• Normalising computer assisted language learning in the context of primary education in England

      Pazio, Monika (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-07)
      The thesis examines the concept of normalisation of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), i.e. complete, effective integration of technology, in the context of primary Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in England. While normalisation research is conducted predominantly in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context, understanding normalisation in the primary mainstream education in England is important due to the contrast between teachers’ lack of readiness to deliver languages as part of the National Curriculum, and technology penetration in the classrooms. This thesis therefore, taking a sociocultural perspective of Activity Theory, attempts to redefine normalisation to include context specific characteristics, identify what factors contribute to and impede normalisation, and assess where primary CALL is on route to normalisation. An ethnographic approach was deemed to be most suitable to gain deep understanding of normalisation. Prolonged immersion in a primary school and the thematic analysis of observations, interviews, field notes and audio recordings revealed that factors impeding normalisation of primary CALL revolve around the following areas: attitudes, logistics, training and support and pedagogy. The issues related to the subject itself, e.g. negative attitudes toward the subject, lack of skills, impact on the achievement of normalisation to larger extent than issues related to technology. Hence in the primary context, normalisation needs to be considered from the point of view of normalisation of MFL and then the technology that is embedded into MFL. The analysis of the data allowed the researcher to create a model which serves as a form of audit of factors that need to be considered when thinking of successful technology integration into languages. Such guidance is needed for the primary MFL context having reoccurring issues, but is also relevant to primary EFL contexts in Europe where similar problems related to teaching of the subject are reported.
    • Participatory action research: challenging the dominant practice architectures of physical education

      Goodyear, Victoria A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-05)
      Research shows that the dominant pedagogical practices of physical education are irrelevant to young people in the 21st century, and that physical education currently exists in a time of innovation without change. Subsequently, physical education as a curriculum subject is at risk of becoming extinct unless the 'talked' about pedagogical innovations that provide authentic, relevant and transferable learning experiences can become sustainable 'actioned' futures. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to explore how a pedagogical innovation, the Cooperative Learning model, could be used over an enduring period of time. Participatory action research (PAR) was used as the methodology to scaffold the inquiry and to support eight secondary school physical education teachers' learning and use of Cooperative Learning during an academic year. This thesis considers how PAR enabled teachers to break the dominant practice architectures of physical education and how PAR supported teachers‘ use of an emergent pedagogical approach within and beyond the honeymoon period of implementation. In other words, how PAR facilitated teachers' ability to work beyond the dominant pedagogical practices of physical education and the practices endorsed by the school as an institution. Furthermore, how PAR sustained teachers' engagement with, and use of, the Cooperative Learning model. Indeed, Cooperative Learning was firstly immersed within the milieu of the practice architectures. Yet through the use of PAR the teachers were motivated to move beyond the honeymoon period and began to use the model within, with and then against the mess of the practice architectures. Subsequently, Cooperative Learning was emerging as the dominant pedagogical approach. However, this only occurred for some teachers where social connectivity and an emerging community of practice were significant variables in sustaining and adapting the use of Cooperative Learning. The contribution to knowledge is therefore the methodological processes of how to move beyond dominant pedagogical practices and facilitate innovation with change. In order for a pedagogical innovation to become a sustainable 'actioned' future its use is context dependent and PAR facilitates its sustainability. Furthermore, teacher learning should be advanced and teachers should be encouraged to create communicative spaces with colleagues and researcher facilitators.