Monthly Archives: July 2012

Linking Educators with Developers⤴

from @ Islay ICT


Last night on Twitter James McEnaney asked about finding a developer for an idea he had. This got me thinking. How many educators have an idea that they would like to see? How can they link with a Developer? Also I suspect that Developers are looking for ideas.
This is not meant to be a full blown interctive site for the development of major apps. It just a starting point to spark (hopefully) useful ideas.
I would like Educators and Developers to cross fertilise ideas and inspire (Push?) each other.
So this morning I set up a page on a wiki to provide the start of a space. No matter how small or big an app. I really don't mind which particular flavour of technology you are into.
Just get your ideas down! http://edu-apps.wikispaces.com/Future+Apps

Linking Educators with Developers⤴

from @ Islay ICT


Last night on Twitter James McEnaney asked about finding a developer for an idea he had. This got me thinking. How many educators have an idea that they would like to see? How can they link with a Developer? Also I suspect that Developers are looking for ideas.
This is not meant to be a full blown interctive site for the development of major apps. It just a starting point to spark (hopefully) useful ideas.
I would like Educators and Developers to cross fertilise ideas and inspire (Push?) each other.
So this morning I set up a page on a wiki to provide the start of a space. No matter how small or big an app. I really don't mind which particular flavour of technology you are into.
Just get your ideas down! http://edu-apps.wikispaces.com/Future+Apps

CAN MOTIVATIONAL THEORY BE OF USE IN THE CLASSROOM?⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal


Management theory tends to be a mandatory field of learning for all students of business studies. They will be introduced to organisational theory, leadership theory and motivational theory, among other fairly esoteric topics. But can an understanding of managerial theory help with the management of learning in the classroom?

One such motivational theory was first advocated by Victor Vroom in 1964 and has subsequently been refined by Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler. This concept is commonly known as ’expectancy theory’. In simple terms, this theory contends that individuals choose particular behaviours based on the outcomes that they perceive such behaviours will lead to. The three main elements of the theory are as follows:

1.      Expectancy-the belief that effort will lead to desired performance. Factors associated with expectancy are self-efficacy, goal difficulty and control.



2.      Instrumentality-the belief that a reward will be forthcoming should the performance expectation be met. Factors associated with instrumentality are trust, control and policies



3.     Valence-the value that the individual places on such rewards. Factors associated with valence are values, needs, goals and preferences



From an educational perspective:

Expectancy

Having a clear understanding of our students’ abilities, the tasks that we set them, as well as the level of ownership that we provide can have a positive effect on the relationship between effort and performance.

Instrumentality

Being supportive and providing clear, constructive feedback contributes to a clear reward system for good performance. If the structure of the curriculum is based on a rudimentary ‘grading’ system, then it is up to the teacher to provide the recognition and praise required to provide correlation between performance and reward.

Valence

We must articulate clear ‘value’ in knowledge and the application of knowledge. Students who have a low value perception, possibly borne out of a bad personal experience or little parental encouragement, are unlikely to be motivated to ‘learn’. Furthermore, a recent study by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People (SCCYP) highlights the link between ‘poverty’ (and its characteristics) and poor achievement/attainment.

I realise that these studies were generated to understand and improve industrial productivity and I for one would not want to suggest that we treat classrooms like production lines! I do, however, believe that there is some mileage in the psychological and sociological appreciation of such theories and that they provide another beneficial point for debate.

CAN MOTIVATIONAL THEORY BE OF USE IN THE CLASSROOM?⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal


Management theory tends to be a mandatory field of learning for all students of business studies. They will be introduced to organisational theory, leadership theory and motivational theory, among other fairly esoteric topics. But can an understanding of managerial theory help with the management of learning in the classroom?

