#becomingeducational W30 – so you’re still worried about the essay?

Becomingeducational: Essay Tips

The essay is 1500 words – this probably means ONE introduction – about 200 words – THREE paragraphs – about 300 words each – and ONE conclusion about 400 words…

Essay 1500 words – week 30 (40%)

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN PREPARING THE ESSAY:

FIRST – notice that the question is asking you about the module – so say something about Becoming: what was it trying to achieve? How was it trying to do that? What theories or beliefs underpin the module Becoming an Educationalist?

What is an educationalist? What do they do? What characteristics or attributes would it be helpful for an educationalist to have? What should they DO? What should they NOT DO? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to explain the sort of educationalist that you want to be?

Tips: Mention these in the INTRODUCTION – saying which THREE aspects of the course you are then going to focus upon.

WHAT WE THINK WE HAVE COVERED ON THE MODULE – CHOOSE THREE:

Simulations & role play – for critical thinking – belonging – learning through discussion – active learning

Rich pictures – when you drew your new world after the apocalypse – thinking though images…

SLOW reading – in groups – with collage and presentations – to help you crack the code of academic reading – and learn how to enjoy it.

IMD; Collage; TMD – all used to get you thinking differently – and usually talking with each other – dialogic engagement – learning in action that learning itself is socially constructed (Burr) – ALSO – each of these also a qualitative research method/

Exploring formal and informal learning spaces – to SEE learning, teaching and assessment differently – to start to critique taken for granted practices – and come to your own understanding of education.

Multimodal exhibition/Exhibitions & showcases – show case YOUR creativity and learning – self-efficacy developed – pride and joy?

REAL Research – modelling what all good teaching is – and discovering something new from your own actions – also preparing you for second year when you have to have a Dissertation proposal.

Free writing & peer review – overcoming writing blocks – discovering new ways to APPROACH writing – and discovering the value of peer review and feedback – towards taking ownership of your own writing rather than being over dependent on the tutor.

Music w/shop – enjoying a new process – help to prepare your own performances – but also learning a new way of thinking and expressing ourselves – music also has its own grammar/logic/rhetoric – that is – its own way of communicating ideas. What can you take form that into your own development?

Performance weeks – to showcase your learning – what you think aboyt good classroom practice – what you wanted to teach other people – and HOW you wanted to teach it…

Group work – all the time in all sorts of ways – but hopefully also with space to work individually… The value of making friends and finding collaborators!

Digital stuff – making brilliant digital things – to show you and everybody else that you do not come into education empty – but with skills and talents and just waiting to b stretched! Different to THE ESSAY – which can be very disempowering as so formal and rewards already existing cultural capital…

Blogging to learn – reflecting in own voice and space – to take op=wnership of the learning – to make the final essay writing easier…

Active learning; Question-based learning; Object-based learning; Project-based learning; Inquiry-based learning; Research-based learning; “Student as Producer”; Creativity in learning; and Critical thinking – all designed to develop Belonging; Self-efficacy/Self-esteem!!!

AS SAID – CHOOSE THREE – AND WRITE ABOUT THEM:

What activities have you enjoyed the most from the module? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity?

What aspects of the module have you felt were useful or important for someone who is becoming an educationalist? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that aspect?

What other activity or aspect do you want to write about? Why? How has that particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity or aspect?

WRITE A CONCLUSION

Remember to CONCLUDE your essay! Revisit the WHOLE question and prove that you have answered it: to what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? How do your three aspects of/or activities on the course demonstrate that?

TIP: BE CREATIVE? As you should have gathered by now, we hope that #becomingeducational has helped you to think more creatively about teaching, learning and assessment – so – if you want to attempt something more creative than a traditional written essay – we would be interested to hear from you – and see what you want to o and whether it could work!!

