• Is individual authenticity lost in education?
    We propose to have a child centred approach for much of our education. However, methods remain similar to over 100 years ago. We still seem to value outcome over the individual.
    Mohammad Ali Salmani Nodoushan · International Journal of Language Studies

    This is a central question, and a very important topic. Thanks for the question and for the excellent answers. I personally believe that 'education' should be distinguished from 'indoctrination'. The job of education is to guarantee learners' self-actualization, but the job of indoctrination is to hammer all learners into the same pre-determined ideologically-driven shape set for schools by curriculum developers and policy makers. This is educational slavery; this is not education. What we desperately need is the foresight to realize the value of each and every individual along with their potentials that need to be nurtured until they are actualized. Needless to say, the most influential people in the history of mankind were those who were revolutionary in their thoughts and research, those who were the odd ones among their peers. We need emancipatory education, one that helps learners find and flourish their capabilities with no reservation.  

  • Stefan Svetsky added an answer:
    Does anyone else have an interest in contemplative pedagogy and the role of contemplative practice in higher education?

    What are your key resources?

    I attended a workshop on contemplative pedagogy in New York in August. Since then I have been working with like-minded individuals working in HE and FE in the UK to establish the Contemplative Pedagogy Network. I'd like to identify others who are interested in this area, find out what they are doing, what resources they are using and to share ideas and challenges.

    A brief explanation of contemplative pedagogy can be found on our website.

    Looking forward to discussing this further.

    Best wishes


  • Debi S. Saini added an answer:
    Should a teacher focus on 'rigorous learning' or 'learning with entertainment'?
    It has been seen that many teachers in universities have become entertainers rather than focusing mainly on value-addition and learning. A lot of time gets devoted to pleasing the students; knowing them personally; building good relations with them; and telling jokes and creating humour; the focus becomes more of good feedback than rigor. Keeping the audience motivated is good for effective teaching; but since a lot of time goes in entertainment less time remains for analysis and conceptualization. What is your preference and why?
    Debi S. Saini · Management Development Institute Gurgaon

    Thanks Michelle, I fully agree with you. I have seen many speakers wasting the precious time in the entertainment, and I  see hardly any substantive learning imparted, despite a good feedback from the audience. But the speaker must always work hard to explore how the learning is made easier.

  • Ijeoma Anumaka added an answer:
    How can I apply differential pedagogy in the science of remediation?

    I think that I divide students into different groups depending on the types of faults in the review comprises. I give a series of exercises workouts for each group with increasing gradation of difficulty

    Ijeoma Anumaka · Kampala International University (KIU)

    well,my worry is :lack of teaching  leads to lack of learning.If you can find a way to impact knowledge to these students ,why would they fail continiously? Unless one is claiming that passing medical exams are for exclusive few.If that is the case,how can we survive the ever increasing evolution of new diseases and their laser speed mutants and their deadly transmission patterns these days?? Medicals please wake up!!! 

  • Aysha Bey added an answer:
    Does the way we describe success in education affect students and teachers perception of their roles?

    The notion of 'personal best' drives most athletes to keep training despite the knowledge that they may never be first or best in their field. In other words, they actually maintain their effort by seeking personal improvement and thus competing with themselves. In education the description of success is nearly always in terms of comparison with others. My contention is that this view of success is counterproductive for all but the top half of the cohort and we would be better off if we described success as 'improvement through persistent effort' as an athlete does. I also contend that teachers would benefit from this paradigm shift because it better describes what we should be doing, collaborating with each individual to maximise their potential and that the current paradigm of success confuses the role by positioning us to see lower performing students as having a deficit to be repaired.

    Aysha Bey · University of Alabama at Birmingham

    This is a great topic for discussion!  Filippo makes a strong point about international students who will return to their countries one day--or perhaps return faster than planned if they fail to succeed in the U.S.  I have a class of these foreign-university graduates nearly every semester, preparing to take the graduate exam (GRE) for admission to American grad schools, most often in the natural sciences. They have a year or two to get their language skills up to par and pass the test; if they don't, they return with no hope of doing graduate work in the West. The stress on them is strong especially with the GRE's emphasis upon huge lists of vocabulary.

