links for april 08

5 replies on “links for april 08”

Good article Stafford, T (2008). This is what I keep hearing from frustrated academics, and here it is summed up directly. Some of them even used exactly the same words! My opinion of academics has been changing a bit actually – there is a much smaller proportion of socially awkward ones than i thought there would be – and they mostly want to focus on learning rather than teaching. good. (and, um, sorry).

I second that. Do you think that EBL can be extended to earlier stages of the education conveyor-belt? You write, “In higher education, and especially on a masters level course, we are lucky enough to have students who certainly want to engage,” but could students who want to engage be created in obligatory education by EBL? Have you read Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society?

No, not read “Deschooling Society”.

I do think EBL can be used earlier in education, but i think it is in HE that it is most necessary.

I think the biggest threat to engagement is not EBL or a lack of EBL but too many exams and too many students per teacher at every stage of education — resources not ideology is the main constraint!

I agree too many exams is a problem, but surely this is an ideology issue, no? Exams and standardised curricula are means of ensuring pupils have the right amount of education ‘banked’ in them. And more resources can only mean further efforts to ‘fill’ children with knowledge in the current system, keeping them in a mandatory state of ignorance and passivity.

People learn mostly from what they do themselves – enquiry. At all stages. Why shouldn’t primary education represent this fact as much as higher education?

Interesting story:

… which claims the use of brain-enhancing drugs in exams “could become as big a problem for the education system as performance-enhancing drugs are in sport”. Another reason to move away from that kind of learning?

Actually, I think this draws attention to the problem with exams, not the problem with people trying to ‘boost their brain’. (After all, I do it every day with caffeine. Is that wrong?) Exams = (ostensibly) a cheap and efficient way of finding whether lots of people know stuff. Except it doesn’t work for the majority. I, for one, remember next to nothing that I wrote in exams and much more from coursework. (Aided, I suppose, by the fact that I still have the coursework to refer to – something I find myself doing worryingly often!)

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