Thursday, 19 June 2014
First Engagement Meeting
We had an excellent first meeting with the theatre studies, music department and leadership team members. They were very enthused about the project and suprised us by their very quick pick up of the Juxtaposing process. Whereas with Science they were nervous about the idea of students being creative with concepts. In drama they were completely relaxed about the idea, they have been using these approaches for years, they said. It could be argued well they have students who are good at this - but there are many students in the school (where Chemistry has the highest signup for 6th form), if not the majority who enjoy taking part in the school play and taking science subjects. One of these students it was noted had commented on last years Juxtalearn activity noting that 'even though we got moles wrong on the day its still helping me understand Moles a year later for these exams'. It suprised me how well the teachers 'got' the idea of threshold concepts and were very quick to suggest tricky topics in there subjects and add in why they were tricky topics. They agreed to drama having a trial on the 7th of July and that before then they would complete some concepts on the tricky topic tool add in some resources and compose some quizzes. They wanted to have those quizzes completed by students on the 26th adn 27th of June. IN a subsequent phone conversation it was suggested that they wanted this quiz to be before they'd received any learning on the topic at all. We need to discuss if this will be an accurate review of the intervention of just of learning generally. We have a next meeting on Monday 23rd of June to complete next step. It was also suggested at this meeting that Music would like to complete a trial and that they think Art would be interested in a trial as well. But these would be completed in September. We also talked about the value of identifying tricky topics for transition between primary and secondary education. This could also apply to secondary and tertiary education. But to address primary to secondary they would like to complete some trials in primary schools - they suggested around music, we suggested also science education. This is again something to follow up for September trials. From this meeting it has got me thinking that drama teachers coudl be a useful champion for leveraging impact for a Juxtalearn teaching method across a school since they 'get' juxtaposing easier than most other subjects. As an imapct methods it woudl also be appealing to drama teachers since they can be seen a more leading teaching across subjects whereas they are often thought as on the edge of hard subject learning in most schools.