    But the topic of particular interest to me is the mention of the athletes and any comparison to academics.  More than 10 years ago, I worked with the football offensive coordinator of our university team on developing an academic adaptation of what he did to teach his athletes from rookie to senior level or even the pros. Since no athlete has a football or basketball brain, there must be a way to use their unusually excellent transfer skills.  For instance, football players use symbolic transfer every time they read their playbook, think out the play, and then execute it. Transfer skills outside the natural sciences and math (like math and physics) are terribly difficult to teach.  I have developed some programs effective in standardized testing that use some of these "coaching" methods.  It is much harder to work with transfer skills in humanities and social/behavioral sciences.

    But then in April of this year, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article "Bringing the Locker Room into the Classroom" by Craig Owens, associate professor of English at Drake University. He had been invited to be the "honorary coach" for the girls' basketball team; entering the locker room, he expected to hear the movie-version of spirited cheering, etc.  Instead, what he saw was " question and answer, discussion and debate, part Socratic dialogue, part collaborative problem solving."  Based on the collaborative learning he saw, he developed a program called "Coaching in the Classroom" that brings professors from all over the campus to work with coaches in football, basketball, soccer, and golf. Professors were shocked at the amount of independence even in freshmen players and their quickness to "internalize the rhythm of practice."  The coaches explained that they first "taught the players the system."  Most of our students come into classes without the jargon and the background of the discipline in which they are taking classes.  I believe one of the toughest parts of the core curriculum is the variety of disciplines, each with its own language and way of thinking, presented to students all at one time (our athletes carry 15 credits per semester).  

    Dr. Owen decided to model the literary - critical system of Shakespeare to his class and quickly found that students began to respond to one another (and not just to him), following lines of thought and developing their own ideas. Moving through unfamiliar context in literature is not much different than moving through the unfamiliar landscape of a new playbook. But we academics do lack the power of muscle memory--and the power of that athlete's individual motivation. But considering the NCAA's tight rules on GPAs, eligibility and most universities' rules about repeated classes, most athletes are willing to work to get good grades, to gain skills they didn't know they had.

    Dan has hit the nail on the head about levels of performance and feedback (a major element of all sports practice, games, and team meetings).  But there is no reason why those same elements cannot be used in a classroom; of course, in a lit course, for example, we have to develop some level of relevancy to the world today--and that is not difficult since literature nearly always speaks to the human condition in one way or another.  I do believe that academic instructors can and should learn more from their coaches, who have much more experience in motivating, enhancing and developing young men and women than most of us do.

    Aysha Bey

    University of Alabama/Birmingham

  • Anders C. Haugen added an answer:
    What is the central normative idea, the guiding principle, the central self-description of pedagogy today?

    Emancipation in the 1970s, quality in the 1990s, inclusion in the 2000s? I guess there are a lot more candidates for such values, especially from an international perspective. However, I think it is highly relevant which normative idea pedagogy adopts as its self-description. For example the standardization and output-orientation of the 1990s would not have been possible without the (economical) Trojan Horse of "quality". 

  • Ljubomir Jerinic added an answer:
    Why is Objectivism used in eLearning, instead of Constructivist approaches?
    If you examine the tables of contents of most eLearning systems, you find that the underlying educational philosophy is one of Objectivism. This theory holds that the student's mind is an empty slate that the lecturer/teacher/instructor fills up. The systems approach to this kind of eEducation has the creator of that system examine the subject to be taught, divide it up into small bits, sequence the bits in some logical order, and then put all students through the same process of learning the material in that order.

    For example, eTextbooks (most of eLearning materials are some kind of electronic textbooks and called Tutorials) for learning elementary programming suggest that IF statements MUST come before LOOPING statements and so they contain chapters devoted to everything about selection, before anything is seen of repetition. These eLearning systems are reference works, not learning materials. The objectivist theory ignores the fact that such a methodology is deadly boring to most students. First, it forces them to "learn" things they already know. And second, it ignores any individual difference in learning style or preference.

    Constructivist educational philosophy, on the other hand, views the student as knowledgeable and task driven. New things are learned by integrating them into what is already known and it is done primarily so that meaningful (to the person) tasks may be carried out.

