Tuesday, July 11
There were only two rows, so I sat in the front. I'm lazy like that.
Butchers' paper featured early, but it was token. The textas were all spartan black, and it was all over in a few minutes.
The rest of it was quite interesting. It was 'bolshie' and 'po-mo', as the wingnuts say, without appearing to be, perhaps without even being aware of it. People said things like: "pfft, essays! Essays are just sacred cows! And don't be drawn into jumping on the exam bandwagon!" There was also an interesting, rather grudging admission to the effect that Anatomy students need to learn the names of body parts so they can communicate with other health profesisonals. I kept thinking how much Kevin Donnelly would hate it, especially the section which had to do with student-centred learning and learning outcomes (all day.) When one of the teachers began to give examples based around approaches to teaching Othello I knew I had found my Frank Devine baitin', Australian editorial eye-rollin' people.
Here's a sample. (I thought this was very apt and useful and will be keeping it in mind whenever I have control, in future, over what my teaching duties comprise.) There are three basic learning approaches which students adopt in response to how they perceive the circumstances they're in, particularly, what they perceive to be demanded by the course assessment. Deep, Surface, Achieving. Deep learning is good, Surface learning generally not so good, though sometimes they have to do the surface learning (learn the names of things) before they can move on to the deep learning. There is also Achieving, which is a floating supplementary sort of thing and can attach to either Deep or Surface, it is the type of behaviour that drives students to keep really tidy detailed noted or look up every item on the reading list for example, or to memorise quotations for exams, etc. The idea is to set assessments that encourage deep learning not superficial, and to keep your assessments in mind while you work out what you're going to try to get across with every piece of teaching.
More godless pomo relativist diversity-embracing educational theory tomorrow, for me if not for you.
at 8:03 pm