Session SIX (Tuesday 8th March 2016 – 13:00 hrs till 15:00 hrs)
The benefits of research and projects (the guide)
A. Read the following documents:
- A Handbook for Social Studies Primary – see page 5 Section 4, URL: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/social-studies-primary-handbook.pdf
- Kif nieħdu l-ikbar benefiċċju mill-proġett – URL: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/progetti-kif-niehdu-beneficcji-mill-progett-FAQs.pdf
B. Take a cursory look at the guidelines and list of projects in the official Social Studies syllabus:
Year 3: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/3-sena-il-progett-linji-gwida-u-lista.pdf
Year 4: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/4-sena-il-progett-linji-gwida-u-lista.pdf
Year 5: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/5-sena-il-progett-linji-gwida-u-lista.pdf
Year 6: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/6-sena-il-progett-linji-gwida-u-lista.pdf
- Session Six (8th March 2016) will be about Social Studies projects. Student-teachers will be asked to identify the teachers’ and parents’ main concerns when their students are asked to tackle projects.
- What is the rationale behind the SS project? When working on projects, students: (a) do research (b) learn how to work on their own and/or in groups (c) learn where and how to look up information.
- If handled well, projects will definitely militate in favour of a child-centred pedagogy. In order to tap at benefits, students should work on projects during out-of-school hours. At the same time, proper use of circle-time can help students to unblock stagnant situations.
- Research – with regards to the SS project, research can include interviews, looking up information on the internet, publications by local organizations such as parishes, band clubs and local councils, observations and data gathering, taking photographs and collection of pictures.
- A brief history: (a) Teachers have always assigned projects to encourage students to research and then make presentations about interesting topics. (b) During scholastic year 2012-13 SSAR (Social Studies Assessment Reorganization) was piloted with Year 5 state school classes. During the 2nd semester (February – June) students had to choose and work on one project chosen from a given list. (c) The system was extended to all primary classes from Yr 3 upwards during scholastic year 2014-15. During the 2nd semester students could now either work on a project or else do a second fieldwork. This exercise carries 20% of the global SS annual assessment mark.
- How are projects assessed? These following criteria were formulated with the help of the EAU (Educational Assessment Unit).
- The Project Assessment Criteria
|Marks||Quality of work|
|17 – 20||Excellent: evidence* is clear, varied and relevant; presentation* is well structured.|
|13 – 16||Very Good: evidence is sufficient and relevant; presentation is stuctured.|
|9 – 12||Good: evidence lacks detail but still relevant; all the main points are mentioned; presentation is fairly structured.|
|5 – 8||Fair: evidence is limited yet relevant; some main points are missing; presentation is poor.|
|0 – 4||Poor: evidence is very limited and most of it is not relevant; presentation has no structure.|
*Evidence includes photographs, pictures, drawings, diagrams and information.
**Presentation implies the introduction to the project, the main items and the conclusion.
D. Some other considerations:
- Individual vs group work: since the project carries 20% of the global mark, students are required to work on projects individually.
- A second fieldwork or project? Presently, teachers are being encouraged to take the whole class on the 2nd fieldwork trip but also to encourage willing and motivated students to work on SS projects. In this way, in the same class one can have students being given marks for the fieldwork while others are given marks on the project.
- Gifted and motivated students can benefit a lot from work on a project. Projects can be challenging, absorbing and motivating.
- The role of parents in SS projects – parents should be aware of their siblings’ efforts; as such they can offer a lot of support.
‘Taqbil u Għanjiet’ huma sensiela ta’ Nursery Rhymes bil-Malti ibbażati fuq il-pubblikazzjoni tal-Iskola Primarja tal-Furjana li ġġib l-istess isem. In-Nursery Rhymes bil-Malti issa jinsabu kollha fuq il-You-Tube biex hekk ikunu jistgħu jinutużaw mit-tfal, mill-għalliema u anke mill-ġenituri, kemm fl-iskejjel kif ukoll fid-djar.
L-għanjiet ġew irrekordjat mill-Kor Kreattiv ta’ Ħal Safi immexxija minn Pauline Pace.
Isma’ t-taqbila GĦOLLI JDEJK MISS SPALLEJK
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: https://pacetoni.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/visiting-historical-sites-yosanne-vella.pdf
- 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.
- 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.
- The policies of the DQSE (Department of Quality and Standards in Education) as regards fieldwork:
- DQSE policies are guided by the Handbook that can be downloaded from: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/social-studies-primary-handbook.pdf
- All students attending state schools are provided with an official booklet containing a set of worksheets to be worked during the fieldwork trip of the 1st semester (September – February).
- The fieldwork booklets can be downloaded from the Primary Social Studies website at: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt.
- During the 2nd semester (March – June) schools choose between a second fieldwork or a project.
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: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/biex-niehdu-l-ikbar-beneficcju-mill-fieldwork-jg-tp.pdf.
(b) See also L-Elaborazzjoni tal-kriterji għall-assessjar tal-Fieldwork at: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/schoolnet/ns/kriterji-assessjar-fieldwork-elaborazzjoni-jg-tp.pdf.
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:
- Multicultural and Gender Issues – URL: https://pacetoni.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/ch-5-mc-gen-issues.pdf
- Social Studies and the Integrated Curriculum – URL: https://pacetoni.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/ch-14-integ-cur.pdf
- Group Learning – URL: https://pacetoni.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/ch-9-group-learning.pdf
- Does ‘Group Work’ ‘Work’? / cooperative learning; watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdt-b4yMp-M
- Social Studies and the Integrated Curriculum – URL: https://pacetoni.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/ch-14-integ-cur.pdf
- 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
- 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.
- Diversity – an important principle in our curriculum. ‘Diversity’ has been included as one of the cross-curricular themes of the LOFs (Learning Outcomes Framework).
- Gender – normally girls mature (on average) two years before boys. This can have tremendous implications vis-à-vis teaching and learning.
- 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.
- 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.
- Some Practical Examples of integration at lesson-preparation stage/s:
- Studji Soċjali – Malti: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/ss-malti.htm
- Social Studies – English: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/ss-english.htm
- Social Studies – Oral: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/ss-orals.htm
- Studji Soċjali – Smigħ: http://primarysocialstudies.skola.edu.mt/ss-smigh.htm
- 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAWKxpCv1Fw
- 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.
- A look at the final test for PRE4702. Assessment criteria will be discussed.
Il-famuża AVE MARIA ta’ G Caccini, interpretata mis-solisti membri tal-Kor Sine Macula ta’ Ħal Safi, Chantelle, Sara u Deborah, waqt il-kunċert tal-Milied 27.12.2015. Arranġament mużikali u direzzjoni ta’ Tony Pace.