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Essay on Enabling and Assessing Learning

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Section One:

Learning Theories
Various learning theories are nested within my lessons, particularly in Drama and Dance subjects where both theoretical and practical aspects are embedded within one lesson. Firstly, Pavlov, Skinner and Thorndyke’s Behaviourist theory will be discussed (Fairclough 2008). Thorndyke’s experiment on animals (Avis et al, 2010) to encourage ‘learned’ behaviour was through a process of trial and error, rewarding animas with food if they were successful in their task. This taught them to purposefully behaviour in a certain way towards reaching successful goals and effectively being rewarded. Learners are systematically rewarded for aspiring behaviour using the Creating Futures policy within school. Learners receive a creating futures report each term which identifies whether they are outstanding, motivated, coasting or unacceptable in each of their subjects through an attitude matrix. At the end of this report they receive a score, for example, 2.92; above 3 is the score that is high recognised and rewarded with high quality trips, non-uniform days and school discos. This seems to be a successful strategy to encourage ‘learned’ behaviours within school. Learners in lesson often ask what attitude they are working at and how can they achieve that all important outstanding attitude in order to receive a reward. Reinforcement is used through positive language, explaining each lesson what a motivated and outstanding learner looks like; verbal praise and feedback on work and attitudes is given continuously within a lesson. Subsequently behaviourism has received opposing attention for being un-humane and un-ethical. Avis et al, (2010) stated behaviourism is morally deficient in that human beings are treated a...


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...2001). Inside the Black Box: Rising Standards Through Classroom Assessment. London: King’s College London School of Education.
Brookfield, Stephen, D. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Brookbank, A and McGill, I. (2007). Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Maidenhead: Open University press.
Fairclough, M. (2008). Supporting Learners in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Maidenhead: Open University press.
Knight, Pt. (2003). Assessment, Learning and Employability. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Loughran, J. (2010). What Expert Teachers Do. New York: Routledge.
McManus, M. (1995). Troublesome behaviour in the classroom. New York: Routledge.
Ofsted Report. (2011). Manchester. [Accessed Online 25th January 2014]
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/107766


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