10 November 2014

Items to Share; 9 November 2014

Education Focus
  • How to make teaching great [theconversation.com] [Higgins and Coe] 'Defining effective teaching is not straightforward. But it must surely be something like: “effective teaching is that which leads to high achievement by students in terms of valued outcomes”. Many current ways of assessing children, particularly those used in high-stakes exams or in existing research studies, do not fully reflect the range of important outcomes that a child’s education is trying to achieve.' 
  • Why do we overestimate the importance of differences? | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'The idea that we’re all either visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learners and we can only really be expected to learn when instruction is tailored to these specific needs is codswallop. We might well have a preference for seeing, listening or doing, but if we believe that the best way to learn the shape of a map of Australia is to listen to a description of it, that the best way to learn how the piano is just to bash away at the keys, or that we should learn to play tennis by watching Wimbledon, then we’re very clearly and sadly wrong.'
  • A 'no-consequences' education produces unemployable graduates [theconversation.com] 'A research centre in the UK recently found that lavishing praise on students, particularly low-attaining students, may be counter-productive. By providing a no-fail, no-consequences environment in which the top priority is to make everybody feel good about themselves, we are doing little more than setting young people up to fail.'
Other Business
  • Where Did Soul-Sucking Office-Speak Come From? | VICE | United States 'Office words. Words like " deliverables," "upskill," and "learnings." Bilious conjoined twins of acidic gibberish like "drill-down," "value-add," and "catch-up." Wretch-inducing parcels of email Polyfilla like "moving forward," "enablers and barriers," and "quick wins." '
  • Writing Instructors: Your Pain Is Felt – Lingua Franca - The Chronicle of Higher Education (Geoff Pullum) [R]eading an unbroken procession of agentless passives that could have been actives is like being hit on the head over and over again with a mallet labeled “I REFUSE TO TELL YOU WHO THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY IS.” And it’s boring! Theories will be discussed; grammars will be compared; aspects will be assessed; problems will be analysed–beam me up, Scotty! There is only one form of sentence construction down here! [ ] But it’s not the presence of passive constructions that’s the problem; it’s the writer’s tin ear.
    • The Philosophical Implications of the Urge to Urinate - Scientific American 'What if I were to tell you, for instance, that belief in free will is negatively correlated with the desire to urinate? Those are the implications of a new study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition by Michael Ent and Roy Baumeister. They predicted—and found—that the more people felt they needed to pee, the less they believed that humans are in control of their destinies.'
    • You knew it was crap, but you bought it anyway. This is why. - Boing Boing 'David McRaney explores the sunk cost fallacy, a strangely twisted bit of logic that seems to pop into the human mind once a person has experienced the pain of loss or the ickiness of waste on his or her way toward a concrete goal. It’s illogical, irrational, unreasonable - and as a perfectly normal human being, you act under its influence all the time.'

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