To increase students’ academic outcomes in Psychology, I place high importance on improving communication skills. There is a strong emphasis on how to use terminology effectively and appropriately depending on the context. I assist students to develop the ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner, as Psychology is a science and as such, requires evidence to support points and a structured style of formatting.
Students need to develop inquiry skills in order to gather relevant data, then analyse and display accordingly in their Investigation tasks. I place an emphasis on critical thinking skills to ensure students evaluate whether the data they have gathered is quality data and relevant to their research question and hypothesis. Students are challenged to develop a logical approach in their evaluation of information.
I encourage students to reflect on their work on a regular basis, to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This sense of awareness allows students to view their progress in perspective. I support students to develop goals using the STAR structure that will enable them to experience continued success.
Psychology is beneficial to students in a multitude of ways. Studying psychology can assist in improving self-awareness, communication skills and conflict resolution skills, as students develop an understanding of human behaviour.
Tutoring allows for further differentiation of content to cater to each individual student. I ensure that I consistently cater my learning activities to accommodate to student’s needs in order to improve learning outcomes. I employ the use of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences test and Blooms Taxonomy to identify each student’s learning style and intellectual development. I frequently incorporate collaborative activities to develop student’s confidence and communication skills.
To ensure that my teaching strategies are responsive to students’ individual strengths, I employ Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences test to identify which type of learning style each individual student possesses. I then strive to provide examples for the main learning styles (visual, verbal, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal) in each of my lessons when introducing a new concept. This is continually reinforced in lessons and learning strategies are provided for consolidation of learning material, in order to complement each student’s individual learning style. This could include mindmaps for visual learners, audio recordings for verbal learners, and posters or interactive online activities for bodily-kinaesthetic learners.
I encourage senior students to seek out regular formative assessment from their teachers, as this provides students with consistent feedback which will assist them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and allow them to study more effectively. Although students bring in specific tasks provided by their teacher, I also I have a plethora of learning materials and frequently supply practise tests and worksheets to prepare students for summative tasks (which contribute to their ATAR).
The Investigation folio is a major component of both Year 11 and 12 Psychology. Before students commence the Investigation tasks, I ensure that students understand how to structure the report effectively, use appropriate terminology, write concisely and avoid colloquialism. I consistently reinforce how important effective communication is in Psychology, particularly in the exam when each question is worth a minimum of two marks, with one dedicated to communication.