How curriculum change and educational trends in England have impacted on the art of teaching in an internationally British primary school in Europe

 

 

 

 

How curriculum change and educational trends in England have impacted on the art of teaching in an internationally British primary school in Europe

 

 

 

Dissertation submitted for the degree of Master in Education

 

 

 

 

 

May 2017

 

 

 

Chapter Four – Analysis and Interpretation of Findings

Introduction

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of educational flux and curriculum reform in England, on teachers’ professional practice and its effect on the learning journey of students in a British international primary school in Europe. The research also focused on how teachers themselves viewed their practice and how effectively they perceived the learning experience of the students was structured across the school as a whole despite the curriculum demands being made by the new NC. As well as this, the researcher sought to determine if the organization of the curriculum and its content, was well matched to the expected developmental milestones and actual cognitive achievements of the students (In Wang, 2013).

This chapter contains the analysis of the data that was collected from the discussions between the participants themselves and the information that was gathered from the observations by the researcher, of professional practice in the participants’ classrooms. Analyses results help in answering the research questions and testing the hypotheses of the results as indicated in the preceding chapters. The results analyses and interpretation is carried in two phases which are the quantitative data analyses, which deals with data from the questionnaires, and the qualitative data analyses which bases on the results of the focus group discussion interpretation (National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales, 1969).

With consideration of the results that were got from the research, the viability of the carried research can be drawn from the interpretation of the results. Interpretation of the results from the study also helps a great deal in making one understand or get a greater insight on the results from the researchers’ point of view. This section of the paper also brings to light the overall findings of the research basing on the analyzed results. This helps one to identify at a glance what was got from the research as a whole. Lastly, there are limitations of the study sections which brings forth all the limitations that were identified through the research that may have affected the research negatively and maybe how they were tackled or rather managed.

 

Phase one: Quantitative Interpretation of results

Analysis of the questionnaire

The questionnaire that was used for the research was provided freely in an online source and was supposed to be answered by any volunteer who was related to the research. The questionnaire was not specifically given to anyone, and therefore, there are no records of the people who viewed the questionnaire but did not give in to giving their feedbacks. However, there are only twenty-eight individuals who managed to respond to the questionnaire. Therefore, the data collected according to the questionnaire has the information that is got from the twenty-eight individuals who were willing to answer the questionnaires.

The questionnaires were direct questions that were open-ended by needed a reply of the respondents on whether the issue that was addressed in the statement was practical. The response of the interviewees was divided on a scale of ten, and the respondent was free to choose which grading they give the statement that they were given from any number between one and ten. Number one was the lowest number ad showed that the respondents did not agree with the statement while number ten being the highest number, showed that the respondents highly agree with the issue at hand. Therefore, the strength of agreement was in the range of one to ten with accordance to what the respondents felt about the issue.

Some respondents skipped some of the questions as it is going to be outlined in this section. Therefore, the compilation of the results from the skipped questions was done against the number of respondents who gave answers to the questions. The results of the questions have been subdivided on a scale of one hundred percent with a calculation of the common feeling of the respondents on the particular issue. Therefore, the results that are outlined in this section of the paper brings out the percentage of how the outlined issue are seen in the society. The percentage of the results helps in bringing out how important or rather the degree or extent to which the outlined issue in the statement is perceived by the society.

 

Question one: I am confident that I can differentiate curriculum content appropriately for a child in my class who has been learning in English for less than a year.

This question had twenty-eight respondents. This means that all the respondents to the questionnaires gave an answer to this question. The rating of the reply to the answer to the question is seventy. This means that the approximate value of the answer to the question out of ten is seven. Therefore, the level of confidence of the respondents that they can differentiate curriculum content appropriately for the child who has to learn English for more than a year is a bit high as seven is closer to excellent.

Question two: I am confident that I can differentiate curriculum content appropriately for a child in my class who has an Additional Educational Need.

The respondents to this question were also twenty-eight, all those who answered the questionnaires gave an answer to this question. The rating given to the question is sixty-nine. Sixty-nine is also above average and closer to excellent. Therefore, the respondents were though not very confident but had some confidence that they can differentiate curriculum content appropriately for the child in their class with Additional Educational Need.

Question three: I feel confident about modifying tasks to suit the specific needs of an EAL Learner in my class.