One such motivational theory was first advocated by Victor Vroom in 1964 and has subsequently been refined by Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler. This concept is commonly known as ’expectancy theory’. In simple terms, this theory contends that individuals choose particular behaviours based on the outcomes that they perceive such behaviours will lead to. The three main elements of the theory are as follows:

1.      Expectancy-the belief that effort will lead to desired performance. Factors associated with expectancy are self-efficacy, goal difficulty and control.



2.      Instrumentality-the belief that a reward will be forthcoming should the performance expectation be met. Factors associated with instrumentality are trust, control and policies



3.     Valence-the value that the individual places on such rewards. Factors associated with valence are values, needs, goals and preferences



From an educational perspective:

Expectancy

Having a clear understanding of our students’ abilities, the tasks that we set them, as well as the level of ownership that we provide can have a positive effect on the relationship between effort and performance.

Instrumentality

Being supportive and providing clear, constructive feedback contributes to a clear reward system for good performance. If the structure of the curriculum is based on a rudimentary ‘grading’ system, then it is up to the teacher to provide the recognition and praise required to provide correlation between performance and reward.

Valence

We must articulate clear ‘value’ in knowledge and the application of knowledge. Students who have a low value perception, possibly borne out of a bad personal experience or little parental encouragement, are unlikely to be motivated to ‘learn’. Furthermore, a recent study by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People (SCCYP) highlights the link between ‘poverty’ (and its characteristics) and poor achievement/attainment.

I realise that these studies were generated to understand and improve industrial productivity and I for one would not want to suggest that we treat classrooms like production lines! I do, however, believe that there is some mileage in the psychological and sociological appreciation of such theories and that they provide another beneficial point for debate.

PARADIGMS AND CfE IN ACTION⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

Sir Ken Robinson believes that we are in need of a change of educational paradigms and some of his assertions relate to the ‘antiquated’ nature of our education systems-‘education modelled on the interests of industrialisation, and in the image of it’. Are our systems of timetabling, teaching periods, term times and curricular boundaries stifling our children’s ability to learn effectively? I’ll let you watch Sir Ken’s entire presentation to see how far it resonates.


Our Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has evolved mainly from the anxieties associated with the notion of ‘Teaching in the 21st Century', indeed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has had a significant role in shaping what it believes our young people will need to flourish in the future-'Skillshave become the global currency of the 21st century. Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society’.-and so we are presented with the skills versus knowledge debate-is knowledge disappearing from education?
In my blog yesterday, I argued that that it is acquired through a purposeful process and that we should not merely be transmitters of content. I was, in pedagogical terms, referring to a constructivist approach. Perhaps then, our fears and anxieties regarding the new curriculum are a manifestation of how to truly embrace interdisciplinary learning and experiences within our existing structures. I am having such an experience!
In the last academic session I became involved in a partnership with the local credit union and was lucky enough to see how such a partnership operates within a local primary school. I was thrilled to see children as young as 5 and 6 engaging in real life financial learning within the early broad general education stage of the curriculum. However, I am charged with implementation at post 16 and this provides me with a different set of challenges. There are amazing opportunities to meet the four capacities and even more means to achieve experiences and outcomes across health and wellbeing, social studies and technologies. I am not constrained by these as I’m sure you are in the compulsory sector, however, I do wish to embrace the curriculum in a way that provides the seamless transitions expected within its core. To what extent my own institutional and sectoral imperatives either help or hinder-well that remains to be seen.
I would heartily recommend that anyone interested in leading such a credit union initiatve search out their local provider.

I will blog on my progress in the new term.










PARADIGMS AND CfE IN ACTION⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

Sir Ken Robinson believes that we are in need of a change of educational paradigms and some of his assertions relate to the ‘antiquated’ nature of our education systems-‘education modelled on the interests of industrialisation, and in the image of it’. Are our systems of timetabling, teaching periods, term times and curricular boundaries stifling our children’s ability to learn effectively? I’ll let you watch Sir Ken’s entire presentation to see how far it resonates.