PEOPLE TO READ:

DEWEY – for a democratic approach

Freire – on education that is designed for justice and action

hooks – for a critical pedagogy approach

Holt – on the problems with education/schooling

Illich – for the need to ‘de-school’ society

Robinson – on the problems with schooling

Rogers – on the need for unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence.

HAVE YOU CHECKED THE READING LIST:

#becomingeducational: https://becomingeducational.wordpress.com/

Buckets and fires – teachers’ blog http://bucketsandfires.blogspot.co.uk/

Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2012) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university, London; Sage

Burns and Sinfield resources (also see the Journal articles that accompany each chapter) http://www.uk.sagepub.com/burnsandsinfield3e/study/default.htm

Buzan, B. & Buzan, T. (1995) The Mind Map Book BBC

Creativity – The Curious Creative:  https://flipboard.com/section/the-curious-creative-b5vmw7

Chloe’s blog: https://noblechloe.wordpress.com/

Develop a Digital Me:

Jeffers, S. (1997) Feel the Fear and do it Anyway London; Century

Hybrid Pedagogy blog – see especially this post on classroom design: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/discovering-natural-classrooms-hybrid-collective-learning-spaces/

Isaacs, S, Blundell, D, Foley, A, Ginsburg, N, McDonough, B, Silverstone D & Young, T (2014) Social Problems in the UK: an introduction London; Routledge

Last Refuge Blogspot: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/ Academic blog and essential reading for all Becoming students.

McIntosh, P (2010) Action Research and Reflective Practice: Creative and visual methods to facilitate reflection and learning London; Routledge

McIntosh, P Postgraduate nursing students – drawing-only reflective log: http://qmul.academia.edu/paulmcintosh/Papers/731108/Creativity_and_reflection_An_approach_to_reflexivity_in_practice

Malone, G The Choir episodes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008y125/episodes/guide

Play in HE: http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2__part_a.pdf and

http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2_part_b.pdf

Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10

Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE:

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

Sentimental education? The school that Tilda built: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/13/education-school-tilda-swinton-scotland Schmidt, Laurel. ‘Great Teachers Don’t Take No (or Yes) for an Answer: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling’ in Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2004. 

Shuh, John Hennigar. ‘Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects’ in The Educational Role of the Museum: Second Edition . New York: Routledge, 2001, pgs. 80-91.

Study Chat:  – https://www.facebook.com/LondonMetStudyChat   *Like* and follow #studychat for tips, trix and study ideas

Study Hub: www.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub – for study tips and tricks – and calendar of study support events including Writing Clinics

Teach Thought blog: http://www.teachthought.com/

Thornburg D (2007) http://tcpd.org/Thornburg/Handouts/Campfires.pdf Tracey – journal: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/aed/staff-research/research-groups/drawing-visualisation-tracey/

Victor, B https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/23929/ – 1-hr video on representations…

Visual Directions – sketchbook site: http://cltad-web2.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-directions/index.htm

Visual practices in learning and research: http://www.utpteachingculture.com/unflattening-scholarship-with-comics/

http://www.utpteachingculture.com/youve-got-to-draw-it-if-you-want-to-see-it-drawing-as-an-ethnographic-method/

Wheeler, S Educational Theory blog: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/

Workshops – preparing them: http://youthwebonline.com/teachers/activities/culture/index.html

Good luck – and enjoy the assignments – Sandra & Tom

 

Advertisements

#becomingeducational W28 part two:

The Essay… additional points and resources

We had an excellent session on the final essay this week – and we are hoping that you are all feeling confident about BOTH the final assignments!

A reminder:

PORTFOLIO: due in NEXT WEEK – W29 – Thursday 19th May – hand in to the Student Hub

ESSAY: due in W30 – Thursday 26th May – hand in to the Student Hub.

 READ ON – we are offering advice below about different things that you could be addressing in your essay – with reference to useful research or reading that you could do to substantiate your arguments… There are many live links – so you can just click and follow.

