03 February 2014

Items to Share; 2 February 2014

Education Focus
  • If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You'd Be Plug Wrong! (artofteachingscience.org) 'We need to think about school as a whole. It’s a school system, and a more powerful way to look at schooling is to think of it as a system. A system (according to many researchers in this field) is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts. Indeed, every part of a system has properties that it loses when separated from the system, and every system has some properties–its essential ones–that none of its parts do'.
  • Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives | Brain Pickings 'One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, [Carol] Dweck found [...] has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, [...] striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.' (A good basic summary, so you don't have to read the book, which is very lightweight. If you do read Dweck, read Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development Psychology Press, 2000, which is much more informative about the research base.) 
  • Four Student Misconceptions about Learning | Faculty Focus  '[The paper is] in an impressive new anthology which is reviewed in the February issue of The Teaching Professor newsletter. Briefly here, the book contains 24 chapters highlighting important research on the science of learning. The chapters are highly readable! They describe the research in accessible language and explore the implications of those findings. Very rarely do researchers [...] offer implementable suggestions. This book is full of them. [] And [...] you can download it for free. It’s being made available by the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology.' (Download link provided.) 
  • How do you solve a problem like Meryl? Tough Young Teachers midweek special - Tom Bennett - TES Community 'Meryl looks to me like she'll be an astonishingly good teacher once her skin thickens and she gets her classes into routines where sanctions electrify the fences of good conduct until they are no longer required. Shouldn't we be looking after new teachers, not damning them if they fail to turn base metal to gold in their first month? Answers on a detention slip please. [] How do you solve a problem like Meryl? By realising that she isn't the problem.'
Other Business
  • What’s Ikea for? Cultural Differences in Appropriate Behavior » Sociological Images 'In the U.S., there are rather strict rules about what one can do in a retail store. Primarily, one is supposed to shop, shop the whole time, and leave once one’s done shopping. [...] Not in China. Ikea has become a popular place to hang out. People go there to read their morning newspaper, socialize with friends, snuggle with a loved one, or take a nap.' 

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