Practitioner Enquiry
What I wanted to change in my group.
From September 2003 until December 2003 I taught an AVCE Leisure and Recreation unit titled ‘Health and Safety in the Leisure and Recreation Industry’ to 15 first year students. In January 2004 students completed a course forum. The chosen headings were: course delivery, ethos and atmosphere, resources, homework, feedback and support. It emerged that students had some negative feelings about their learning experiences – the subject was boring and this inhibited their motivation to learn. The focus of this study was the process and experience of learning with the aim of improving student motivation to learn.
How I went about this.
The College was supporting the concept of Multiple Intelligences, Emotional Intelligence and were investing in classroom based smartboard technology. This presented an opportunity to revisit the scheme of work, lessons plans and classroom activities with the aim of tailoring lesson delivery to meet the needs of a greater variety of student learning needs, creating learning resources and the opportunity for students to express their feelings more frequently. The same course forum statements were presented to the same number of students in the following year group and the results compared.
What the results were for the group
The results demonstrated that students found learning a ‘boring’ subject an enjoyable experience. However, students needed to understand that process: what it entails, what it means, what it looks like; otherwise they will fail to understand their relationship with learning.
What I learned
Students who had never been introduced to Emotional Intelligence considered the idea of expressing their feelings about their own learning as ‘stupid’ and this feeling may inhibit their learning. Students who had been introduced to but had only a shallow understanding of the concept of Emotional Intelligence and learning styles preferred to watch videos and be passive learners, they failed to understand the significance of what learning is about. Future groups will learn to learn through the tutorial and in class support that teaches them about EI and MI.
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