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Towards maximising pupil endeavour: an enquiry into a learning approach centred on teamwork and simulation in the context of technology education

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posted on 17.11.2010, 10:18 by Howard G. Denton
The enquiry originated from observations of a series of learning events which appeared to generate high levels of pupil endeavour. These events were typified by being residential, employing commercial simulation, teamwork and a suspended timetable which allowed long periods of concentrated work on a design task. Observations provided the Impetus for an enquiry Intended to illuminate the learning approach and the origins of this increased endeavour. This enquiry employed a series of case studies with a parallel literature survey. The pre-enquiry learning events are described and an impression of the factors Involved established. The evolving nature of the enquiry Is explained. A literature survey is made of the key factors. The methods employed, Including their limits and limitations, are described. The case studies are summarised and discussed In relation to the literature survey. Conclusions are drawn and suggestions for further research are made. The key findings are that the enquiry indicates high levels of endeavour are replicable, given understanding of the factors involved. Pupils' perceptions of the relevance of the events is high. Pupils tend not to adopt a competitive approach on an inter- team basis but do respond to deadlines. Pupils tend to develop cooperative management structures rather than establish leaders which are not seen as relevant. Endeavour Is maximised in teams which are selected to be heterogeneous In terms of gender, friendship groupings, subject expertise and ability. Positive synergy Is Identified In terms of endeavour but not the range and quality of design ideas. Teachers, whilst recognising the value of granting autonomy to teams, find it difficult to release control and Intervene only when necessary. The contributions to knowledge lie in the areas of designing In teams under competitive pressure; pupil team reaction to competition and the response of staff to working In these learning contexts



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© Howard Glen Denton

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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