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The blogging with S2 English continues.

Photo by NASA. [Public domain]

Photo by NASA. [Public domain]

One group has struggled to select a topic from the 1960s that interests them, and  having worked through two ideas already, has been persuaded to investigate the Moon landings since there’s plenty of information and it’ll be easy for them to catch up.

Wrong.

Such a simple and obvious mistake – asking pupils to investigate a topic that we assume they know about. We should really know better, but we figured they’d be able to cope.

Yeah, definitely a bad idea.

Reviewing their half-finished report about the moon landings, there was mention of Jodrell Bank and a Russian rocket, but nothing about astronauts, Project Apollo, or even the Moon itself. I wondered if they were just taking an unusual tack and asked them to explain their idea, but in fact they had never heard of the event and had only used a single website for their information.

(I’m going to ignore the fact that 13 year olds had never heard of the moon landings, and avoid the temptation to ask what they’re educating them these days.)

This is a recurring issue: how are you supposed to know what’s important when you don’t know anything about the events in the first place?

We had asked groups to brainstorm and plan their research but having changed their minds twice, these pupils were keen to catch up and just leapt straight in on their third attempt.

Understandable but not helpful.

Pupils (and some staff) grumble about the steps required of them when planning an investigation – steps that will help in the long run but which they consider to be holding them back.

We have tried to emphasise the importance of planning by including it with other information literacy processes in the assessment comments but it’s not having any impact as yet. And so, I’m on the hunt for a better idea. Nil (or should  that be Neil) desperandum.

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