School B 2/4

What did the researchers say?

Sorting statements activity:

Top 1: I enjoyed being active

Top 2: I enjoyed being in a kind environment

** Important note – the researchers wanted far more ownership of their work this week. It seemed important for the researchers  to show their identities despite the constraints of keeping feedback anonymous – for example,  lots of them wanted to include a ‘thumbs up’ with their photos.

This is an important area to consider when developing evaluation tools for primary aged children as their voice and identity from today’s research seemed to be as important to them as the words they are saying and the thoughts they were sharing. 


What did the researchers make?

The researchers wanted to alter the ‘beanstalk’ grading system to a number line as this tied in with their fractions/number line work in maths.

There was a discussion about what each ‘jump’ represented (linking to fractions and scale reading in the National Numeracy Strategy) and Child C mentioned how films are often given a ‘star rating’ so it was agreed by the group to add stars to their scale. Each researcher then chose a piece of lego/small toy and placed it on the number line. There was an accompanying discussion about feelings and thoughts surrounding this placement of the toy.

The researchers then decided to draw pictures of their thoughts and feelings from the workshop. These were then accompanied by a short explanation of what their drawings represented. 

Child A – “Music will guide the way” & accompanying audio

Child C – “Key hole and people” picture & accompanying audio

Child E – “Confusion/sad to happiness” picture & accompanying audio

Child F – “I liked to rap” picture & accompanying audio

Child D – just the picture “Musical notes” as didn’t want to be recorded speaking this week.

Child B – just the picture as didn’t want to be recorded speaking this week.

Reflection: Key observations and findings

The researchers showed careful consideration of the placement of their lego/toys on the scale, often changing its position a couple of times. This shows that even a relatively simple evaluation tool, such as a scale, can generate reflective talk and discussion behind the rationale for feelings, which is far superior to a simple ‘marks out of 5’ rating that would have been the result from using a more traditional/written questionnaire evaluation format. It is the words and reasoning  behind the choices/numbers graded that are fascinating and make the evaluation deeper and more meaningful.

For the individual pictures, the researchers explained what their drawings represented to them. The audios are an important part of this evaluation process as the pictures alone do not fully represent the researchers’ intentions or meanings. Although the drawings are a good median to evaluate children’s thoughts, it is their accompanying words that allows the viewer to make sense of their meaning, and enables the researcher to order and evaluate their experiences in greater depth. Again, this is an important point when creating evaluation tools for primary aged children; the pictures alone (although colourful) do not tell the whole story or the full meaning behind their creation.