Improving Teaching and Learning: Practice in Secondary Schools

Improving Teaching and Learning: Practice in Secondary Schools

Improving Teaching and Learning: Practice in Secondary Schools

Improving Teaching and Learning: Practice in Secondary Schools


This book has developed from research into initiatives for school improvement in a range of secondary schools. It considers the views of students as a starting point and then charts action being undertaken to enhance the environment of classroom and school:
• to develop challenge in teaching and learning
• to consider learning styles and the use of teaching strategies to meet these
• to analyse the nature of successful staff student relationships
• to help students to see the rationale for and importance of integration in the curriculum
• to chronicle endeavours being made to achieve gender equality.

The book concludes with consideration of the relationship between culture and achievement. Each chapter offers a blend of research data, real cases for discussion, contemporary literary comment and action points. Reference is also made to lines of further investigation using internet sources.

It will be an invaluable text for student teachers and teachers undertaking school based in-service work.


We have noticed that there has been a sharp change of focus in the nature of demands for continuing professional education since 1997. No longer are matters of management such as finance and appraisal to the fore. Rather schools are seeking help with improvement strategies that focus on teaching and learning. At the same time action research has developed within schools as teachers reflect on their practice and undertake limited experiments to improve their effectiveness in the classroom. the research team includes practitioners for whom deeper understanding of approaches to teaching has underpinned their attempts to secure livelier and more motivational experience for their students. At the same time there has been an increased interest in learning style differences and the need to provide stimulation related to the needs of the learner rather than to the predilections of the teacher. This has prompted a pincer movement and increasingly efforts have been made to match teaching style to learning need. This book charts some of this work

Teaching and learning do not, however, occur in isolation. There is clear evidence that schools are affected by the socio-economic and physical contexts of the school and classroom. To this end we have looked at two features of context – the environment for learning and the culture within which teaching and learning take place. Culture, and hence attainment, may be affected by the nature of relationships between teachers and taught. in Chapters 1 and 10 we have attempted to set the improvement of teaching and learning into this growing theoretical framework drawing upon the ever-growing body of literature. Our hope is that this will provide a basis for understanding and a starting point for those who want to follow some aspects further.

We have outlined the basic research methodology and findings of the work. the approach has been that of asking the students to rate their experience and then to relate these measures to the evidence for the nature of context and practice within the schools. Chapter 2 sets out the background to the research and outlines some of the tenets of action research as a starting point for those who might be interested in establishing their own . . .

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