28 October 2013

Items to Share: 27 October

Education Focus
  • On boredom. | More or Less Bunk and information overload and today's students. 'If you never give yourself time to think or reflect about yourself, then you’re certainly going to resent the fact that your professor is demanding that you reflect on the experiences of other people (be they writers, historical figures, scientists or whomever) who you don’t even know and could care less about in the first place.'
  • Teaching for Understanding | Webs of Substance A critical discussion of David Perkins' thoughts on this; unfortunately the video of his presentation on a related topic, teaching material as an object, a tool and a frame has disappeared from the web. If any reader knows where it can be found, please let me know. [Perkins D (2010) “Threshold Experience” keynote given at 3rd Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium, UNSW, Sydney 1-2 July 2010]
  • Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn – A Review | Webs of Substance (Hattie and Yates, 2013) 'However, there are some significant flaws in the book as a whole and, in some areas, a teacher will find it hard to figure out exactly what Hattie is proposing. Given my experience with Visible Learning for Teachers, I am going to speculate here and suggest that when Hattie sees a polarisation between ‘traditional’ and ‘progressive’ approaches, he seeks to rise above the debate and present a third option. Unfortunately, in many cases, all of the options are already covered by the traditional or progressive perspectives and there is nothing left. And ---What happens when cognitive science meets visible learning? | Pragmatic Education 'My reading [...] is that Hattie and Yates attempt a kind of super-synthesis between cognitive and affective domains. Concise instruction, deliberate practice and clear feedback are vital for building long-term memory; but relationships, trust, empathy, passion, engagement and questioning are equally vital.'  
  • And--- (update 28 Oct) here are two more substantial summary/review pieces on Hattie and Yates from Debra Kidd: Part 1 and Part 2 with more to come.
  • Don't Call Us Rock Stars - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education 'The more a MOOC is defined as an expensively staged experience supported by an army of back-stage roadies, the less risk-taking and pedagogical experimentation we’ll see. And the less we faculty members will own our teaching. I don’t mean just in the intellectual-property sense. I mean that, like many rock stars, we’ll be “the talent” out front, but not the ones controlling the creative process.' 
Other Business
  • Measure for Mismeasure by Esther Dyson - Project Syndicate 'Ranking exercises, like the things they rank, are not all the same; different approaches fit different situations. We live in a world where everything is being rated, whether you are a professional judge or an individual trying to make sense of modern life.' 
  • Why job interviews don't work - Daniel Willingham 'You do end feeling as though you have a richer impression of the person than that gleaned from the stark facts on a resume. But there's no evidence that interviews prompt better decisions (e.g., Huffcutt & Arthur, 1994).'

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