20 April 2015

Items to Share: 19 April 2015

Education Focus
  • QTLS | Sam Shepherd Is it worth bothering to claim Qualified Teacher (Learning and Skills) status?
  • How to Teach Adults: Get a Job; Plan Your Class; Teach Your Students; Change the World - Boing Boing '[A] lot of instruction amounts to giving students the confidence to slog on when they're in the wilderness, and to impart big-picture, overarching wisdom about the subject that they can use as a pole star while they are on their long march. But there are also the "stupid writer tricks": clever gimmicks and techniques that work reliably, produce quick dividends, and which can be transmitted quickly and relatively painlessly. These are just as important as the big picture stuff and not just because of how they boost morale. Anyone can learn and apply these techniques and produce readable material, but becoming an expert requires that you transcend them through extended practice, reflection and refinement.'
  • In praise of Teaching as a Subversive Activity | Improving Teaching 'Writing in the late 1960s, [Postman and Weingartner,] the authors of Teaching as a Subversive Activity worked from two assumptions: society’s survival is under threat and something may – perhaps – be done about it. In response, they set out to challenge the foundations of the education system and invited teachers to reimagine schools to benefit students and society.'
  • Why is this reading so hard? | patter 'Getting into a new area or mode of thinking is actually a bit like getting to know a new physical location. When you arrive in a new city you don’t expect to know how to get around straight away. You don’t expect to know a new place in the way you know your own home environment. You understand that you have to make several trips before you have a sense of what is where, and how to get from one place to another without looking at a map for general directions and/or reassurance.'
Other Business
  • The Golden Ratio: Design's Biggest Myth | Co.Design | business design 'In the world of art, architecture, and design, the golden ratio has earned a tremendous reputation. Greats like Le Corbusier and Salvador DalĂ­ have used the number in their work. The Parthenon, the Pyramids at Giza, the paintings of Michelangelo, the Mona Lisa, even the Apple logo are all said to incorporate it. It's bullshit. The golden ratio's aesthetic bona fides are an urban legend, a myth, a design unicorn. Many designers don't use it, and if they do, they vastly discount its importance. There's also no science to really back it up. Those who believe the golden ratio is the hidden math behind beauty are falling for a 150-year-old scam.' 
  • A Certain Closeness – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education 'Taking advice on usage from Word is like taking advice on investments from Bernie Madoff. The grammar-checking tool is a chaotic, unreliable, inconsistent, brain-dead piece of junkware. It can’t tell what’s grammatical and what isn’t, yet still it presumes to query every passive or split infinitive, and advise you falsely on when to use an indefinite article and hundreds of other points.'
  • WHO announcement on withheld clinical trials, and my commentary in PLoS Medicine – Bad Science 'This week there was an amazing landmark announcement from the World Health Organisation: they have come out and said that everyone must share the results of their clinical trials, within 12 months of completion, including old trials (since those are the trials conducted on currently used treatments). This is great news, but it’s not enough. The WHO announcement was in PLoS Medicine, with a commentary from WHO staff explaining their reasoning (it’s very good) and a commentary from me, explaining why we need to audit missing data, and act on that audit data.'

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