    Your thoughts on why the objectivist approach in eTeaching/eLearnig is used instead constructivist.
    Ljubomir Jerinic · University of Novi Sad

    @For all Followers: What happens with "Project CS4EDU: Computer Science for Education". Namely, in 2008, the National Science Foundation (US) started the ambitious effort, project CS/10,000, which supports developing a new high school curriculum for computing, revising the computer science AP curriculum, and having computer science taught in 10,000 schools by 10,000 well-qualified teachers by 2015.

    Does anyone know anything about this project?

  • Tsediso Makoelle added an answer:
    Can Pierre Bourdieu's notion of Habitus illuminate or help us understand the societal influence on how inclusive pedagogy is conceptualized?

    ‘Habitus’ or socialized norms or tendencies that guide behavior and thinking.

    Tsediso Makoelle · University of Johannesburg

    but is a " Habitus"  constant  and non-changing or is it metablectic and transforming? if the latter how can we transform an exclusive state of Habitus to a more inclusive one?

  • Sue Elliott added an answer:
    Does anyone know of any research on children's rights based pedagogy in ECEC?
    Or any studies outside of ECEC?
    Sue Elliott · University of New England (Australia)

    Childrens right's based pedagogy is fundamental to early childhood education for sustainability, suggest you check a new research publication:

    Davis, J. & Elliott, S. (2014). Research in early childhood education for sustainability: International perspectives and provocations. London: Routledge.

  • Feeroezah Arnold added an answer:
    Does Team Teaching work in an Irish Post Primary Educational Environment?
    Little research has been conducted to investigate the efficacy of team teaching or on various effective models which have resulted in significant student gain. Does it really contribute to significant educational advancement for the SEN student?
    Feeroezah Arnold · University of the Western Cape

    The CAME project is worth looking at.

  • Alex Tumusiime added an answer:
    Assessment of quality of nursing care to determine nurses knowledge and practice; Is this accurate enough?
    How can we assess nursing care quality only by nurses' performance and information?
    Alex Tumusiime · University of Rwanda

    Thank you all. In my view, Knowledge and how one applies it constitutes a great influence on the quality of care. I entirely agree with Iwona's view because the practicing nurse must have as much knowledge and skills to manipulate resources at his/her disposal, the outcome of which is measured in terms of quality care. If the researcher accounts for the influence of other factors, then he should be able to determine how much knowledge and nurses' ability to practice contributes to overall quality of nursing care. It may be a matter of methodology used and the level of rigor.

  • Rafael Ibarra added an answer:
    Approaches to teaching analytical/critical writing to psychology undergrads?

    What are some resources others have found helpful? For context, I am teaching an undergraduate course called Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Health at a university in New York City. Critical/analytical writing skills are not the primary focus of the course, but nevertheless very important skills for students to develop. I am interested in accessible, incremental approaches that will help my students learn these skills. Any and all ideas are welcome! 

    Rafael Ibarra · Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    I dare to sugget to read State of the art on the literature you are focusing. Most of these papers include, besides the historical backgrounds, critical points of view. In this way, you have your students fully focused on a specific topic regarding time, changes, improvements, or declining trnds in a sole paper. Thanks for caring  your students by being a self-critical teacher.

  • Miloud Bekkar added an answer:
    In which areas of research in a second language consciousness-raising tasks can be applied?

    Basically, consciousness-raising tasks have been used in L2 grammar pedagogy. Is it possible to apply these tasks in other areas or skills such as vocabulary, reading, writing, and listening? If so, which techniques can be used?

    Miloud Bekkar · Mascara University Algeria

    I may advise you to go to writings of Keith Johnson and Rod Ellis.

  • Hang Nguyen added an answer:
    What are the pedagogical practices in teaching English?

    I study about learner autonomy and I really need to have more information about pedagogical practices that promote learner autonomy. I hope I have your help

    Hang Nguyen · Can Tho University

    Thank you very much Ana M Pérez-cabello. I really appriciate this!