VISUAL STUFF

Some hints if you are writing about visual practices: collage, drawing, making:

“Drawings can both evoke and record insight into a situation, and different visualization techniques such as visual brainstorming, imagery manipulation and creative dreaming have been developed …” (Garfield, 1976; McKim, 1980; Shone, 1984; Parker, 1990).

“The idea of using drawings or pictures to think about issues is common to several problem solving or creative thinking methods (including therapy) because our intuitive consciousness communicates more easily in impressions and symbols than in words. (Garfield, 1976; McKim, 1980; Shone, 1984; Parker, 1990).”

Pictures can help you think: http://systems.open.ac.uk/materials/t552/pages/rich/richAppendix.html

And can be used in RESEARCH: “ … initially stimulates non-verbal activity and then via a probing of what images mean to research participants and why those images were chosen, it goes on to stimulate verbal responses that would otherwise not have been accessible to verbalisation.” (Boddy, 2007)

“Using visual stimuli calls for right-brain activation and bypasses more rational evaluation procedures, thus allowing the researcher to get at the more sub-conscious aspects of respondent’s minds.”  (Boddy, 2007)

Collage in focus group discussions – participants given a selection of magazines, newspapers or other pictorial materials to select a range of images which represent the [issue] being researched.

Resources

Explore links and information available from Pauline Ridley’s Drawing to Learn site:  http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/drawing/

…  and ideas on visual learning strategies :
http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/files/2412/8048/4894/D2L_ST_LOW.pdf

Observational skills for geoscience fieldwork : http://www.kingston.ac.uk/esg/fieldwork_tutorial/

Techniques for drawing botanical subjects under the microscope
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artfeb03/cbdrawing.html

Looking vs. Seeing: 15’Tutorial: Getting the most out of Microscope Viewing
http://shs.westport.k12.ct.us/mjvl/biology/microscope/looksee.htm

Picturing to Learn <http://www.picturingtolearn.org/>  This is part of the Harvard Envisioning Science Program. It enables undergraduate students to clarify their own understanding of scientific concepts and processes by making freehand drawings to explain these concepts to non-experts. These drawings are also used as assessment tools.

KEY MODULE ASPECTS

With CREATIVITY – you want to be using the NORMAN JACKSON article that we shared – and search online for articles by CHRISSI NERANTZI and/or ALISON JAMES.

If looking at creating SPACES for learning – obviously THORNBURG – you might want to find research on SOCIAL LEARNING SPACES – and if you want to get really clever – see if you can find and understand (!) stuff on THIRD SPACE.

GROUP WORK is written about a lot – and a simple web search will find you lots of material – but I think we focussed particularly on its potential for developing BELONGING and DIALOGUE – perhaps look for or reference BAKHTIN – and/or FREIRE.

Resources

DEWEY – for a democratic approach

Freire – on education that is designed for justice and action

hooks – for a critical pedagogy approach

Holt – on the problems with education/schooling

Illich – for the need to ‘de-school’ society

Robinson – on the problems with schooling

Rogers – on the need for unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence.

HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE MODULE READING LIST?

#becomingeducational: https://becomingeducational.wordpress.com/

Buckets and fires – teachers’ blog http://bucketsandfires.blogspot.co.uk/

Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2016) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university, London; Sage

Buzan, B. & Buzan, T. (1995) The Mind Map Book BBC

Creativity – The Curious Creative:  https://flipboard.com/section/the-curious-creative-b5vmw7

Develop a Digital Me:

Jeffers, S. (1997) Feel the Fear and do it Anyway London; Century

Hybrid Pedagogy blog – see especially this post on classroom design: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/discovering-natural-classrooms-hybrid-collective-learning-spaces/

Isaacs, S, Blundell, D, Foley, A, Ginsburg, N, McDonough, B, Silverstone D & Young, T (2014) Social Problems in the UK: an introduction London; Routledge

Last Refuge Blogspot: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/ Academic blog and essential reading for all Becoming students.

