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CHEM3027 Communicating and Teaching the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

Module Overview

This unit runs under the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme and provides an opportunity for students to act as ambassadors for their disciplines.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Some of the aims of the scheme are: • To develop a range of skills in the student and to offer an early taste of teaching to those interested in pursuing it as a career. • To help students gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and understand how to address the needs of individuals. • To learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the relevant age group they are working with. • To help inspire a new generation of prospective undergraduates by providing role models for school pupils. • To help teachers convey the excitement of their subject to pupils by showing them the long-term applications of school studies. • To help teachers by providing an assistant who can work with and support pupils at any point on the ability spectrum. On successful completion of the unit students will have gained substantial experience of working in a challenging and unpredictable working environment. They will be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept and will have gained a broad understanding of many of the key aspects of teaching in schools. They will also develop a better understanding of and confidence in their subject.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communication skills, both one to one and with an audience.
  • Team-working.
  • Standard teaching methods.
  • Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.
  • Understanding the needs of individuals.
  • Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.
  • Staff responsibilities and conduct.
  • The ability to improvise.
  • Giving (and taking) feedback.
  • Organisational, prioritisation and negotiating skills.
  • Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations.
  • Public speaking.

Syllabus

An initial one day of training will provide the student with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment. A competitive interview system will be used to match students with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area, and each student selected will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the unit. The student will be required to spend half a day a week in the school every week for a semester. It is intended that there will be no formal lectures associated with the unit, and that wherever possible or appropriate the students' own ideas and learning will feed back into the content of their activity as they become more experienced. However, there will be four supporting tutorials which will provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences. The teachers will act as the main source of guidance but, in addition, students will also be able to discuss their progress with the Unit Co-ordinator or a Faculty Learning and Teaching Coordinator whenever necessary. The students will be involved in the following activities in support of their learning and teaching: • Classroom observation and assistance: Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level being taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher. • Teaching assistance: The teacher will assign the student with actual teaching tasks, which will vary dependant on specific needs and the student’s own ability as it develops over the term. This could include for example offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of higher ability pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class. The student will have to demonstrate an understanding of how the level of the knowledge of the pupils they are teaching fits in to their overall learning context in other subjects. • Whole class teaching: Students will typically be offered, in collaboration with their teachers, at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, albeit that it may be only for a small part of one lesson. • University awareness: Students will represent and promote their academic discipline as a potential university choice to pupils across the social and academic range represented at their partner schools. • Special projects: The student will devise a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher and their own assessment of what will interest the particular pupils they are working with. The student will implement the special project and evaluate it. The student will be required to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials, practical demonstrations and basic ‘tests’ where appropriate. • Extra-curricula projects: The student may be supervised by the teacher in helping to run an out-of-timetable activity, such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will have to demonstrate an ability to think laterally in order to formulate interesting ways to illustrate more difficult scientific concepts. • Written reports: The student will keep a journal of their own progress in working in the classroom environment, and they will be asked to prepare a written report on the special project . A competitive interview system will be used to select and match successful applicants with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area, and each student selected will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the unit. An initial day of training will provide you with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment. You will be required to spend half a day (approx. 4 hours) each week in the school every week for a semester. It is intended that there will be no formal lectures associated with the unit, and that wherever possible or appropriate your own ideas and learning will feed back into the content of your activity as you become more experienced. However, there will be supporting tutorials which will provide an opportunity for you to share your experiences. The teachers will act as the main source of guidance but, in addition, you will also be able to discuss your progress with the Unit Coordinator or a Learning and Teaching Coordinator whenever necessary.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • initial short training course • discussions with teacher and Unit Convenor Learning activities include • preparation and delivery of teaching materials • keeping a journal.

TypeHours
Follow-up work15
Lecture6
Completion of assessment task50
Project supervision40
Wider reading or practice30
Tutorial4
Preparation for scheduled sessions5
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Teacher’s report 15%
Written report 60%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 30%
Written report 70%
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