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Developing an active learning approach for the geography pilot GCSE – an action research investigation

Wood, Philip Bailey (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The present study focuses on the degree to which an innovative GCSE course (the OCR Pilot GCSE in Geography) acted as a basis for active and innovative learning. Using a holistic framework intertwining curriculum, learning and assessment, a collaborative action research approach was used to develop an active and innovative learning environment, focusing on the work of two groups of GCSE students following the Pilot GCSE course. A conscious adoption of personalised learning approaches, linked to a radical notion of the nature and content of geography and an alternative assessment regime, led to the development of a course founded on the integrated use of information and communication technology alongside independent learning approaches. These developments in active engagement were based on student perceptions of their own preferences with regards to learning and assessment. The action research took place over three cycles, and the results demonstrate that with the curriculum approach inherent in the Pilot GCSE specification, the development of active learning and authentic assessment opportunities were not only possible, but in keeping with the philosophy of the course. There is less evidence that the emerging classroom pedagogy allowed students to deepen their investigation of geography, although there is some qualitative evidence for this.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Butt, Graham W and Weeden, Paul
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:G Geography (General)
LB2361 Curriculum
LB Theory and practice of education
LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1602
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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