Analysis

I shall now be analyzing the unit of work according to the following theories and concepts. For the purpose of this analysis, I shall be focusing on using:

  • Blooms Taxonomy
  • GeSTE Windows
  • Level of inquiry

Firstly, a quick reminder of the key inquiry questions that this unit is designed to answer:

  1. Why and how did Australia become a nation?
  2. How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century?
  3. Who were the people who came to Australia? Why did they come?
  4. What contribution have significant individuals and groups made to the development of Australian society?

The unit progresses from teacher directed guided inquiry to student directed inquiry learning, resulting in 4 assessment items designed to demonstrate student understanding.

For clarity, I have included a quick timeline of the unit in lesson plan form:
Lesson 1:
Setting the Scene – Review Australia Day
Lesson 2:
Continuing on with Australia Day themes – includes a brief introduction to Reconciliation, respect, and understanding towards the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.
Lesson 3:
Nationalities in Australia – focusing on reasons for migration
Lesson 4:
Looking at the original inhabitants of Australia
Lesson 5:
The impact of the Gold Rush on Australia
Lesson 6:
Introducing Federation – locating it on the timeline according to what they’ve already discussed
Lesson 7:
Positives and Negatives of Federation
Lesson 8:
Famous people in Australian history – specifically those in politics around Federation
Lesson 9:
Major events that occurred across the states during the time of Federation

BLOOMS TAXONOMY

Image from: Andrea Hernandez's Flikr. CC BY-SA 2.0
Image from: Andrea Hernandez’s Flikr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

The unit clearly works its way through the stages of Blooms Taxonomy. Each stage is listed below, with the list of activities or outcomes that relate to each section of Blooms Taxonomy. As the different stages of Blooms Taxonomy is covered throughout the 9 lessons, the above lesson plan should clarify the order in which activities and outcomes are achieved.

Remembering: Students work their way through a series of activities designed to have them reflect on Australia Day. They also discuss the type of sources used throughout activities. Students keep a word bank in their notebooks

Understanding: Students reflect on what it means to be an Australian citizen. They also analyse and discuss the National Anthem. Students write expositions justifying the importance of Australia Day and whether or not it should remain a public holiday. They will discuss the importance of Federation.

Applying: Students will begin to investigate the nationalities represented in their class. They will research the influence that different cultures have had on Australian culture. Students will investigate the reasons for Federation.

Analyzing: Students will investigate the reasons for migrating to Australia, including comparing and contrasting living conditions. They will research the meaning of privilege in both a personal and national level. Students will discuss the reasons for Federation, including those who were for and against it.

Evaluating: Students will begin to make connections between the original inhabitants of Australia and the Gold Rush. They will evaluate migration trends to Australia during this time, and its impact on Australian colonies and original inhabitants. Students will also evaluate the restrictions placed on people wanting to migrant to Australia and the impact this had on their lives. They will also evaluate whether Federation was deemed to be for the common good or not, including why they think unity was so important to Australians at that time.

Creating: Students will organize themselves into groups to create a poster that demonstrates their top 5 reasons as to whether Federation was a positive or negative thing. They will also create a PowerPoint individually to accompany the poster. Students will also create questions designed to interview migrants to Australia. They will write a narrative based on the responses to their interview questions.

As can be clearly seen, each phase and lesson of the unit progresses through Blooms Taxonomy. The students were regularly able to achieve higher levels of thinking through the consistent use of activities that encouraged application, analysis, evaluation and creation.

GeSTE WINDOWS
First, a quick explanation of GeSTE Windows. GeSTE refers to information literacy that can be divided into the following categories:

  • Generic
  • Situated
  • Transformative
  • Expressive

It is my opinion, that the majority unit is currently placed within the Generic Window. This is due to the fact that information is:

  • External and objectified – students are not expected to create knowledge, but rather discover and take note of information.
  • Used to evaluate, manage and organize – students are required to locate appropriate information and organize it into the required assessment format
  • Learned by practicing search skills – students are given guidelines on how to locate information
  • Taught by search strategies and citing and referencing – as well as being taught how to locate the information, students are taught how to cite and reference, thus teaching them how to begin to examine the validity of a source.

