Journal of Computer Assisted Learning: Publication 2004

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Hyperlink and Virtual Field Worker: a powerful tool for exploratory and expressive learning

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning: Publication 2004


Paul Brown, Jon Nichol and Kate Watson

e
-
mail:
J.D.Nichol@ex.ac.u
k

telephone: 01392 264834

School of Education and Life Long Learning,

University of Exeter, England, EX1 2LU

Abstract.
The contextualisation of ICT in the curriculum, paying full attention to the cultural
ambience in which teaching and learning occurs, is

at the centre of the effective educational use
of new technologies in both the home and classroom.

The introduction and assimilation of ICT within the existing teaching and learning ‘cultures’ of a
school and its community of pupils, parents and teachers

is a highly complex and ‘messy’
process. Central is the pedagogic expert knowledge of the teachers involved and how ICT maps
on to both their existing pedagogic expert knowledge


their ‘folk’ pedagogy
-

and a range of
institutional constraints and deman
ds that may either hinder or facilitate innovation. Fundamental
to ICT in the curriculum is the often implicit correlation between applied professional and
academic knowledge, the teacher’s ‘expert’ model, and its relation to the learner’s knowledge
and u
nderstanding


the ‘novice’ or ‘student’ model. In this case the novices can be other
teachers as well as pupils! As such, the changing state of the learner’s knowledge is socially
constructed, situated as it is within the school context. This paper examin
es the creation and use
of a hyperlink programme, Virtual Field Worker, for both children and teachers to use both as
exploratory and expressive learners within a school environment. Children use the VFW in to
investigate aspects of their locality. They th
en use the data collected to create a virtual field work
centre. We have deliberately used the universally available hyperlink facility in Microsoft Word to
replicate key features of Knowledge Based Systems in the creation and exploration of declarative
se
mantic networks. The paper also focuses on the professional development of the teacher
involved as an outcome of an in
-
service course and a subsequent government scholarship for
teachers that led to the development of Virtual Field Worker.


Keywords

cognit
ive apprenticeship, expert and novice models, expressive and exploratory
learning, hyperlink, mental modelling, situated learning, user modelling, virtual field worker,
in
-
service outcome, continuing professional development


This paper falls into six sect
ions:

1 Introduction

2 The ICT background

3 Virtual Field Worker and the modelling of expert knowledge

4 Virtual Field Worker: structure and functions

5 VFW


A curriculum development and research site

6 Findings and discussion: VFW and teachers’ profess
ional development

1 Introduction

The contextualisation of ICT in the curriculum, paying full attention to the cultural ambience in
which teaching and learning occurs, is at the centre of the effective educational use of new
technologies. The introduction
and assimilation of ICT within the existing teaching and learning
‘cultures’ of a school and its community of pupils, parents and teachers is a highly complex and
‘messy’ process. Central is the pedagogic expert knowledge of the teachers involved and how
I
CT maps on to both their existing pedagogic expert knowledge


their ‘folk’ pedagogy
-

and a
range of institutional constraints and demands that may either hinder or facilitate innovation
(John, 2002). Central to ICT is the often implicit correlation betw
een applied professional and
academic knowledge, the ‘expert’ model, and its relation to the learner’s knowledge and
understanding


the ‘student’ model. The changing state of the learner’s knowledge is socially


2



constructed, situated within the school cont
ext (Chaiklin & Lave, 1997; Lave, 1998; Clancey,
1997, 1988; Lave & Wenger, 1991).


This paper examines the creation and use of Virtual Field Worker (VFW), a programme
initially created in Microsoft Word using the hyperlink facility for children to use bot
h as
exploratory and expressive learners within a school environment. Children used the VFW in to
investigate aspects of their locality, using the software for exploratory learning. They then used
the data collected to create a virtual fieldwork centre, us
ing the software expressively to process
and consolidate their learning. We deliberately used the hyperlink facility in Microsoft’s Word to
replicate key features of Knowledge Based Systems in the creation and exploration of declarative
semantic networks.
To explore a site created using Virtual Field Worker, go to
www.ex.ac.uk/historyresource
, where you can find a Virtual Field Worker site created by a small
village primary school in Devon, England. The s
chool used a British government Best Practice
Research Scholarship (BPRS) for teachers to produce a CD
-
ROM base on the Virtual Field
Worker approach to celebrate the Queen of England’s Golden Jubilee, 1952
-
2002.


