11 May 2015

Items to Share; 27 April to 10 May 2015

Back again. Move went well, thanks. Now trying to get back on an even keel.

Education Focus
  • What is an “original contribution”? | patter (In respect of the rubrics for a doctorate) 'As David Lodge argues, originality is taking the reader, and I’m suggesting the thesis reader/examiner too, somewhere which is simultaneously familiar and not. Original thinking and writing defamiliarises and in doing so, recovers a newness about the topic no matter how well trodden it is. An original contribution to knowledge offers the reader a chance to re-view and re-think the event/text/phenomena in question. That’s the kind of original contribution I’m interested in.'
  • Do all good ideas need to be researched? | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'I was asked a very good question by Alex Wetherall. Basically – and I hope he forgives my paraphrase – he asked whether it would be worth conducting some ‘proper’ research on my good idea. I said no. It seemed as though this came as something of a surprise to the research literate audience. I’ve had a good think since and I stand by the justification I gave...'
  • Ideas: Why Good Teachers Get Bad Evaluations '...an interesting piece of research on student evaluations of teachers. It judged the quality of teachers by how well their students did in later courses, compared the result to student evaluations of teaching quality, and found that the two anti-correlated. On average, good teachers get bad ratings, bad teachers get good ratings.'
  • Conservative victory means England’s school system will look like few others in the world [theconversation.com] 'The Conservative education manifesto was long on aspiration. It promised that England would lead the world in mathematics and science; that there would be a place in a “good” primary school for every child; that every “failing” or coasting school would be turned into an academy to drive up standards; that universities would remain “world-leading”; and that further education would “improve”. But translating these – rightly aspirational – goals into policies will bring some difficult challenges...'
  • How 'digital natives' are killing the 'sage on the stage' [theconversation.com] 'Make the lecture an entertaining performance piece on the area that causes the students to look into it more deeply. Recognise that students can get information from many places and embrace this by aiming for the lecture to be a highlight reel and a teaser rather than an expert at the pulpit. Yes, this means every lecture should be a special occasion, but is that really a bad thing? If it gets our students thinking, then hasn’t it done its job?'
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein's Short, Strange & Brutal Stint as an Elementary School Teacher | Open Culture'Wittgenstein comes off, by many accounts, as an exemplary and almost unbelievably engaged teacher. He and his students, in Robins’ words, “designed steam engines and buildings together, and built models of them; dissected animals; examined things with a microscope Wittgenstein brought from Vienna; read literature; learned constellations lying under the night sky; and took trips to Vienna, where they stayed at a school run by his sister Hermine.” Hermine herself remembered the kids “positively climbing over each other in their eagerness” to answer their philosopher-teacher’s questions,'
  • The Dvorak Keyboard Controversy: Interesting Thing of the Day 'All modern computers—Macs, PCs, and Linux machines—include the capability of switching into a Dvorak layout if that’s what you prefer (though the physical keys won’t match the characters they type unless you perform some minor surgery on your keyboard or put stickers over the existing letters). So if you want to try out Dvorak yourself, you need only consult your computer’s Help to find out how to change that setting. Chances are you’ll find that it takes a few weeks or so to retrain yourself to the point where you’re about as fast as you were using QWERTY. If you can tolerate the temporary loss in productivity, you may find the experiment useful.'
  • What should written feedback look like? | David Didau: The Learning Spy  and The fetish of marking | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'I don’t really think marking is a bad thing, but I do think it comes at an appalling cost to teachers’ well-being. The fact that very many teachers seem reluctant to cast off their shackles shows the extent to which we’ve imbued marking with magical powers and superstitious awe. Teachers probably do need to mark some work, if only so they understand the process of assessment, but I don’t think the process needs to be nearly so onerous or widespread. Marking is only a proxy for what we actually want...'
  • I'll be back: TEDinator 2. A review of Ken Robinson's 'Creative Schools' Part 1 - Tom Bennett - Blog' [W]hat Ken does is point out that in many educational ecosystems, things are far from perfect. Life, too is far from perfect. And he does what all great politicians, circus barkers and medicine men have done for centuries: tells us he knows how to fix it. The map to Canaan is his. But pointing out to people that they're slaves in Egypt doesn't mean you're Moses. Sometimes it can make you Pharaoh.'
  • Will at Work Learning: Excellent New Book Debunking Learning and Education Myths 'There's too much crap floating around the learning and education fields; too many myths, misconceptions, and maladaptive learning designs. [ ] I'm passionate about the need for more debunking. The need is great and the danger to learning and learners is dire. [ ] Fortunately, entering the world is a great new book by three researchers, [...] Their book is titled, Urban Myths about Learning and Education, and it's jam packed with a list of 35 myths that plague our field.

  • The Trials and Rewards of Teaching in Prisons | Academies Community 'Teaching in prisons is tough: not just mentally but also because of the insensitive system. However when teaching the most troubled and desperate of people can also come hand in hand teachers also experience the greatest amount of pride when their students succeed. It’s a mentally challenging rollercoaster.'
 Other Business
  • The centenarian psychologist [apa.org] 'As he approaches his 100th birthday, cognitive psychology pioneer Jerome S. Bruner reflects on the past, present and future of psychology.' 

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