20 July 2015

Items to Share; 19 July 2015

Education Focus
  • You can keep your magic beans, or why I got over SOLO | MrHistoire 'What is troubling [...] is that zeal with which I and many others approached SOLO as some kind of structrual saviour, gloriously guiding us up just five short steps before opening the six-sided gates of success. What does this say about us? What does it say about a profession which is so keen to find an easier way? Everything we do isn’t wrong and I, of course, do not object to helping students follow a path. But that path is not generic and there isn’t a shortcut to be found. You can keep your magic beans, Jack – I’ll stick to my subject.'
  • Lesson Study 101 | barrydunn 'Lesson Study is a professional learning cycle where 2 or more teachers identify a challenge to learning, research possible solutions, plan a lesson together using this knowledge, observe the lesson and reflect upon their findings. This cycle is then repeated until all members of the group have delivered a collaboratively planned lesson and their finding are often delivered to colleagues or others to share their learning.'
  • Cooperative Learning Structures and Deep Learning [facultyfocus.com] 'The results of the research support a conclusion at odds with much of the writing about cooperative learning. “Changing the instructional methods is in itself not enough to discourage a surface approach and promote a deep approach to learning.” (p. 183) Students won’t engage in deep discussions with peers unless they see the value of those exchanges in terms of their own achievement. It boils down to this simple fact: many students don’t believe they can learn content from and with their peers. Much evidence verifies that they can, but they first need to be convinced. '
  • Why do we demand evidence for our research, but teach on instinct? | the academic teacher 'One thing I want is to get this aspect of professional practice included in my job description – at the moment despite being on a full-time teaching contract I have no obligation to embed evidence based practice into my teaching! However, even if I don’t manage this I will still continue with it – I would never want to go back to a point where I wasn’t fully assessing how my learners and my teaching interact as I have already learned so much from it. I now firmly believe science educators have a responsibility to embed respect for evidence in their teaching just as much as they do in their research, and should be supported by their institutions to do so.'
  • Let's not abandon the humble lecture quite yet [The Conversation] 'Before we all abandon the lecture, let us fully examine the potential that it has to make learning a social event and a strength, a place where we can all learn together. [ ] “A thrilling, action-packed, emotionally-enriching blockbuster lecture! Coming Soon to a lecture theatre near you!”
  • What’s worse than a Ref for teaching? An Ofsted for universities | Higher Education Network | The Guardian 'The more we measure in education, the more invisible the learners become. We see our measures are inadequate so we measure more stuff. In schools things are done and policies are made on the grounds it will be “good for Ofsted”, and not because it is good for the children who attend the school. [ ] In universities, we’ll change things because “it’s good for the Tef”. We’ll fail to make improvements as “it’s not in the Tef”. But the main victims of the Tef will be the students. And with the lure of the right to charge more fees, what could possibl[y] go wrong?'
  • We’re not mentally ill – we’re teenagers | Education | Mental health | Parents and kids | spiked 'I do think [the school] has helped to create an environment in which young girls, in particular, are encouraged to think of themselves as having emotional and mental problems. Often it feels like, after having their pretty normal teenage worries and concerns labelled as serious anxieties, my friends eventually come to think of themselves as being emotionally broken. [ ] This is not my friends’ fault. Nor is it the fault of their parents and the environment they have at home. The professionals in our schools are to blame – they are claiming to be solving problems, when really they are creating them.
Other Business
  • Apparently There Are 4 Kinds of Introversion -- Science of Us 'Introversion, thanks largely to Susan Cain's 2012 best seller Quiet, is having something of a cultural moment. Once a mostly misunderstood personality trait — and often considered a behavioral defect when it was considered at all — it's now the subject of countless other books and online listicles [...]. And as more regular, non-scientist types started to talk about introversion, psychologist Jonathan Cheek began to notice something: The way many introverts defined the trait was different from the way he and most of his academic colleagues did.' 

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