McIntosh, P Postgraduate nursing students – drawing-only reflective log: http://qmul.academia.edu/paulmcintosh/Papers/731108/Creativity_and_reflection_An_approach_to_reflexivity_in_practice

Malone, G The Choir episodes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008y125/episodes/guide

Play in HE: http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2__part_a.pdf and

http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2_part_b.pdf

Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10

Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE:

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

Sentimental education? The school that Tilda built: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/13/education-school-tilda-swinton-scotland

Schmidt, Laurel. ‘Great Teachers Don’t Take No (or Yes) for an Answer: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling’ in Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2004. 

Shuh, John Hennigar. ‘Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects’ in The Educational Role of the Museum: Second Edition . New York: Routledge, 2001, pgs. 80-91.

Study Chat:  – https://www.facebook.com/LondonMetStudyChat   *Like* and follow #studychat for tips, trix and study ideas

Study Hub: www.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub – for study tips and tricks – and calendar of study support events including Writing Clinics

Teach Thought blog: http://www.teachthought.com/

Thornburg D (2007) http://tcpd.org/Thornburg/Handouts/Campfires.pdf Tracey – journal: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/aed/staff-research/research-groups/drawing-visualisation-tracey/

Victor, B https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/23929/ – 1-hr video on representations…

Visual Directions – sketchbook site: http://cltad-web2.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-directions/index.htm

Visual practices in learning and research: http://www.utpteachingculture.com/unflattening-scholarship-with-comics/

http://www.utpteachingculture.com/youve-got-to-draw-it-if-you-want-to-see-it-drawing-as-an-ethnographic-method/

Wheeler, S Educational Theory blog: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/

Workshops – preparing them: http://youthwebonline.com/teachers/activities/culture/index.html

THANK YOU!!

Thank you for being a wonderful class – a wonderful group and sets of groups – we have really enjoyed having this year with you.

Good luck and best wishes,

Tom & Sandra

 

 

 

 

Becomingeducational_W28: The Essay

This is the essay blog!

First, we take you through a brainstorm – looking at the question in more depth – then we quickly recap what we have covered on the module and why…

This Wednesday we will have a whole class on the essay!!

Essay 1500 words – week 30 (40%)

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN PREPARING THE ESSAY:

What theories or beliefs underpin the module Becoming an Educationalist? Why? What is it trying to help you to become?

What is an educationalist? What do they do? What characteristics or attributes would it be helpful for an educationalist to have? What should they DO? What should they NOT DO? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to explain the sort of educationalist that you want to be?

What activities have you enjoyed the most from the module? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity?

What aspects of the module have you felt were useful or important for someone who is becoming an educationalist? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that aspect?

What other activity or aspect do you want to write about? Why? How has that particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity or aspect?

In conclusion – to what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? How do your three aspects of/or activities on the course demonstrate that?

WHAT WE THINK WE HAVE COVERED ON THE MODULE

Simulations & role play; Rich pictures; SLOW reading; IMD; Collage; TMD; Exhibitions & showcases; REAL Research; Free writing & peer review; Music w/shop; and Performance weeks; Group work; Digital stuff; Drawing to learn; Blogging to learn; Active learning; Question-based learning; Object-based learning; Project-based learning; Inquiry-based learning; Research-based learning; “Student as Producer”; Creativity in learning; and Critical thinking – all designed to develop Belonging; Self-efficacy/Self-esteem; Academic reading/writing; Peer Learning; Digital literacies and confidence; Active learning; and Heutagogy. Referencing Freire, Giroux, Thornburg, Jackson, Rogers, Illich, Dewey…

WHAT DO YOU THINK???

BE CREATIVE?

As you should have gathered by now, we hope that #becomingeducational has helped you to think more creatively about teaching, learning and assessment – so – if you want to attempt something more creative than a traditional written essay – we would be interested to hear from you – and see what you want to o and whether it could work!!

