Notes from week 2

Notes from the f2f session.

The Prezi for week 2 is here.

Each week, I'll collect from you any points about which you are uncertain or unclear.

We had some discussion about mind mapping. I always prefer to do them on paper but that is a matter of taste. Yes. The first assignment requires you to submit a mind map. There are a variety of online options for doing this. If you have problems using the software let me know and I can pop up a screen cast to walk you through it.

The 1st assignment also uses the term Australian schools in its wording. It is perfectly acceptable and sensible to choose an educational jurisdiction which is bets suited to your own, personal professional needs and interests, i.e. it does not have to be Australia!

There was a question about the issue being subject specific, i.e. history or mathematics etc. Short answer yes you can. It is likely you will find your issue can be narrowed usefully if you restrict it to the subject(s) you normally teach. It's also the case that you may find that looking at your issue through the lens of other subjects will be useful.

There was a question about what is a professional journal. While it can sometimes be unclear what audience a journal is directed at, for most you will find it is clearly spelled out by the journal1. There is a list of some professional journals here. If you'd like to add to this list and no this is not the definitive list, merely indicative, then please let me know. If you are in doubt about a journal's audience then ask. Most journals are peer reviewed. Some professional journals may employ reviewing by an editor or group of editors.

There is a list of the muddy points from the 2011 class if interested on the Prezi.

Reading papers/chapters

We then talked about the papers for the week and used them to model how you might go about reading papers you collect for your issue.

You will notice that papers in education can be grouped in two broad groups: those that draw on empirical data that has been collected, and those that make an argument/review from other papers and books. The approach we took more or less followed the path mapped here in this Wiki.

We spent some time talking about skimming and making quick decisions about papers, i.e. whether they might belong to your issue or whether you discard them.

We then looked at the four papers. Two addressed the notion of globalisation2 and two the vexed relationship between research findings and their use in the classroom. The two papers that open up the theory/practice debate will be referred to in coming weeks. In a very real sense, this is the context in which your paper is located. You will be writing for a professional audience about your issue, drawing upon published research.

We talked about the importance of tracing things back to their origins, including research techniques. Kelly's account of the development of research techniques was referred to. This evolution continues and the role of digital techniques to monitor and map human activity is a focus of great interest in many fields of research in the social science. A simple illustration is to look3 at the link on here.

We then used a series of images to evoke possible issues about schooling for those who had not come to a decision yet. The process is not bad even if you have chosen an issue, using images that is.

Notes from the off-campus folk

There was a query about the EndNote readings that are in the EndNote file on the L@G site. These are a compilation of references and background resources that have been used in the past. The readings for each week will be posted on the L@G site. Readings that are available online will have a link to them from L@G and the weekly notes.

There was also a query about help in working out what issue to choose. I've put some notes on the Wiki about scoping an issue that may be useful in helping you see how to go about making a decision about your issue. Often the terms you use to talk about the issue may not coincide with the way formal literature writes about the issue.

I am happy to bounce ideas around with you, via any medium.

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