26 January 2015

Items to Share: 25 January 2015

Education Focus
  • Donald Clark Plan B: Boko Haram (Western Education is sinful) a look behind the slogan 'Boko Haram means ‘Western Education is sinful’. What does that mean or at least signify? Why have they targeted education in particular? Why the gender war? Surely education is a universal good? Well, we must look behind the horror to see what’s happening there, as education, in particular our model, is NOT seen as a universal good by all.'  
  • A defence of the fixed mindset | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'The growth mindset has been so universally heralded as ‘a good thing’ that it’s in danger of becoming one of those memes we think with rather than about. A number of commentators have been critical of the way mindset theory has been uncritical adopted and unthinkingly applied, but what if growth isn’t always good? What if sometime we might be better off to be ‘fixed’ in our attitudes and beliefs?' 
  • Thinking Aloud: Expectations | Teaching at the Edge of Chaos 'I do feel that as a society we are too fond of attaching labels to people, only for them to meet the negative expectations that come with such tags. Likewise once tagged, many appear to expect and rely on entitlements that they don’t necessarily need.' 
  • Well-being programmes in schools might be doing children more harm than good (Kathryn Ecclestone) 'Apocryphal depictions of an unprecedented crisis in young people’s mental ill-health and their general vulnerability have been accompanied by increasingly alarmist claims that only schools can address this social “ticking time bomb”. [...] There have been calls[...] for schools to appoint heads of well-being. Yet there is little evidence that programmes aimed at improving children’s emotional well-being are having any impact.'
  • Keeping Students on Board with Concept Maps | Faculty Focus 'The benefits of concept maps are well established. They encourage students to organize knowledge and do so in ways meaningful to them. [...] Students can also use concept maps to forge relationships between new knowledge and what they already know. [ ] But students don’t always see these benefits when first introduced to concept maps, and as the authors of the article referenced below discovered, how concept maps are used in a course directly affects student perceptions of their value.'
  • The Silent Teacher | Blogger, interrupted… 'I had no voice. [...] Like many of us, I had heard tales of laryngitic teachers of yore, venturing forth voiceless amongst the multitudinous hordes of Y11; I too wanted to join this mythological brethren. Silent teaching? Bring it on. [ ] And my lessons were affected – but not in the way I had expected.'
 Other Business 
  • How the Tudors invented breakfast | History Extra 'Most medieval Brits ate two meals a day: dinner around 11am, supper around 5pm. But in the 16th century everybody started eating breakfast, and the three-meal day fell into place. Why the change? Probably because standardised jobs became more commonplace in the 16C, and with them “working hours”. Pushing back dinner and supper allowed for a longer working day, but it also made breakfast an essential starter (2,600 words)' [via the Browser]  
  • BPS Research Digest: When our beliefs are threatened by facts, we turn to unfalsifiable justifications 'It's great to have facts on your side. The fundamentalist is delighted by the archaeological find that tallies with scripture, just as the atheist seizes on the evidence that contradicts it. But when the evidence goes against us, we're less likely to change a belief than to criticise the validity or provenance of the evidence. Now, research suggests that the mere prospect of a factual threat leads us to downplay how much our belief depends on such evidence at all. We become attracted to other, less falsifiable reasons for believing.' 
  • 31 Rolls of Film Taken by a World War II Soldier Get Discovered & Developed Before Your Eyes | Open Culture 'Levi Bettwieser runs the Rescued Film Project, which salvages undeveloped rolls of film from around the world, all shot somewhere between the 1930s and the late 1990s. They have the ability “to process film from all eras. Even film that has been degraded by heat, moisture, and age. Or is no longer manufactured.” And why do they take on these projects? Because, at some point, every image was special for someone. “Each frame captured, reflects a moment that was intended to be remembered.”' 
  • Ben Goldacre's "I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That" - Boing Boing 'Over the past decade, the woo-busting, pharma-fighting Dr Ben Goldacre has written more than 500,000 words of acerbic, entertaining, enlightening and fearlessly combative science journalism and commentary, busting bad math, manipulative abuse of statistics, institutional corruption, media distortion, and new age rubbish of all descriptions.' A review by Cory Doctorow. 

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