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1.2 The mentor role in the OU flexible PGCE

What makes a good mentor? Student teachers and mentors generally agree that the good mentor is approachable; offers encouragement; has the ability to listen; gives constructive feedback; and challenges thinking. It is also important that both the mentor and the student teacher have a good understanding of the programme – the aims, assessment and timing of activities.


Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

The OU PGCE has been developed by The Open University and its partner schools to provide an innovative, student-teacher centred approach to initial teacher education. We aim to build on the skills, knowledge and experience that student teachers bring to the profession, and then to prepare them for a career in teaching. The course leads to the award of PGCE, and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) conferred by the appropriate statutory body. Working with a Partner Schools Network, the OU PGCE provi
Author(s): The Open University

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1.5.4 The 5 Ds

If you don’t use a system at all, then you could suffer from the effects of information overload:

  • losing important information

  • wasting time on trying to find things

  • ending up with piles of physical and virtual stuff everywhere

One technique you might like to apply to your files (be they paper or electronic) is the 5Ds. Try applying these and see if you can reduce your information overload.


Author(s): The Open University

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1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although both search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by
Author(s): The Open University

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5.4 A brief history of scientific revolutions

We now go on to look at the history and traditions of scientific discovery. As an early years practitioner, you will find this survey useful in helping you to challenge the prevailing perception of science as ‘absolute truth’.

What we call science was once regarded as ‘magic’, ‘alchemy’ or ‘conjuring’. Such knowledge was viewed as ‘black magic’ and feared as a satanic art (Woolley, 2002). In part this may have been because, in the Middle Ages, scientific ideas were e
Author(s): The Open University

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2.6 Context and language variation

As well as contributing to meaning, context can also influence the actual words and sentences that we use. Do you sometimes say ‘Hi’ and at other times say ‘Good morning’? Do you have a ‘telephone voice’? This variation in language may be done deliberately, but often it is not. There are two main reasons as to why we adjust the way we speak:

  • to fit in with our audience or what we feel they expect of us; you may use ‘professional’ langu
    Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you will have:

  • explored your knowledge, attitudes and feelings in each subject area;

  • begun to identify, in each subject, areas of knowledge where you are confident and others where you need to deepen your understanding;

  • extended your knowledge and understanding of the place that language, mathematics and science have in the everyday life of individuals and societies.


Author(s): The Open University

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3.2 Using a framework to think about communication between yourself and other professionals

Activity 5

0 hours 40 minutes

The objective of this activity is:

  • to use a variety of ‘tools’ to help you examine your practice.


  • Author(s): The Open University

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2.1 Thinking about values and beliefs underpinning teamwork

While few would contest the value of teamwork, it is important to explore how perceptions of teamwork are reflected in the actual experience of belonging to a team. In Activity 1 you identified the members of your team and you thought about your working relationships. The nature of those relationships large
Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should have:

  • examined your own practice in relation to working with other professionals in order to make your underpinning knowledge, values and beliefs explicit;

  • used a variety of ‘tools’ to examine the knowledge, values and beliefs underpinning your practice;

  • identified contradictions between your underpinning knowledge, values and beliefs and your practice;

  • seen where you might want to develop your p
    Author(s): The Open University

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5.1 Review

One of the central aims of this unit has been to give you a sense of being part of an exciting educational development. We have therefore set the employment of teaching assistants in the context of the widespread growth of a new paraprofessional workforce across public services. We have noted the gendered nature of this workforce in schools, identified reasons why local parents in particular are attracted to working in schools, and highlighted the valuable contribution that teaching assistant
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3.4 Evolving roles in teaching

The impact of the expanding contribution of teaching assistants on the teacher's role is generally recognised as being positive. It is worth acknowledging, however, that many teachers have had to make adjustments to their practice in order to work with teaching assistants as team colleagues. Despite the presence of assistants in primary schools, the focus of much initial teacher training is on teachers working in classrooms on their own rather than as collaborators with other adults. While th
Author(s): The Open University

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3.1 What is the value of teaching assistants?

Hilary Cremin et al. (2003) in their evaluation of the ways in which teachers and teaching assistants can work together in teams, suggest that, while there is enthusiasm for additional support, little attention is given to how this actually works in classrooms. It is true that learning support staff have been introduced into classrooms without clear research evidence that they can make a difference to children's learning, but then life often moves faster than the supply of research evidence.<
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2.3 Gender, age and ethnicity profile of teaching assistants

Activity 4 Gender, age and ethnicity

0 hours 40 minutes

We have seen the extent to which the teaching assistant workforce is a gendered group. But what are its characteristics in
Author(s): The Open University

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1.6 Teaching assistants in Europe

Teaching assistants and other related learning support staff are also to be found in the schools for children of British armed forces posted overseas, in the schools of other European countries and, indeed, further afield in countries such as the USA, Canada and Australia. A survey conducted by the National Union of Teachers (NUT, 1998) highlighted some interesting support roles found in European schools, and it is worthwhile to consider these in the light of the developing role of teaching a
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1.1 Supporting the professionals

To gain a better understanding of the teaching assistant's role, it is helpful to consider the ways in which different kinds of professionals are supported by paraprofessionals. Just as there are teaching assistants in schools, there are equivalent roles in other areas of work. For instance, in the health service the work of nurses is supported by ‘health care assistants’, and in social work ‘personal assistants’ provide support to children in care (‘looked-after children’). Ian K
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1 The rise of the paraprofessional


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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, you should:

  • be able to discuss how the UK's teaching assistant workforce came into being;

  • be developing your understanding that teaching assistants are part of a wider, paraprofessional workforce in the public services of health, social services and education;

  • have insights into the diverse roles and responsibilities of teaching assistants, and their distinctive contributions across the UK;

  • be able to identify
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Introduction

This course helps you to acquire the basic language to find your way around a French town. You will learn how to understand and give directions, ask about accommodation, book a hotel room at the tourist information office and get information about what to see and do in the local area. You will visit some museums in Avignon and buy a film for your camera. This course also deals with telling the time and making liaisons in speech. By the end of the course, you will feel more confident understan
Author(s): The Open University

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Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

Introduction

In this course, you will explore how learning languages and finding out about other countries can be both useful and fun. You do not need any knowledge of foreign languages in order to begin.

There are ten sections. You can choose which ones you want to study and you can work through them in any order.

  • Section 1: Careers in languages – some ways you can use the ability to speak other languages in a job or a care
    Author(s): The Open University

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