Virtual Field Worker arose from the conflue
nce of a number of complimentary interests and
expertise:



an enthusiastic, motivated and knowledgeable user of ICT for teaching and learning in a
primary school [Paul Brown]



an expert on the theory and practice of history education who had had a twenty yea
r
interest in the application of cutting edge ICT to education [Jon Nichol]



a colleague with considerable expertise in ICT in the context of training both student
teachers and experienced teachers to develop the use of ICT in the school teaching
curriculu
m [Kate Watson]


We worked together during a five
-
day in
-
service course for schoolteachers that Jon Nichol ran for
an English Local Education Authority in 1999
-
2000. After the course Paul was awarded a Best
Practice Research Scholarship, a government grant

for teachers to enable them to do school
based research. Paul used his BPRS to develop the Virtual Field Worker within the context of his
own school. The Virtual Field Worker incorporated a decade of school
-
based ICT development.
Crucial is Virtual Field
Worker’s use of an ICT tool within a word processor that is universally
available from Microsoft


it requires no dedicated package that has to be downloaded or
purchased. All the authoring tools needed are available within the generic software provided wi
th
the computers used in English schools. Teachers and pupils are familiar with the software and
can be encouraged to explore the use of specific tools within it, such as the hyperlink facility.

2 The ICT background

Virtual Field Worker is grounded in two
decades of ICT curriculum development and research that
began in 1982 with experimentation in teaching
PROLOG

[
PRO
gramming in
LOG
ic] to children.
Pupils used
PROLOG

to help them engage in historical enquiries: they were developing the
syntactic or procedur
al knowledge of the discipline


its skills, procedures, protocols and
concepts. The hypothesis underpinning this use of
PROLOG

was that it would drive pupils to select,
organise and analyse data in a logical way


thus deepening their understanding of a t
opic. Using
PROLOG

with children proved difficult because of the problems that pupils had in learning the
programming language before using it. So, from 1985 onwards we removed this barrier to
learning by embedding
PROLOG
’s features into user
-
friendly, na
tural language interfaces.


The interfaces resulted in a set of Knowledge Based Tools (KBTs) written in
PROLOG
:
MITSI
,

THE
PLAN
,

PLACES
,

LINX
and

KEYNOTES
. Each KBT was a content free shell


as such, they worked in
the same way as a word
-
processor. The K
BTs provided frameworks for teachers and pupils both
to express their understanding of topics, and, as learners, to explore them using the skeleton that
the programme provided.
MITSI

[Man In The Street Interface] was a natural language front
-
end for
PROLOG

programming,
THE PLAN
was an adventure game shell and
PLACES

was a data
-
handling
tool for analysing place names. Our two main shells for use across the curriculum were
LINX
and

KEYNOTES
.
LINX

s main use was for procedural programming


it enabled us to a
pply the tree
-
like
structure of procedural programs to problem solving, expert knowledge/systems, games,
simulations and classification.
KEYNOTES
was most effective for declarative programming: the
linking of the nodes in a semantic network. We used
KEYNOT
ES

for all kinds of investigations,


3



concept maps and information networks. A typical
KEYNOTES

programme was Greendie, a
detective investigation, see figure 1. The programme was used in 1999 to introduce Paul to a
hyperlinked exploratory programme.


From 19
86
-
92 we used
KEYNOTES
and
LINX
extensively on in
-
service courses for teachers and in
our curriculum research and development work in school for the 7
-
18 age range. Some sixty
teachers and students used
LINX

and
KEYNOTES
to create programmes in the follow
ing areas:


Archaeology, Biology, Careers, Classical Studies, English, Engineering, Geography, History,
Mathematics, PSHE, Physics, Politics, Social Studies, Special Educational Needs, Design &
Technology and Topic Work












































Figure 1. Greendie’s declarative database


hyperlinked words in each node’s text links
it to other nodes



Applications fell into a number of categories:


inhabitants of Vicarage

neighbours

John Green

lawyer/solicitor

bank manager

enemies

locals/suspects/villagers
/

witnesses/other people

pensioner

farmer

poacher

poacher’s son

barmaid

study

Green’s house

body

servant

doctor


fingerprints

gamekeeper

spinster

housemaid

vicar

vicar’s daughter

vicarage

glovemaker

dagger/murder

weapon

gardens/grounds
/

outside

Richard Roe

gate/paint/green

paint

footprints

Saturday night weather

vicar’s wife/

wife



4



Adventure Games, Classification, Concepts, Detective/Journalistic Investigations, Expert
Kn
owledge/Expert Systems, Games, Historical Enquires, Information Handling, Simulations,
Stories, Story Lines, Tutorial Systems

