Ability to design and carry out a research project that highlights your critical understanding of the importance of supporting children and students in education settings
This paper deals with the case study of importance of supporting children and students in education settings in which you are required to focus on the following aspects:
- Concept of the significance of encouraging children and students in the educational environment
- The importance of interventions available to teachers in this area
- Critical comprehension of the primary educational theme
- Suitable context and approach to locate the case study
- The role of teachers, teaching assistants and educators within the educational system, policies and legislation settings
- Proper structure of the case study with relevant literature review
Development of Learning:
A Case Study
This activity is designed to help you focus your thinking as early as possible – before you begin the main case study itself - and is intended to be an indicative document as well as forming the basis for discussions with your tutor as it will identify how you propose to design and implement your methodology.
The proposal will review your developmental understanding of the school or college in which you are based, the learning issue central to your case study, the support process/es at the root of your work, and the pupils who benefit from it. You will identify key texts to be used in your final case study while you will also outline your set methodology for collecting data for this research project.
The total number of words allowed is 1000 (with a 10% leeway).
- Ability to design and carry out a research project that highlights your critical understanding of the importance of supporting children and students in education settings
- An understanding of the importance of interventions available to teachers in this area.
- A critical understanding of a key educational theme applicable to your age phase.
- Identification of an appropriate approach and context on which to base a case study.
- Awareness of the role played in individuals’ learning by the teacher, teaching assistants etc. within the context of the educational system, policies and legislation.
- The brief review of an indicative body of literature appropriate to the situation identified for the case.
1) Pen portrait of your chosen focus for this study.
Here you provide information about the situation and the educational support process, mechanism, or programme you intend to examine. You may consider why the support process was implemented in your school and how it may be linked to specific supporting legislation in your school, area, subject or geographical location. You may wish to consider how the support process is implemented or give some information on the central learning issue for which the process was put in place.
You may wish to briefly state how the learning issue or need impacts on learning. You may provide the age that the support process relates to and provide basic information (but no specific names are needed) about the cohort for whom the process was implemented - but no more identifying information than that is needed.
Remember to maintain focus on the support process here and not the individuals that benefit from it - as the support process is the main point of your case study.
This piece of research will be looking at the Power of 2, which is currently running in my school. This intervention was put in place to help raise the level of students in Maths and help them become more confident in the subject, especially those who have dyscalculia. The intervention was originally ran for a few children but due to the impact of attainment it is done with all those in Year 6 in order to help them with the crucial SAT’s. I am in mixed Year 5/6 class with some pupils who take this intervention, which I can focus on. (101 words)
2) Provide information on the context, including support staff.
Here you can provide more detailed information about the school or college and the staffing structure as it impacts on the focal point of your study. Are support assistants involved? Does the form tutor help? Is it pull-out or push-in provision? Is there a SENCo or teacher involved? Does it involve special lessons or locations?
Here is where you provide more information on the school, the staff, and the structure of the process itself - but again be careful not to name the school or any individuals directly.
The primary school, which is in a rather deprived area, is a small built school which consists of 2 classes per year group, in which further mixed classes are put in place for example like the year 5/6 I am in. Both the class teachers and assistant staff in the class run the intervention. In order to avoid the loss of learning for the students the intervention takes place during assemblies. This would take place twice a week and consist of 30-minute sessions. The head of year 6 has the important task of controlling the intervention as they are also the head of Maths and would be the one to make the decisive push on overall end of year grades. (120 words)
3) Provide information on the learning issue or need itself.
Here you should provide a more in-depth mini-analysis and explanation (though nothing too extensive at this point) of the learning issue or need and how it may impact learning (for instance it could lead to underachieving, individuals becoming de-motivated, or cause behavioural issues, etc.). You can also provide information on how particular factors are likely to impact on learners – for example, if you are talking about poor literacy skills, you need to show that you have considered how poor literacy skills will impact on the educational experience of the individuals concerned.
Here you should focus closely on the learning issue or need and how it impacts learning but you should also reference literature here to show that you have already engaged with critical thinking at this early point.
East Dunbartonshire Council (2013) states that dyscalculia learners may face difficulties understanding basic number concepts, lack an instinctive grasp of numbers and have complications learning number facts and procedures. This clearly shows how it can be a serious obstacle in the classroom for those with dyscalculia, in which can then have an effect on responsibilities that may not directly linked to calculations that involves thinking logically. Those pupils who find themselves a part of the intervention are below target score of 99 or less which means they have not reached the government expected standard. In order to gain this information practice SAT’s are taken at the beginning of the year.
If pupils do not receive the support they need in Mathematics, students will eventually constantly struggle and will develop a sense of fear for mathematics, which can in the end result to anxiety and reduced self-confidence (Henderson, 2012). This will ultimately will result in the fact of not reaching the target grade for the end of year SAT’s. This can then have a major effect the in later life when going on the GCSE’s, A-Level’s or even getting a job. (190 Words)
4) Provide information on your indicated literature.
