Effie Maclellan

Effie Maclellan
University of Strathclyde · Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD

About

44
Publications
52,687
Reads
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1,176
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2015 - present
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Emiritus Professor of Education
September 2009 - present
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
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Two different strands of evidence coalesce to give rise to the issue of concern in this paper. Firstly, proposals for educational reform assert that teacher- -agency is necessary for effective reform. Indeed it is argued that it is agency which drives the construction/reconstruction of professional knowledge, to influence and transform work practic...
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The paper reviews recent psycho-educational literature to identify features of teacher thinking which enable learners to acquire meaningful knowledge. The review establishes that one powerful mechanism to improve teaching in higher education turns on exploiting adults' epistemic beliefs: beliefs about the nature and the acquisition of knowledge. Ep...
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Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), constitutes the demands that teachers are supposed to meet. Its intentions for the mathematics curriculum are similar to those in many countries: that learners be sufficiently mathematically literate to use mathematics in the personal, professional and societal dimensions of their lives. But like many att...
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In the context of learner-centred learning and curricular reform, self-confidence is invoked as an important construct. However, there is no easily available research-informed guidance on what self-confidence means for the professional teacher. This study uses the analytic technique of Concept Analysis to review psychology and education literatures...
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Against a background which recognises pedagogical content knowledge as the distinctive element of teacher competence/expertise, this theoretical essay argues for its central construct – that of transformation – to be understood by teachers and teacher educators in psychological terms (as was originally proposed by Dewey). Transformation requires te...
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The fundamental meaning of Quantitative Literacy (QL) as the application of quantitative knowledge or reasoning in new/unfamiliar contexts is problematic because how we acquire knowledge, and transfer it to new situations, is not straightforward. This article argues that in the early development of QL, there is a specific corpus of numerical knowle...
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This study considers the case of a tutor whose students repeatedly evidenced significantly superior critical thinking in summative assessment. For the purpose of surfacing appropriate pedagogical action to promote critical thinking (Bassey, Case Study Research in Educational Settings, 1999), the singularity of one tutor’s reported pedagogical pract...
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In the context of literacy being understood as an evolving concept, this article argues that a particular form of literacy, pedagogical literacy, is an important cognitive tool for a developed conceptualisation of pedagogical content knowledge and that, by extension, being pedagogically literate is an integral feature of being a professional teache...
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The theoretical underpinnings of student-centred learning suggest motivation to be an integral component. However, lack of clarification of what is involved in motivation in education often results in unchallenged assumptions that fail to recognise that what motivates some students may alienate others. This case study, using socio-cognitive motivat...
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This article is a psychologically informed conceptual analysis of what learning means. It argues that practice should draw on descriptions of learning in pedagogical research that have generated improvements similar to those that are being proposed in Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s new curriculum for the 21st century. The article characteris...
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Purpose – Using the UK's recent disability legislation as a trigger, the paper explores issues in evidencing competence in the current context of using assessment as a tool for learning. Design/methodology/approach – A modified version of the pragmatic method is used, in which assessment theory is used to explore the tension in assessment which is...
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Popular descriptions of how children secure the answers to addition operations, according to Effie Maclellan, may be contributing to confused thinking. Distinctions appear to be made between adding ‘on paper’, ‘with a calculator’ and ‘with concrete materials’. The author maintains that such distinctions are real only in the sense that they distingu...
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The emergence of what is increasingly becoming known as the knowledge age implies that higher education should prepare students to be, primarily, knowledge workers. This proposition triggered a small scale study in which structured interviews were carried out with 25 second-year undergraduates registered for a psychology module on motivational theo...
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Commonly, the task of constructing rationales is used in development programmes as a means of advancing Further Education College (FEC) lecturers' understanding of their practice. Often lecturers also teach this task as a part of student project work. Drawing on psychological research on argumentative reasoning the aim was to illuminate strengths a...
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For the purpose of examining a tool to enable students in higher education to systematically reflect on their own self-regulation, a modified version of the Martinez-Pons Scale of Self-Regulation was used in a cohort study of 75 first-year undergraduate students in a Scottish University. Statistical analyses of the data revealed that, consequent to...
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The motivation of students is an important issue in higher education, particularly in the context of the increasing diversity of student populations. A social-cognitive perspective assumes motivation to be dynamic, context-sensitive and changeable, thereby rendering it to be a much more differentiated construct than previously understood. This comp...
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The aim of the study was to compare students in a control group with those in a treatment group with respect to evaluative comments on psychological accounts of motivation. The treatment group systematically scrutinized the nature and interpretation of evidence that supported different accounts, and the assumptions, logic, coherence and clarity of...
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  The common sense notion of learning as the all-pervasive acquisition of new behaviour and knowledge, made vivid by experience, is an incomplete characterisation, because it assumes that the learning of behaviour and the learning of knowledge are indistinguishable, and that acquisition constitutes learning without reference to transfer. A psycholo...
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This article argues that the teacher is not well served by relying on the construct of self-esteem. Although an important idea in psychological health, self-esteem is not of direct importance to the teacher. More useful constructs would be those of self-concept and self-efficacy; both of which can be related directly to academic achievement.
