An academic semester, a dissertation and nine blogs later we come to my reflections on the module: the Science of Education.
Thank you for bearing with me throughout these weeks. At the beginning of this semester, it felt like we were “chucked in at the deep end” with this module. With no real guidance as to the topics we were to write about – apart from that it must look at the application of psychology in education – I felt like there was too much freedom and that my grades would suffer as a result. However, after the first two weeks of blogging and watching my peers present their findings on a Thursday, I realised the real benefits of this gem of a module.
Throughout this degree I have tended to learn only what the syllabus requires of me, or what will be tested on the exam (doing as little extra reading as possible). However, with there being no real learning objectives, I have found myself researching further into this topic and engaging more with the subject areas. I don’t feel like I must spend all my time learning what must be learned for the exam, as there is no exam; instead, I feel able to research around the topics and discover more about what interests me, rather than what the module says I should be interested in.
Regarding the bi-weekly talks, although hesitant at first, I now understand how beneficial they can be. They allow us to present information that has sparked our imaginations and grasped our attention. There was nothing worse than giving a POPPS talk on Statistics, as it held no interest to me whatsoever! But with this module, we are able to talk about what we feel is pertinent to the Science of Education, and no matter the opinions of others, whether they feel it is right or wrong, we have the freedom to do so. I also believe that in doing the talks we are much more ready for our oral presentations regarding our dissertations.
What I love about the blogs is that we can present an area of research each week and others will reply and add to your work. Rather than it being all about the grades, we can integrate ourselves into many different topics, learning as we go. One week we may study “Attention and its Effects on Learning”, but that same week we discover other research about “Depression and Learning” or “Mindfulness in the Classroom”. Without even realising we are taking in vast amounts of information that, had we been in a differently laid out module, we would never have come across.
Many students worried that Jesse Martin would do absolutely nothing in this module, however, in removing the spoon from our mouths, he has ensured that students have engaged thoroughly, for which I am very grateful. I was unsure at the start, when he explained how he was very much an autonomy-supportive teacher, however he has regained my confidence and surpassed my expectations as being a fantastic teacher. In allowing us freedom throughout the course, he has furthered my understanding of how teaching should be. I feel we have been given a chance to truly express our beliefs and opinions, that we are passionate about, in a rich environment.