During this term, I taught my first communities of philosophical inquiry lesson. Regarding my subject knowledge, it encouraged me to think of my subject in two ways. The first as learning philosophy, and the second doing philosophy. While the A-Level syllabus is interesting and a well-constructed base for further study, by using COPI pedagogy I was able to give more power to my students to lead the discussion and generate their own questions. I would define doing philosophy as searching for clarity on a specific issue or concept, with the aim of being more knowledgeable on what it is you are investigating than you were before. I wish to take this into my further practice, not necessarily the COPI modal but certainly, an awareness that my students must be encouraged to practice doing philosophy as well as learning the philosophy of others.
Teaching and Learning
I had two observations this terms that both went well, one by the head of the department and one by one of my peers on the PGCE. The aspects had to improve on from the last term were leadership, pace and questioning. I was praised for displaying an aptitude in all these areas in my subsequent observation by the Deputy Head. This was a great moment for me, for although there are other areas I need to focus on it does show that I have an aptitude for self-improvement. As long as I can reflect, identify problems and improve upon them I should have what it takes to eventually become a successful teacher. I also tried this term to integrate more ICT into my lessons. One of the tasks I did involve getting one student to make an interactive mind map on the PowerPoint with input from the class, while the class also created their own mind maps. This helped to teach revision techniques and to embed important knowledge.
Having received feedback from Dr McQueen on my assignment, I decided to start turning up to academic writing workshops to better improve. I have three main priorities set by Dr McQueen. The first is to always use description inappropriate places with more use of signposting. Signposting is making the reader aware of what the point I wish to conclude on throughout. I think I can improve both of these points through improving my paragraph structure, making sure each paragraph has a specific purpose with a beginning, middle and end. This also includes the ‘put the octopus in the glass’ advice, in which writers are advised to try and tie all the points they wish to make together. The second priority is to evaluate more. I have realised that while I do use the theory I don’t often relate the theories to each other and then added to the main argument. I think the addition of this will greatly improve the number of high-level points I make. I have been encouraged to use a reflective modal such as Gibbs’s and to be reflexive in my writing, as in being aware of my influence on my own research. Finally, I also wish to use Brookfield’s four lenses in my work. I also need to focus more on referencing, though I admit I was more focused on the content on my first draft. I must make sure to review the assignment with care to reference correctly.