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Active Learning in History


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#1 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 19 November 2003 - 10:26 AM

Active Learning in the History Classroom

Active Learning activities are highly important teaching tools that are often discarded by teachers because of the level of ‘risk’ involved in them. I would argue that the use of active teaching and learning techniques actually minimises the ‘risk’ by providing a greater variety of learning options to students: thus engaging them more and increasing their level of interest.

Active learning sessions cater for students whose learning preference fits into any, or several, of the Visual, Aural, Reading / Writing and Kinaesthetic styles. Through a range of carefully constructed questions and tasks students think critically, develop their empathy with the people involved in the ‘real’ events and, in my experience at least, form a much better understanding of how a range of complex factors can combine to cause further events. In addition to this active learning places the responsibility for learning in the hands of the student, and helps to develop their independent learning skills.

One model of active learning notes that through active learning students gain experience of doing and observing, and supplement this with dialogue with themselves and with others.

Dialogue with self is an important part of active learning. It allows the student time to reflect upon what they have learn and experienced and is a very effective method of assessing the outcomes of any active learning session.

Encouraging dialogue with others as part of active learning stimulates debate, is often more dynamic than teacher led discussion and allows students to engage in conversation with a range of people whom they may not otherwise have an opportunity to work with.

Observing is important as it allows the student the opportunity to learn from other peoples actions or demonstrations and may prompt them to look at issues in new ways. This experience is much more valuable if time for reflection is planned – and I’d have thought this is the thing that is most often left out of planning for this type of activity.

The doing is of course vital, though it an take many forms. In this seminar I would like to discuss different types of active learning, and ask people to share their own activities and thoughts on effective active learning.


L Dink of Oklahoma University suggests the following as a method of implmenting active learning in the classroom:

So, what can a teacher do who wants to use this model to incorporate more active learning into his/her teaching? I would recommend the following three suggestions, each of which involves a more advanced use of active learning.

Expand the Kinds of Learning Experiences You Create.
The most traditional teaching consists of little more than having students read a text and listen to a lecture, a very limited and limiting form of Dialogue with Others. Consider using more dynamic forms of Dialogue with Others and the other three modes of learning. For example:


Create small groups of students and have them make a decision or answer a focused question periodically,

Find ways for students to engage in authentic dialogue with people other than fellow classmates who know something about the subject (on the web, by email, or live),

Have students keep a journal or build a "learning portfolio" about their own thoughts, learning, feelings, etc.,

Find ways of helping students observe (directly or vicariously) the subject or action they are trying to learn, and/or

Find ways to allow students to actually do (directly, or vicariously with case studies, simulation or role play) that which they need to learn to do.

Take Advantage of the "Power of Interaction."
Each of the four modes of learning has its own value, and just using more of them should add variety and thereby be more interesting for the learner. However, when properly connected, the various learning activities can have an impact that is more than additive or cumulative; they can be interactive and thereby multiply the educational impact.

For example, if students write their own thoughts on a topic (Dialogue with Self) before they engage in small group discussion (Dialogue with Others), the group discussion should be richer and more engaging. If they can do both of these and then observe the phenomena or action (Observation), the observation should be richer and again more engaging. Then, if this is followed by having the students engage in the action itself (Doing), they will have a better sense of what they need to do and what they need to learn during doing. Finally if, after Doing, the learners process this experience by writing about it (Dialogue with Self) and/or discussing it with others (Dialogue with Others), this will add further insight. Such a sequence of learning activities will give the teacher and learners the advantage of the Power of Interaction.

Alternatively, advocates of Problem-Based Learning would suggest that a teacher start with "Doing" by posing a real problem for students to work on, and then having students consult with each other (Dialogue with Others) on how best to proceed in order to find a solution to the problem. The learners will likely use a variety of learning options, including Dialogue with Self and Observing.


Create a Dialectic Between Experience and Dialogue.
One refinement of the Interaction Principle described above is simply to create a dialectic between the two principle components of this Model of Active Learning: Experience and Dialogue. New experiences (whether of Doing or Observing) have the potential to give learners a new perspective on what is true (beliefs) and/or what is good (values) in the world. Dialogue (whether with Self or with Others) has the potential to help learners construct the many possible meanings of experience and the insights that come from them. A teacher who can creatively set up a dialectic of learning activities in which students move back and forth between having rich new experiences and engaging in deep, meaningful dialogue, can maximize the likelihood that the learners will experience significant and meaningful learning.



#2 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:19 AM

There have been several previous threads relating to different forms of active learning:

Roleplay

Je Sui le Roi

Treatuy of Versailles - negotiation game

Medieval Medicine simulation

The Trading game

A Thousand years of History in an hour.

