Salesian Secondary College

Teaching Methodologies

Teaching Methodologies

A key feature of Transition Year should be the use of a wide range of teaching/learning methodologies and situations. The goals and objectives of the programme are best achieved in Salesian Secondary College by placing particular emphasis on:

  • negotiated learning;
  • personal responsibility in learning;
  • activity-based learning;
  • integration of appropriate areas of learning;
  • team teaching approaches;
  • group work: discussion, debate, interview, role play;
  • project work and research;
  • visiting speakers and seminars;
  • study visits and field trips;
  • work experience, work simulation, community service.

A Note on Self Directed and Negotiated Learning

One of the aims of TY is to facilitate the move towards self-directed learning. Students may have to research, explore and figure things out for themselves, with the teacher in a more supporting rather than directing role. Students are expected to take much more responsibility for their work, complete all assignments on time and carry out their work to the best of their ability in the hopes of developing more mature, responsible, diligent and flexible learners.

I Wish
This active learning method can be used when groups/ teams are beginning their project anddeciding what issue to focus their project on.
Teams will recognise the importance of planning when undertaking a project. They will givea personal response to the issue and work as a team to decide what course of action totake.
Think about the social issue that you have chosen for you projectWrite the name of the issue on the whiteboard / flipchart so that everyone can see it
Begin the ‘I wish’ exercise by thinking about what you would like to see happen to your
project e.g.
I wish… we understood more about why people are starving in the worl
I wish… there were more homeless shelters
I wish… the government would help us with our project
I wish… I knew more about how mental illness affects people
Discussion Time! Break up into small groups and discuss ideas on how you could possiblybegin to achieve some of the things on your wish list.
• How do we get our project to where we want it to be?
• What is the first step on the ladder to achieving our goals?
• What jobs are to be done?
• Who will do those jobs?
• Where can we find out the information
we need?
• Who can help us?
Young people respond individually to their social issue and then work as a team to decide onan agreed course of action. They formulate a flexible plan.
Materials required
Whiteboard/flipchart, pens/markers.
Creating a Group Code
This active learning method can be used to demonstrate the importance and benefits ofteamwork and that every individual has skills and attributes that they can contribute to theirteams.
Creating a Group Code aims to get young people to about values in general and what theywould like applied to their own group.
Ask the team to work as a whole group and construct a list of the things they value* e.g.respect; consideration; fairness etc.*Define Values: Values are things that people this have value or worth, such as beliefs,attitudes or principles. They will act as glue that binds the team members together; theymight help them decide how to approach some of the work and make decisions about thework later on. Please note that we are not talking about religious beliefs but with identifyingthe common core values held by the group.Divide into groups of 3-6 young people. Give each group the values list and post-its / sheetsof paper. Allow twenty minutes during which each group should select what they consider to be thefive most important values and write one on each post-it or sheet of paper. They shouldnumber the selected values 1-5 - with 1 being the most important.Collate the post-its / papers on the wall. Bring all members together to discuss the selectionsmade and make a final list.Review together a final list and establish if they are they consistent. Ask the group to consider what are the implications are for the project and their way ofworking together as a team.Look at the YSI Code of Good Practice which is based on the YSI core values of Respect,Empowerment, Fairness, Innovation, Fun and Experiential Learning. This may be a goodstarting point for the discussion or something with which to compare the values list createdby the team.
Young people recognise what values are and also establish what their team values are.
Materials required
Paper/Post-it notes, facility for recording team decisions.
Montage Wall
This active learning method can be used by groups/ teams when they want to communicatetheir ideas to each other/ others.
This activity allows all members of the team to creatively communicate their personalunderstanding of a social issue. It also allows groups to discuss the issue in a creative wayand allows young people to demonstrate what aspects are most important to them asindividuals.
Cover one large wall with sheets of paper / board using masking tape.Make sure that participants have a couple of markers. Using the theme of your project,simply (and silently) draw an abstract image on the sheet.Do this individually or if the group is large with two or three people at a time. After everyone has a turn everyone reflects and briefly discusses what was drawn.Groups/ Teams could also be encouraged to bring in newspaper cuttings, photographs,magazine articles that relate to their project and add to the wall. The final montage couldconsist of mixed media and will be a visual recording of the process and thinking of theproject!
Young people can creatively express their opinions, thoughts and feelings in a creative wayand discuss and share these with their team-members. By monitoring a variety of mediasources, they can decipher the importance the media/general public place on the issue.
Materials required
Paper, pencils/colours, masking tape, newspapers/magazinesSource: From materials created for YSI In-service workshops by Owen Boss and LouiseLowe, 2008

Follow The Yellow Brick Road
This active learning method can be used when students are deciding what course of actionto take.
Teams will recognise the importance of planning when undertaking a project. They will setgoals and create a plan of action for their project that is practical, achievable and realistic.
Every plan is really like a journey: like Dorothy who followed the yellow brick road to get toOz, you will have to follow a road to get to your end goal. Think of the many groups youknow who have succeeded-they all had a goal. The team who wins the Champions League,the band who get a number one, and the rally driver who wins Formula One all have an endgoal in sight and a plan to get there. Planning is really just figuring out how to get to the endof the road.Where Are You Going?Dorothy knew that she wanted to get to Oz so that she could get home
that was her plan.The FormulaOne team who wants to get to the finish line first
that is their plan.
• What is your plan?
• What
are the aims off your project?
• What do you want the end result of your project to be?
• The end of the road… What do you want to happen as a result of your project?
• While the plan may change as the progress develops, make sure your goals are
S.M.A.R.T.Specific: Is your goal well defined? Be as precise as possibleMeasurable: How will you know when you have achieved your goal? Achievable: Unrealistic goals will only end is disappointment.Your goals should be challenging but realistic.Relevant: Try to look at the big picture and see how relevant each goal is to your overall aim.Time-bound: Set a time-scale of completion of each goal. This may be viewed as yourprogress.Getting Started On The RoadThe band that gets to number one in the charts needs a number of things before they caneven consider
the charts
band members, instruments and a decent song. What will youneed to help you get your
project done?
What do you need to do first? Who will you need to help Resources (pens, paper, you getyour project done? library, internet etc.)On the RoadThe team which wins the Champions League would not succeed if it only had forwards, ateam needs defenders, players to set up the scores and a decent management team
inother words: everyone has their job to do to achieve success.
• Who will be doing what in your group?
Teams will define their goals, highlight what they need to do to achieve their goals, what arethe roles that are necessary within their group and the resources they will require.
Paper and pens, whiteboard to write ‘SMART’ goals.
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