Our Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has evolved mainly from the anxieties associated with the notion of ‘Teaching in the 21st Century', indeed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has had a significant role in shaping what it believes our young people will need to flourish in the future-'Skillshave become the global currency of the 21st century. Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society’.-and so we are presented with the skills versus knowledge debate-is knowledge disappearing from education?
In my blog yesterday, I argued that that it is acquired through a purposeful process and that we should not merely be transmitters of content. I was, in pedagogical terms, referring to a constructivist approach. Perhaps then, our fears and anxieties regarding the new curriculum are a manifestation of how to truly embrace interdisciplinary learning and experiences within our existing structures. I am having such an experience!
In the last academic session I became involved in a partnership with the local credit union and was lucky enough to see how such a partnership operates within a local primary school. I was thrilled to see children as young as 5 and 6 engaging in real life financial learning within the early broad general education stage of the curriculum. However, I am charged with implementation at post 16 and this provides me with a different set of challenges. There are amazing opportunities to meet the four capacities and even more means to achieve experiences and outcomes across health and wellbeing, social studies and technologies. I am not constrained by these as I’m sure you are in the compulsory sector, however, I do wish to embrace the curriculum in a way that provides the seamless transitions expected within its core. To what extent my own institutional and sectoral imperatives either help or hinder-well that remains to be seen.
I would heartily recommend that anyone interested in leading such a credit union initiatve search out their local provider.

I will blog on my progress in the new term.










Commissioner publishes a report on poverty, educational attainment and achievement⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

SCCYP (Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People)

This critical review of the literature on the links between poverty, educational attainment and achievement aims to provide a clear picture of recent policy and research relating to addressing the attainment gap and to promoting young people's achievement.

http://www.sccyp.org.uk/news/in-the-news/poverty-and-educational-attainment

Commissioner publishes a report on poverty, educational attainment and achievement⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

SCCYP (Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People)

This critical review of the literature on the links between poverty, educational attainment and achievement aims to provide a clear picture of recent policy and research relating to addressing the attainment gap and to promoting young people's achievement.

http://www.sccyp.org.uk/news/in-the-news/poverty-and-educational-attainment

Further Education and the ‘Senior Phase’ of CfE⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

Before I begin, I must offer my sincere thanks to Dr Mark Priestley for giving me the opportunity to invest in reading some, but not all of his inspirational research literature. Specifically, Mark has allowed me to challenge the perception of my own teaching practice as well as the practice that I have witnessed working within the further education sector. I have reflected on many initiatives, both historical and current that, when I was first introduced to them, I thought of them as ‘quite sound’ ideas.

Additionally, my dissection of the Curriculum for Excellence has also allowed me to attempt a re-framing of my professional practice. I have spent literally hours reading reams of explanatory literature attempting to get to grips not with the essence of, but rather the practical application of what the curriculum translates to in pedagogical terms. Furthermore, I have listened to other practitioners give their valuable and valued opinions on what it means to them. Thanks must also go to www.pedagoo.org   

Mark and Walter Hume’s paper entitled, TheDevelopment of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu’(Oxford Review of Education, 36[3], 345-361.) gave me an interesting dilemma. Was this new curriculum model one which I should put my faith in? The paper raised a substantial query-could it be ‘that curricular content runs the risk of becoming divorced from curricular purposes?’ The suggestion of a ‘process curriculum’ seems to me to be a sensible one but not without significant challenges.

Within the further education sector I have, and still do, work with prescriptive unit descriptors that provide the lecturer with a map for what he or she must do to satisfy the requirements of the awarding body (and not necessarily the learner). Content is thus referred to under the heading ‘knowledge and/or skill’s, process is covered by (minimal) guidance on delivery, and lastly outcomes are dealt with by evidence requirements which, of course, must be met to the letter. These evidence requirements will always pull on elements of the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I should clarify, that as a business studies lecturer, there has been little or no attempt to capture the affective domain in any meaningful way-it’s easier not to!  We have been afforded less prescriptive assessment requirements in a recent SQA review, so with a little work and imagination, change may be demanding but not impossible

