Action Research Making the Tudors Interesting

HVIIIPoor teaching during my own A-levels meant I harboured a hated of the Tudors for eighteen years. I only realised how fascinating a topic it is when forced to study the Tudors in preparation for teaching it. I was determined my students would not share my experience. My Action Research project explores ways to make studying the Tudors enjoyable and how this impacts on learning. Lincoln College is a general FE institute, many students who have had negative school experiences including those repeating their exams or with additional needs. Fuller and Macfayden (2012) found learners entering FE often see themselves as low achievers. However, Wallace (2014) notes this can be overcome by helping learners feel valued and engaged. The A-level reforms with their increased emphasis on exams have proven challenging to our students especially those with additional needs. Initial research with my AS class, who form my case study group, suggests that enjoyment helps increasing student motivation and concentration. However, the learners differ in what they find the most enjoyable and effective ways to learn. For me, positive relationships built on mutual respect appear to be key to understanding learners needs and preferences and helping all succeed. Visual representations of subject content, in the form of doodles to depict ideas, using giant essay plans, and incorporating different graphics within work, also seem to help keep these leaners engaged by making it easier for them to organise and remember information.

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