Good luck – and enjoy the assignments – Sandra & Tom

 

#becomingeducational W20: Becoming… critical learners

Our class – our Cave

This week we explored the value of taking control of our own learning – arguing that it is impossible to become a good educationalist if you cannot also become an engaged and active learner or student. Of course when you start a degree the module or course names might mean very little – we have no idea what the course it about – let alone what it might offer us – or what we might actually want from it. First of all we just want to survive – survive the strange new buildings and people – the new demands – and the blind confusion and panic involved in being a student… BUT – at some point it is useful to stop – think – and start again more slowly!

 20 13 summer Tim,Dad, Robbie Leysdown 029

The hermeneutic space

Firstly we reflected on five things that we actively want from Becoming – how we’ll know when we’ve got them… and what we feel about the module now – and YES – this will help you with the end of course ESSAY!!

So – what did people actually want from Becoming?

As well as research skills, people wanted to become more creative and to engage in different sorts of learning activities; to be pushed into engaging positively – especially with things outside current comfort zones – for example to get more confidence online. People wanted a good teaching experience – to be part of dialogic practice and to grow in confidence. Some wanted to experience different ways of designing lessons, learning and teaching – to experience and to learn about different sorts of engaging tasks and practices. Still others wanted to develop their critical and analytical thinking – especially with respect to the reading – and in the process learn and become more comfortable with the different terminologies and academic language. People wanted more confidence in giving presentations – and to build their confidence and social capital in general. Some saw Becoming as a journey – to their learning – to their career: “becoming what I’m meant to be.”

After voicing our own hopes and expectations – we compared these to the 14 principles for improving higher learning: Angelo: A “Teacher’s Dozen”: Fourteen General, Research-Based Principles for Improving Higher Learning in Our Classrooms:
http://www.csuchico.edu/~lsederberg/ceeoc/teachers_dozen.pdf – actively discussing the first few in class: active learning is essential; we need to focus – be aware of what is important in the subject; learners must have their own goals (explicit, reasonable, positive) – and it helps if these are congruent with the teacher’s goals; we remember by connecting new learning to old schema; we may need to unlearn what we already know – and this is difficult; and  – as the notemakers know already – personally and meaningfully organised information is retained.

Tip: Reflect on the 14 principles: how far are students themselves in control of these – how far are they down to teaching practice? How far might they help you to become a more successful educationalist? How far will they help you with the Becoming essay?

 Featured Image -- 591

Getting jiggy with the MLE/VLE

Yup – we are all digital residents now – and much of the digi in university is delivered through its Managed or Virtual Learning Environment (MLE/VLE) – so the next class investigation asked: How would YOU design a VLE?

In LondonMet we used BlackBoard’s WebLearn – and if you really wanted to get serious with taking control of your own teaching right now – you could access this free version of BB – and design your own VLE: https://www.coursesites.com/webapps/Bb-sites-course-creation-BBLEARN/pages/index.html Things to think about:

Who are our students? Young/old? So what? Academic capital or not? So what? TIME or not? So what? Digital visitor or resident? So what?

Why WebLearn: What’s it really for? Who is it really for? What could or should it do? What would you really like to see in there? What about the Social Media?

Pedagogic models?

Interestingly, CourseSites offers different pedagogic models – to help you think about and structure your online space:

Activity: hands-on, fieldwork, PBL – with conversations and live chat

Case Study: develops knowledge through cases – enabling brainstorming, blogging and the application of theory.

Conference session: allowing collaboration in a web environment.

Constructivism: facilitating the construction of learning – with groups, sharing, knowledge-base and reflection.

Expedition-based: active/exploratory – with base camp, storytelling and My Trip Journal.

Experiential: knowledge created through concrete experiences – hands-on plus reflection. Round table, our blogs and my reactions.

Question: Do any of these inspire you? Could any of these be used productively in F2F teaching as well as on line?