  • Christopher Frank added an answer:
    Do you know of Canadian researchers (past or present) who have worked on Inquiry-Based Science Education (or pédagogie/démarche d'investigation)?
    I would love to get an idea of which researchers have investigated this area (e.g. Bruce Shore, Patricia Rowell, Annie Savard, Nicole Corbin). I am especially interested IBSE research conducted in francophone minority environments, French Immersion settings, or with English Language Learners.
    Christopher Frank · Technische Universität München


    have a look to Toronto -> Jim Slotta.
    He is an expert in inquiry learning (WISE-Platform)

  • Mark E Gould added an answer:
    Why use assessment for learning?
    It might seem a silly question but this is part of a study focusing on assessment for learning through action research.
    Mark E Gould · Education Queensland

    The short answer is that it should be used for learning because that process has been shown to be very effective. Good assessment provides data about start points for teaching what is most needed for individual students to learn most effectively. (Vygotsky, Hattie) Good assessment provides information as feedback to engage students in their own learning (Hattie). 

  • Ming-Lee Wen added an answer:
    Should ethics be taught to undergraduate students?
    Ethical principles as a special subject is taught to all graduate students. Typical coverage in our curriculum is as follows:

    Survey of the issues, values, principles, and ethics of a technological society. Emphasis on the leadership principles, behaviors, and normative ethics of the technologist to practice the ethical decision-making process within a technological or institutional organization.

    However at undergraduate level it is not included. What is your opinion? Should ethics be taught at undergraduate level? If yes what could form part of the coverage? If not can you explain the reasons for the same?
    Ming-Lee Wen · Taiwan Shoufu University

    Ethic life is a kind of a everyday life. At the very least, ethic life constitutes  part of life. In this sense, we learn/teach ethics when we learn how to live.  In a nutshell, ethic can be taught in anyway and anytime at any age.

  • Anthony Paul Breitbach added an answer:
    What do you feel are the keys to the development of novice clinical preceptors?
    We are looking for ways to support our novice preceptors, whether it be through education, administrative support, or other factors.
    Anthony Paul Breitbach · Saint Louis University
    Agreed, that relationship is rare...but it is our responsibility to enhance the environment where it can happen.
  • Jonathan B Waugh added an answer:
    Can someone suggest historical details of PowerPoint start and evolution to its current form?
    Need a credible source to cite for manuscript.
    Jonathan B Waugh · University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Here is the article I recently published related to the original question on which you commented.  Thank you for the suggestions.

    PowerPoint: An Overused Technology Deserving of Criticism, but Indispensable. Educational Technology 2014; 54(5):29-34.

  • Fathi Ihmeideh added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest a study program or other information about education and professional development of teachers in pre-school? Key elements?

    How cooperate Faculty and kindergardens or child care center?

    What are the characteristics on the effective study program for pre-school teachers (interaction styles, pedagogy, training).

    Fathi Ihmeideh · Qatar University

    NAEYC provides excellent criteria foror preparing early childhood education pre-service teachers . See the following link:

  • Anup Kumar Bandyopadhyay added an answer:
    Can we view a knowledge building community or class as a system, and any interesting tools you may suggest?

    An important concept within modern pedagogy is knowledge building: students or colleagues interacting, learning together, and developing new information together. From the perspective of systems thinking, we can view the classroom or community as a system: composed of dynamic units or actors, autonomous, with a certain boundary, but usually part of a larger system. So, every system also needs inputs and contains processes  to generate certain outputs. For the modern blended and technologically enhanced classrooms, what tools are you aware of, for using in knowledge building? Online forum and wikis have been around and effective for a long time... These tools play the role of processing, and presenting the outputs within the knowledge building system. Any other examples of computer or web based tools, for knowledge building? 

    Anup Kumar Bandyopadhyay · Jadavpur University

    The question actually contains two distinct quarries. The first part enquires whether a knowledge building community or class can be viewed as a system, where the second part mainly concerns with (web based) tools that may be used for knowledge building. I think a better approach will be to model the knowledge building community or class as a system first and then investigate the response of the system when different external inputs derived from modern educational technology are applied to such system. I would prefer supervised learning system and therefore should assume a teacher who will control the whole show. The students are also present in this system and both teacher and the students should be represented by nodes. A node should contain number of attributes like initial knowledge status, accessibility to different information/knowledge sources, decision making power etc. A teacher should have highest decision making power. A student depending on his/her capability should be allotted this power by the teacher. Present knowledge status and the decision making power will define the state of the node. Collection of these states will define the system state. Each node should be connected to the teacher node by a directed link and to some other student nodes. This group of nodes to which a student node is connected will be called the mentor nodes and the group will be called as mentors. There will be directed links present between teacher and some advanced students representing elite group. A student node can get a knowledge input either from the mentor nodes or from some external source. A teacher node also can get the same from the elite group or from the external sources. Upon getting a knowledge input the state of a node will be modified by invoking a state transition rule. For a student node this transition should be supervised and the degree of supervision should depend on the decision making power assigned to a student. Similar transition rule may be formed for the teacher. However, for a teacher no such supervision should be necessary.