Do different departments map out the places that they include active learning? Should they?

I'd argue that to help ensure that all learning styles are catered for in each SoW, that departments should include references to available active learning opportunities and have an expectation on staff to use a selection of these.

What resources for active learning would people recommend?

I've successfully made use of some of the activities in the teachers pack that accompanies Essential Health and Medicine Through time.

#3 alison denton

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:01 PM

Great posts so far, Dan!

I would argue that the unwillingness by teachers to embrace the ideas you talk about is the single biggest barrier to effective learning for pupils at the moment.

Wearing one of my other hats, I visit other schools and observe history lessons frequently. I see what happens in my own school. There are many staff - both experienced and fairly newly qualified - who simply teach in the same way, or a close variation on it, all the time. Many are unwilling to engage with the intellectual research about how their pupils learn. the learning experience in the classroom is reduced to 'will they pass the exam' and 'will they be quiet so I can do my marking'. The role of the pupil is passive not active, and pupils are rarely involved in planning their own learning, rather, they react to what the teacher has decided for them.

We have had some suparb INSET in recent years, and I have tried to improve my own planning to look at it all from the pupils' perspectives. I want them to be engaged - straight away. Using active learning techniques has enabled my pupils to understand what they have been learning more deeply: the understanding is embedded by the process they have to go through to get there. They are much more easily able to make connections with previous learning as it all fits together - to solve a problem they must think outside the box, they are not passive in the process.
The pupils are better at history skills because they really have to USE them, not learn about them in theory, and their motivation has gone through the roof. I am expecting about 85% take-up for history GCSE from the Y9 classes I teach. They are confident of thinking for themselves, as even if the end result is a bit off-target, the process can be praised, and pupils can see where they could have made other choices. They especially benefit from learning from their peers, and will OFTEN correct each other.

Happy customers all round!

#4 alison denton

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:09 PM

I would agree that departments should exemplify good active learning opportunities, and have an expectation on staff to use a range of them. Pupils are entitled to the very best provision we can make for them, and as not all of them learn by being told a story and expected to write notes or answer (comprehension) questions, it follows that we must provide variety. Pupils should, in any case, be presented with learining opportunities which challlenge their 'comfort zones'.

Off the top of my head (and after 2 glasses of wine!) I'd recommend:

1. 'Thinking through History' by Peter Fisher published by cambridge 2002 ISBN 1 899857 44 3. Full of brilliant ideas.

2. dragonfly Training (they have a website) - Great Fire of London create a newspaper in 2 lessons (2hrs) from no knowledge, in groups. never fails.

Will post more when I have more time!!!

#5 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:58 PM

Great posts so far, Dan!

I would argue that the unwillingness by teachers to embrace the ideas you talk about is the single biggest barrier to effective learning for pupils at the moment.

Wearing one of my other hats, I visit other schools and observe history lessons frequently. I see what happens in my own school. There are many staff - both experienced and fairly newly qualified - who simply teach in the same way, or a close variation on it, all the time. Many are unwilling to engage with the intellectual research about how their pupils learn. the learning experience in the classroom is reduced to 'will they pass the exam' and 'will they be quiet so I can do my marking'. The role of the pupil is passive not active, and pupils are rarely involved in planning their own learning, rather, they react to what the teacher has decided for them.

Thanks Alison, some very intereesting points here.

I'd agree that there is a general unwillingness to embrace active learning. Thats probably not true of the people who regularly contribute to the forum but from my own observations of teaching in general it is a more than fair assessment: I recall asking for use of the gym, to be asked 'What the hell are you doing?' when I got the students into groups and asked them to interact with each other... (Medieval Medicine simulkation, already noted in a previous post - also the BEST lesson I have ever taught, though 'noisy' and therefore 'not on' in the minds of some).

Within my own department there is an acceptance of the need to involve students. I am fortunate to have two colleagues who are more than willing to dress up, look silly, march up and down and engage students in whatever way is appropriate to deelop their understanding of whatever theme we are covering. However we don't do it as often as any of us would like. Development of effective active learning takes time and needs to be carefully planned. OK, once its worked once it can be used again and again - but, and again this is a generalisation, to plan an active learnign session of, say 1 hours duration, you'll spend 4-5 hours planning it. Fine if it can be used with multiple groups and year after yar BUT the current lack of planning time is certainly inhibiting this type of development. This is one reason why sharng our ieas and / or resources is so important: it makes it so much easier to cater for the learning preferences of our students.

