Thursday, 16 October 2014

Brilliant tutoring again

My new tutoring look
I'm off to be trained for another bout of tutoring for The Brilliant Club.  I'm delighted to say I have a lovely new school to head off to in Uxbridge (well, more Hillingdon when I looked at the map).  This time I'm going to be teaching Years 7 and 8.

Now, rather than teaching my own subject area this term, I'm teaching philosophy. Yes, I know. I'm going to have to grow and beard, and wear sandals and a toga.  How much fun is that?!

Seriously though, the course is amazing.  I can't imagine how much fun I'd have had at school if a tutor had come in to talk to me about "Can terrorism ever be justified?"  Bit different from maths and English now isn't it!  Don't panic though, these courses are put together incredibly well.

All the pre-designed courses allow the young people to focus their own thoughts and ideas about the subject matter in a university style tutorial.  They have homework and a final assignment to complete, building their knowledge as they move forward.  Discussions are encouraged. Getting you point across and defending it are all part of the experience.   Alongside this are the learning outcomes such as: pupils demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of key concepts and processes and theories; they show contextual awareness and use good examples to illustrate points made; they learn understanding of different ideas and perspectives; and most importantly (I think) they learn how to discuss and debate in a group situation.  See, university style lecture!

As a mum, I know that talking - especially for teens - is not always an easy thing to do. I'm sure if I texted them the lesson, or used Twitter or WhatsApp, they'd be conversing like crazy (I base this example on my own almost 16 year old daughter).  Having a conversation though...pfftt...that's hard work!

Here's a fab video illustrating what The Brilliant Club are all about. If you're a school who fits their criteria - get in touch.  You may get one of us turn up at your door, toga in hand ;-)  Honestly, I'm not on commission (just tea and biscuits at training), I just think this is such a fantastic thing for both us tutors and the schools who join in.


So perhaps now you can see why all of us PhD students or PostDocs need training on how to deliver these courses to young people.  There's a lot to this isn't there.  But what fun they are going to have as each tutor has their own style of delivery and way of engaging the young people.  Last term there were even Roman sacrifices going on in the school grounds. Now, that's what I call fun at school.

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