WHERE WAS I AIMING? The next stage for me was to attempt to define what success would constitute for me. The area on which I was working is of course one of the most fundamental problems facing teachers in comprehensive education, and I couldn't hope to solve it in two weeks! I realised that it was essential for me to achieve something concrete in order to have completed an Action Research enquiry. I therefore isolated the following as the aim of my research.
From every lesson, there is a fundamental concept/fact/skill around which the lesson is based. (Do you think this could perhaps be backed up by evidence of reading on the subject? ) I would isolate this and try to ensure that every child in my class had mastered at least this (if not, then I have not succeeded). There would of course be various extensions to this for brighter pupils. I would then devise some form of concrete 'test' which would confirm that all pupils had achieved at least this.
I then set about defining my view of 'an ideal lesson' from this point of view:
"As a teacher, I would reduce the content of a lesson to one basic concept/fact/skill. I would plan my lesson around this, making the lesson accessible to all children in terms of language, boardwork, explanation and materials. In addition, I would build various extensions to this so that brighter pupils were stretched (rather than being bored). During the lesson, all pupils would feel involved, and would be able to participate to an extent. All children would be occupied at all times. At no time should a child in this class be bored or threatened by material that they could not cope with. At the end of the lesson every child should have a feeling of satisfaction as a result of what they had learnt, and I as their teacher, should be able to produce concrete evidence that every child has learnt something. " (I would hope to find comments later on from pupils to confirm or deny this. The comments and feelings of the pupils in this situation certainly could be part of the evidence you bring to make claims to validity. Do they feel satisfaction or not? )
I was aware of course that this was idealistic, but felt that it was important to keep this 'ideal' firmly in my head. After all, isn't Action Research about converting ideals into reality? (Absolutely! )