Alison alludes to the generla state of 'working o the exam' that we tend to find ourselves in at KS4. There are ways around this which I am sure are more engaging than a sit down, shut up and revise session - or indeed a literacy based session. Things such as living timelines, hotseating and short roleplays of situations will be as, if not more, effective methods of revising key issues: for Medicine Through Time involvement in big Active Hiostory productions such as 'The Doctors Show' will also help - as will incorporation of ideas uch as the one outlined in the '1000 years of history in an hour' thread - see above for link.

#6 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:04 PM

As an aside:

Active Learning does include things noted in many of the other seminars. Interaction via Online Simulations, for example, is effective deployment of active learning. These ideas haven't been forgotten by e, rather they have been left to one side as active learning via ICT is an area covered elsewhere on the forum: though use of E Communications hasn't yet been developed fully - any comments on that point ought to be the foucus of a differnt thread and could be the source of a new seminar.

#7 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:06 PM

Living Timelines:

I was introduced to Living Timelines via the forum and have used them fairly frequently since. They have proven to be extremely popular with students and have resulted in some very good work being produced in follow up work.

What is a Living Timeline and how do you create one in the classroom?

There are several ways of using a Living Timeline in the classroom. This is an explanation of one way that I have done it. teaching the Industrial Revolution to year 9 earlier this year. I wanted them to be aware of the 'big picture' rather than limit them to the few major events and personalities that timetable constraints mean we are stuck with. I prepared 30 cards. Each card contained a different event. The events were briefly described and an image was inserted into the card to illustrate it. Any 'fun facts' that I could find were added at the bottom.

These cards were jumbled - though not randomly, I ensured that they were in a specific order based on my seating plan to allow for differentiated follow up tasks.

The students had to then:

- move around the room and put themselves into chronological order.
- describe the event in a few sentences.

We discussed the types of event that had been noted and the class came up with a list of categories. These, I think, were Political, Economic, Conflict and Inventions.

The next task was to create mini timelines of each category - again through movement around the room, discussion with other students and occasionally use of reference books and dictionaries for clarification.

The whole activity lasted around 25 minutes, including my instructions and explanation of the objectives. Follow up work was group based tasks looking at the significance of changes and the impact they had - followed by presentations of their findings.

Easy to plan - a quick search on google found all the images and descriptions needed.

Effective - all of the groups could note the main features of categories and were able to provide examples of change and continuity. It also allowed students with varied learning preferences to access the content - they talked, used images, moved around etc...

#8 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 09:13 PM

In addition to my last post:

The lesson was a two hour session which allowed that type of activity to be included as a starter activity.

The task can be cut down to size a little for hour long lessons by:

- reducing the number of events and doing it in 2 or 3 groups - this adds in the element of competition though it does require a little more planning - a simple instruction sheet should suffice.

The cards can also be easily adapted to make use of the 'Play your dates right' idea that was suggested as a Starter activity a long time ago (See Russel's interactive version).

Alternative uses of the task include sequencing causes, course and consequences of specific events. This can help to illustrate the fact that there are a range of different factors leading to events and similarly a range of consequences. Students can be asked to 'label' themselves after moving into order - long term / short term and type of cause / consequence are easy enough to integrate.

Edited to add:

These activities might be of use - a range of simulations for the classroom.

#9 Jacko

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 10:47 PM

Does anyone else video the pupils during active learning sessions? I do this once or twice a year - which is not enough because the kids love it - but it does take losts of organising.

My favourite is when we do the execution of Charles I as a BBC 6 O'Clock News with Year 8. They are put into groups of 7 or 8 (basically the class is divided into 4 groups) and given the task. They have to produce a 5 minute news bulletin on the death of King Charles in the style of a modern news broadcast. We look at a recent news broadcast to get some idea of the format.

Before they start planning the programme they have to research the events of the day. When they have satisfied me that they have done this properly they can start planning the broadcast. The format looks something like this:

* 1 or 2 newscasters telling the headline story of the day.

* Flashback to the execuction itself (you would not believe how imaginatively some of them manager to get the head cut off!)

* Interviewer in the street talking to people of diverse opinions on the matter.

* "Expert" in the studio discussing the possible consequences of the event.

We then have one lesson where all the productions are filmed by me with a video camera. Each group has 15 minutes so they can produce their programme in sections - setting up the scenes and telling me when to stop and start filming.