  • Debra A Harkins added an answer:
    Should "trigger warnings" be instituted in higher education?
    This seems like very dangerous road for HE to go down, avoiding topics that will naturally be upsetting to the majority seems like an end-round around addressing issues of social justice. Would like to hear what others think of this shift in what is permissible to discuss in college classrooms.
    Debra A Harkins · Suffolk University

    Well said Denis. Coddling, especially based on fear, creates more fear and less learning.

  • Colin A Smith added an answer:
    What is your opinion and experience regarding the contributions of Piagetian and neo-Piagetian theories to education?
    Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development. His contributions include a theory of cognitive child development, detailed observational studies of cognition in children, and a series of simple but ingenious tests to reveal different cognitive abilities.
    Colin A Smith · The University of Edinburgh

    I agree that following any theory blindly is always a bad idea and that includes following Bloom's Taxonomy blindly. You may not do that Shakuntia, but many teachers do. I researched the literature some time ago on this and there seems remarkably little evidence (given its influence) for the hierarchy Bloom and his followers present, although I agree that it is a useful practical list for thinking about objectives and that teachers sometimes use the taxonomy to positive effect for their students - at least, they report success in blogs etc..

    However, to focus on the topic here, I suspect (haven't tried it) the approach you advocate would result in the same sort of 'cherry picking' of Piagetian and post Piagetian theories that others in this thread have pointed out as being the problem in assessing Piaget's impact. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps, if we turn the question around a little, we might get a clearer insight. How useful are Piagetian and Post Piagetian theories (and Bloom's Taxonomy, if you like) useful for teachers in understanding and finding solutions to the pedagogical problems they encounter in their local contexts? Until we have a theory as powerful in education as, say cell theory is for understanding organisms, 'cherry picking' Piaget's and many other theories may be the only solution teachers have. Start with the problem, then look to the theories for insights and then, as teachers use those insights to devise pedagogical solutions. It should be then theoretically possible to find empirical examples of teachers who have interpreted the problems using Piagetian and Post Piagetian theory (or parts thereof) and devised practical (and evidenced) solutions to those problems from the insights they gleaned from them.

    Of course, that raises a host of other questions, that others will no doubt 'pounce upon' -  just trying to keep the debate going.

  • Ben Kehrwald added an answer:
    Any advice to ensure success in an online secondary school course?
    Australia has very little online secondary school providers but I feel there is a large market for it as so many students are disengaging with bricks and mortar leaning environments. I am interested in any suggestions you have that may help us skip some of the basic and not so basic problems people have overcome. In particular, help with the youngish cohort with online learning and engagement.
    Ben Kehrwald · University of South Australia

    Stanley's advice is useful. I have had dealings with BSDE, but not the folks in Charters Towers.  South Australia has similar bodies. 

    Beyond that, I think the context of the courses makes a big difference in the advice I'd give.  If you're aiming at students who are (for whatever reason) no longer part of mainstream schooling, then I'd begin to assume they will be working at home or in another place they can access the technology they need...and that there will not be support resources in their immediate environment...its a bit different than if they are doing online courses (a version of distance education) in a school.  Thus, working on things that are self-paced and effectively 'independent study' might be a good choice...and there is lots of advice on that....BUT an ultimately more engaging model would be to use the technology to connect these students to others who can support them: other students, skilled teachers, support staff, authoritative resources, etc.  In my opinion, emphasizing 'connection', esp between the student and other people, helps keep them engaged and persisting with what can be a lonely road of study out of school.

    for interest, have a look at what they are doing at the Toowoomba Flexi School, which was started to address some of the concerns which underpin your question.  Flexi has been incredibly successful and continues to evolve.  Well worth a look.  https://toowoombaflex.eq.edu.au/Pages/default.aspx