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To describe their knowledge of assessment, specifically prepared scripts from 30 novice teachers were content analysed. Knowledge of the formative–summative mode was evident in all scripts but the connections made between this mode of assessment and the other principles of assessment were not well developed. Knowledge of assessment methods was scan...
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In the context of research that reports weaknesses in adults’ critical thinking skills, the primary aim was to examine adults’ use of critical thinking skills that are described in taxonomies and to identify areas for development. Position papers written by an opportunity sample of 32 experienced adult educators formed the data for a descriptive sa...
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The current preference for alternative assessment has been partly stimulated by recent evidence on learning which points to the importance of students’ active engagement in the learning process. While alternative assessment may well fulfil the aims of formative assessment, its value in the summative assessment required in higher education is more p...
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To infer the sophistication ofepistemic thinking in a sample of undergraduatestudents, 25 participants completed afree-response task in which they were asked togive reasons for their agreement ordisagreement with a small number of beliefsabout the role of tutorials and of tutors ingaining knowledge. Responses were analysedaccording to King and Kitc...
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The purpose of this study was to examine the extent of reflection in academic essays. Forty essays, all previously deemed to be of merit quality, were analysed in terms of three elements of reflection—how the educational issue is conceptualized; what the issue means for practice; and how practice might be changed to resolve the problematic. Each el...
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This study was an exploration of the extent to which higher education tutors' perceptions of assessment were consistent with the construct of authenticity. Depth interviews with 12 academics sought views on what might constitute desirable assessment tasks and scoring methods to use with students. Summaries of transcribed interviews suggested that a...
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The purpose of this study was to describe the extent to which undergraduates engage in disciplined enquiry, as one means of operationalising critical thinking. Three hundred essays from second-year students were judged on the indicators of disciplinary concepts, elaborated written communication and analysis. Non parametric statistical tests reveale...
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Through the inception of the Chartered Teacher Programme in Scotland there is the intention that continuing professional development can enable teachers to become increasingly effective in promoting learning in the classroom (Scottish Executive, 2002a & b). Whilst this seems a very laudable aim, it is nevertheless a very woolly aim since what is me...
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Summary An audit of academic staff's perceptions of their extant assessment practices was carried out by questionnaire. Views on the principles and concepts of assessment showed there to be inconsistencies in the perceptions held. Essentially staff had aspirations towards authentic assessment but engaged in practices which militated against this be...
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The purpose of this study was to describe assessment practices as these were experienced by tutors and students in one higher education establishment. Eighty members of faculty staff (80% return) and 130 3rd-year undergraduates (100% return) completed a 40-item questionnaire on their experiences of assessment. The questionnaire included items on th...
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Recent curricular initiatives in the UK have been emphasising the importance of mental calculation in the achievement of improved numeracy standards. This article argues that while the emphasis on mental calculation is to be welcomed, the construct itself needs to be understood in all its complexity. This means recognising what is involved in menta...
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The study was designed to test the effects of a structured intervention in teaching children to represent addition and subtraction. In a post-test only control group design, 90 five-year-olds experienced the intervention entitled Bi-directional Translation whilst 90 control subjects experienced typical teaching. Post-intervention testing showed som...
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The purpose of the study was to infer the Scottish HMI view of what is meant by Numeracy given the concerns that primary children’s achievements in Numeracy reflect a lack of flexibility in handling number and an overemphasis on procedures at the expense of understanding (HMI, 1997). Three hundred HMI reports on primary schools in Scotland were ran...
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Assessment criteria for teacher education programmes commonly imply that students are to provide written evidence that they can think critically about course content. Research literature implies that critical thinking involves understanding how evidence relevant to claims might be evaluated and encompasses such competencies as constructing argument...
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In the context of a growing literature which points to reflection being the means through which students can enhance and refine their own learning, the purpose of the study was to distinguish developmental differences in the reflective writing of PGCE(P) students at the end of their year of pre-service teacher education. The written content of 25 s...
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The emphasis on concretisation in primary school mathematics is largely derived from orthodox and neo-Piagetian theory. Such theory builds on the constructivist assumptions that mathematical knowledge, like all knowledge, is not directly absorbed by the learner from the teacher but is actively constructed by each individual learner. The realisation...
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Learning from text has long been a central activity in higher education. While it is doubtless important, there is evidence that the task of ‘reading to learn˚s is problematic for students in higher education. The article pursues a conceptual analysis of what ‘reading to learn˚s means in terms of conceptual and strategic knowledge and then explores...
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Interview data from 30 third-year college students in Scotland suggest that students' strategies for reading expository text were primitive. There was some evidence of comprehension monitoring in that students recognized that their learning was slight but little evidence of strategies that could affect and advance comprehension. Contains 43 referen...
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In the last twenty years research on children’s acquisition of numerical skills and concepts has been a vibrant topic of enquiry amongst psychologists and educators alike. While there has been a diversity of interest between the different disciplines, there is consensus in their recognition that young children have much more mathematical knowledge...
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What does it mean to say that someone can count? For the adult, counting is a seemingly straightforward activity: the adult notices the set of items to be counted, assigns a number name to each item in the set and recognises that the last number name used defines the total number of items in the set. That adults are skilled in counting is not surpr...

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