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How do you teach "key features"?


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#1 MrsB

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 03:27 PM

Edexcel GCSE A Paper One

I have been putting together all my answer templates to help students learn how to answer questions and the one question I still find hard to explain to them is

"Describe the key features of ....."

Up till now I have always said roughly they need to consider 'aims' (what they set out to do) 'methods' (the events of what happened) 'effects' (consequences of what you are describing).

This is far from ideal as there are lots of exceptions that wouldn't quite fit in to this rule.

How do you explain what "key features" means????
It's only a job!

#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 01:15 AM

I've never taught Edexcel courses and don't recall MEG/OCR ever asking this sort of question which strikes me as being very 'O'Level-ish.

Doesn't what is required depend upon the context of the question? Eg 'Describe the Key Features of Stalin's 5 Year Plans' would require a different sort of answer than 'Describe the Key Features of Stalin's Strugggle for Power.'

Isn't the answer to be found [a] in the number of marks allotted to the question (and therefore the time the candidate can afford to spend) and [b] the markscheme + Examiner's Report where normally you should be able to get a clear idea of the type of answer that's required.

Hopefully this will have 'refreshed' your question so that someone who actually knows what Edexcel expect will reply. ;)

#3 Sarah Bamford

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 02:24 PM

I have absolutely no idea but am going on Steve Waugh's 'teaching Edexcel Modern World for the first time' course in a couple of weeks so might know more then - will ask for you!

#4 MrsB

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 04:48 PM

I have absolutely no idea but am going on Steve Waugh's 'teaching Edexcel Modern World for the first time' course in a couple of weeks so might know more then - will ask for you!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thank you Sarah, I would very much appreciate that. I find it easy to teach them how to answer the 'why' and 'in what ways' questions but the language of 'key features' is just quite difficult for many to understand
It's only a job!

#5 Ginny B

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 08:07 PM

I wish WJEC would run a course on how to teach GCSE for the fist time :(

#6 Sarah Bamford

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 06:47 PM

It's not an edexcel course - it's run by Keynote - I think they do all the main boards but don't think WJEC.. sorry

#7 Sarah Bamford

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 09:17 PM

Just found out it's been cancelled.. bummer.. :angry:

#8 Sarah Bamford

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 10:35 PM

Finally went on aforementioned course today - Lesley Ann has previously mentioned that Steve Waugh was very helpful - and he was!

Key features, it seems, is a question designed to see whether you can recall information in a logical and concise way. It is about recall rather than analysis but the key features of a key features answer (!) seem to be logic, order, and accuracy. Steve said the student who can get the key elements of an event in some sort of sequential order, possibly highlighting those features more significant than others would make it into level 3, possibly 4 in the markscheme.

I think the thing that is difficult here is that it is too simple for able students and hard to produce a crib structure for an answer.

I learnt loads more stuff but too tired to write now.

Sarah

#9 Dom_Giles

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Posted 25 November 2004 - 07:39 AM

Good Historians always like to use moe than one "source" so I would just like to re-iterate what Sarah has said. Key Features means the main or important developments. This scaffold might help

Write about two or three key features
Begin your paragragh with the key feature and then explain it
Try to link each of your key features


I've just been on a three day INSET with Malcolm Chandler - Edexcel GCSE and A Level. It was really useful. At last I'm beginning to understand what the exam/examiners actually want from the students!

Thinking is SO important Baldrick. What do YOU think?
I think thinking is SO important, my Lord.





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