New academic year, new students, new ideas. Now we’re no longer bound by the AS exams at the end of Year 12 we’ve decided to rethink the structure of the course. I’ve decided to start Year 12 with bio-psychology, rather than memory. Here are some proficiency scales for Edexcel bio-psychology topics. I’ll be adding more bio-psychology resources soon as I need to plan next week’s lessons.
I’m not a massive fan of presenting a set of learning objectives (or whatever we’re calling them this inspection cycle) at the start of every lesson. I agree it’s important that students know where they’re heading and how what they’re engaging with relates to other things they are learning; I just don’t think that sticking today’s LOs on the board and reading them out/getting students to copy them down is a particularly effective way of accomplishing this. That said, there is still an argument for defining clear set of LOs when we plan. When we teach a syllabus whose content and examination format we don’t determine (like A – Level Psychology) careful thought needs to be given to translating its potentially vague statements into terms that are meaningful given the people we’re teaching, the context in which we’re teaching them and the timescales involved.
I’ve done this a variety of ways in the past. I’ve always found it a very useful exercise for me, but of relative little apparent value to my students. To try to extract some more mileage from the process I’m currently experimenting with proficiency scales (Marzano, 2017). Besides communicating clearly what students need to be able to do, Marzano’s format also requires us to consider what progression in knowledge and understanding might look like in a topic and gives a scoring rubric we can use as the basis for assessment and feedback. I am interested to see how this works in practice.
Here is a set of proficiency scales for the Edexcel criminological psychology topic and a generic proficiency scale (RTF) you can adapt for your own purposes. I’ve divided up the content using SOLO levels (Biggs & Collis, 1982) because it’s a fairly useful model of how students’ knowledge and understanding can be expected to develop. I’ll upload more topic proficiency scales when I’ve finished writing them.
Biggs, J.B. & Collis, K.F. (1982). Evaluating the quality of learning: the SOLO taxonomy. New York: Academic Press.
Marzano, R.J. (2017). The new art and science of teaching. Alexandria: Solution Tree/ASCD.