Examine and critically analyse a topic based approach to teaching and supporting learning in humanities.
In the following assignment it is intended to critically analyse and evaluate a topic based approach to teaching and supporting learning in humanities. A six week scheme of work has been produced showing progression in teaching and supporting learning of knowledge, key skills and concepts in humanities. This will then be evaluated as a whole planning process. I will then go onto discuss the topic based approach promoting geography, history and R.E. The strengths and weaknesses will be examined using examples of children’s experiences. This large junior school serves a predominantly Asian community in an urban area of Blackburn. A significant proportion of families have the support of social services or other agencies. The proportion of pupils claiming free school meals is well above average. When they enter the school, pupils’ attainment is well below average and a higher than average number enter or leave partway through the junior years. The majority of pupils are learning English as an additional language. Most are of Pakistani or Indian heritage, a small proportion being Bangladeshi, White British or mixed Asian and British. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities is above average. Confidentiality will be assured throughout this analysis with no names of the school or teachers will be mentioned.
The planning of a topic based approach could be proven to be a lengthy process. In order for me to begin my planning, a topic had to be chosen. At this stage it was important for me to choose an interesting topic area which will not only interest the children, but to interest me as well. This was important as I chose to plan for ‘World War 2’ to begin with. As this did not interest me, the planning became become very difficult and therefore the teaching and learning process would have become even worse. It was essential that I had an interest in the topic as this would create towards the teaching. In my opinion an enthusiastic teacher leads towards enthusiastic learners, therefore making the learning experience further enjoyable. “making use of schemes of work. These provide a valuable framework but it is important to realise that you are expected to personalise the materials to make them applicable to your own situation...the benefits of using personal experiences, enthusiasm and themes which are of particular interest to them as teachers. This is likely to lead to a higher degree of engagement” (Kathy Alcock, 2004)
Therefore I chose to plan for the topic ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Within my mind map brainstorms of ideas were drawn together branching to which specific humanities subject there were linked to. Some activities were cross linked to the other areas of the curriculum. Once these activities were separated, the knowledge, skills and concepts were identified. This was a difficult process, however using prior from lesson and observing these in practice in school by the class teacher made it easier to perform. Following on from this process, the activities were placed in the scheme of work. This was done first. The objectives, taken from the national curriculum handbook, were adapted in relation to the activities. Analysing the views of some teachers given, “when planning a topic, I have found it easier to base the activities around the objectives chosen” (teacher, YR 6), however I chose to adapt the objectives around the activities as I found it more sense. It was found that some objectives did overlap over activities. This was seen to an advantage as it showed that children could relate to previous knowledge and it would also enable further progression
According to the planning cycle above, it was important that I adhered to it. Each part of the process is linked to the next one; therefore it was...