22 September 2014

Items to Share: 21 September 2014

Education Focus
  • Minorities | Sam Shepherd On being a cyclist. 'Read [this post] through to the end and it gives you a feeling for what it must be like when it’s not a lifestyle choice which is being discriminated against, but some central part of who you are. I wonder how much starker and more intense are those emotions, how much more savage the final radicalisation might become.[...] But I have a little insight, which I hope is a start.'
  • Does Discussion Make a Difference? | Faculty Focus 'When faced with conceptual problems, students need the opportunity to practice solving them. The value of that practice is enhanced when in addition to finding the answer, students talk to one another about the problem and how they arrived at their answers. What’s most encouraging in this study is the documentation that discussion not only leads more of them to the correct answer, it improves their ability to explain why the answer is correct.' And...
  • How to get students to participate in discussion 'The reading has been assigned. You have prepared the questions, in advance. As you ask them, you are met by blank stares. This week on Teaching in Higher Ed: How to get students to participate in discussion with Dr. Stephen Brookfield.'
  • Does the student a) know the answer, or are they b) guessing? 'Central Queensland University has weighed up the advantages and limitations of multiple choice and has decided to abolish them from all exams. This is for two reasons: firstly, because of the potential impact of guessing; and secondly, because of the lack of authenticity in the method of answering the question.' But...
  • Games in the Classroom (Reading List) –  The Chronicle of Higher Education 'There are lots of enthusiasts for games in the classroom out there (myself included, of course) and tons of great places to start if you’re interested in learning more about bringing games into education. These are only the tip of the iceberg–there’s a particularly rich conversation in game studies surrounding serious and persuasive games, which is decidedly interwoven with educational games.'
Other Business

  • BPS Research Digest: The 10 most controversial psychology studies ever, digested 'Controversy is essential to scientific progress. As Richard Feynman said, "science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Nothing is taken on faith, all assumptions are open to further scrutiny. It's a healthy sign therefore that psychology studies continue to generate great controversy. Often the heat is created by arguments about the logic or ethics of the methods, other times it's because of disagreements about the implications of the findings to our understanding of human nature.' 
  • ‘The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace,’ by Jeff Hobbs - NYTimes.com 'There are places in America where life is so cheap and fate so brutal that, if they belonged to another country, America might bomb that country to “liberate” them. This book is a mesmeric account of such a place — a ghetto near Newark — that asks the consummate American question: Is it possible to reinvent yourself, to sculpture your own destiny?'
  • 3quarksdaily: Ig Nobels: British researchers take coveted science humour prize 'The nation can hold its head up high. Once again, researchers in Britain have been honoured with that most coveted of scientific awards, the Ig Nobel prize. [ ] Not to be confused with the more prestigious – and lucrative – prizes doled out from Stockholm next month, the Ig Nobels are awarded for science that makes people laugh and then makes them think.'  

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