05 January 2015

Items to Share; 4 January 2015

Education Focus
  • The Literacy Blog: Dr Helen Abadzi 'Fundamentally, what she is advocating is that when we are teaching young children to read and spell or do basic arithmetic, we need to introduce new knowledge a bit at a time and we need to practise the skills particular to the manipulation of that knowledge to automaticity' [via the Echo Chamber]
  • Text Savvy: Education-Ish Research '[R]esearcher Deborah Ball (along with co-author Francesca Forzani) provide some measure of validation for many educators' frustrations, disappointments, and disaffections with education research. In a paper titled "What Makes Education Research 'Educational'?" published in December 2007, Ball and Forzani point to education research's tendency to focus on "phenomena related to education," rather than "inside educational transactions". My own take is here.
  • Changing up a game-changer: Teach Like A Champion 2.0 – A (Brief) Review | Improving Teaching ' “It shouldn’t take a dozen years of brutal trial and error, suffering, and fatigue” for teachers to solve problems which are ‘endemic’ in schools. At some point all teachers answer “What do you do when a student gives up and simply won’t try? How do you know what the student who hides silently in the corner is learning?” The 2010 edition of Teach Like a Champion shared solutions; revised and reorganised, Version 2.0 is published this month.'
Other Business
  • Just For Fun: The Trouble with p » Sociological Images 'In statistics, a little star next to a coefficient generally means that the result is statistically significant at the p<.05 level. In English, this means that there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the finding just popped up by pure random chance. In sociology, that’s generally considered good enough to conclude that the finding is “real.” [...] If one investigates a lot of relationships, however, this way of deciding which ones to claim as real has an obvious pitfall...'
  • Are some diets “mass murder”? | The BMJ 'From low fat to Atkins and beyond, diets that are based on poor nutrition science are a type of global, uncontrolled experiment that may lead to bad outcomes, concludes Richard Smith'
  • Restored forests are fighting climate change [Kottke.org] 'And now some potential good news about climate change. Efforts to restore the world's rainforests have gained traction and are having small but definite effects on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.'
  • Banking Culture Encourages Dishonesty - Scientific American 'Research in moral psychology and behavioral ethics, [...] suggests that the dishonesty may be due something more basic: money and number crunching are an important part of the banking industry. When people are focused on money, research shows, they behave in self-interested ways. Even thinking about money leads people to be less helpful and fair in their dealings with others, to be less sensitive to social rejection, and to work harder toward personal goals. In fact, money can make us so focused on our selfish motives that it can even lead to unethical behavior.'

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