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11 January: Slightly shambolic start…

11 January 2011

Sorry that the first session lost so much time because of the fiasco about generating cover sheets for submissions! Still, we did need to get that sorted out, and to allay unnecessary anxieties–we’ll return to that when we look at motivation.

Most of the paperwork we looked has already been made available for download. The exception was the excerpt from Zull (2002): I can email a copy to anyone who hasn’t got it, but I won’t post it for copyright reasons. Having said that, some (not much) of it is available on Google Books here.

We did manage to talk about the structure of the unit, do a brief self-assessment exercise on it, and think about the scheme of work. Several themes came up in that discussion, among them;

  • What does all this “inclusivity” actually mean? We started and will doubtless return to an interesting discussion about the potential downsides to an emphasis on inclusivity, including neglect of standards, “teaching to the test”, the “entitlement culture”, the time required of teachers, not stretching students lest they “fail to achieve”, and so on…
  • The self-assessment exercise identified some concerns about how to tackle the assessment. I was able to be more re-assuring about that; Units 2 and 3 are much more focused than Unit 1; there are fewer outcomes and more opportunity to take your own practice as a starting-point.
  • There were mildly divergent views about the references to educational technology; that does not come up for another couple of months, so we can review how we handle it as we get closer.

Next week we can start the reading circles, look at what “learning” is, and get into the rhythm of the sessions…

    Asides:

    The Chronicle of Higher Education (US) newsletter: creat an account here.

    The Informal Education site is here: highly recommended.

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