The abandonment of PROLOG Knowledge Based Tools

In the early 1990s, with the emergence of the PC and the British Government’s prom
otion of
the use of these machines in schools, we were forced to abandon our
PROLOG
-
based ICT
development work. The work reflected Skilbeck’s barriers to innovation model, i.e. to succeed
there was a series of hurdles that could be faced in any order, fail
ure at any one of which would
vitiate the innovation. Unfortunately within British schools our Knowledge Based Tools fell at the
first hurdle to innovation they encountered, the absence of computers able to run our software.
However, we continued to apply

the underlying ideas, enshrined in Papert’s seminal and
inspirational book on
LOGO
,
Mindstorms
, to our work (1980). Papert’s key idea was that the
computer was an enabling tool that mapped on to the cognitive processes of children. As such,
Papert grounde
d
Mindstorms

in mainstream developmental psychology, specifically Piaget’s
findings, although his ideas on the computer as a supporting cognitive tool mirrored Vygtoskian
analysis of the role of language. The approach of using ICT as a learning toolkit inf
luenced our
1996 development of Site Explorer, a software application for exploring historical sites, using a
British government grant. Site Explorer enabled the teacher to load into the program a photo
-
cd:
users could then explore the site at will. Unfort
unately copyright problems meant that Site
Explorer was never made universally available: while the government’s ICT agency waxed lyrical
over Site Explorer, it claimed it was powerless to act. The thinking behind Site Explorer re
-
emerged in the developmen
t of the Virtual Field Worker.

Renaissance of Knowledge Based Tools: 1996
-
2003

The incorporation of the hyperlink facility into Microsoft Word provided the breakthrough that
we had been looking for in terms of applying the power of Knowledge Based Tools to

teaching
and learning. Microsoft provided a powerful device within a universally available word processing
package that would enable us to use the features of ICT tools such as Keynotes, Linx and Site
Explorer. We realised that the hyperlink tool could be

used to replicate the essential features of
Keynotes, Linx and Site Explorer. Accordingly, we experimented with hyperlink from 1998 and
introduced it into our ICT courses from 1999 (Watson et al, 2000
).

A key aspect of our courses
was to present history a
s an investigative, problem solving discipline. Here we adopted the stance
of R.G. Collingwood, a philosopher whose book
The Idea of History

(1949) provided the
epistemological foundations for the major reform of history teaching in the United Kingdom. In
the
Idea of History Collingwood demonstrates the basic idea of History as an investigative, problem
solving discipline, arguing that it shares many of the features of detective work, To illustrate his
ideas Collingwood presented a murder mystery, an invest
igation of the death of John Doe. The
course that Paul Brown enrolled on in 1999 begins with the Collingwood investigation in both hard
copy and electronic form, Greendie, see
www.ex.ac.uk/historyresource

[we gave John Doe a
pseudonym, John Green]. The course demonstrated the structure of Greendie and the teachers
enacted and mentally modelled what it involves, spending some time in exploratory use of the
software. We also trained course members in the us
e of hyperlink, the essential tool used to
produce the electronic version of Greendie. The final element in our training is implementation,
reflection and review
-

Paul applied the concept of historical investigation in a hyperlinked format
to his own teac
hing context. In so doing, Paul developed the ideas that resulted in the Virtual
Field Worker, working closely with his own pupils.

Virtual Field Worker and the modelling of expert knowledge

Virtual Field Worker sits at the intersection of student knowledg
e and expert pedagogic
knowledge. The sophistication of Expert Pedagogic Knowledge has been a focus of educational
research since Shulman’s seminal papers of 1986
-
87 (Grossman et al, 1988; Shulman, 1986a,
1986b, 1987). At Exeter in the early 1990s the Lev
erhulme Primary Project explored the issue of
teachers’ knowledge bases in the context of Initial Teacher Training courses. The result was an
elaborated model of Expert Pedagogic Knowledge (Turner
-
Bisset, 2001). In creating Virtual Field
Worker Paul drew u
pon all twelve of the knowledge bases that contribute towards Expert
Pedagogic Knowledge (Figure 2).




5



The expert model of teaching and learning that underpins the Virtual Field Worker had to map
on to the novice knowledge of the students involved

both pup
ils and teachers. Student
knowledge has two dimensions: the syntactic and the substantive. Syntactic knowledge
encompasses the novice’s skills, understanding of processes involved and the protocols for
carrying them out: i.e. how to undertake a local study

from its inception to resolution. Substantive
knowledge was the applied knowledge of the topics that they were investigating.


Accordingly the expert pedagogic model underpinning Virtual Field Worker has an awareness
of the user’s novice knowledge. The VF
W had to be accessible to both teachers and pupils who
wanted to create and explore their own Virtual Field Work centres. In creating Virtual Field Worker
Paul wanted to provide an iconic interface that pupils would find easy to use. This related to
semiot
ic features, like maps and diagrams; iconic elements such as photographs and pictures as
well as text


see section 4 for details. Virtual Field Worker is based upon exploring a map of a
site


Paul immediately became aware of the problems that this might
cause the user:


However, I hit a snag when trying to do my front page (the home page). I had chosen to
use a map of the village from which to launch the investigations. Microsoft Word would not let
me place hidden labels on the map. To have placed all
the hyperlinked labels on the map
visibly would have obscured the map. So, with the help of my son, we began to construct a
map in the way I wanted it using
Illuminatus Opus
. [note


this meant that the labels were
hidden from sight until the cursor move
d over one]


Knowledge Bases of the Expert
Teacher

Expert Pedagogic Knowledge


Virtual Field
Worker

1.