This question had twenty-seven respondents; this means that one of the respondents skipped it, that is, was not quite sure with the response they can give to it. However, those who responded had a rating of sixty. This means that they were not very sure of their confidence about modifying tasks to suit the specific needs of the EAL learners in their classes but however, their confidence was somewhat above fifty which is considered average on the scale of a hundred which the rating was computed to.

Question four: I feel confident about modifying tasks to suit the specific needs of a child with Additional Educational Needs in my class.

This question had twenty-six respondents out of the twenty-eight who answered the questionnaire, meaning, two respondents skipped the question. However, out the twenty-six who responded, the average rating that they gave on the question was seventy. The rating of Seventy is closer to excellent thus meaning that most of the respondents felt confidence on modifying tasks to suit the specific needs of the child with Additional Educational Needs.

Question five: I am comfortable with modifying learning objectives to below or beyond agreed Year Group expectations for individual children in my class.

This question was responded to by twenty-seven people, meaning that one respondent to the questionnaire skipped the question. The rating to the question was eighty-eight, meaning that most of the respondents had a higher rating of agreeing to the statement that they are comfortable with modifying learning objectives to below or beyond agreed year group expectations for individual children in their classes. Eighty-eight percent is close to a hundred which is the total agreement. Therefore, many respondents had much of a high agreeing degree.

Question six: I am comfortable working in an interlingual classroom where during lessons there are languages other than English being spoken by the children.

This question was responded to by all the twenty-eight respondents, that is, all the respondents that were involved in the question. The rating that is given to the question according to the responses is ninety. The rating of ninety means that most of the respondents agreed to a much higher degree that they are comfortable in working in an interlingual classroom characterized other languages than English being spoken during the lesson. The respondents in this part feel like the chance of the students speaking different languages in class creates the sense of acceptability in their relations. The students will have to understand that they come from different backgrounds and have different languages thus have to accept this. However, this was not fully accepted by the respondents as the students should communicate mostly in a language that they both well understand so as to avoid some small misunderstanding among them.

Question seven: I am confident in allowing all EAL learners in my class to choose to write in their mother tongue and tell me the main points of what they have written, in English.

This question was responded to by twenty respondents, meaning two of the respondents skipped it. The rating of the question is one hundred. This rating means that all the respondents who gave their feedback on the question totally agreed with the statement. The respondents felt like EAL learners can write main points of what they are learning in their mother tongue and then tell the points of what they have written in English. This helps the EAL learners to gain more understanding of the English language with creating the relationship of their mother tongues to the English language.

Question eight: I believe it is important to have the first-hand experience of learning another language other than English to understand the challenges of an EAL learner at our school.

This question was responded to by twenty-six respondents while it was skipped by two of the respondents. This question also had a hundred rating. The rating means that all the respondents who gave their feedback in the question totally agreed with ten that they believe in the first-hand experience of learning anther language other than English to understand the challenges of an EAL learner. Learning another language, makes a native English speaker understand how the EAL learners feel when they try to catch up with learning the English language.

Question nine: I consider that it is a normal part of my job as a teacher to be responsible for planning for the specific requirements of a child in my class with Additional Educational Needs.

The question was responded t by all the twenty-eight respondents. It has a rating of fifty-four. Fifty-four is more of an average number in the scale of ten. Therefore, almost all the respondents who gave their feedback on the issue were not extremely sure about the issue. However, they just thought that what the question stated was kind of practical but not that much practical to the extent of totally agreeing with or giving it a higher rate. Therefore, the question of whether the respondents consider a normal part of their job as a teacher is to be responsible for the specific requirements of a child in their class with Additional Educational Needs was not highly agreed with. The teachers most probably felt that as much as the needs of such students is their responsibility, they are either not fully involved in making sure the students acquire their needs. Alternatively, rather, they are not fully aware or sure if this is part of their normal job as they might be considering their normal job is just teaching the students.

Question ten: I believe that I am a leading member of a broader team of adults, including outside professionals, which liaises with parents about children in my class with Additional Educational Needs.

