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I am coming to the end of my foundation degree with the OU i am really struggling with the assignments for E215 I keep thinking that I have finally cracked what is needed but still keep barely getting a pass my next assignment is on inclusion then just an ECA to do but really would like to get my head roud the last two parts of the course and at least get more than just a pass. Can anyone tell me where I might be going wrong on the critical analysis and writing of the assignments any suggestions would be great. My tutor has been really good and given me suggestions that I thought had improved my last assignment but obviously not. It must be this course I am struggling with as the other course I am completing I have received A's for my assignments!. Any help would be great

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Hi Ninafox

sorry to hear you are struggling with the E215 assignments. It's a bit difficult to suggest where you may be 'going wrong' when I don't know what/how you have written previous assignments but having finished E215 (results due anyday now! :o ) I will have a go!


The 'inclusion' assignment you mention is, I think, TMA 07 "A discussion paper providing critical analysis of different perspectives on inclusion and associated perspectives". When I wrote mine I had the 'suggested structure' provided in the course materials, close to hand!


You should find that you have lots of material to draw on as for this assignment you must make direct reference to your tutor group/route conference discussions (don't forget this includes your own contributions as well as those of other students). In additon you will also have your research findings from the interviews you carried out with colleagues and parents.Not forgetting the course material especially block 5.


I tackled it by looking at the aspects of inclusion that were raised during my interviews and in the conferences and obviously these may not be the same as your findings. However, I started by looking to see which aspects had resulted in sufficient discussion for me to critically anaylse it. The suggested structure asks you to start by outlining the main areas you are going to focus on and to explain briefly why you have chosen them. You are asked to limit yourself to four or five key points. This is really important so my tutor said - they ask for 4 or 5 so don't choose 3 or 6! I know it sounds obvious but it is easy to overlook the guidance sometimes!


For me it was glaringly obvious from my research and conference participation that the term 'inclusion' meant very different things to different people. Therefore one of my 4 key areas was 'defining inclusion' My route and TGC conferences had reams of views on inclusive practice so that was my second area,. The other two I chose were, cultural and linguistic diversity and working partnerships.


IN writing the assignment I really just followed the suggested structure to the letter and I am not for a second saying it was easy!! Try taking it literally one step at a time, tackle the introduction and ensure it contains what they are asking for. The second paragraph asks you to summarise the perspectives - this was quite brief really, partly because they say 'summarise' and also because there were 4 to cover!


AS for 'critical anaylsis' - I just analysed my findings and tried where possible to support it with quotes/references from policy documents/course material and of course the conferences. In doing so I think you are being critical and hope that doesn't sound silly! In the first few assignments I sent in I was concerned that i had not actually critically analysed at all! I threw in a few sentances such as 'My critical analysis of research data illustrates that...' and it seemed to work!


I think the difference about TMA 7 is that it is a discussion paper and as it says in the guidance 'You are raising points for further discussion and questions rather than providing answers" so I tried to make mine less 'cut and dried' than previous assignments.


To critically analyse I think you perhaps need to try and provide more than a description of what your research found. You certainly need to include a variety of perspectives and it is vital that you support these with reference to 'policy, practice, reading, research findings etc' as shown in the suggested structure.


I found it really helpful to use a highlighter pen and mark parts of the suggested structure - such as 'It will be important to include some discussion of the impact of policy on practice' it would be easy to write the assignment and overlook this one sentance!


I found it helpful to make a 'Have I included ?' list which I made from the suggested structure and then when I had completed my first draft I read it through and ticked off what I had included and there were a few things I had not included at all so it was a case of re-hashing and trying to get in all they require - as always it's tricky given the limited word count.

Sorry if this is a load of waffle but hope it may help, if only a little- good luck with it :D

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I have no knowlege of the assignment you are discussing, but I found your response interesting, and far from a lot of waffle! I hope it helps ninafox, because it made for a very good read!



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Thank you Geraldine that did make sense I am probarly like you say overlooking obvious and do what you said this time and use the guidance as my bible hopefully that will do the trick Thanks for your advice will let you know how i get on

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