Substantive knowledge

Detailed knowledge of the role that ICT could play
in teaching local studies across a range of
subjects

2.

Syntactic subject knowledge

Assimilation of the skills, processes, protocols
and syntactic concepts of both ICT and the
subjects that Local Studies embraced.

3.

Beliefs about the subject

A strong commitment to the role that ICT could
play in learning and the value of Local Studies in
children’s learning ‘



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6




Figure 2. Expert Teacher Knowledge Bases and Virtual Field Worker


User modelling involved making sure that the user could not get lost
in the database: the user
would have to be able to return to either of the Virtual Field Worker site’s two starting points


the
map and the index.


…it is sensible to have a direct link back to the map and the index from each page for the
sake of the user

exploring the pages. Otherwise s/he gets lost.


The expert pedagogic model of the VFW also mapped on to the school’s archive of previous
field work:


One of the more satisfying aspects of the project is that it has given me an opportunity to
display the
findings of a project undertaken by a Year 5 class of mine in 1992. The children
sought to find out about the histories of the men whose names are on the village war
memorial. Much information and photographs were gathered, but until now there has not
be
en any satisfactory place for its storage for use by other pupils. A link from the War
Memorial page takes one straight to it.


Crucially, Virtual Field Worker is open ended, i.e. it can be altered and extended at will. In a
real sense it is a living arch
ive. As such, it may be used in both an exploratory and an expressive
way as a flexible and adaptable ICT
-
based learning resource.

4 Virtual Field Worker: structure and functions

Paul’s expert pedagogic knowledge was reflected in the VFW’s architecture tha
t consists of:


A the user interface,

B navigation features

C four layers of data, like the layers of a cake. The nodes in each layer are linked
both to each other and also have links to the layers above or below.

A The user interface

As noted in the las
t section, it was vital to make the interface as user friendly as possible, i.e.
to map on to a novice level of expertise. To make the pages easily editable by other members of
staff and children Paul chose to use the ubiquitous Microsoft Word for the prep
aratory work. Once
work had been authored and checked, it could be saved as html files for uploading onto a web
site. Using the map involves moving the cursor over it: hotspots are then signalled by a label that
emerges with the name of the feature the fe
ature, for example, the parish church. Hidden labels
can be created in Microsoft Word, although there are problems when this facility is saved in html
files for access via an Internet browser.


There are approximately 75 places and themes directly linked

from the map. Some are
almost blank, awaiting contributions, while others, like the Clock School page already have
information on them.

B Navigation

The Map and the Index.
The entry point for the VFW is the map. Linked to the map are key
features: an ind
ex, a navigation symbol and a user guide.


Navigation feature.

In the top left hand corner of the page are
four arrows
. A click on one of
these will allow a visit to the place that can be seen in that direction. In this way a virtual tour of
the village
can be taken. All files provide a direct link back to the Map and the Index, and to the
previous file via the back button. The Map and the Index do not link directly to all other files.


Hotspots

were created linking to places and themes. The map was the
home page. As the
cursor is dragged over the map names of the places appear. Click on these and a place page will
appear. For example a linked from the spot marked by the arrow on the map will link to The Clock
School.

Clock School



7



Sub
-
files

B
road C
a
t
e
g
o
ries

Index

Individual Files

Map

Sub
-
file:

I
n
side the
church

Broad C
a
t
e
g
o
r
y:
Chu
r
ches

Index

Individua
l

Fi
l
e:
Pa
r
ish Church

Map


Text.

In the text there is an under
lined word e.g. “
Cubs
”. A click on this will open a page about
the activities of children from my class at their cub camp. Many of the pages also have further
links like this, which will open further pages.


Pictures

A click on a hotspot placed on a pictu
re, such as the church tower, will open a page
showing a close up view of the clock.


Thematic hotspots

Some aspects of village life are not place
-
specific, for example, wildlife.
Consequently, to the south and east of the map thematic hotspots were creat
ed covering such
titles as weather, soil, plants, wildlife and history. The wildlife hotspot leads to a page which leads
to three further menus; birds, mammals and mini
-
beasts. In addition, within the text, there are
links to other pages in the text.

C The

Four Layers of data

The Field Worker Explorer is organised in four layers consisting of nodes


links run between
nodes in a layer and to nodes in other layers. See Figures 3a and 3b.























Figure 3a



Figure 3b


Layer One: The Map and the Index

In the Field Worker Explorer the main entry point is the map. At a later stage PauI added an
index for ease of navigation.


Layer Two: The Broad Categories

Each heading is linked from both the
map and the index. These included such categories as
History, Wildlife, and Geography. They were inserted because some aspects of a village cannot
be easily associated with a single building.


Layer Three: Individual Files

Accessible from the Broad Categ
ories files, but some, notably sites of buildings featured on the
map, are accessible directly from the map.


