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Title: Observations : a vehicle for enabling learner voice and developing expert learners
Author: Hall, Valerie Joyce
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 3804
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2014
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When we watch an expert perform, how does that inform our own knowledge and skills in that subject, or establish what our potential might be to become a ‘better’ learner? There is much policy and rhetoric around the development of this ‘expert’ learner through ‘Learner Voice’ initiatives, yet this is a sparsely researched area. Mainly anecdotal, with poorly documented methodology, it is also heavily biased towards compulsory-aged education. This study, set within Further Education, adds to knowledge by providing evidence of how learners can improve the quality of teaching, and their own learning, through direct involvement in reflection and discussion with teachers. It also considers the implications of this for those involved: learners, teachers, the organisation and wider policy. Using an action-research model, and observations, eight volunteer participants from a teacher training curriculum area engaged with this study: two ‘learners’, each paired with a different ‘teacher’ for the observation; three teaching staff who were ‘observed’; and the curriculum area manager. Interviews were conducted throughout the research, with main participants interviewed up to three times to draw out their phenomenological interpretations and reflections. Working within a community of learning, with multiple points of interaction and ‘layers’, two theoretical frameworks were used in analysing the interviews: communities of practice and ecological learning systems. Finding them insufficient in isolation, to improve the data analysis, and the nuances of these layers – ‘micro’, ‘meso’, ‘exo’ and ‘macro’ – a ‘continuum of practice’ was devised to combine these frameworks. Additional theoretical concepts – self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-concept and self-categorization theories – were also used to interpret evidence of an individual’s sense of identity and their perceived trajectory. Evidence suggests interactions within observation partnerships, including those observed, were influenced by the theoretical framework embedded within that interaction: an appropriate framework approach can enhance the quality of outcome from these collaborations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X100 Training Teachers ; X300 Academic studies in Education ; X900 Others in Education