While spring cleaning some old blogs today as part of an attempt to make my digital footprints less muddy, I came across some posts relating to a GCSE English group I had four years ago, and it heightened yet further my sense of being dispirited at the way my teaching is going under the Controlled Assessment regime (see here for some excellent discussion of this from David Didau (@LearningSpy) together with my depressed comment).
Here are some examples of blog posts with student discussion on Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ that we were doing for coursework.
I recall much more discussion and debate with the whole class than the online taster you can see there. I know a top set, like the one I had back then, is a very different proposition from the set four classes I have now. Nevertheless I find it difficult to see a way that, even with the best students, I could engender the depth of reflective thinking about and exploration of a text that most of these students were able to produce, now that our curriculum that currently requires us to romp through six CA’s in Year 10.
Is it even allowable to negotiate individual titles with students (within the broad parameters of the prescribed task banks) for CA, as I did with those students for their coursework?
(I’ll have to find out.