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ECER 2015 papplewick

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slides to accompany a paper about the action research project in detail on getwet.org.uk

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ECER 2015 papplewick

  1. 1. The Get Wet project Pat Thomson with the GW team
  2. 2. The problem High cultural capital, alienating pedagogies, disconnect from children’s life worlds V Engaging pedagogies, based in children’s life worlds, but low cultural capital
  3. 3. Water • Appears and disappears in the formal curriculum - primarily in science and geography. • Usually taught in primary schools as ‘the water cycle’- again and again. • Current English primary teachers not necessarily well schooled in science or geography
  4. 4. Enter Papplewick
  5. 5. GW team Four schools: Four classes and teachers Five local artists Four School of Education staff Not enough money Two years
  6. 6. University perspective We had already identified that lack of attention to pedagogic content/disciplinary knowledge had held back many projects in other ‘creative’ innovations e.g. Creative Partnerships. We wanted to change that. Hence the inclusion of specialist teacher educators.
  7. 7. Beginning Installation as reconnaissance (Townsend and Thomson, 2014) and provocation (signaturepedagogies.org.uk) with adults and children…….. Our questions and then children’s questions (accessing their vernacular knowledges).
  8. 8. In the first cycle we found that • Teachers were really good at identifying a big interdisciplinary question e.g. what makes water special? • They were also really good at working out a sequence of activities – they were used to lesson by lesson planning • They were familiar with working with artists and keen to have a go – they were risk takers in supportive schools • They were mostly OK at tracking back through class artefacts to see what learning had occurred – this is relatively unusual and GW teachers had learned this in other PD projects
  9. 9. However… • They needed to work a bit more on including children’s life world knowledges – the artists were great at helping them do this • They were really not used to identifying mes- level concepts that provided the ‘meat’ for their big question, so what sat behind the sequence of activities? • We surmised that the lack of meso level concept awareness actually limited the teachers’ capacity to plan and also to assess • This was a challenge for the university staff- and then the artists
  10. 10. In the next cycle New planning Big Question Meso concept Meso concept activity activity activity activity Meso concept
  11. 11. Example: Water is essential for life • Questioning: Activities were devised from the start-up activity with questions; • Observation activities • Group activity: Testing hypothesis on water properties children’s (e.g. ‘droplets on pennies’, ‘sticking streams of water’ – a big bottle of water; three holes near the bottom and when the jets of water come out if you get them to come together they will stick together. … Milk and oil. ); • Writing down experiences • Research and lecture on coal • Debate on big theme • Creative engagement with materials: created water molecules, created umbrella messages • Creative engagement with language: created poetry • Theatrical experience: Met “James Watt” at the Papplewick station - history of the pumping station
  12. 12. Disciplinary coverage • Chemistry • Maths (counting, size) • English (literacy) • Science • Geography • Art and design Skills: Communication: Negotiation, persuasion, debating, argumentation, empathy
  13. 13. NEW: Meso level concepts in lesson plans • Unique water physical properties • (water molecules sticking together: water liquid nature, water chemical structure, water attractiveness) Water turns to steam • Water cycle (they all knew this one!) • Water chemistry vocabulary • Water availability/accessibility • Size in numbers (numeracy) • Comparison (literacy) • Water power (steam engine, coal; Radcliffe power station; Papplewick pumping station visits) • Water as a medium for transferring energy • Water geological ... filtering • Public health - consequence of dirty water (diarhorrea) • The importance of inventiveness and inventions in life (appreciation of innovative and visionary ideas (like the invention for purifying water) and how they can change life and society) • The development of labour market/preparation for and uncertainty in employment (there were less professional opportunities in the past (jobs change and grow, disappear and appear)
  14. 14. So what? • Significant improvement in literacy • Almost universal understanding of cientific concepts – retention after 12 months – taught well before formal curriculum • New ‘stuff’ – history, geology, geography • Attitudes about water and water use/abuse greatly enhanced • Connections with local ‘place and people’ • NO DUMBED DOWN DISCIPLINES HERE, NO LOW CULTURAL CAPITAL
  15. 15. www.getwet.org.uk

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