Category Archives: 2.3 Pedagogical Theories & Practice

Pedagoo Perth

My aim throughout my time as a student is to continue developing my professional practice so that when I graduate then I will already be in the habit. From day one, the University of Dundee have encouraged our use of twitter, twitter chats and blogs to effectively share our experience with others. I can safely say I’ve caught the bug and I can’t get enough of tweeting ideas I have seen and writing reflective pieces on my experiences at university. Therefore, it was natural that when I saw a tweet about Pedagoo Perth I was keen to find out more. After finding people to go with and signing up, I was getting more and more excited in the lead up to the event, to find out what this all entailed. I was not disappointed. I attended 3 separate chats all hosted by different practitioners and some of the discussion I was involved in taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

My first learning conversation was with Jason Bain where we discussed how to ensure that you record, reflect and take forward your professional learning? It was all about journals and keeping organised with our professional updates for the GTCS. This was interesting for me as I am a very organised person but have tweet ideas written on post it notes and facebook statuses saved all over the place but having an online journal where you can keep everything seemed to be a really good idea for me.

The second learning conversation was with Oscar Chamberlain discussing ICT in the classroom and how we can use excel and other applications to our advantage. I’ve never really been in a classroom for long enough to find that I have struggled with keeping up to date with reading groups and maths groups but I would imagine that I am the kind of teacher that will end up forgetting entirely so going out into a classroom with these ideas already in head, my first few years should hopefully be that little bit easier.

Lastly, I attended the learning conversation run by Kevin Hodgson about The Pursuit of Pivotal Plenaries. This was by far the discussion I took the most away from, especially as I am someone who struggles with plenaries from all angles. Finding the time, finding the ideas, having the motivation – you name it, I struggle with it. However, Kevin made the idea of plenaries sound fun, quick and informative for not just myself but also for the children. Using current themes like twitter and instagram – for example having a twitter wall – is something I had always wondered about the actual use of, but now I fully understand and look forward to creating my own! A book that was also recommended to us by Kevin which may interest any readers of this blog is The Book of Plenary by Phil Beadle. I am hoping to buy this soon during my next placement and put some of the ideas into action.

So overall this experience has been amazing for me as a new professional just starting out. Being part of this kind of community makes me much more passionate about teaching and being on social media fuels this passion as it is with me in my pocket wherever I go. Even going down to Oxfordshire for my Learning From Life placement this year will keep me focussed on being part of this community as I will be blogging as part of my assessment. Although the learning conversations for me were over after 3, other professionals who I have connected with through twitter or at the University have talked to me about other learning conversations that they attended so I then have an idea about what was discussed. This just shows that we can and sometimes have to learn from and rely on each other. After all, I am going into a career where you constantly have to learn. Its up to me to find anyway that I can to do this.



Active Learning

Active learning is defined as “a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content.”

As a student at University, active learning is something I need to become more aware of. I always write notes in lectures and tutorials, which is a form of active learning. when i get home I rewrite my notes so they go in better. Another way I use active learning is by writing questions I need to ask myself before I read a book, essay or article. I leave gaps and fill in these questions as I read as a form of note taking, then I can refer back to my note during my writing. I have formed peer groups and we regularly meet up to discuss the lectures/ tutorials we have attended and also what work is coming up. We actively help and encourage each other by giving each other our opinions and supporting each others work. Active learning is not just something I need to think about though during my time at university, I need to think about it when I become a teacher too.

Active learning can develop through children’s play, some of these are called spontaneous play, planned play and purposeful play. Play is one of the most valuable things a child can learn from. Fredrick Frobel (1782-1852) was a German teacher and felt that play is the most important chapter in a child’s development. Play materials were the basis of Frobel’s education system and they included blocks, pets and finger plays. From this Frobel developed the first educational toys which he first named as play materials and they are still used today in assisting active learning.

As a teacher we should be spotting children’s active learning and react on it. In early years settings active learning is encouraged and having worked in a nursery for a year I found active learning the best way to teach young nursery age children. By using active learning in the nursery I was linking it in with the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence four capacities by rewarding them for using active play. Certificates etc, made them become confident individuals. We also encouraged parents to join in with active play by spotting thing the children did at home and writing them a “star moment” for us to put on the wall. Star moments encouraged the children to use active learning more.