The next lesson is spent watching what has been produced - the kids have a mark sheet in front of them with a number of criteria on relating to serious things like the historical accuracy of the programme, the extent to which both sides of the argument are put forward, etc. It also includes a mark for the giggle factor because some of them are very funny! After each programme is shown they are given a couple of minutes to mark it then we discuss what we have decided and reach a class consensus

So we end up with active learning, pupils directing their own research, group co-operation, peer assessment and NO BLIDDY MARKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 John Simkin

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 08:04 AM

I was first converted to the idea of active learning when I read Jerome Bruner’s books, The Process of Education (1965) and Towards a Theory of Instruction (1966) while studying for my PGCE. Bruner’s ideas were pushed very hard during my course at Sussex (does it still happen today?). The concept of active learning has dominated my thinking ever since. The major reason for setting up Tressell Publications in 1978 was to promote active learning in the classroom. It has also been the theme of my two seminars: The Student as Teacher and Online Simulations.

So far no one who has contributed to this debate has argued against active learning. I suspect no one will. Yet all the evidence suggests that most teachers rarely employ active learning techniques in the classroom. Even Ofsted inspectors complain that most of what they see in the classroom involves passive learning.

I have been involved in providing INSET on active learning for over 20 years. Although teachers are usually afraid to argue against active learning they are often unwilling to employ these techniques in the classroom. There are several reasons for this. First of all teachers develop habits very early in their careers. Once formed they are difficult to change. In fact, teachers become convinced that their very survival in the classroom depends of maintaining what Bruner describes as their “transmission ideology”. The methods used in the classroom is very much part of the teacher’s attempts to maintain control of the situation. This includes not only what the student does but what the student learns. Ofsted inspectors might complain about the large amount of passive learning that goes on in the classroom but it is their very existence that ensures this situation will continue.

Bruner points out that passive learning is when a student receives content decided by someone else. It is what he calls “meaning-receiving”. Active learning strategies involves the student entering a dialogue with the teacher to interpret and reinterpret the world. In this process the learner “makes meanings” by mastering methods of learning that involve them learning to explore past, present and future problems. The main objective is to get the learner to arrive at a point where they are capable of making all the decisions about study, appropriate content, appropriate methods and appropriate assessments. The student are encouraged to strive to create new knowledge and fresh understandings. Their role is dynamic, not static. In other words, the motivation for learning eventually becomes intrinsic.

Despite the complaints by Ofsted inspectors about passive learning, all educational reforms that have taken place over the last 20 years have worked against active learning. The emphasis has been on the teacher deciding on what is to be learnt. So much so that it has to be written down beforehand and the teacher will be ultimately judged on the ability to fulfil these objectives. Students therefore learn for extrinsic reasons. That is to say they learn to avoid disagreeable consequences if they do not, e.g. low marks, non-promotion, punishment, censure. They are taught to satisfy short-term needs and not to help them become independent, life-long learners.

While we continue with this mad assessment system active learning will remain the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately, students will have to leave the education system before they can become intrinsic learners.

#11 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 09:07 AM

Medieval Medicine – a role-play activity for GCSE students

This activity pack is the result of ideas formed and shared on this forum.

Medieval medicine is a combination of game, role-play and revision exercise. It combines researched material with simulation to allow students to further develop their understanding of Medicine during the medieval era.

Teachers should familiarize themselves with the roles assigned to students prior to using the pack. Some students will benefit from having additional resources provided, such as source material that relates to different beliefs and treatments. Similarly the pack can be adapted to make it more immediately accessible. These roles are outlined in these documents, downloadable from my website:

Notes for doctors

Notes for patients

The game allows for discreet differentiation, allowing students of all abilities to access the exercise. More able students would find the role of the doctors particularly challenging as these roles can be used to encourage detailed research prior to the activity and an acute awareness of the beliefs systems and treatments during the exercise. Lower attaining students will be able to develop their understanding of the range of treatment types, and should have developed an awareness of the differing sets of belief that were prevalent during the Middle ages.

Instructions and suggestions for use:

NB: ‘doctors’ is used within these suggestions as a generic term for all of the different characters offering treatment.

Select up to 8 students to act as ‘doctors’ during the activity. Provide these students with their character cards that explain their beliefs and preferred treatments. These students should either be required to research this form of medicine in detail as a preparation for the activity, or provided with an overview of the type of treatments they can offer.

Give the remainder of the group character cards. These outline their condition and beliefs.

Remind students that they are medieval people during the simulation. They should try and remember that beliefs and knowledge were different. Some of the cures that they may find laughable were commonplace, and in some instances worked (Bloodletting, herbal remedies etc. Even the use of charms often had a positive psychological effect).

Seat the doctors around the classroom and ask them to ready themselves for the onslaught of the ill, old and infirm. (I use the sportshall for this to provide enough space for movement around the room - I also do the activity with approximately 50 students).

Students should seek the advice of the different doctors and note down their thoughts about the treatment that was being offered. Once they have spoken to each of the doctors they should select one treatment that they belief is the most suitable for their ailment.