Although the unit teaches students valuable search and referencing skills, it does not encourage all students to delve deeper into their learning. The assessment task requiring students to interview a migrant and reproduce their story as a narrative does allow the students to delve briefly into the Expressive Window. However, the opportunity is brief and not always achievable to all students without significant scaffolding.

LEVELS OF INQUIRY

There are many different forms and levels of inquiry. In terms of this unit, it is clear that the level of inquiry used is guided inquiry, moving into student-directed inquiry.

The unit is initially set out with 4 key inquiry questions to be answered throughout the designed learning experiences and assessment tasks. These questions are answered through carefully structured lessons and discussions. The students are then required to pose their own inquiry questions regarding the lesson topics, and undertake research to answer these questions. This occurs regularly throughout the unit, thus giving students ample opportunity to practice their inquiry skills. By placing limitations on the topics the students are required to research, the students are able to develop their questioning skills.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is my opinion that the progression of lessons throughout this unit is a little disjointed and confusing to navigate. I would alter the order to create a more chronological progression of information, thus providing students with an opportunity to continue to build on their knowledge, as opposed to introducing events and ideologies with each new era, in a confusing order.

In terms of moving from the Generic Window to the Transformative Window, I think that students should be encouraged to question and challenge the status quo. As a unit that touches on migration to Australia, I think the ability to discuss current events regarding migration was a missed opportunity. In terms of information used to empower people, I believe that an in depth investigation into how migrating to Australia can provide people with a sense of safety and privilege is something that students would greatly benefit from. Not only would they discover how migration can transform someone’s life, but it would also project them into the Expressive Window. By learning through this window they can express themselves and discover their own privilege, rights, and fortune, as well as feeling a sense of connection.

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5 thoughts on “Analysis

  1. Diana November 3, 2015 / 8:17 pm

    Hi Krystal,

    This is an interesting unit that you are working on! To be honest, I was impressed with the summative assessment task of the original version – whether Federation was a positive or negative thing – but I agree with you how the progression of lessons up until that point was a little disjointed. What you have created is a really good investigation of current migration, and I can definitely see how it now fits within the Transformative window- I’m impressed! I don’t think my ILA was anywhere near as authentic as this! Your new ILA has become such a relevant and important unit and I wish you all the best with teaching it next year!

    Kind regards,
    Diana

    Like

  2. Kylie B November 4, 2015 / 9:35 am

    Hi Krystal,

    Thank you for posting your blog for feedback.

    I found the unit of work you outlined, for your analysis, very interesting. I liked the way you identified and linked Bloom’s Taxonomy to the activities and outcomes of the unit. Your analysis of the GeSTE windows was helpful in demonstrating how the ILA unit operates in the Generic window. Highlighting how the ILA has further potential to operate in the Expressive window demonstrates you have identified a future opportunity to develop this unit, for improved learning outcomes.

    When discussing Levels of Inquiry you only briefly discuss the requirement for students to pose their own inquiry questions. I would of liked to know more about what questioning frameworks were in place within the ILA to help students develop these questions. Also, I’m curious to know why you limited your analysis to these three areas:
    * Bloom’s Taxonomy
    * GeSTE Windows
    * Level of inquiry

    Overall, I found your blog easy to read and navigate.

    Best wishes, Kylie

    Like

    • gagnz November 6, 2015 / 10:11 am

      Hi Kylie,

      My choice to limit my analysis to those three areas was simply to ensure that I did not end up writing a novel. I find that if I do not set myself clear parameters I tend to go a little overboard. I chose those 3 as I felt they had the most relevance to the ILA I was analyzing.

      Hope this answers your question! Thank you for your feedback 🙂

      Krystal

      Like

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