Layer Four: Sub
-
files

These are files that are only accessible through the Individual Files.


An Example:

The Broad Category is Churches. This w
ould link to individual files, one of which is the Parish
Church. The Parish Church file then links to sub
-
files, including one about Inside the Church.




8



Virtual Field Worker is a cross
-
curricular tool. Starting from a local large
-
scale map, pupils
can i
nvestigate the area around their school. Their fieldwork involves geographical, historical,
religious and scientific investigations, see Figures 4 & 5. Virtual Field Worker enables them to
present their findings in an easily accessible form either as a web
site or on a CD ROM.

5 VFW


A curriculum development and research site

Virtual Field worker was developed at the school where Paul is a teacher, in
Buckinghamshire, England. The work was funded using a British Government Best Practice
Research Scholarship

in 2001
-
2002. The BPRS released Paul for sufficient time to re
-
acquaint
himself with hyperlink. Hyperlink had been an element in his five day in
-
service course on
Literacy, History and Information and Communications Technology in 1999
-
2000, see above.


Th
e school caters for pupils are of mixed gender across the ability range. The school children live
in surrounding villages and suburban areas and in the local town. The pupils engaged in
developing Virtual Field Worker were a class of 30 Year 3 and Year 4 p
upils aged from 7
-
9 years
old. The research was carried out in the summer term of 2002. The information entered into the
Virtual Field Worker includes a collage of photographs of the village, both past and present, a
collection of local studies resources
and pupils’ previous fieldwork.



9







































Figure 4. Curriculum Areas






Figure 5.

Virtual Field Worker

& a Pupil Information Network for his bedroom


Religious
Education

Churches

Chapels


Numeracy

Data
-
handling


Virtual Field
Worker


Aston
Clinton Explorer

Science

Habitats

Classification

Investigative
research


His
tory

First World War

Second World War

Historical resources

Historical
photographs

Chronology

Archaeology


Geography

Hous
es

Map skills

Community

Services

Commerce

Industry

Physical features

Water and streams

Buildings

Farming

Directions

Roads

Recreation

Public buildings

Monuments

Street furniture

Land use

School Layout


Information
Technology

Databases

Spreadsheets

Data
-
handling

Word processing

Hyperlinking

Scanning pictures

Graphs and charts

Drop
-
down menu

Internet search

Handling graphics

Adding animation


Literacy

Letter Writing

Newspapers

Researching
information

Re
counts

Interviewing

Note
-
taking

Report writing


Art

Live drawing


Technology

Building materials

House construction




10





Paul’s Action Research aims

were:

1.

to learn how
to use ICT via ICT and Vi
rtual Field Worker as a tool to develop pupil
learning.

2.

to develop a school resource for investigation in Local Studies.

3.

to provide a medium by which the collection of Local Studies material can be stored,
made accessible and can be added to.

4.

to encourage
the use of Local Studies as a bridge to pupil learning and knowledge
across the curriculum


These translated into
his professional development research questions
:


1.

Can I use hyperlink as an element in ICT provision?

2.

Can I use hyperlink to develop a school
resource for Local Studies?

3.

Can I provide a medium by which the collection of Local Studies material can be stored,
made accessible and added to?

4.

Can I encourage Local Studies, via the Virtual Field Worker, to be a cross curricular tool?


In terms of
pupil

learning
, the
research question

was:


5.

can pupils use Virtual Field Worker as a medium to develop and express their
understanding of local studies topics
?


The question of pupil’s learning outcomes will be addressed in a subsequent paper


the
research dat
a has yet to be analysed. The research aims and questions mapped on to Paul’s
vision of what Virtual Field Worker could do:


This was the beginning of a project to construct linked web pages through which the
children could explore their own village. As t
he children began to explore their surroundings I
was aiming that they would spin off to explore related themes, for example as they looked at
the local petrol station, they would notice that one of the buildings on the site is called The
Forge. This coul
d lead to an exploration of the history of petrol stations, back to blacksmiths
and then on to find out what a blacksmith did. This in turn could link on to a discovery of the
trades to be found on a village up to Edwardian times. Likewise, if the childr
en recorded the
weather around the village, links to the science of weather as well as the climatic conditions of
other regions and nations.


The possible links are endless. Therefore it was my aim for this project to be an evolving
one, built largely by
the pupils of the school and added to in subsequent years. Therefore it
has to be simple enough for others to add to without my intervention.


The research methodology

was that of Paul as an action researcher, with Jon Nichol and
Kate Watson in participan
t researcher roles. Pual used the following data collection methods:


1.

recording all lesson plans and resources;

2.

recording the lessons taught, in such a manner that others could follow them.

