Rosenshine’s principles are not GIS specific, but for our project we considered how they could be applied to teaching about and with GIS. Rosenshine tells us that the best teachers ask lots of questions, and interact with the students at each stage. The stepped approach to learning is not confined to the students: teachers should also follow this approach when developing their own competence, according to the TPACK model, and this should be part of your own curriculum making. Teachers make pedagogical decisions about how the interactions are best achieved within the constraints of time, and the different needs of each student.
Tom Sherrington explored the idea of combining the principles of Rosenshine into four strands in 2020 to provide a possible workflow for teachers. As said before this does not involve merging the principles together, but recognising that some of them are complementary. This is not a checklist, but a framework for introducing new knowledge. Sophie Wilson explored this in her own research.
When Rosenshine talks about reviewing material (and student progress), we consider this to be a review of the GIS skills and knowledge as well as the linked subject content that is being covered. The term ‘daily review’ will for many subjects refer more to short term and periodic reviews rather than literally reviews taking place each day.
Scaffolding is needed for all new learners, including teachers. Any GIS task needs to be modelled first, followed by the use of a series of steps through which students and teachers work to develop their understanding. Videos can be used to introduce students to the stages that include modelling – this connects with some of the blended learning approaches that are having to be adopted in 2020-1 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but would also link with the use of MOOC. It is easy to get lost in the technical and practical aspects of using a GIS tool and take a lot of time to unpick a task. These steps need to be thought about when planning a lesson sequence, just as a teacher would with any planning, and teachers need confidence that they can complete them in front of a class. Sweller uses the phrase “scaffolded freedom” to reflect the careful use of support that is carefully removed, and may be removed at different rates for particular groups / individuals as they are no longer required, and competency increases.