Month: October 2014

What if music education involved thinking?

What if music education involved thinking? John Finney blogs…

Music Education Now

I was wondering how many would come to our session at the Hertfordshire instrumental teachers conference. The title of the session was ‘learning to think about music’, and we were competing with juicier sounding parallel sessions. In the event we were over-subscribed.

In welcoming the 25 teachers I asked why they hadn’t chosen beat-boxing. Smiles and chuckles answered my question. But why had they come to this session? The general feeling was that they wanted to do some thinking. So I proceeded with an experiment in musical thought.

Task: Think the last four notes of the National Anthem.

And they did. (I joked about the silent cacophony.)

But now I wanted to know how they did it. What strategies did they use?

Well they conceded that to do this they worked from the last five notes (the last phrase) to find the fourth from last note. So, in making that…

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The “Why?” and “How?” of EPIC classroom based research (CASSA R&D Conference October 2014)

On Friday 3rd October, @SawstonVC hosted an R&D Conference on behalf of @CASSATeaching.  The focus was how teachers could undertake effective classroom-based research in order to help them to better understand how pupils can make progress.

We were lucky to have presentations from Roszalina Rawi, a PhD student at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge; Ellie Senior, from William Westley primary school in Whittlesford; and Kerry Sage, Head of Geography here at Sawston VC.  Suzie Young was also on hand to demonstrate the power of IRIS Connect, classroom video technology, showing how it could be used to support classroom research by facilitating evidence gathering and professional collaboration.

Rosza introduced the concept of “EPIC” classroom based research, a framework and set of principles that underpin effective research, and offered practical tips for ensuring successful, meaningful research.  Ellie shared her recent research project into formative assessment, which had been undertaken in partnership with colleagues across the cluster of Sawston Village College and its feeder primary schools, a project that had been led by Sue Swaffield of the Faculty of Education.  Kerry shared her recent research lesson study project, investigating the use of literacy strategies in humanities subjects, and provided delegates with a very helpful toolkit of resources and frameworks for teachers to use when planning, undertaking and evaluating their own research lesson study project.

To find out more, please see the attached resources from the conference.  If you wish to use the materials beyond your own classroom, please contact their creator.

Action Research – Ellie Senior – William Westley primary school

CASSA R&D Conference 3rd October 2014 Sawston Village College

The whys and hows of EPIC classroom research – Roszalina Rawi – Faculty of Education University of Cambridge

Classroom Research Action Planning Resource

Research Lesson Study Kerry Sage Sawston Village College