Session 5 – Tues 1.3.16 FIELDWORK

February 29, 2016

Session FIVE (Tuesday 1st March 2016 – 13:00 hrs till 15:00 hrs)

The benefits and value of fieldwork trips    (the guide)

A. read the following document: Visiting Historical Sites – Prof Yosanne Vella, extract from ‘In Search of Meaninful History Teaching’, URL:

B.   development:

  1. Session Five (1st March 2016) will be about Social Studies fieldwork trips. We shall take a look at Prof Yosanne Vella’s Action Research Project as regards fieldwork trips, and also at the recent developments in DQSE policies. Fieldwork trips today form part of the official Primary Social Studies coursework. The EAU (Educational Assessment Unit) provides fieldwork worksheets for all state schools from Year 3 upwards. Fieldwork is assessed (max: 20 marks) in Years 4, 5 and 6.
  2. Points discussed by Prof Vella (see A above)
  • Previously, visits to historical sites were very rarely supported by teaching aids such as work-directives or fieldwork notes; teachers were expected to create some sort of resource themselves.
  • Very often students just walked about, often aimlessly, around sites.
  • There were attempts to address the problem, e.g. Michael Sant’s work directives created in the 1980’s.
  • Worksheets may not always be the answer; so Prof Vella proposes on-site activities involving mainly arts and crafts and role play.
  • Prof Vella led 20 B.Ed and PGCE students on the creation of a set of activities re Ħaġar Qim & Mnajdra temples (see page 83 for the description of the activity).
  • Prof Vella describes An Action Research Project endorsed by The Maltese National Commission for UNESCO and supported by Heritage Malta.
  • The pedagogy proposed by Prof Vella focused on the ‘New History’ methods; these are mainly concerned with the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’ to teach. Activities created included: workbooks/handouts focusing on important skills of observation and analysis of artefacts, drawing, sketching and recording.
  • Sites that were targeted include: (a) The Inquisitor’s Palace Birgu, focusing on the skill of empathy (b) the Tarxien Temples, focusing on the interpretation of a primary historical source (c) The Domus Romana, Rabat, focusing on the Concept of Time.
  1. The policies of the DQSE (Department of Quality and Standards in Education) as regards fieldwork:

4.  An overview of the fieldwork trips:

  • year 3 – (a) Madwar l-Iskola (b) is-Simar, l-Għadira, il-Lunzjata
  • year 4 – (a) Il-Belt/Raħal tagħna (b) Infittxu t-tifkiriet ta’ Dun Karm Psaila, Dun Mikiel Xerri u San Ġorġ Preca fil-Furjana u l-Belt / Intervisti ma’ nies li jgħinuna fil-komunitajiet tagħna
  • year 5 – (a) Marsaxlokk, is-sajd u t-turiżmu (b) L-Imdina, il-Birgu, Iċ-Ċittadella
  • year 6 – (a) il-Belt Valletta (b) Żjara fil-Park Arkeoloġiku ta’ Ħaġar Qim / Il‑Ġgantija

5.  Assessing Fieldwork –
(a) see document Kif Nassessjaw il-Fieldwork at:
(b) See also L-Elaborazzjoni tal-kriterji għall-assessjar tal-Fieldwork at:


Session 7 – a look at some issues

February 1, 2016

Session SEVEN (Tuesday 15th  March 2016 – 13:00 hrs till 15:00 hrs)

Some issues relevant to Social Studies pedagogy            (the guide)

A. DOCUMENTS and links:

  1. Multicultural and Gender Issues – URL:
  2. Social Studies and the Integrated Curriculum – URL:
  3. Group Learning – URL:
  4. Does ‘Group Work’ ‘Work’? / cooperative learning; watch the video:
  5. Social Studies and the Integrated Curriculum – URL:



  1. Introduction – in session 7 (15th March 2016) we will take a look at some issues relevant to Social Studies pedagogy. These include: (a) multicultural and gender issues (b) integration of subjects (c) group learning (d) differentiated teaching
  2. Multicultural and Gender Issues – 60 years ago Maltese society was quite homogeneous; but social tensions existed; e.g. politics, inter-community rivalries. Contemporary Maltese society is: multicultural, multidenominational and lay, with many Maltese youths reading for degrees; we are full members of the EU.
  3. Diversity – an important principle in our curriculum. ‘Diversity’ has been included as one of the cross-curricular themes of the LOFs (Learning Outcomes Framework).
  4. Gender – normally girls mature (on average) two years before boys. This can have tremendous implications vis-à-vis teaching and learning.
  5. An Integrated Curriculum: Integration can take place either at syllabus-writing level, or else during lesson-preparation/s. In the latter strategy, teaching units are delivered through a thematic approach or the realization of projects.
  6. The cross-curricular themes of the LOFs:
  • the LOF project has identified six cross-curricular themes: (i) literacy (ii) digital literacy (iii) education for diversity (iv) education for sustainable development (v) education for entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation (vi) learning to learn and cooperative learning.
  • The Cross Curricular Themes are embedded through three means. These include (a) embedding in the subject learning outcomes, (b) through the pedagogy approach and (c) through the school activities, events and policies.
  1. Some Practical Examples of integration at lesson-preparation stage/s:
  2. Differentiated teaching – towards a definition: in a differentiated classroom, the teacher creates different ways to learn the content and make sense of the content; the teacher also designs multiple ways students can create products to prove that they have learned the content.  Reference to the Safi observation lesson. During delivery some students read from the presentations, others brought a model of a megalithic temple for the class to see, etc..  The class computers were used as work-stations. If differentiated teaching is done merely by assigning different tasks to students, this affects students’ morale negatively. What is differentiated instruction? Watch video:
  3. Group-work – what are advantages and disadvantages of working in groups? Teaching strategies may be designed for whole class, large groups or small groups. What is cooperative learning? Cooperative learning is one of the cross-curricular themes of the LOFs.
  4. A look at the final test for PRE4702. Assessment criteria will be discussed.