This question was answered by twenty-seven respondents and skipped by only one among those who responded to the questionnaire. The responses had a rating of sixty-seven. This rating is not much above the average, but however, the respondents somewhat agreed with the statement that they believe in leading the members of a broader team of adults about children in their class. The respondents agreed with this statement but not to a higher degree, and that is why it got a rating slightly more than the average which is fifty.

 

Phase two: Qualitative interpretation of the results

Analysis of the interviews and focus group discussions, and observations

This method of study was used with the aim of supplementing the questions or rather data collected in the questionnaire. The qualitative method was held in a different form that was seen to be suitable and could lead to credible results. Therefore, there was the creation of focus groups which were like consisting of the class teachers who could be asked a direct question especially the ones that needed them to express some feelings. The qualitative method was mainly aimed at creating the immediate view of the perception especially of the class teachers to the issue that was being researched. The perception of the class teachers most probably could be studied through the methods that were outlined and carried by the qualitative approach (Simon, 1979).

Apart from the approach just basing on the focus groups, there was an insight in the observation of the way the teachers like taught the students or rather how they related to different students in the classes. The researcher could visit the different classes at different times especially during the teachers of the crucial lessons that dictated student teacher participation. The observation of how the students reacted to the different approaches that were carried out by the different teachers was an important aspect of the part of the study. However, the report was written from such class observations, but no name of a particular teacher was disclosed to the public due to the ethical observations by the research.

Results of the above methods stated in the qualitative approach were documented by the researcher. The results are then ones which are brought in this part of the paper with the perfect interpretation possible by the researcher. There has been a comparison of a wide range of results that were given by different teachers or respondents in the research. This part of the paper brings out the results that were mostly repeated by the respondents or rather those that were considered to be more viable in a manner that they either appeared from all the respondents or are seen in a wider field of view.

 

Topics discussed in the focus groups

The environment

Environment constitutes of the surroundings of individuals in the context of the school that was used for the research; its environment is characterized by the school compound and even the classes (Robbins, 1996). All the activities that go around the school fall under the classification of the environment. The activities are identified to affect the learning of the students in the schools. The environment is created by the organization and how the students and teachers relate either to each other through the effect of the activities encompassed in the environments.

The first environment of learning in the schools is the outside area (Simon, 1979). The outside area is where mostly the outdoor activities apart from learning take place. Students and teachers are involved in outdoors activities like for instance, learning may need a larger area, and thus the teacher decides to move with the students out of class.  In such like cases, the students are asked to form maybe groups in which they have to practice or rather carry out a practical activity that cannot be done inside the classroom.

The teachers get involved with the students in the outdoor activities like informing of groups to learn something that is based on the curriculum. The teachers, however, tend to neglect the students of KS1 whom maybe they think are still too small or rather their activities are classified at a lower level. However, the teachers tend to join with the students of the higher classes whom they form groups with each other and help each other in then activities.

The act of creating the kind of environment in which the students and teachers move to the outside of the class and shares ideas and activities is crucial in making the students have more understanding of what they are taught in class (Robbins, 1996). The practicing of the things that the students learn in class is an important part of enabling the students to have more understanding of what they are taught in class.

 

 

Differentiation

Differentiation is a synonym to distinction, which is the act or process of differentiating. In learning institutions, there are the various aspects of differentiation which affects the learning of different students in schools. Differentiation comes to the learning aspect where there are students with maybe different characteristics or such. In the carried research, this section is derived from a documented conversation with two teachers. The conversation was on answering questions that relate to differentiation.

The physical environment of the classrooms should not facilitate differentiation (Robbins, 1996). This is derived from the thought of the two teacher’s that the classroom area was an area meant for studies and not differentiation aspects. The classroom should facilitate oneness as the students are supposed to discuss things together and more of creating a good relationship to each other.

In promotion of differentiation in schools, different aspects can be put into consideration, issues like introducing plays that students use props to act in dramas. This s done by the KS1 students with the help of their teachers.

There is also the aspect in which the students perceive themselves as learners. Some may be through the classroom set up a discussed by the teachers. Choice of the right space of work with minimum distraction is the best, and the students should be given guidance all along (Chitty, 2014). In the classrooms, different settings makes the students understand more in the group as they tend to create the environment especially imagination and remained with her. The classroom setup, so as to have positive benefits for the students comprises of the basis on behavior, personality, ability, independence, and collaboration.