Doctors should make a brief note of the treatment they have offered each patient.

All students in role as patients can be awarded points for :

1. Correctly assessing the nature of their illness or injury.
2. Stating the positive and/ or negative aspects of each treatment offered.
3. Selecting the correct treatment.

Students in role as doctors can be awarded points for:

1. Correct diagnosis of the illness.
2. Prescription of a treatment that fits in with the belief system they have been required to work within.
3. Prescription of the most suitable and/ or likely treatment for each ailment.

Students should make thee notes whilst in the ‘waiting room’ of each of the different doctors. This should prevent them having time off task between their appointments. Teachers may also want to encourage students to discuss the cures offered to each other whilst they await the verdict of the next doctor.

At the end of the activity the teacher should provide an overview of the types of cures on offer and their suitability for each ailment suffered. It is possible to calculate individual students scores at this time should the teacher wish to do so. Alternatively scrutiny of record sheets will allow the teacher to assess the level of understanding for each student.

What do students need for this activity?

A character card
A recording sheet
Pre-prepared ‘cures’ sheets. (Optional)

Ideally students are dressed in role - though this is often easier said than done.

We try to ensure that we video at least one interview per doctor - and as many of the other students as is possible.

There are various opportunities for assessment here. Self assessment is easy, students can reflect on their ability to recognise different beliefs and cures. Peer assessment can be done via analysis of the video and / or as feedback given during the debrief. Written tasks based on medical practice at the time are an integral part of the follow up work as well, offering more traditional forms of assessment of their understanding.

#12 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 09:25 AM

5 examples of Active Learning opportunities from Ian Dawson. MS Word Document.

An Alternative Approach to Teaching History an article by Rodney White.

Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom by Charles C. Bonwell and James A. Eison.

http://www.interactiveclassroom.com/ - several related articles and ideas can be found on this American website.

#13 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 02:00 PM

This activity was designed for my more able students in Year 9 a few years ago.

Students are placed into 6 groups. Each group receives a brief description of who they are and what their interests are. They have to consider the developments thhat happen over a period of around 100 years and explain the consequences of these and the likely reaction to these events by people whom they've been asked to empathise with.

I've run the activity in two ways. First say in groups acting as political pressure groups trying to persuade the council (me) to make changes best suited to their interests. The developments are given to groups at irregular intervals so that they have to think quickly and focus their discussions.

The second method was to ask several students to stand as a local MP. They were canvassing the opinions of te electorate - and things changed during this process. Resources in addition to those below were also used for this version.

The basic resources used for this activity:

Group 1

The Year is 1800. You make your living as a wool comber in the villages surrounding Bradford. You and your family form a vital part of the Domestic system in place in the region. The family rears the sheep, shears them and treats the wool prior to it being spun down and cropped in the city centre. You have to work every day of the week but have a moderate income.

Discussion points:

·What concerns would you have at this point in history? Is there anything that you would like to see changed or improved or are you satisfied with life as it is? Make a note of your thoughts.

Development 1

Samuel Lister, a local entrepreneur, has developed a machine that can comb wool. As a result of this the number of wool combers needed in Bradford drops significantly. Many of your colleagues are suddenly finding themselves unable to find work, and there are very few vacancies in the new mills as the machines are not labour intensive.

Discussion points:

·What welfare provisions are available to the suddenly unemployed wool combers?
·What fears would you and your family have?
·What possible options are open to you?

Development 2

You were lucky enough to find a job as a cropper in Bradford. You have a steady job that pays a good wage. Industry seems to be booming so you are interested to find that following the success of the Bridgewater Canal and several other man-made waterways a group of investors have joined together and built a canal stretching from Leeds to Liverpool. Bradford’s industrialists have subscribed to the scheme and an ‘offshoot’ of the Canal runs from Saltaire to the centre of Bradford.

Discussion points:

·What are the likely outcomes of this canal for you?
·Will your livelihood be more or less secure as a result?
·Is this development good or bad for the people of Bradford in your opinion?

Development 3

A new machine has been developed that can cleanly cut cloth to size and in a variety of shapes. This new ‘Frame’ can do the work of a cropper; is relatively inexpensive to buy and is easy and fast to use. As a result of the introduction of this new machine you are made redundant. Croppers all over England have met a similar fate. (See ‘The Luddites’ in the living through history textbook).

Discussion points:

·What prospects for work are there for you?
·What options are open to you?
·What do you do to try and solve the problems that you, your family and your friends are now facing?
·What reasons are there for introducing the machinery to the mills in Bradford?

