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Archive for March 2021

Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast I am joined by Professor Stefan Ward from Central Washington University who is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Dublin City University Institute of Education. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • His interest in positive youth development
  • How he became involved in Project Fun Direction and why it is important for young girls
  • What is physical literacy and how is it developed?
  • Physical education in schools in the United States
  • Why games such as Dodge Ball and relay races need to be removed from PE class
  • Specialist physical educators in the United States
  • The Irish physical education curriculum
  • What an effective PE lesson looks like (Moderate to vigorous activity; differentiated instruction; choice; reflection time)
  • Assessment in PE (physical, cognitive, affective)
  • Teaching physical education with minimal equipment (including planning for activities that require minimal equipment such as hiking, soccer).
  • Skill themes in primary and post-primary PE classes
  • Reducing risk of physical injury in PE class
  • Modifying games
  • Teaching physical education in all weathers or with limited facilities
  • Generic and sport-specific strategies for differentiating a physical education lesson, such as tennis: cooperative practice, modify game to make goal easier, award points for attempts, use different equipment – e.g. foam ball, different racquet, give choices for students to be successful at different levels.
  • Duties associated with his university role in the United States
  • Shape America
  • Positive Youth Development – self-determination theory (relatedness, competence and autonomy)
  • Bringing Student PE teachers to volunteer in sports camps abroad in Guam and in Ireland
  • Selecting candidates for a physical education teaching programme
  • Impactful teacher: Tom Martinek
  • Missy Parker
  • Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility
  • Book: Youth Development and Physical Activity

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Presented and produced by  Seán Delaney.

In this episode my guest is Emeritus Professor John Hattie from the University of Melbourne. Among many other contributions to education, he has developed the idea of visible learning. Among the topics we discuss in the podcast are the following:

  • What Professor Hattie means by visible learning
  • How children don’t have the language to talk about their learning
  • Students learning from each other
  • The importance of asking students two questions: What does it mean to be a good learner in this class? What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
  • Impact of a student’s age on making learning visible
  • Three ways of making learning visible: student voice, student artefacts, test scores. He is interested in triangulating across these three sources, in how the teacher interprets that information, and how the teacher decides where to go next with a student’s learning. The same information from a student’s perspective is also important.
  • The love of learning follows, rather than precedes, learning.
  • Every curriculum subject has three parts (i) content, skills (knowing that…), (ii) relationships (knowing how…) and (iii) Transfer. Understanding all three parts is important. Typically 90% of learning is focused on content/skills. John Hattie believes it’s the balance across all three that matters. However, you can’t rush to the deep parts too quickly.
  • His views on learning styles
  • The missing piece of teacher education – looking at students’ learning
  • Research he did to develop the concept of “visible learning”
  • Changing the research question on teaching from “What works?” to “What works best?”
  • Why how teachers think matters more than what teachers do
  • Many teachers deny their expertise
  • When students do a test, the teacher should ask “What did I teach well and what did I not teach well?” What did I learn about which students gained from the teaching and which didn’t? What did I learn about how much I taught? Answering those questions helps teachers decide “where to” next.
  • Ask students to predict how they’ll do in a test? From age 8 on, they’re good at answering this question.
  • His research on feedback. Its impact on students can be variable, even from one day to the next.
  • What is important to look at is the feedback that is received by students (is it heard, understood and actionable?)
  • Why children after age 8 don’t like talking about their errors or what they don’t know…and why they might be more likely to do it through technology
  • The need to learn in groups
  • The value of asking a student how someone got something wrong
  • If you’re not getting things wrong, the work’s too easy
  • Why he dislikes a constructivist approach to teaching and its cousins (problem-based learning, and discovery learning). It’s all about timing and being deliberate.
  • He refers a few times to the card game Canasta.
  • The lack of support available to newly qualified teachers.
  • Evaluative thinking (diagnosis, intervention, implementation, evaluate) as the essence of the teaching profession
  • The difference between teacher as facilitator and teacher as activator (i.e. active listeners, active in the process about how students are going about their learning, intervening at the right time) and why he prefers the latter. Why students need experts.
  • Homework and student achievement. The nature of the homework matters. We can’t assume that students know how to learn.
  • He mentions other researchers in the podcast including: Gert Biesta, Shirley Clarke, Guy Claxton, and Graham Nuthall.

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On this week's podcast I address the topic of academic integrity, a concern at all levels of the education system. My guest is Professor Diane Pecorari from the City University of Hong Kong, who is an expert in this area. Among the topics we discuss on the episode are the following:

  • Intertextuality – borrowing from earlier texts
  • Plagiarism involves deception
  • Plagiarism inside and outside education settings
  • Accidental “plagiarism” and the need to differentiate it from deliberate deception
  • Advocating a pedagogical response to plagiarism (punishing versus coaching and supporting)
  • How widespread plagiarism is in higher education settings
  • Causes of plagiarism
  • Students may feel inadequate to a task facing them because of the expansion of access to university education and increasingly educating students through a language that is not their own leading to plagiarism
  • Preventing plagiarism – rules, detection mechanisms, penalties; admitting students with proficiency in the language of instruction and with sufficient academic preparation for studying the subject they’re going to study; giving students the skills they need to use quotations and to develop their voices as writers.
  • Text-matching software such as Turnitin and Urkund. Risk of false positives and false negatives.
  • Deterring plagiarism through penalties
  • Patch writing (coined by Rebecca Howard) as a particular kind of plagiarism
  • Essay mills and contract cheating – challenges to detect. Risk of students being blackmailed or ripped off.
  • Predatory publishing and predatory conferences: no quality control mechanisms and whose sole purpose is to make a profit.
  • Avoid them by looking for journals in which authors you respect publish, look at who is on the editorial board, consider the proportionality of any fee that is requested and consider the time taken to have an article published.
  • Use this website to identify reputable journals.
  • How her interest in this area was sparked
  • English for Academic Purposes versus English as an additional language
  • Content of an English for Academic Purposes course
  • Hot topics in research on English for Academic Purposes
  • What schools are for
  • Academic Tribes and Territories by Tony Becher and Paul R. Trowler.
  • Methodical, patient clear teachers are what we all need.

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