Anne Moriarty (St Aiden’s NS, Monasteraden, Co. Sligo) outlines how the pupils in her class worked as co-researchers with her in examining the value of film in the teaching/learning of History. The pupils asked a question, collected data, analysed the results and compiled presentations of their findings.
Introduction to Pupils Co-Research Projects
I have been involved with the FÍS project since 2005, working collaboratively with the teacher of the senior classes (4th-6th). We included pupils from 3rd-6th class in the film projects. Working from this perspective I could see enormous potential for the use of film in teaching and learning within the classroom and across the curriculum. So, in 2011, I adopted a new approach and designed an action research project (to be published 2014) to introduce animated film-making as part of the history curriculum, and as such a valid part of Literacy teaching and learning in our multi-age and ability classroom. My classroom consists of 25 1st-3rd class pupils who had never used animation before this. In order to hear the true voice of the pupils’ perspective on introducing film-making into our curriculum, I designed my research to involve the 3rd class pupils (all aged 9) as co-researchers. In that role, (which they relished!), the 11 pupils collected data based on their observation of the animated film-making process as it took place within our classroom, the role of the teacher and that of the pupils. One team gathered data through photographs and field-notes and a second team of pupils interviewed all 25 of the pupils involved from 1st-3rd classes. Here is what they found out.