3.

producing Virtual Field Worker as a depository of pupil learning
outcomes in the
form of data entered into the Virtual Field Worker site

4.

keeping a reflective diary

5.

writing formative reports at key points in the research process


Paul had been trained in the Action Research methodology on both the five
-
day History,
Liter
acy and ICT course and as an element in the Best Practice Research Scholarship programme
(Nichol with Dean, 1997; Somekh, 1997) JN and KW through their involvement with both the five
day in
-
service course and the Best Practice Research scholarship were par
ticipant researchers: as
such they were able to gather data from Paul’s coursework, from visiting the school on two
separate occasions during the development of Virtual Field Worker and a constant dialogue via
email and telephone in their supervisory role.





11








An Ordering Of In
-
Service Training Outcomes

1
st

order

values congruence

knowledge and skills

2
nd

order

motivation

affective

institutional

3
RD

order

provisionary

information

new awareness

The Harland & Kinder research into government f
unded long CPD courses [GEST] showed
that the greater the number of these outcomes that are present, the more effective is the CPD.

For long term impact, the 1
st

order outcomes are
essential
. Without them the impact of
CPD is short
-
term and transitory.

N
otes: in
-
service training outcomes

1
st

Order

values
congruence





灥rs潮al views,⁢ li敦sⰠ,慬略s ⁣畲uic畬畭
慮搠dl慳sr潯m m慮慧敭e湴

whic栠h湦潲m⁡
practitioner’s teaching



桯w⁦慲⁴桯a攠

‘individualised codes of practice’
com攠e漠o潩湣i摥 wit栠hhe

f乓b
T providers’ messages
about ‘good practice’


Knowledge and
skills










摥v敬潰m敮琠tf⁤ 数敲敶敬s ⁵ d敲e瑡tdin本g
cri瑩c慬⁲敦l數ivity⁡ 搠dh敯r整ecal⁲慴a潮慬eⰠwi瑨tre条r搠瑯t
扯瑨tc畲uicul畭⁣潮瑥t琠慮搠de摡g潧y



development in teachers’ self
J
k湯睬
e摧攠慮d
aw慲敮敳s ⁡ 畬琠tn搠du灩le慲湩湧 灲潣敳s敳K



c桡r慣瑥物s瑩cs ⁥ f散瑩v攠䍐䐠Day⁶慲yⰠ湯琠
潮ly⁡ c潲oi湧

瑯t潵瑣潭敳⁢ 琠t漠oh攠e慲楯畳⁦潲ms
k湯wle摧e⁩nv潬v敤
灲潣e摵r慬湯睬敤来Ⱐ,i瑵ttio湡l
k湯wle摧eⰠ,ro灯siti潮慬湯wl敤g攬e

慣慤e
mic⁡ 搠
瑥tc桩湧⁳u扪散t
-
k湯wle摧攬ek湯睬敤来⁣r敡瑩o測n
灲慣瑩c慬


k湯睬敤来Ⱐ,kills 慮搠d湯w
-
桯眬w

2
nd

order

motivation


enhanced enthusiasm and motivation to implement
INSET ideas, i.e. the will to make it work.


affective

emotional experience (positiv
e or negative)


institutional






c潬l散tiv攠em灡c琠⡯t瑥t⁩渠nc桯潬
-
b慳敤Ⱐ潲o
杲潵灳 ⁴ 慣桥rs ⁣o畲u敳)Ⱐ,潮s敮s畳Ⱐ,桡r敤
m敡湩湧sⰠ,潬l慢潲慴i潮,畴ual⁳異灯r琠睨敮
敳瑡tlis桩湧⁣畲uicul畭⁩湩ti慴av敳



P敲e潲m慮c攠e慮慧敭敮琠愠aey⁦慣瑯爠t敲攠


s敥

灲潰潳慬

3
rd

order

provisionary





practical, resourced strategies and ideas for the
classroom

physical resources including time and materials



l敳s潮⁰la湳Ⱐ,v慬畡tio湳Ⱐ,c桥m敳f⁷潲oⰠ
瑥tc桩湧 i摥慳⁴ a琠tle慲ay 睯wk⁡ 搠dav攠扥e渠nff散瑩ve



val畡tion

sc桥m敳Ⱐ,瑲慴a杩敳Ⱐ,灰ro慣桥s


information


being briefed or aware/knowing about background
information about

curriculum and management
developments


new
awareness


perceptual or conceptual shifts from previous
assumptions about content and delivery i
n a particular
curriculum area


Figure 6 Taxonomy of in
-
service training outcomes



12



6 Findings and discussion: VFW and teachers’ professional development

The creation of Virtual Field Worker reflected the factors that Harland & Kinder identified as
being i
nvolved in successful in
-
service (Harland & Kinder, 1997). Harland & Kinder produced a
three tier typology, figure 6


the top tier being crucial for any in
-
service to have a lasting impact.
The more elements that are in an in
-
service programme, the more
likely is the in
-
service to
succeed.


