Thinking maps: action research to examine their impact on the writing of Year Six pupils in a South Wales school.
Watkins, Lyndon Francis
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This action research examines the effectiveness of Thinking Maps in terms of their impact on the standards of writing of a sample group of twenty year six pupils. It proceeds to analyse the effect that self-efficacy may have on teachers and pupils in relation to their work with Thinking Maps. A baseline writing activity was conducted and repeated after a period of interventions involving the use of Thinking Maps. The writing was assessed using two models of assessment, SAT criteria and the CLPE Scale. Self-efficacy of teachers was measured using two interactive tools, Bandura's Efficacy Scale for Teachers and a teachers' questionnaire on Thinking Maps. The self efficacy of pupils was measured using the Myself As a Learner Scale. Group interviews allowed for qualitative data to be forthcoming to complement the quantitative data yielded by the other research methods. This work concludes that Thinking Maps had a significant impact upon the standard of pupils' writing, finding that the mean improvement made was at a rate of more than double the expected rate of progress identified in the National Curriculum for Wales. Further, it finds that pupils with high levels of self-efficacy made quicker progress than their peers and that self-efficacy is one of the important factors to impact on teacher effectiveness. The recommendations flowing from this research are that schools should consider employing the use of Thinking Maps to raise standards of written work and that they should actively seek to find ways to raise the self-efficacy levels of pupils and teachers.
MA Education Thesis
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