Developing Outreach and Employability through Innovative Teaching
A group of student historians from Loughborough are heading out into schools across the UK this winter on a mission to research teaching.
The staff-student collaboration project, Developing Outreach and Employability through Innovative Teaching, led by Dr.Catherine Armstrong and final-year student Lauren Porter involves students observing how history is taught in schools. Both primary and secondary teaching is under the spotlight as the students explore what a teaching career in history means in reality.
To get the project going, the team created an observation logbook which allows participants to log all the observations they make. The next step involved recruiting innovative History students to take part in this new project. Various lecture shout-outs took place; a blog and social media sites were set up to contact participants. The team received plenty of interest and were delighted to welcome fifteen students to the group.
The team reported that their first project meeting was successful; it started with an ice-breaker activity and then moved onto exploring questions, such as: ‘What makes a good teacher?’ and ‘What is positive teaching practice?’ The questions aimed to stimulate independent thought and allow the participants to think about the nature of the project in more depth.
The second meeting included a presentation by CAP’s own Deena Ingham who presented various clips that tested and enhanced participants’ observation skills. Students viewed film of different teaching styles and explored what makes for good learning and crucially what stopped the learning process. They compiled a comprehensive list of questions to ask when observing and interviewing the teachers they observe. In this way their insight into what it means to teach history will become a valuable resource for future students.
The team are excited about seeing the project develop further over the next few months, but it is already proving beneficial for several of the final-years students involved. Lauren Porter said: ‘The project has provided me with the confidence boost needed to teach. To recruit undergraduate participants for this project, I stood in front of lectures and spoke to students about this exciting new project. This process seemed daunting at first; however, it filled me with confidence going into my teacher training interviews and it has allowed me to be successful and gain a place starting next Autumn.’