Harland & Kinder argued that 1
st

order elements are crucial if in
-
service is to have a long term
impact. They were central to Paul’s creation of the Virtual Field Worker. The issue of
knowledge
and skills

permeated the

whole Best Practice Research Scholarship process


as Paul noted:


I had to learn the following ICT routes to achieve all objectives:



To learn how to hyperlink in Microsoft Word.



To learn how to create hotspots on a map.



To organise files in a manageable
fashion.



To understand the protocol of web pages and their links.



To understand the formatting of pictures in Microsoft Word.



To learn how to network a suite of computers together.



To plan ICT lessons for children in the building of hyperlinked documents.



To teach children how to build hyperlinked documents.



To teach children how to understand a networked filing system.



To create databases from children’s research.



To explore those databases.


In the process I also covered the following ICT skills:



The crea
tion of drop
-
down menu forms.



The use of a variety of digital cameras.



The installation and use of scanners.



Learning how to use PowerPoint in order to display the work to other teachers
and pupils.



Exploring other ways in which hyperlinking can be used as

an educational
resource.


Values congruence
, involving

values and beliefs
, was equally important: Paul repo
rted on its
central role:


Firstly,
a belief that knowledge and learning can never be satisfactorily
compartmentalised. Areas of knowledge usually
overlap more than one academic subject.
Life is much more integrated than a ten subject curriculum would suggest. Therefore, I
wished to show some of this integration in my work.


Secondly,
a belief that to grasp an understanding of the world, we all nee
d to understand
home first. Over the years I have taken many children on field trips, often to fulfil the need to
contrast another locality in the UK with our own local area. What has become apparent is
how little children know about their own area. Thi
s is due, maybe, too much car travel and
too little walking. It is impossible for a child to be able to compare adequately another locality
with his home area unless he is familiar with the essential ingredients of his home community.
Therefore, children

need to be taught to look and understand what they see in their own
village.


Thirdly,
a belief that there is so much to see on our doorstep that can be used for
learning that is too often neglected. Because the schools I have taught in are within thirty

miles of London, many of the trips orientate towards that city. Much time is spent on a coach
in traffic that could much more profitably be spent out and about the local area. A trip to see
the River Thames as part of a study of rivers and streams is go
od, but not if it means a
neglect of a study of the local streams, which are much more accessible. Much more time can
be given to a local visit and revisits can easily be arranged, if desirable. One local feature,
like a stream, can lead into a far wider
study. For example, a study of a local stream can yield


13



an insight into the natural drainage of the area, the route to the sea it takes, with all the
settlements it passes through, as well as a look at the speed of water flow, the flora and fauna
that rel
ies on a stream, and in addition, the reliance of human settlement on the stream. In
the Thames Basin area, in which I live, the River Thames is a part of a much wider picture.
Therefore, in the same way, a local study can lead on to a much wider study o
f almost all
areas of knowledge.’


All three of the Harland & Kinder second order elements are reflected in both the
development of Virtual Field Worker and the continuing programme of work. Paul is
highly
motivated
, he has a personal,
affective
commitment

and is fully aware of mapping VFW on to the
institutional constraints

of his school, its community, and the wider educational context.


The issue of
institutional constraints
, the
environmental
and
cultural demands
that the

specific school system
makes,

is crucial. Paul is clear that his Virtual Field Worker site met
these demands. The development of Virtual Field Worker entailed a continuous dialogue between
Paul’s expert pedagogic knowledge that matched
institutional constraints

and the ‘novice’
knowled
ge of the pupils. Paul had a clear vision of what was possible, but he had to map this on
to the existing substantive and syntactic knowledge of the pupils


their substantive knowledge of
the topics being entered into Virtual Field Worker and their syntac
tic skills, procedural concepts,
procedures and protocols. Paul’s report of his school’s project gives a detailed account of the
context of the pupil learning as part of their overall curricular provision. The report is posted on the
website
www.ex.ac.uk/historyresource
. The teaching covered the following lessons and topics:


No. of
Lessons

Topic

3

Introducing pupils to, and training them to use, hyperlink.

4

My house


i湦潲o慴a潮⁡ 潵琠t桥ir ow渠桯u
s敳⸠K桥⁦irs琠typ敲ei湫⁡ 瑩vity
睡w⁴ ⁣r敡t攠en⁩湦潲m慴ao渠n慰 ⁴ 敩r睮⁢e摲潯msⰠI湤⁴ e渠
com灵瑥物s攠i琠tsi湧 hyp敲ei湫ⰠI敥⁦i杵r攠eK

O

䵩ni
J
扥慳瑳

N

Ac瑩viti敳
J

m敲e潮al⁩湴nr敳瑳ⰠI潢扩敳

O

m潥瑲y

O

pc桯ol⁔潵r


愠vir瑵tl visit⁴ ⁴ 攠ec
桯ol

S

p瑯ty tri瑩湧


B慢愠va条



Once the pupils had learnt how to set up hyperlinks, the project focused:


… on the children gaining the skills and understanding to make the links between the
pages. Therefore, the emphasis was not on original writing
. Consequently, we used the
information contained on the web
-
site of Birds of Britain. The children had to make HTML
files and add a hyperlink back to the Birds page.