And finally – a bit of Critical Pedagogy

When thinking about designing learning and teaching it is useful not just to reproduce what we already know – but to think differently about who and what education is for – or what it could or should be for; to think about social justice or ethics or humane ways of behaving – factors not always present in traditional schooling! So here are some tips from Critical Pedagogy – things to think about when DESIGNING your own teaching – and perhaps to use when EVALUATING the learning and teaching that you experience:

Content is …  a proposal…  to inspect, laugh about, jump off from.

Narrative structure: All courses are compositions, and as such they should tell a story…The course should begin one place and end someplace decidedly elsewhere…

Open-ended questions: Yes or no questions are for computers, not people…

Actual work, no busy: Activity in a course should never be empty … Learning isn’t an act of recall…

No assessments: … A course should be challenging enough that just getting through it is an accomplishment (and compelling enough that learners want to get to the end of the story).

Business casual: … use contractions or ellipses or emoticons or ironic parentheticals or risky language (or run-on sentences)… Perfect grammar shakes no one’s hand, gives no hugs.

See http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/6-principles-of-critical-pedagogical-course-design/

Also Mayer on Principles of designing multimedia learning:

http://hilt.harvard.edu/blog/principles-multimedia-learning-richard-e-mayer.

Tip: Start thinking about all this in relation to your Becoming essay!!

 

Becomingeducational: W26: The Report, Essay and Blogs

A quick recap of where we are with the Assignments:

Research Project (30%):

  • Proposal – 1000 words – week 19 (10%) DONE – FINISHED!!
  • Report1000 wordsweek 29 (20%)

If you are not sure about this – scroll back through this blog – because we have discussed the Report in great detail over several weeks!

Week 30 – final submission of at least three portfolio components (30%)

These can be logs/blogs, self-representation, art portfolio, collage collection, reading record, research artefact, Digital Me artefact; Digital Me Poster, End of Year Performance…

You can submit anything that you want to get recognition for!! If in doubt, we did set you several projects to seed your creative engagement:

PROJECTS

Reading – Make it fun

Writing – Blogging to learn

Develop a Digital Me

Resource based on your Research Project

End of year Performance.

Portfolio items – through Blog

Some of you want to offer your portfolio items through your blog extracts. Here you might have ONE blog post per thing that you want to submit. In each 300-500 word post, you need to discuss the artefact or resource or activity. Discuss means more than describe! Say something about why you have chosen it – what difference it has made to you as a student and/or you as a prospective educationalist. A good blog consists of concise, effective writing – with pictures – and possibly with links. You will need to PRINT OFF THE THREE BLOG POSTS AND SUBMIT THEM WITH A COVER SHEET.

Portfolio items – where one item = Blog

Some of you are really pleased with your whole blog (or with two or three of your whole blogs!!) – and so you want to submit the blog itself as a portfolio item. Here you might write a brief piece explaining the what, why and how of your blog – with the URL – and submit that…

Then think about the other things that you want to submit – and how you will do that – either through a blog post that you print off and submit – or you may be handing in a beautiful, illustrated note book or self-representation – or reading record… where you actually have to hand in the physical item itself.

Essay 1500 words – week 30 (40%)

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

Things to think about:

  • What does the module Becoming an Educationalist include? Why? What has it asked you to do/think/read/discuss/make? Why?
  • What is an educationalist? What do they have to do? How do they have to behave with their students? What characteristics or attributes would it be helpful for an educationalist to have? What should they DO? What should they NOT DO?
  • What activities have you enjoyed the most from the module? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?
  • What aspects of the module have you felt were useful or important for someone who is becoming an educationalist? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?
  • What other activity or aspect do you want to write about? Why? How has that particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?

COMMENTS NOT EMAILS

PLEASE ask more questions – but  THROUGH THE COMMENTS box of the blog – then we can have WHOLE CLASS discussions rather than many one-to-one discussions through emails!