It is important for teachers to consider that the structure of the language they used is accessible to all the students (Wormeli, & Tomlinson, 2007). This factor is reached at by creating much change in the classes that allows students to seek extra help. The teacher will make sure the stated is understood by students through group work, carpet work, whole class, activities, and roles.

There are different circumstances in which assessment opportunities are differentiated so that the students are given the opportunity to show what they can do at their levels. Such like students are supposed to be identified during the activities lie field studies so that they can go back to the class.

In classroom practices, there is a wider range of differentiation that dictates different issues. The classroom practices that shows differentiation are like the mediums of assessment which include: online, quizzes, extra time which should be considered as either emerging, consolidating or at greater depth (Wormeli, et al. 2007).

There are many various ways that assessment is different from a test. The test is considered as more of a formal tool while on the other hand, assessment is classified under a task that seems to be complicated. Therefore, with an understanding of a test and assessment, it is important to decide on the best method and thus come up with the strategy doctor.

The last part of the discussion is to show or rather justify that the students have access to reading materials. The students have however discussed that various circumstances justify that classroom resource available to the particular students during the tests/assessments.

Staffing

Staffing is the act of employing workers as the staff of an institution (Vaughan, & Archer, 2010). Staffing is always done by a management team in the institution basing on the needs of the activities that are supposed to be dealt with or rather the activities that should be done in the organization. The different type of staffs with basis on their qualification are normally employed in an organization with the aim of helping in fulfilling the different needs of the organization that has employed them. Different types of staffs are needed in different offices and activities to fulfill in a wide variety of institutions.

With consideration of the carried research, through the focus groups, it was evident that the factor of staffing is a challenge to many learning institutions. In learning institutions, the staffs who most probably has a direct influence on the education of the students in the schools are always the teachers. Therefore, when discussing the factor of staffing in institutions, the focus group was based on the teachers. The number of teachers affects education at a very high chance. In cases where the teachers teaching a particular language are less than the student learning the language, most probably, the performance of the particular subject will be below average. On the other hand, with enough staffing of the teachers for a particular subject, the students will have an easy time on issues like consultations and even supervision and marking of papers basing on the different subject most probably the performance of such subjects will be good (Chitty, 2014).

With basis in the school where the research took place, there are enough staffs. The reason that was identified for the enough staff is that the parents are cooperative and they help in giving out money that the school uses to pay their staffs. Through the co-operation, enough money is got, and the school can do the perfect staffing basing on the money they have. The school has TA in all the classes and therefore, the students get close follow up thus even improving their performance.

The focus groups identified that the presence of the enough staffs makes the students even be more responsible (Vaughan, et al. 2010). One TA has enough time to follow up a manageable number of student and therefore, they do not have to take advantage of being more than their teachers.

Types of children

The different types of children also influence the levels of their understanding or rather how the students tend to learn in schools. With the basis of the research, there was the consideration of the EAL needs of students while in the classroom and that of UK. It is identified to be similar and therefore, in this case, there is a need for both students to perform at a flat rate in which both should give more of equal performance. However, there is a difference in the performance of the students (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1966). The difference of the performance is what creates the insight of identifying what the cause may be since it is assumed that because they are subjected to the same environment, they have to have the same performance.

The factor of difference in performance is brought by the fact that these students, the EAL and the students in the UK, are different. The difference of the students is what leads to the difference in the performance. Therefore, the student type is an important aspect to consider while looking at what affects the contemporary learning. In consideration of the kind of student, there are the native English speaker student and the EAL learners. The two types of students are subjected to the same learning environment, but still, there is a significant difference in their understanding and passing of exams.

The EAL learners are the students who speak other languages from home and therefore, should not be expected to master the language in class faster and pass exams with for promotion to next levels. On the other hand, the native English speaker should not be assumed to understand English so they can easily pass by the teachers should put them in great consideration as they might carry the grammatical errors they do in their talking to the class and end up being poor writers especially (Chitty, 2014).

Therefore, with the basis of the above claim, the type of student factor is important in molding the students in class. More so, the teachers should understand the kind of student they are dealing with and thus create the best conducive environment for them to prosper.

