Research Conversations with Classroom Teachers
Chapter 5: The Challenges that Emerged
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The Challenges that Emerged
In the previous chapter, we began to explore the question ‘does What If Learning work?’ by telling the stories of how seven of our fourteen teachers responded to their encounter with it in the research project. We concluded that What If Learning ‘worked’ for these teachers since it enabled them to respond to the Churches’ aspiration that the experience of learning in their classrooms should be distinctively Christian. The teachers were comfortable with the outcome of their experiments when they perceived them to be professionally valid responses that promoted meaningful learning for the students.
The aim of our research was not to ‘prove’ in a positivist, objective fashion that What If Learning worked by, for example, demonstrating that the majority of the teachers found it helped them to plan meaningful lessons. Rather we wanted to explore how it worked in supporting teachers in promoting distinctively Christian learning in their classrooms. Alongside the positives, there were also significant challenges that emerged, which became barriers to the approach working as well as it might have. This chapter is an exploration of those barriers. It draws on the case studies in Chapter 4 and adds insights gained from the other seven teachers whose stories do not appear in that chapter.
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