Thursday, 17 October 2013

GAFFNEY,J.D.H., RICHARDS, E. & KUSTUSCH, M.B. et al. (2008) Scaling Up Education Reform. Journal of College Science Teaching p.18-23

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The researchers firstly d(escribe the SCALE-UP method by using the analogy of a "restaurant"; Beichner (2008 p. 18) the students are sat around a round table discussing their subject which they are studying. From this they are waiting instruction from their course instructors "the waiters". This highlights the idea of the course instructor floating from table to table and asking them questions.  This particularly setting has proven to be more beneficial than that of a traditional learning environment.

The SCALE- UP Project has advantages including: 
  • Interaction
  • Motivation 
  • And is also being used in a diverse collection of subjects and institutions
According to Beichner (2008) the large tables are optimal for the students learning and that the space at which the students are apart will determine whether the learning in successful or not. In doing so it is essential that the students are close enough to work in dual partnership with each other but the tables should not be crowded as this is counter productive.

It is interesting that each student has a name tag and that they are given roles which are often changed for each activity presented. Beichner (2008) emphasises that in the SCALE-UP classroom all students are visible and "cannot hide" this forces someone with a shy disposition to also contribute and gain the full experience of the classroom.

This pedagogical approach to learning aids students in the production of new skills whether that be collaborative skills, problem solving and social communication. These skills are therefore also essential in later life and in the "real world". It is paramount that each student fulfils their specific role and completes the pre learning of online homework as it is the platform for the learning in the SCALE-UP classroom. Without this completion the group dynamics and work is effected so it therefore enables students to work as a team.

In addition, the impact which the SCALE- UP environment has on the student can only be beneficial for each student. Beichner (2008) emphasises the dramatic improvement of women and minority students in comparison to that of a traditional setting which the university previously used. 

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