Curriculum

The curriculum is defined as the subjects that comprise a course or a study. These particular subject are important as they are supposed to be learned all so that one be considered to have completed a particular study or rather a course (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1966). The curriculum is an important aspect in determining whether students have completed a study or course as stated. The combination of the activities and the studies also affects greatly how different students tend to pursue their education. The combination of the subjects may at some point be of negative influence to the students as it may make some of them not be able to perform well through the inclusion of the units or subjects that the students are not well conversant with.

For instance, with basis on the research, the focus group identified that the AEN children often are unable to access the curriculum. The reason for the stated is that there is an identification of quite a red tape in the LSA, and it could take quite a difficult time for the students to settle in the Y3. Therefore, the students are denied a chance to a meeting or rather fulfilling the curriculum.

In such cases where the students are unable to fulfill the curriculum, their performance in different subjects that dictates the curriculum be used are mostly failed by such students (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1966). Therefore, the curriculum is important in dictating the success of students in various schools.

Further task

Observation of the classrooms

The researcher engaged in an observation in the classrooms so as to identify the relationship between the teachers and the students in the different classes. The relationship between the teachers and the students in the particular classes is a great aspect of putting in consideration. Through the observation that was made in the class, different findings were acquired as they are outlined in this section of the paper.

The teachers tend to maximize the use of group discussion or rather pairing of the students. Pairing according to studies helps the children to help each other in creating a more understanding on the topics that they are being taken by their teachers. While in pairs, most probably there is the student with more understanding than the other, in such case, they end up discussing and elaborating an issue to each other, which is a positive aspect especially to the EAL learners on what they do not understand basing on the language constraint.

Consultations are made by students either to their support LSAs’ or the teachers who are in the class. Consultation is where the student needs clarification on their own and not as a class. Through the consultations, the students get a one-on-one touch with the teachers or their assistance and tend to be advised more with basis on their status of understanding.

The last observable characteristics in the different classes are the fact that the teachers tend to give close supervision to the students. Cases which there is a lack of the close supervision, the students tend to kind of misbehave. There are very minimal chances that the students do the required from them without supervision. Therefore, through the supervision, the students are kept in check, and they end up doing the right things at the right time. Without supervision, it is observed that the students tend to make noise and even disrupt others on their studies.

Limitations of the study

There were some challenges that this research also encountered, which are common to any investigation especially the social research. The research was carried in a British primary school, but however, it suffered some cases of rejection, which, however, was dealt with by different strategies. The teachers in the school developed some fear in the cases where if by chance, their teaching methods could be studied and a negative report basing on what they are doing was written could impact them in their career. The teachers were not at much ease on sharing the challenges they encountered in class especially the part of the challenge which dictated that they be  victims in a manner that their methods were nit efficient enough.

On the other hand, the research was voluntary; this is in the case where anyone thought they could participate in any method. However, the research was supported by the school administration, and the headmaster advocated for the research. Therefore, the teachers felt like as if they were being enforced in helping to carry out the research. The above means that most of the teachers had some fears in declining to participate in the research as they thought it might have some disadvantage aspect on their work relations both by the researcher and the headmaster who supported the research.

However, from all the stated above, the headmaster took an initiative of addressing the teachers and informing them that the research had nothing to do with their career or work relations if they opted to decline any form of the research as it was purely voluntary and no one was dictated to take part in the research. The teachers were also informed that there is no aspect of the research basing on the results from the observations of their class that will be published or publicized. The research was confidently for use in the determination of the results without the mention of anyone’s name due to the ethical considerations. With all these, it was evident that the co-operation of the teachers was that more of understanding and thus, the results of the research can be termed as credible.

 

 

References

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (1966). Strategy for curriculum change. Washington, DC.

Chitty, C. (2014). Education policy in Britain.

In Wang, Y. (2013). Education policy reform trends in G20 members.

National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales. (1969). Trends in allocation procedures. London: National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales.

Robbins, K. (1996). Bibliography of British history. Oxford: Clarendon.

Simon, J. (1979). Education and society in Tudor England. Cambridge: Univ. Pr.

Vaughan, M., & Archer, M. S. (2010). Social conflict and educational change in England and France 1789-1848. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wormeli, R., & Tomlinson, C. A. (2007). Differentiation: From planning to practice, grades 6-12. Portland, Me: Stenhouse Publishers.

 

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