18 November 2013

Items to Share; 17 November (take 6)

Education and Academic Focus
  • The battle of educational ideas: the resistable rise of therapeutic education | thelearningprofessor  John
    Field on Kathryn Ecclestone's inaugural lecture: 'On the whole, I find [the writers on "therapeutic education"] work interesting and provocative, but shallow. Remarkably, for former Marxists, their analyses are largely ahistorical, often comprising a contrast between critique of a very specific contemporary cultural pattern and an unsupported assertion that this did not occur in the past. They rarely attend to causality; no one knows how or why any particular deplorable cultural practice or belief has arisen. And finally, they are often less than impressive on what might be done to remedy things.' (I refer to this in an up-coming post, if I ever get it finished.)
  • Writing in my own words? | patter '...there are aspects of academic writing that are potentially damaging to the everyday ways of making meaning that we use, and that are used by the
    people with whom we research. It seems there are plenty of opportunities in the academy for censoring, flattening and symbolic violence via processes of editing.' (In particular the conventions of presentation which iron out the non-standard English of interview respondents, and thus lose their distinctive voices.)
  • And also from Pat Thomson: Quotations – handle with care | patter 'Expert scholars don’t over-rely on quotations. Unless they are conducting a textual analysis, they generally tend to only refer to the work of others where necessary. They do this by summarizing the key points that they use from others’ work. They use citations and footnotes rather than extensive quotations. They use a quotation only when there is no better way of explaining a particular point, or when they want to give a flavour of a particularly scholarly ‘voice’ – in addition to their own.'
  • The case of CASE | Webs of Substance '[Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education] has to provide the strongest evidence for far transfer that I am aware of. There is definitely something going on. However, I can’t help suggesting that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.' ("Far transfer" refers to transfer of learning over time, and also over disciplines.)
  • Why I don’t think OFSTED can be reformed | Scenes From The Battleground  'a reformed OFSTED would still be a bureaucracy that teachers and school leaders will have to second guess rather than a simple check on failure. Worse, unless more evidence is forthcoming that OFSTED has changed most of that second guessing will be based on the same trendy nonsense that OFSTED have been forcing on us for years now. Wilshaw’s decrees are not going to work. If we want teachers to teach, then OFSTED will have to go.'
Hints and Tips
  • Improve Your PowerPoint Design with One Simple Rule | Faculty Focus 'Bullet points are basically ugly wallpaper thrown up behind the presenter that end up distracting and confusing the audience. The audience is getting a message in two competing channels running at different speeds, voice, and visual. It’s a bit like listening to a song being played at two speeds at once. The audience member is forced to ask themselves: Do I listen to the presenter (which is running at one speed), or read the bullet points (which I read at a different speed)?'
Other Business
  • Doing Gender with Wallets and Purses » Sociological Images 'If asked what I thought would be a significant everyday challenge if I were a woman, I don’t think purse would have been high on my list. But, it was high on hers. She discussed remembering to bring it, how to carry it, norms surrounding purse protection in public, but also more intimate details like: what belongs in a purse? Purses and wallets are gendered spaces. There’s nothing inherent in men’s and women’s constitutions that naturally recommends carrying money and belongings in different containers.'
  • Norman Rockwell, Modernist « The Dish de Kooning remarked of Rockwell’s astonishing imitation of a Pollock drip painting, being viewed by a fancy gent in “The Connoisseur” (1962), “Square inch by square inch, it’s better than Jackson!”'

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