Support initiatives have always presented in the form of notes and these have been gratefully accepted by the profession, indeed many will get anxious if there are no notes to distribute! Assessment exemplification is provided by the awarding body and again there will be unease if none are available. The alternative to both specification and exemplification would be to commit to, and have the time for engagement that is more valuable and meaningful. We as teachers or lecturers (I tend not to make the distinction) have had to comply with structural and institutional norms but I am not suggesting that we are complacent, nor am I advocating that we are unwilling or unable to change our practice. This is where the importance of leadership, reflection and debate are of paramount importance.

Mark goes on to pose a question that I think gives us the prospect of a real professional dialogue- Is knowledge acquired, or is it constructed? The answer is, of course, that it is acquired through a purposeful process and if we are to address the needs of our learners and their future prospects, we must first challenge ourselves. I will end on a positive note by confirming that I and some, if not all of my colleagues, have made a pledge to do exactly that in the next academic session.

Further Education and the ‘Senior Phase’ of CfE⤴

from @ Kenneth's Education Journal

Before I begin, I must offer my sincere thanks to Dr Mark Priestley for giving me the opportunity to invest in reading some, but not all of his inspirational research literature. Specifically, Mark has allowed me to challenge the perception of my own teaching practice as well as the practice that I have witnessed working within the further education sector. I have reflected on many initiatives, both historical and current that, when I was first introduced to them, I thought of them as ‘quite sound’ ideas.

Additionally, my dissection of the Curriculum for Excellence has also allowed me to attempt a re-framing of my professional practice. I have spent literally hours reading reams of explanatory literature attempting to get to grips not with the essence of, but rather the practical application of what the curriculum translates to in pedagogical terms. Furthermore, I have listened to other practitioners give their valuable and valued opinions on what it means to them. Thanks must also go to www.pedagoo.org   

Mark and Walter Hume’s paper entitled, TheDevelopment of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu’(Oxford Review of Education, 36[3], 345-361.) gave me an interesting dilemma. Was this new curriculum model one which I should put my faith in? The paper raised a substantial query-could it be ‘that curricular content runs the risk of becoming divorced from curricular purposes?’ The suggestion of a ‘process curriculum’ seems to me to be a sensible one but not without significant challenges.

Within the further education sector I have, and still do, work with prescriptive unit descriptors that provide the lecturer with a map for what he or she must do to satisfy the requirements of the awarding body (and not necessarily the learner). Content is thus referred to under the heading ‘knowledge and/or skill’s, process is covered by (minimal) guidance on delivery, and lastly outcomes are dealt with by evidence requirements which, of course, must be met to the letter. These evidence requirements will always pull on elements of the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I should clarify, that as a business studies lecturer, there has been little or no attempt to capture the affective domain in any meaningful way-it’s easier not to!  We have been afforded less prescriptive assessment requirements in a recent SQA review, so with a little work and imagination, change may be demanding but not impossible

Support initiatives have always presented in the form of notes and these have been gratefully accepted by the profession, indeed many will get anxious if there are no notes to distribute! Assessment exemplification is provided by the awarding body and again there will be unease if none are available. The alternative to both specification and exemplification would be to commit to, and have the time for engagement that is more valuable and meaningful. We as teachers or lecturers (I tend not to make the distinction) have had to comply with structural and institutional norms but I am not suggesting that we are complacent, nor am I advocating that we are unwilling or unable to change our practice. This is where the importance of leadership, reflection and debate are of paramount importance.

Mark goes on to pose a question that I think gives us the prospect of a real professional dialogue- Is knowledge acquired, or is it constructed? The answer is, of course, that it is acquired through a purposeful process and if we are to address the needs of our learners and their future prospects, we must first challenge ourselves. I will end on a positive note by confirming that I and some, if not all of my colleagues, have made a pledge to do exactly that in the next academic session.