Here you need to present a brief overview of the literature available that is relevant to your study - though not a full literature review at this point. This can come from books, academic papers, on-line references, school documents, government legislation, etc. At this stage you only really need to identify your literature and say briefly why it will be useful but it does need to be more than just a list.
You need to show that you are engaging with specific literature and the theories contained within it so here is where you make it clear that you have done some preliminary background reading to support your research and eventual case study.
This following piece of research will use these Policy sources:
1) The National Curriculum (Primary Mathematics – Year 6)
2) The Parliament’s Dyslexia and Dyscalculia document
3) The school’s own Mathematics guidelines
4) British Dyslexia Association (Dyscalculia focused)
5) SEND code of practice
These policies will give me a better understanding of both why and how the intervention was put into place and also how they fit with the policies stated.
The school’s own and Mathematics guidelines, combined with the National Curriculum for Year 6 in Primary schools, will allow me to gain further understanding of how the intervention evidently supports the students in terms of targeted academic improvement.
And the following theory and academia sources:
- Thompson, I. (2011). Issues in teaching numeracy in primary schools. Maidenhead [U.A.] Open Univ. Press.
- Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education. New York Routledge.
- Henderson, A. (2013). Dyslexia, dyscalculia and mathematics : a practical guide. London ; New York: Routledge.
- Bird, R. (2017). Dyscalculia Resource Book. London: Sage Publications.
- Department for Education (2014). SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years. [Online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25 [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
- Geary, D.C. (2004). Mathematics and Learning Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(1), pp.4–15.
- Kaufmann, L. and Aster, M. von (2012). The Diagnosis and Management of Dyscalculia. Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3514770/pdf/Dtsch_Arztebl_Int-109-0767.pdf [Accessed 6 Oct. 2019].
These books as a collective will give me will allow the case study to be better supported with literature. The books from Geary, Kaufman and Thompson will give a better understanding on why children with Dyscalculia find Maths difficult. The books will also have a selection of academic articles with some other case studies related to Maths interventions. The Department of Education will support how it will support the development of children so that they can achieve the best they can. (308 words)
5) Provide information on your methodology.
Here is where you outline the methodological processes in place for your study - focusing on what you are going to study and how you are going to go about it. This could come from observing teachers or staff delivering the support process, looking at achievement records or other data, talking to teachers, providing questionnaires, etc. - but data should not come from the testing or interviewing of pupils or of talking with the pupils directly about the support process. As ever, the focus is on the support process and how it and the school are working to support and develops learning – and not about the individuals themselves.
Here is where you tell us how you are going to collect the information you need but you may also state what you decided not to do – and why not. Please note that you should refer to research methods text books/journals/models (etc.) for this section.
This study will be using a mixed method approach; there will be two data collection methods to measure the effectiveness of the sessions, a main focus of quantitative data showing the pupils academic progress over the years and the use of the qualitative nature of observations. The other two sources of data will be the evaluation of work samples from the specific individuals and the use of teacher referral forms.
The first method that will be used in the study will be the use of work samples from the pupils. Having direct access to the work samples of pupils is an efficient way to evaluate both the strengths and weakness that the pupils currently may have.
The second method that will be used in the study will be the data of students from previous years to show the progress over the years and how over the 6 weeks the intervention has had an impact on them. By collecting this data it will hopefully show clear progression because of the intervention.
The third that will be used will be the observation of Power of 2 interventions and how the teaching staff manages it. This should be easy to do, as there will be access from the year 5/6 class I am allocated to so it will be easy to observe teachers and supporting staff do the sessions. During assemblies I will have access to other classes and not just my own which can give me the opportunity to observe other teachers and how they deal with the sessions.
The final method will be the use of teacher referral forms; this is used in order to assess the child to see if they need any further support or education plans. Each session will use the referral form and what was done in the session. (302 words)
6) Any specific issues to address in order to fulfil the study
The information you provide here will depend entirely on your specific case study. You may not need to say anything, but if there are any specific issues (like having to talk to the support teacher only on Wednesdays) then this can be included here.
I will have to speak to the teachers and make them aware that I will need access to the interventions in order to observe for the full 6 weeks. (29 words)
7) Ethical considerations
Here you need to acknowledge that your study is ethical (in accordance with BERA guidelines) and that you are doing nothing in your study that would not have happened anyway (for example, you must not experiment on pupils or seek to influence the processes and outcomes in any way). You should also ensure that your proposal (and your study) and any notes you make are kept completely anonymous and you do not name specific individuals or the school itself anywhere in your work.
There will be no changes or adjustments made to the Power of 2 intervention in any way. There will not be any collection of data from the pupils. Most importantly everything will remain completely anonymous. The focus will be on what the school does with the intervention. (47 words)
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