Good luck – and enjoy the assignments – Sandra & Tom

#becomingeducational W25: Thinking about the essay

This bonus blog post is inspired by – and copied from – a post by Maha Bali on preparing a talk for an #edtech company – for the whole post – go here: http://blog.mahabali.me/blog/educational-technology-2/brainstorming-an-upcoming-talk-for-an-ed-tech-company/

What I like about this post is that although she is talking about #edtech – she is fundamentally talking about learning – what it is – and how to facilitate all the messy business that learning entails. So why post this here? Well – you are thinking about the essay: “To what extent has the module, ‘Becoming an educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist. Justify your answer with reference to at least three activities on or aspects of the course.” See how far the module has achieved some of the things that Maha argues education is – and thus what an educationalist should be trying to do!

Here’s that extract from Maha’s blog:

  1. Learning is social and connected.Does the learning technology allow for more social interaction than is currently possible in our classrooms? Or does the learning technology allow us to have more space and time for social connection in the classroom? Even better, does the technology help us integrate our social connections inside and outside the classroom? Communication is important between learners, between learners and teachers, but also with parents and the community beyond the classroom. (one of their products creates space for this with a facebook like interface).
  2. Learning is about creating, constructing, remixing.Does the learning technology treat the learner as a consumer to follow a pre-set path, or does the learning technology allow the learner to remix existing material or to create their own? Two good learning tools to look at are Play-Doh and Legos. Legos sometimes come with a pre-defined look you are supposed to build, but you still have freedom to create something different. Play-doh is so versatile that you can create almost anything with it. How can we design ed tech so that the child programs the computer rather than the computer programming the child (ideas of Papert – maybe get a quote?)
  3. Learning happens when we take risks and fail.The wonderful thing about play-doh and legos is not only that you can create anything – but that you can fail comfortably and try again. A good learning environment allows us to take risks in a safe space so we can learn from our failures. (they have a virtual lab that works like a Wii so it seems really cool – but how can they give learners even more choices? More room to make mistakes?)
  4. Learning needs to be accessible to different people.(Refer to Universal Design for Learning and gender – and accessibility issues in design of learning materials)
  5. Learning should encourage values we wish to promote like sharing.We live in an age of knowledge abundance. Leveraging the power of the internet and open sharing in order to advance everyone’s knowledge is important. For younger children where open sharing is risky, smaller scale sharing within a school-based technology tool, and sharing between teachers in the same school or across schools can make a difference. (they have a tool for teachers to find resources made by each other or the web – ask if it allows them to share across schools??)
  6. Learning is about human beings.No educational technology should attempt to remove the need for human interaction; instead, it can be used to enhance it. Even when there is no direct human interaction through the tool, the material learners interact with are produced by people, programmed by people, and builds on the ideas and work of other people.

Ask audience: why do you do what you do? What inspires you to keep going? What worries you about what you do?

W22 #becomingeducational: The Essay – Our Essay

This week by popular demand we explored issues with essay writing. As we have all already had the: The Essay – what, why, how session; we chose a different approach. The lecture opened up with a quick investigation into current essay writing strengths (people did not want to admit to any of these) and weaknesses. With the weaknesses people were concerned about structure (which is important – good structure can take your mark up by 10 points) – and about being too definite (assertive) rather than argumentative (we need to give evidence for the points that we want to make). The biggest question was: but where am I in my writing?!

This sense of the loss of self in academic writing is really familiar to the course tutors. For many students, starting a University course can feel like being told: Shut up – listen – read – parrot it back; we are not interested in what you think! This is why we talk about finding your VOICE in the academic arena.

Finding your voice can mean finding ways of saying what you think and believe in a way that is appropriate for the academic subject that you are studying – or – in other words – using the appropriate epistemological practices of your discipline. And this can feel very frustrating – even more so when you are a mature student bringing with you a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Academia should not be about losing or hiding YOU – but hopefully it is about utilising a space in which we can stretch, challenge and extend ourselves.  It should be a place that allows us to develop our voice – and to use it! So we need to learn how to use the codes and genres and forms of academia to say what we want to say. At the same time, we should be prepared to change and adapt what we already think and ‘know’ in the face of the new arguments and evidence that we encounter as we study. A good tip here is to find your authors.

