10 June 2014

Items to Share; 8 June 2014

Education Focus
  • A physicist weighs in on the rigor of education research - Daniel Willingham 'Can you use the results of your research to predict with some accuracy what will happen in a new situation? A common mistake is to believe that in education one ought to be able to predict outcomes for individual students; not necessarily so, any more than a physicist must be able to predict the behavior of each atom. Prediction in aggregate—a liter of gas or a school of children—is still an advance.' 
  • A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop - Scientific American scientificamerican.com
    'New research [...] demonstrates that students who write out their notes on paper actually learn more. Across three experiments, [...] students [took] notes in a classroom setting and then [were] tested [...] on their memory for factual detail, their conceptual understanding of the material, and their ability to synthesize and generalize the information. Half of the students were instructed to take notes with a laptop, and the other half [...] to write the notes out by hand. As in other studies, students who used laptops took more notes. In each study, however, those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.' and:
  • What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades - NYTimes.com 'Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.'
Other Business
  • New Statesman | How mistakes can save lives: one man’s mission to revolutionise the NHS 'After the death of his wife following a minor operation, airline pilot Martin Bromiley set out to change the way medicine is practised in the UK – by using his knowledge of plane crashes.' Excellent piece—but no reference to Atul Gawande's "Checklist Manifesto" (2010), strangely. Education rarely experiences such critical incidents—but there are things to learn.

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