Development 4

The Great Northern Railway Company has opened two stations in Bradford. These link Bradford with the other great centres of commerce, such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Heavy goods can now be transported around the country with ease and demand for products made in Bradford sours as a result. Thousands of new jobs are created as a result of this and houses are rapidly built to cater for the influx of navvies, labourers and mill workers who are attracted by the promise of a job. You are now working as a machine operator in a dye-house (a place where wool is coloured). You live in rented accommodation in Bradford.

Discussion points:

·How has the coming of the railways affected your life?
·What are the positive and negative consequences of the coming of the railways?
·Has the process of industrialisation improved the quality of life for people in Bradford?

Group 2

The Year is 1800. You run a textiles company from the wool exchange in Bradford. You are very happy with the quality of your product and are starting to get orders from all over the country. Demand is far outweighing supply at the moment: a lot of potential profit is being lost. You are relatively wealthy and are keen to expand your business.

Discussion points:

·What types of improvement to the national infrastructure are you interested in seeing?
·What is your major concern at the moment?

Development 1

Samuel Lister, a local entrepreneur, has developed a machine that can comb wool. The machine has the capacity to reduce output time by 100% and is relatively cheap to purchase. Your new premises have had 10 of these new machines installed and your wage bill has been reduced dramatically.

Discussion points:

·What are the positive outcomes of this invention for your business?
·What further developments would allow you to increase sales?
·Are there any negative outcomes of the introduction of this machine?

Development 2

Following the success of the Bridgewater Canal and several other man-made waterways a group of investors have joined together and built a canal stretching from Leeds to Liverpool. Bradford’s industrialists have subscribed to the scheme and an ‘offshoot’ of the Canal runs from Saltaire to the centre of Bradford.

Discussion points:

·How will this new form of transport aid you business?
·What are the likely threats to your share of the market place?
Development 3

A new machine has been developed that can cleanly cut cloth to size and in a variety of shapes. This new ‘Frame’ can do the work of a cropper; is relatively inexpensive to buy and is easy and fast to use. You have had 4 of these machines fitted in your factory.

Discussion points:

·How will your workers react to this invention?
·What effect will the machine have on your business?
·Will the purchase of these machines by lots of mill owners’ impact upon the life of the workers in Bradford?

Development 4

The Great Northern Railway Company has opened two stations in Bradford. These link Bradford with the other great centres of commerce, such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Heavy goods can now be transported around the country with ease and demand for products made in Bradford sours as a result.

·In ways do you gain from the transport revolution?
·How has the development of new technology improved your business?
·What, if anything, would you say have been the negative outcomes of the industrial revolution?

Group 3

The year is 1800. You are extremely wealthy, having inherited a lot of money when your uncle died. You are interested in improving the life of people in the town of Bradford. You have many contacts and are well liked by both rich and poor. You have no business interests and are not interested in making any further profit, as you are wealthy enough as it is.

Discussion points:

·As someone who is interested in social welfare what would be the major areas of concern for you at the time?
·How do you think you could make a difference?

Development 1

Samuel Lister, a local entrepreneur, has developed a machine that can comb wool. As a result the city has seen a rapid change in working practices. The wool combers are no longer needed; machinery can do their jobs. Industrialists are delighted with the developments but you are concerned about the social implications.

Discussion points:

·Why are you concerned about the introduction of the Wool-combing machine?
·What sorts of thing could wealthy sympathisers realistically do to help those in need at the time?

Development 2

Following the success of the Bridgewater Canal and several other man-made waterways a group of investors have joined together and built a canal stretching from Leeds to Liverpool. Bradford’s industrialists have subscribed to the scheme and an ‘offshoot’ of the Canal runs from Saltaire to the centre of Bradford.

Discussion points:

·How will the canal help to improve conditions in Bradford?
·What fears do you now have about the future for poorer people working in Bradford?

Development 3

A new machine has been developed that can cleanly cut cloth to size and in a variety of shapes. This new ‘Frame’ can do the work of a cropper; is relatively inexpensive to buy and is easy and fast to use. As a result the mill owners are replacing the skilled and highly paid croppers with machines that can be run by unskilled, low paid workers. Thousands of workers in Bradford are made redundant as a result.

Discussion points:

·What arguments can be put forward to suggest that the mill owners do not care about the workers?
·What welfare legislation do you want to see introduced as a result of the changes you have seen so far?

Development 4

The Great Northern Railway Company has opened two stations in Bradford. These link Bradford with the other great centres of commerce, such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Heavy goods can now be transported around the country with ease and demand for products made in Bradford sours as a result. This results in an influx of workers and the rapid construction of new homes. This in turn leads to many problems such as overcrowding and disease.

