Tool WC-2: Using tasks that make connections to the world of work

For this tool you will need the following resources:

  • WC-2 PowerPoint
  • Handout 1: Tasks in the classroom

30minThis tool will help teachers develop a critical appreciation of five tasks that connect learning to the world of wdownload_powerpointork. Building on their discussions, teachers will explore the possible impact on learning when using these tasks with a class and consider how they might use a task or tasks within their own teaching. The tool is linked to Tool WC-1 Connecting tasks with the world work and uses the same tasks for discussion.

teamworkAsk the teachers to work in pairs for about 20 minutes to examine the main features of each task in more detail and reflect on the possible impact on learning when used in a classroom situation. Each pair may be directed to look at a different task first so that all the tasks are covered by at least one pair within the time available. Teachers need to consider the following questions:

  • Does the task require students to adopt a role or ways of working that are different to usual?
  • What knowledge, skills, or understanding might be gained, either mathematical or science-related or otherwise, through using this task?
  • In what ways might this learning be different from that stimulated by a more conventional school task?
  • Would the task help motivate students or stimulate student inquiry in any way?

classBring the group together to share the main points from their discussions, making comparisons between tasks to identify any differences in the actual learning that might take place when used with a class.

nextstepsTeachers might then choose one of the tasks and try using this with a class, with or without adaptation, and observe how students respond. After thedownload_handout lesson they can use the questions provided on the Handout: Tasks in the classroom for personal reflection and discussion by the group at the next session.

  • Why did you choose this task, for this group? Did you adapt the task in any way before using it in the classroom?
  • Did the workplace context interfere with the learning of mathematics and/or science or did it help?
  • Did the task lead to learning that was closely matched to curriculum expectations? What, if any, were the differences?
  • Did the task prove motivating to students? Which students? Why?
  • Did the task stimulate student inquiry?