Paul’s evaluation of the pupil’s learning indicated that he had met the
inst
itutional constraints

in
terms of both the government’s targets in its statutory ICT National Curriculum and wider concerns.
The pupils, with teacher support, had been introduced to and learnt how to:




use a questionnaire regarding their home;



use drop
-
do
wn menu documents to record their findings;



use a database with given fields;



use hyperlinking in documents;

Wildlife

Birds


Mammals

Mini
-
b
easts

?

?

?

?



14





make the material available on a school intranet;



prepare material for disseminating to the school community through an assembly
and to the parents

through an open evening.



Paul has subsequently received a follow
-
up award to disseminate Virtual Field Worker. The
grant reflects the
institutional constraints

involved, not only is he extending the work at his own
school, but he is also disseminating i
t to other schools within the Local Education Authority. He
has already worked with a second school creating a Virtual Field Worker Site. Virtual Field Worker
was also used at a Devon primary school to create an exploratory learning resource on CD
-
ROM
to c
elebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, 1952
-
2002, see
www.ex.ac.uk/historyresource
.


The final level of Harland & Kinder outcomes permeated the project, Paul had a range of
provisionary

resources tha
t he could use, and he was fully
informed

and was made
aware
of
possibilities. Thus in developing the VFW Paul’s professional development maps closely on to all
the elements that Harland & Kinder identified.

Looking ahead

The next, and crucial step is to s
ee if the lessons from the Buckinghamshire case
-
study of the
development of Virtual Field Worker can be transferred to other schools. The aims of the Paul’s
application for a further grant to develop VFW stated:




I want to see the work continue to incorpor
ate the cross
-
curricular links I think it
should.



I want to see teachers who are not ICT experts make use of the scheme and add
their own part to it.



I want to see other pupils in the school use the scheme for investigation and edit it
themselves.



I want t
o involve a whole community in the project.



I wish to transfer the concept to other schools.



I want to develop the idea of using hyperlink as a tool for teaching thinking skills.



I want to see if it is possible to turn my Virtual Field Worker into a model
that can be
easily replicated. This would involve discussion with either a software manufacturer
or a computer programmer to see how it could be done.


Jon Nichol and Kate Watson look forward to following the next phase of Paul’s action
research and will
be reporting on further stages of his work in due course.

References

Chaiklin, S. and Lave, J. (1997)
Understanding Practice: Perspectives on activity and content

Cambridge University Press

Clancey, W. J. (1997
)

Situated Cognition: On Human Knowledge and
Computer Representations

Cambridge University Press

Collingwood, R.G.(1949)
The Idea of History

OUP

Grossman, P.L., Wilson, S.M., Shulman, L.S.(1988) Teachers of Substance: Subject Matter
Knowledge for Teaching. In M .C. Reynolds (ed)
Knowledge Base for th
e Beginning Teacher

Pergamon Press

Harland, J. and Kinder, K. (1997)

Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development: Framing a
model of outcomes
Journal of In
-
service Education

Vol.23: 1 pp. 71
-
84

John, P.(2002) Teaching and Learning with ICT New Technology
, New Pedagogy? In
Teaching &
Learning Research Programme, InterActive Education Teaching and Learning in the Information
Age, BERA Working Papers

University of Bristol

Lave, J. (1988)
Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics and Culture in Everyday

Life,

Cambridge University Press

Lave, J. and Wenger, (1991)
Situated Learning
, Cambridge University Press



15



Nichol, J. with Dean, J. (1997)
History 7
-
11

Routledge

Papert, S.(1980_
Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas

New York: Basic Books

Schon, D.

(1983)
The Reflective Practitioner

Basic Books

Shulman, L. S. (1986a) Paradigms and research programmes in the study of teaching: a
contemporary perspective. In Wittrock. M.C., (ed)
Handbook of Research on Teaching: Third
Edition

505
-
526 New York: Macmil
lan

Shulman, L. S. (1986b) Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching
Educational
Researcher

15/2, pp. 4
-
14

Shulman, L. S. (1987) Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reforms
Harvard
Educational Review

57, 1
-
22

Somekh, B.(1997) Action Res
earch as a Strategy for Teacher Professional Development with IT.
In B. Somekh and N. Davis,[eds]

Using Information

Technology Effectively in Teaching and
Learning

Routledge

Turner
-
Bisset, R. A (2001)

Expert Teaching: knowledge and pedagogy to lead the pr
ofession

London: David Fulton

Watson K., O’Connell K. and Brough D. (2000) Hyperlink: A generic tool for exploratory and
expressive teaching and learning in History
International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching
and Research

Vol.1, No. 1


on line
at
http://www.ex.ac.uk/historyresource