The focus area for the action research is teaching and assessing for deep understanding. Being able to assess for deep understanding, means being able to teach for deep understanding. The aim of this research is to explore teaching strategies that will assist students in their deep understanding in areas of Mathematics. This understanding must be meaningful and applicable to their everyday lives. Students would then be able to apply this understanding to other situations.
The action research model will be based on ‘Plan, Act, Observe, Reflect’. The research will be conducted on thirty two, year 4 students (aged 9-10years). Research will be conducted over a three week period (25th March to 11th April). (Please note NSW school holidays are 12th April to 28th April.)
Initially, the ‘planning’ stage of the action research will begin with the review of literature on teaching for deep understanding and quality assessments (Quality Teaching in NSW Public Schools). The Mathematics content to be taught to students will be looked at closely to ensure complete understanding by the teacher while teaching the lesson.
Once the above information has been analysed students will then complete a questionnaire that will identify the type of learner each student is, according to Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. A class discussion will be had where students will be asked about how they think they can learn best and what assessment tasks they think may show understanding.
The next stage will be the ‘acting’ stage where teaching strategies will be implemented into lessons followed by assessment tasks later on. Where possible, the class will be questioned about lessons and their understanding of the content being taught. Discussions with teaching peers will be ongoing.
The ‘observation’ stage will, at times, be occurring during the previous stage also. This stage involves identifying key issues and experiences that make a difference and...