10 August 2015

Items to Share: 9 August 2015

Education Focus
  • Donald Clark Plan B: Understanding Carol Dweck - queen of growth mindsets 'Hattie confirms that Dweck’s research is exactly what has been found to have a significant effect on learner performance and she has similar theories to Black & Wiliam research and recommendations on feedback. The work of Anderson on deliberate practice can also be seen as an extension of her theories. Teachers, in particular, have found her recommendations ethical, practical and leading to marked changes in motivation and improved results.' And Clark has been busy this week:
  • Donald Clark Plan B: ‘The Strange Case of Rachel Doleza’: why diversity training does more harm than good  'The bottom line is that the vast majority of diversity courses are useless, especially when driven by HRs perception of avoiding prosecution. The problem centres around courses run in response to legislative and external pressures. Kalev found that , "Most employers….force their managers and workers to go through training, and this is the least effective option in terms of increasing diversity. . . . Forcing people to go through training creates a backlash against diversity." 'And even more...
  • Donald Clark Plan B: 3 fallacies about exaggerated teacher impact in education (Pasi Sahlberg) This is an old tale – the search for a silver bullet in education swings towards single, simplistic causes, that are not supported by research but popularized by cherry picked ideas from countries and reports that suit your political ideology or professional pride. When it comes to education we can’t let either ideological politicians or teacher lobbying define the future. We must objectify, as much as we can, through research, then focus on change.
  • What Kind of Feedback Helps Students Who Are Doing Poorly? [Faculty Focus] '[S]tudents perform poorly in our courses for a variety of reasons. Here are some students you’ve likely encountered over the years, as well as a few ideas on the type of feedback that best helps them turn things around.'
  • Want to raise the quality of teaching? Begin with academic freedom | Times Higher Education 'So let’s explain to our students and their parents that they will not be best served by league tables that smother the knowledge and creativity of their teachers, or which skew their education. They need something better than teaching by regulation. Let’s defend this academic freedom, not for the sake of academia but for the sake of future generations of students.'
  • The Dangerous Fantasy of Generalised Understanding | The Traditional Teacher '[T]he supposedly ‘higher’ cognitive phenomenon which is labelled understanding actually means more detailed and more complex knowledge, as well as the knowledge of how one fact links to another. At the highest level, this detailed and complex knowledge, along with the knowledge of relevant connections, is achieved by experts over many years of study. [ ] In contrast, the type of abstract of conceptual knowledge which is often labelled ‘understanding’ is low on detail. It might be termed generalised knowledge, and it is actually much quicker to master than the large amounts of detail which a genuine expert has at his fingertips. It’s so short on content that you might even learn it through group work, with a few prods to point you in the right direction.' (Read in conjunction with a related link from last week.)
Other Business
  • Hospital checklists are meant to save lives — so why do they often fail? : Nature News & Comment 'In 2007 and 2008, surgical staff at eight hospitals around the world tested the checklist in a pilot study1. The results were remarkable. Complications such as infections after surgery fell by more than one-third, and death rates dropped by almost half. The WHO recommended that all hospitals adopt its checklist or something similar, and many did. The UK National Health Service (NHS) immediately required all of its treatment centres to put the checklist into daily practice; by 2012, nearly 2,000 institutions worldwide had tried it. The idea of checklists as a simple and cheap way to save lives has taken hold throughout the clinical community. It has some dynamic champions, including Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, who led the pilot study and has spread the word through talks, magazine articles and a best-selling book, The Checklist Manifesto (Metropolitan, 2009). But this success story is beginning to look more complicated: some hospitals have been unable to replicate the impressive results of initial trials.'

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