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Reflective journal for observation dated 4/10/07 with Peter O’Toole

As a reflection on the observation, the lesson started off well as the students turned up on time and were motivated to work. A new teaching and learning strategy was adopted in which the individual target plans were formulated which were found to be a better substitute to the traditional lesson plans. But Peter was a bit concerned with this new plan as since April 1, 2007 the OfSted is now Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills and hence is responsible for inspection functions which were earlier covered by ALI (Adult Learning Inspectorate) and LSC (Learning and Skill Council). (2007, HCESC) and enquired if this will pass the criteria set by OfSted which received an affirmative response by me. The main drawback with these individual lesson plans is that they do not indicate the learning strategies and the students have to fill them out themselves. The students based on the learning outcomes will then think what they have learnt from that lesson. (Appendix1)

I have made the individual lesson plans and conveyed it to the students. At this stage they all know about the brickwork model in their practical workbooks on which they have to work on. As all the relevant information on the models is on the worksheet provided, the only thing left is to mark their model when it is finished. The models need to be marked accordingly to industrial standards. I myself took responsibility of assessing their work and record it in their workbook. Only one passed after the assessment. I gave enough feedback to the one who failed to make him understand the mistakes he committed. On this feedback and understanding he has to now re-build this particular model and correct his mistakes. The passing criteria was to not commit mistake in the required standards that he failed in his first model and ensure that they are within the tolerance level. For example his plumbing must be within 3mm (Appendix 2 highlighted), when this is within this tolerance then he will pass this particular model. So with the student who failed I went for a different strategy. First, I broke what he had to do down to basics. Then I read him all the tasks that were required to be done to complete the model. Simultaneously as I read the tasks, I also explained him about it. After this he went away and started on the model. The transformation was that he finished quicker and he built a far better model. On reflection I would teach in a different way next time as students if frightened tend to tell you that they understand it, where in fact they do not. Hence, I need to monitor them when they start their models to check that they understood. If the students are struggling then I could see which ones did not understand due to a learning problem.

Effect on Learners
All the classes that I teach have similar patterns that all students follow. They all start with their psychomotor skills and progress to their cognitive skills which include the knowledge and understanding of why they are doing something that way (Watson, 1980).
In Maslow's pyramid he talks about the physiological needs of the student, my own group of students would come under this regime as they need their breaks for comfort, to talk to one another drink and eat. The area that they work is inside they need this to protect themselves from the elements both hot and cold.  At the same time this gives them a safe working environment to work in. This is where they can knit themselves into a tight group and feel secure amongst each other i.e.: safety in numbers. Any student who joins the group late would tend to feel isolated. Unless the group took to them quickly they would start to feel insecure and would start to watch how they act around this individual student. The group all need each other. It tends to give them an overall sense of security in their own working environment. This shows up outside the classroom as well, during their breaks they will participate in football and organize themselves into a team where they will play other teams from other groups within the college.
The esteem amongst the group was both high and low. It was observed that most of the group have a need to gain respect from others to achieve that status and recognition. There are a few in the group who already hold that high esteem; they have that self-confidence, freedom and sense of achievement already and I believe they will go on to do a lot more good things in their lives and gain self actualization.

I found out in conversation with a colleague form the carpentry team that one of the students joined the foundation group late and he found it difficult to integrate. This affected his theory work as well as the practical.  It was about 2-3 weeks before he settled into the group.  He was then able to concentrate on digesting the information rather than worrying about his basic needs being met.  He has now progressed well and should achieve a credit.

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