Find the people out there who argue for the things that you believe in. These will be the people you refer to and quote as you construct your own arguments. Of course – you also need to find those other authors – the ones you disagree with – so that you can argue against them… But, start collecting your authors now – and keep a record of all your reading – so that you build upon your thinking year on year – rather than every module feeling like you are starting over.

Image

Blogging to find your voice

One thing that we have done on Becoming is to ask you to write a weekly blogpost on your learning – and this can include the reading that you are doing. In the blog you can be yourself: there can be humour, outrage, indignation, uproar – and joy. You can play with ideas in a semi-public space. You know that you are in dialogue with your readers – and that you are telling them stuff – or persuading them about stuff… This allows you to be all of you as you learn – and from this holistic nearly-academic you, you can then select the elements that you use in your more formal writing. As Winnicott (1971) might say – your blog is the play space where you are fiercely alive and wholly you – coping with the implicit threat of transition – and making the learning your own.

Even if you have not blogged before – start an academic blog now – and use that space to record your thoughts about the learning you are doing – the reading – the ideas… Take ownership of them in your friendly space… Find your voice.

Our essay

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

We brainstormed the question in the lecture – breaking it into component parts that would need to be addressed in a final essay:

The module – Becoming an educationalist

An educationalist

? Education

Three aspects/activities:

1…

2…

3…

The trick with assignment questions is not to think you know the answer – but to break the question down into yet more questions… So – for each of the above you might ask yourself:

What is this?

When did it happen (why then)?

Why is it important?

Where does it happen (why there)?

Who writes about it?

How does it work?

What if (it were different)?

So what?

What next?

Struggling to find answers for these questions helps us to process the course itself – and our learning. This makes even more of the learning conscious to ourselves. Once we have rough ideas drafted out – we struggle to write – to shape – to refine. This takes TIME!

Next steps

In class we played with learning styles to take our thinking forward – so we drew, we free wrote, we made collages to develop our ideas for the essay… (No one took the option of interviewing another member of the class – to utilise audio learning styles – but next time.)

A little bit of theory

And right at the end we threw our theorists who we might want to read to help us make a really good case. And just in case you forget – do not ignore the reading list:

Academic phrasebank: http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/

Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2012) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university, London; Sage

Burns and Sinfield resources (also see the Journal articles that accompany each chapter) http://www.uk.sagepub.com/burnsandsinfield3e/study/default.htm

Buzan, B. & Buzan, T. (1995) The Mind Map Book BBC

Elbow P : FREEWRITING by Peter Elbow Center for Learning  – mgunby

mgunby.wikispaces.com/file/view/Freewriting.pdf

FREEWRITING by Peter Elbow. The most effective way I know to improve your writing is to do freewriting exercises regularly. At least three times a week.

Jeffers, S. (1997) Feel the Fear and do it Anyway London; Century

Last Refuge Blogspot: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/

London Met Study Hub www.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub

McIntosh, P (2010) Action Research and Reflective Practice: Creative and visual methods to facilitate reflection and learning London; Routledge 

McIntosh, P Postgraduate nursing students – drawing-only reflective log: http://qmul.academia.edu/paulmcintosh/Papers/731108/Creativity_and_reflection_An_approach_to_reflexivity_in_practice

McNiff, J Action Research in Education website http://jeanmcniff.com/

Malone, G The Choir episodes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008y125/episodes/guide

Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10 

Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE:

http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/ accessed 10.12.10

Schmidt, Laurel. Great Teachers Don’t Take No (or Yes) for an Answer: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling in Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2004. 

Shuh, John Hennigar. Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects in The Educational Role of the Museum: Second Edition . New York: Routledge, 2001, pgs. 80-91.