I've been reading:
Cotton, J. (1995) The Theory of Assessment An Introduction. London: Kogan Page Ltd.

Cotton (1995: 5) writes about the difference between assessment and evaluation as the former being "the process of judging individual learners" and the latter is "the process of judging learning programmes, including teacher performance". The "same tools can be used for each process". It is important that we recognise that both processes are important to allow progress. If assessment of our learners helps determine what they know and so we can see progression, we should also be evaluating our own abilities to achieve this very process.

I have also been reading about effective learning and teaching:
Jarvis, M. (2005) The Psychology of Effective Learning and Teaching. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.

Jarvis (2005: 74) defines learning style, learning strategy and cognitive style. I have heard of learning styles before. Jarvis (2005:74) defines learning styles is how we process information. This will depend on out cognitive style (the way people think which is probably hard wired from birth or culturally) and learning strategy which an adaptation to learning tasks which will be affected by habits, experience, motivation and practical constraints as well as our cognitive style. It would appear that there are loads of models of learning styles which Jarvis (2005:80) discusses and references. I have heard of Honey & Mumford's 4 types of learners as we use this to help paddlesport coaches at Level 2
Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1992) The manual of learning styles. Revised Edition. Maidenhead: Peter Honey

There are other models including Felder and Silverman's pan-theoretical model and Riding's two robust dimensions. I can see that there are some similarities across these models and that each one could be useful. It is important to remember that they are only models (not the real world) and so are useful tools for us to recognise that we are all different and see the world differently. Clearly some testing has been done on the models to assess their usefulness. What I notice is that different learning styles may well be associated with different subjects, e.g. Jarvis (2005: 86) quotes that for cooperative learning is better liked by "wholistic imagers and least in analytic verbalisers". Also

"Achievement in different subjects can also be understood by reference to the two dimensions of the CSA (Riding's model called Cognitive Styles Analysis). Analytic verbalisers do best in English whereas wholist imagers do best in maths and science. ... Understanding the learning dimensions underlying achievement in different subjects and success in studying in different ways opens up the way to improving achievement. For example, increasing the image content in English and the verbal content in maths and science should help compensate for the natural weaknesses of students who often underachieve in these areas."

I am going to develop my micro teach to try to use a practical active group session to highlight that learning styles may effect our own teaching styles and hence the success of our students. Well I only have half an hour so maybe I just create some debate! I believe that we have to recognise our own strengths and weaknesses as teachers to make sure that we are inclusive in our teaching techniques. Not everything we do will work for everyone, but we should include a range of teaching activities/styles to include everyone and maybe we also increase the experience for everyone and so improve people's learning strategies. When teaching adults we will get what the compulsory sector has helped create and so we will have to open their minds to receive the information that previously they have found hard or impossible, for example maths, English and ICT!  By integrating post compulsory with compulsory educators we will learn from each other and realise that as teachers we can grow and students will benefit too.
 


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