Discussion points:

·How has Industrialisation led to poorer conditions in towns and cities?
·What could be done to improve the situation?
·Who’s duty is it to make these improvements? (Why?)

Group 4

The year is 1800. You own a large farm that provides dairy products and rears sheep. You sell your good in Bradford and sometimes in Leeds. You are interested in developing your farm as you believe that you can continue to profit from the local Wool Trade but also from increasing the output of the farm: demand is rising but you cannot afford any more land.

Discussion points:

·What type of developments would enable you to increase output whilst still using the same amount of land?
·What changes to the national infrastructure would you like to see?

Development 1

Samuel Lister, a local entrepreneur, has developed a machine that can comb wool. As a result the demand for raw wool has increased rapidly.

Discussion points:

·In what ways could you benefit financially from this development?
·In what ways might you lose out financially in the short term as a result of the changes this leads to?
·Are you happy that the wool-combing industry has been mechanised?

Development 2

Following the success of the Bridgewater Canal and several other man-made waterways a group of investors have joined together and built a canal stretching from Leeds to Liverpool. Bradford’s industrialists have subscribed to the scheme and an ‘offshoot’ of the Canal runs from Saltaire to the centre of Bradford.

Discussion points:

·What does the canal enable you to do that you couldn’t achieve previously?
·How might the canal make it cheaper for you to farm?

Development 3

A new type of animal feed has been introduced that, combined with a new approach to milking cows, enables the each cow to produce up to 50% more milk than before.

Discussion points:

·How is this new technology going to impact upon your business?
·What are the benefits of increased technology for farmers?

Development 4

The Great Northern Railway Company has opened two stations in Bradford. These link Bradford with the other great centres of commerce, such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Heavy goods can now be transported around the country with ease and demand for products made in Bradford sours as a result.

Discussion points:

·How will this help your business?

Group 5

The year is 1800. You are the lord mayor of Bradford. You are very proud of the growing reputation of the town as a producer of excellent wool. You hope that Industry in the town will be able to flourish over the coming years. You are very supportive of the mill owners.

Discussion points:

·What changes to the national infrastructure would you like to see?
·What sorts of things would you be able to do to help businesses grow?

Development 1

Samuel Lister, a local entrepreneur, has developed a machine that can comb wool. This has led to a rapid change is the way that Bradford produces Wool. Factories are quickly changing to mechanised methods and the cities output of woollen goods is higher than ever before.

Discussion points:

·Why would the Lord mayor be very pleased with the invention of the Wool Combing machine?
·Would the lord mayor and the aldermen have to deal with any awkward situations as a result of the changes to the way wool was processed in Bradford?
·Only landowners could vote at the time. Why would the Lord mayor be pleased that Industrialisation was occurring?

Development 2

Following the success of the Bridgewater Canal and several other man-made waterways a group of investors have joined together and built a canal stretching from Leeds to Liverpool. Bradford’s industrialists have subscribed to the scheme and an ‘offshoot’ of the Canal runs from Saltaire to the centre of Bradford. You are also coming up for re-election in Bradford.

Discussion points:

·How will the opening of the canal help you to win the election?
·Who will gain from the introduction of the Canal?
·Will anybody be upset by the introduction of this new form of transport?

Development 3

A new machine has been developed that can cleanly cut cloth to size and in a variety of shapes. This new ‘Frame’ can do the work of a cropper; is relatively inexpensive to buy and is easy and fast to use. Factory owners across Bradford have bought these machines and laid off the croppers who had previously done this difficult job. The croppers are rebelling against the mass unemployment and are rioting and smashing machines (See ‘The Luddites’ in Living through history).

Discussion points:

·As Lord Mayor should your sympathies be with the factory owners or the workers?
·What action should you take to ensure that the riots don’t continue?


Development 4

The Great Northern Railway Company has opened two stations in Bradford. These link Bradford with the other great centres of commerce, such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Heavy goods can now be transported around the country with ease and demand for products made in Bradford sours as a result. Many workers and labourers from across the country head for Bradford and set up home here. Thousands of new homes are built to accommodate them.

Discussion points:

·How does this improve Bradford economically?
·What should you be looking to improve in the city?

#14 Rachel Jones

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:18 PM

Active Learning activities are highly important teaching tools that are often discarded by teachers because of the level of ‘risk’ involved in them.

I have to totally agree with this statement. To the point that I'm quite nervous of posting here simply as it requires me to review my attempt at active learning and to try and work out where it went wrong which will hopefully persuade me that it is actually worth giving it another go.

I can't really add anything majorly useful here other than a "how not to do it" sort of thing.

