It is proposed that several of the prime learning challenges should be built around the principle of Community Learning Challenges. This would be in keeping with the suggestion put forward within the Cambridge Review. To enable this to work at its best it is suggested that curriculum leaders act as researchers to find out the more intimate links that the locality has with periods in history, local environmental, physical and human geography, the local arts and local services.
In addition, there should be much greater use made of local experts, such as local artists, parents and grandparents. In addition there should be careful consideration given to the quality of work produced by learners in the core subject areas. Clive is a former headteacher and inspector, having inspected over schools.
His school gained a National Curriculum award and was featured in the Times Educational Supplement, one of three schools recognised for their quality practice.
He was awarded an OBE for his services to education in This FREE download contains information about book scrutiny in primary schools. It includes the '7 strands of excellence' framework to support teachers in carrying out effective book scrutiny in classrooms. It also contains a summary explanation of book scrutiny and why it is necessary. Click the button at the top right of the page to download.
Planning a Learning Challenge Curriculum: Pre-Learning Tasks Pre-learning tasks ensure that learners are directly involved in the planning process.
A visit to special place of interest is one way of achieving this. Another way is to involve visitors coming into the classroom. Both these have been used very successfully to kick off a new learning challenge. These are broken into Year Group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners. Reflecting on Learning and Demonstrate Working at Greater Depth Time for learners to reflect or review their learning is central to the whole process. Ideally, there should be a good deal of learner autonomy evident during reflection time.
Taking into Account the Context of Learners and the Community It is proposed that several of the prime learning challenges should be built around the principle of Community Learning Challenges. Their research should then lead to bespoke prime challenges that are pertinent to each school. Related Publications. Clive Davies, OBE. Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
History Learning Challenge Curriculum Plan. Creating a curriculum that works with Focus English and Focus Maths. Click the button at the top right of the page to download Download. If programs are effective, it might also be prudent to ask whether they provide value for money economic evaluation. Figure 3.
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Some examples of program needs, inputs, activities and outcomes. Process evaluation is particularly helpful where programs fail to achieve their goals. It helps to explain whether that occurred because of a failure of implementation, a design flaw in the program, or because of some external barrier in the operating environment. Process evaluation also helps to build an understanding of the mechanisms at play in successful programs so that they can be replicated and built upon.
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Outcome evaluation usually identifies average effects: were the recipients better off under this program than they would have been in its absence. It can explore who the program had an impact on, to what extent, in what ways, and under what circumstances. This is important because very few programs work for everyone. Identifying people who are not responding to the program helps to target alternative courses of action.
Economic evaluations help us choose between alternatives when we have many known ways of achieving the same outcomes. In these circumstances, the choice often comes down to what is the most effective use of limited resources. If programs are demonstrably ineffective, there is little sense in conducting economic evaluations.
Ineffective programs do not provide value for money. While repeating a school year is relatively uncommon in NSW, it is quite common in some countries such as the United States. It is a practice that has considerable intuitive appeal — if a student is falling behind need the theory is that an additional year of education input will afford them the additional instruction activity required to achieve positive educational outcomes outcome.
Evidence suggests that this is true only for a small proportion of students who are held back. In fact, after one year, students who are held back are on average four months further behind similar-aged peers than they would have been had they not been held back. In situations like this, well-intentioned activities can actually have a negative impact on a majority of students. Once a clear problem statement has been developed, the inputs and activities are identified, and intended outcomes have been established, coherent evaluation questions can be developed. Good evaluation will ask questions such as:.
This is a false dichotomy.
The method employed to answer the research question depends critically on the question itself. Qualitative research usually refers to semi-structured techniques such as in-depth interviews, focus groups or case studies. Quantitative research usually refers to more structured approaches to data collection and analysis where the intention is to make statements about a population derived from a sample. Both approaches will have merit depending on the evaluation question. In-depth interviews and focus groups are often the best ways of understanding whether a program has been implemented as intended and, if not, why not.
These methods have limitations when trying to work out impact because, by definition, information is only gleaned from the people who were interviewed.
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This is where quantitative methods are more appropriate because they can generalise to describe overall effects across all individuals. However, combining both qualitative and quantitative methods can be useful for identifying for whom and under what conditions the program will be effective.
For example, CESE researchers investigating the practices of high-growth NSW schools used quantitative analysis to identify high-growth schools and analyse survey results, and qualitative interviews to find out more about the practices these schools implemented. The possible sources of data to inform evaluation questions are endless. The key issue is to think about the evaluation question and adopt the data and methods that will provide the most robust answer to that question.
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The number one question that most evaluations should set out to answer is: did the program achieve what it set out to achieve? This raises the vexing problem of how to attribute activities to any observed outcomes. No single evaluation approach will give a certain answer to the attribution question. However, some research designs will allow for more certain conclusions that the effects are real and are linked to the program.
CESE uses a simple three-level hierarchy to classify the evidence strength, as shown in Figure 4. There are many variations on this hierarchy, most of which can be found in the health and medical literature. Taking before pre and after post measures is a good start and is often the only way to measure outcomes. However, simple comparisons like this need to be treated cautiously because some outcomes will change over time without any special intervention by schools. This is where reference to benchmarks or comparison groups is critical.
For example, if the typical growth in reading achievement over a specified period of time is known, it can be used to benchmark students against that expected growth. Statements can then be made about whether growth is higher or lower than expected as a result of program activities. An even stronger design is when students or schools, or whatever the target group is comprised of are matched like-for-like with a comparison group. This design is more likely to ensure that differences are due to the program and not due to some other factor or set of factors.
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