Attainment levels in Scotland are a major issue, there are many issues which affect attainment levels such as social class, gender and ethnicity. Reading performance has decreased from 2012 to 2014. However, the Scottish Government are trying to close the attainment gap using different techniques.
- The Scottish Attainment Challenge which has been set up to aide the learning of children and young people in the most deprived areas of Scotland. The Scottish Attainment challenge consists of two sections, attainment Scotland fund and universal support. Attainment Scotland fund is a new £100 million initiative which focuses on supporting children from extremely deprived areas, focussing mainly on literacy, numeracy and health and well-being in primary schools. Universal support is improving upon previous initiatives to try and close the attainment gap. These initiatives include raising attainment for all programme and early years collaborative, P1-3 read, write, count campaign and access to education fund.
- The Education (Scotland) Bill which was passed in March 2015, the bill has a strong focus on improving attainment level. The Bill enhances children’s rights and requires councils and Scottish ministers to report about progress within attainment. The Bill works alongside the Scottish Governments existing efforts to improve attainment levels and education standards.
What challenges/opportunities you may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media?
I think in the profession of teaching you need to be extremely careful about how you act in the online world. Teachers are human and are entitled to have a life out with the classroom, which GTC Scotland recognise. However, teachers must also remember that what they post online can affect their career and that anything posted online is there for life even if you delete it from your account. There are various challenges teachers will come across with social media such as students/parents trying to add you as a friend and your own friends becoming unhappy that you are unwilling to let them tag you in a photo or status. I personally believe having just one account for both personal and professional life is much healthier as there is no confusion of which account you should be posting certain aspects of your life on. However, I believe teachers should make all aspects of their social media sites private and explain to friends that you have to protect your career so there are certain things which cannot be broadcasted to the online world. I believe that parents or even colleagues may question your decision to be using social media within the classroom as a teaching aide for children. However, as a teacher you need to be able to explain and justify the reasons why you are using these resources. Although some teachers may become sceptical of using their personal social media sites and expressing their opinions, I believe as long as it is done in a professional manner that is polite then this is acceptable.
How are the challenges/opportunities afforded by social media framed? How will you frame things – positive or deficit viewpoint?
The media has a greater role to play now than it ever has before, it can affect many professionals lives including those of teachers. The media grasp onto aspects of individuals lives and can interpret situations to be more extreme than what they are. There are many cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with either pupils or colleagues, which all make the news headlines. However, we never see the healthy relationships between teachers and pupils in newspapers or online. This in my opinion shows how cruel the media can be to tear apart an individual’s life, I certainly do not agree with inappropriate relationships between teachers and pupils, but I do believe the media should focus on the healthy aspects of school life and promote a positive view of teachers rather than a negative one.
When I become a qualified teacher I would like to use technology within the classroom as I believe technology has vast amounts to teach children as well as myself. Children are growing up with technology from birth and this needs to be seen as an advantage for them rather than a negative effect that it will affect their learning, when in truth if used properly it can enhance their learning. I believe strongly that if you teach children about how to be safe on the internet then there should be no harm in using it to aide learning.
Although it is a hard task to achieve I believe people need to change their perception of social media and the online world understanding that this could enhance learning for all generations and see the internet as a positive place to learn.