  • Agnes N. TOTH added an answer:
    What kind of competences should be improved for candidates to become inclusive teachers?
    Generally, eight teachers' competences are required by the end of the teacher education at a university. Those are quite common like guidance, communication, teamwork, LLL, research based assessment, planning, differentiation etc.
    I am interested in, what short of competences an inclusive teacher has to have as opposed to a mainstream teacher?
    Agnes N. TOTH · University of West Hungary, Sopron

    Yes Mary, you are right absolutely. IEP should be improved for each students but as we experience, teachers have some uncertainity to do that because they say they were not prepared for this activity and they have no time for this job.

  • Britta Gossel added an answer:
    Are there any adoptions of constructivist didactics in entrepreneurship education observend in the international discourse?

    Constructivism had expansive influence on didactics/pedagogy (e.g. Reich, 2009). Are there any adoptions of constructivist didactics in entrepreneurship education observend in the international discourse?

    Britta Gossel · Technische Universität Ilmenau

    Thank you very much, Camille & Helena - No, I do not agree that those terms are oxymorons. In Germany is a long tradition of constructivistic research, in some perspectives new approaches were deduced, especially in the field of didactics. One of the most influencing scientists seems to be Kersten Reich (University of Cologne) see http://methodenpool.uni-koeln.de/ and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kersten_Reich --- But as far as I observe the discourse, this is not including entrepreneurship. And I was wondering, whether or not somebody else observed more than I did thus far :-)

  • Alice Merab Kagoda added an answer:
    Do you think literature (novels) could be used to help students learn?
    Research has been conducted which suggests that narrative text has a beneficial effect on comprehension and writing (Clayes and Smith, 2007, 2008; Wolfe and Mienko, 2007), while others suggest even wider implications on intellect and culture (Nikolajeva, 2012). We believe that literature could be used in a very practical way in the classroom to benefit not only subjects like psychology (Liebert, 2013) but a variety of different subjects (e.g. Kozulin suggests this dialogical learning could be extended towards the sciences).

    We would like to research the effects of literature on teaching and learning in different subject areas and would love to know what you think. Can you think of any novel that might be useful in helping a class understand your subject better?
    Alice Merab Kagoda · Makerere University

    In geography the novel will help students learn about the life of people, the culture, social economic  and political environment where this novel is based. The land forms,  the vegetation, infrastructure of the place and the general learning of the student in areas of location of places, geographic concepts, vocabulary etc

  • Miguel Ángel Montes added an answer:
    Are there any colleagues working in the field of mathematics teaching and learning in culturally and linguistically diverse settings?
    I'm really interested in this field of research and I'd like to discuss about with other researchers their theoretical and methodological approaches to the issue of diversity in mathematics education.
    Miguel Ángel Montes · Universidad de Huelva

    I think you could read the work of Nuria Planas from the University of Barcelona, I have read some of her articles of learning in different languages, and found them very interesting. You have an example of her work in the last volume (87, issue 1) of the Educational Studies in Mathematics.

  • Priyavrat Thareja added an answer:
    Core business of English in middle school?
    I am working with student teachers in 3rd year of their training around English (L1) pedagogy and curriculum design in which this short program and their first practicum in schools will be their first encounter with teaching English rather than being a learner. We will use the Understanding By Design templates, International Bac Middle Years templates and the Australian Curriculum for English. I want them to interrogate what is "worth teaching" and why, rather than just what they will cover in a four week conventional unit plan for a middle years class. Science in Unis and schools here is becoming increasingly based around "Big Questions" inquiry rather than defined discipline content, but English lags behind here in challenging the established structures. Any suggestions for questions, quotations or readings/multimedia that would stimulate discussion about curriculum design for English in a more innovative way to help them approach this more holistically and critically?
    Priyavrat Thareja · Rayat Institute of Engineering & Information Technology


    Your thinking is worthily founded:

    " I want them to interrogate what is "worth teaching" and why,"

    Realising this what is "worth teaching"  is vital.

    I would refer it as a triangular concept:  English (language) at one apex, Values at another, and concepts of Pedagogy, or right usage at third.  It should develop a holistic graduate in education

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