As a PGCE student, we're constantly reminded that this is practice. This is where we can try out different methods of teaching, and we can do so safe in the knowledge that we can "walk away from our mistakes". Well, maybe we can walk away from them, but I don't think that I'm the only person who would rather stay with some tried and trusted method rather than risk making a mistake which requires walking away from.

Role play is often talked about and I really can see the benefit of it, but I didn't realise that it required so much preparation. In this lesson, given what they were working with, the kids were great. THey did a great job. It was a rubbish lesson, but that's as I didn't really tell them what it was that they were meant to be doing. Giving ownership back to the pupils is something else that is often talked about, and I was so keen to hand it back to them, I did so without checking that they knew what to do with it.

Year 8 - Plague lesson (after having done the proper Plague lesson, this was a bit of a 'treat' as they'd done good work in the previous lesson). I'd told them the lesson before that we'd be doing this and they seemed quite keen to do it.

I split the group into two:

One were a bunch of people fleeing from the plague in London, the other were the representatives of a village that had so far not been infected.

The Londoners had to try and persuade the villagers to let them in. The villagers had to listen to the arguments, make a decision as to who (if any) of the Londoners they would give refuge to, and they also had to give good reasons why they did/didn't let the Londoners in (to make sure they didn't refuse to let them in simpy because they weren't friends in real life).

I gave both halves sheets to help them put together their parts - I stated what jobs some of them might decide that they had. I suggested things that they could maybe offer/ask for in the negotiations, and that was about it.

I stressed that they had to remember that they were in 1665 and that they weren't to come out with things that we know now, they had to believe 1665 cures etc.

I separated them and gave them about 10 minutes to come up with ploys and characters etc, and then brought them back together (having rearranged the tables to be two parallel rows so the two groups could face each other).

And then it all went wrong.

I hadn't thought how they Londoners were to put their case forward, I hadn't thought how the villagers should react or reply. I hadn't thought about the order or the system how this would work. And basically, the Londoners took it in turn to come out with something like "er... I'm a milkmaid... I could milk your cows. That's about it." and the same few people on the Villagers side did all the work. Some of them got really into it and did some great work with some great arguments and some great answers, but a lot of them just came out with something daft and/or sat at the back and did nothing.

At least each of the Londoners came out with something. Some of the villagers managed to get away with doing nothing as there were others in the group who were getting involved.

With hindsight, I should have maybe had some kind of stage and each one had to give a personal presentation to the Villagers. After they had all gone, the villagers could have got together, decided who they wanted to ask more questions and then called them back. And at the end, each of the villagers had to go up and say who they wanted to come to the village (and why) and who they didn't want (and why). This way everyone would have had to have done something. The Londoners would have had another chance to argue their cases if they heard that they'd been rejected. A bit like an appeal court or something.

Anyway, this was a top set group, and some of them (bless 'em) really worked hard and did some great work. However, it scared me how shoddy it was and how easily it could have fallen apart if there hadn't been some keen ones in there. It told me that I need to do LOADS more work to something like this if it's to work, and it also put me off trying again. I took a risk, and although I didn't fall flat on my face, I came close enough to think thrice before thinking about trying it again. I don't want to make a mistake to walk away from. I want to do well, and I now think that the only way I can do well is to stick to things I'm confident with. And that ain't role play!

Rachel.
Que sera, sera

#15 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 05:39 PM

Anyway, this was a top set group, and some of them (bless 'em) really worked hard and did some great work.  However, it scared me how shoddy it was and how easily it could have fallen apart if there hadn't been some keen ones in there.  It told me that I need to do LOADS more work to something like this if it's to work, and it also put me off trying again.  I took a risk, and although I didn't fall flat on my face, I came close enough to think thrice before thinking about trying it again.  I don't want to make a mistake to walk away from.  I want to do well, and I now think that the only way I can do well is to stick to things I'm confident with.  And that ain't role play!

Rachel.

Loads more work? I think you've already done the hard bit - you've already identified a range of ways in which you would change the activity and the reasons why your activity wasn't as effective as you'd like it to have been. If you were to do the activity again, using your own ideas from the post, wouldn't it make for a very engaging and interesting lesson?

A few questions to consider when planning active learning sessions:

What do I want the students to learn?
How are they going to learn this?
How is learning going to be developed throughout the lesson?
How can I check that the objectives are being met?

The answers to the second two questions will identify different stages of the activity. These are the points at which the teacher needs to halt proceedings and move things on / draw things together.

In your self critique you've answered these questions. You also noted that the kids were great - they responded positively to a bit of risk taking, which is often the case.




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