found this document helpful in understanding what was meant . It might also be worth having a working definition for critical thinking and problem solving. A lot of time has been spent on understanding approaches to problem solving in schools so I would imagine people would feel fairly comfortable with that. Critical thinking might just be as simple as questioning and considering other viewpoints (which come under curiosity and open-mindedness in that document interestingly). Simple definitions might help you to remain clear about what you are doing and can also be helpful if other people (or pupils) ask you or are confused. Definitions might also help you in your evidence gathering: what questions are children asking, do they consider others’ viewpoints, do they work through a problem systematically, etc? You have observations and personal reflective journals as evidence – you might want to include discussions with pupils too, to build understanding and to let the children openly hear the thoughts of others and possibly be influenced or helped by that.

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