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Brian Boyd, The Learning Journey

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by CanuckGrrl, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. "Also, 'School exams are not particularly good predictors of success at final degree level,' - I don't recall anyone suggesting that they were."

    Surely universities use them as predictors of performance when they ask for them as entry qualifications to their courses? In other words, you don't get on the course at all if you don't have certain school exam grades, which suggests quite clearly that the universities believe you won't be successful in the degree programme you're applying for if you don't have them.
     
  2. I find it strange you disagree with Brian Boyd, Ray- for a while I thought you were him!
     
  3. I don't know what you mean, gord - Brian Boyd argues that exam grades are not good predictors of degree success, gnulinux disagreed with that, I pointed out that they ARE used by universities as predictors. Therefore, you could say, by default I agree with Brian Boyd. However, agreeing or disagreeing with him wasn't the point of my post.
     
  4. Actually, gord, I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with what Brian Boyd says - gnulinux said that no-one uses grades as predictors, I said universities do. Whether they're accurate or not is still debatable.

    Phew, glad I sorted out my thoughts on that one!!

     
  5. "Glow....built on microsoft sharepoint but it's a VLE - it will all depend upon the operating system you are using to run it. "

    Nonsense.

    You evidently know little about Sharepoint, and less about Glow. Glow is not a VLE (although it does have a VLE as one component amongst many others), and the operating system you use is irrelevant to whether you access Glow or not - all you need is Web access.
     
  6. Actually Ray the point of my post was not really to do with the content,simply that I genuinely thought you were Brian Boyd for a while.
     
  7. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Boyd wrote 'School exams are not particularly good predictors of success at final degree level,' - I am not sure if this is just his opinion or if it is fact based, but I don't recall anyone suggesting that school exams were a good predictor of final degree level. Obviously Universities use school exam results (to some extent) to filter out candidates who appear to have potential but as has been said before a lot can happen in 3 or 4 years.
    What he says is not very insightful - more like stating the obvious in places. But 'deep' learning and 'soft' skills ... what a load of ****
    And 'preparing pupils for the unknown' - how are we going to do that if it is unknown???
    My point is that we could be doing a great deal more to prepare pupils for 'the known' but we are being hampered all along the way to achieving that by the ignorant control freaks in the system.
     
  8. Post 26 - I actually know quite a lot about sharepoint and Glow... Yes, it is built on sharepoint, and it is a virtual learning environment (or are you really limiting your definition of a VLE to glow-met in this case ? if so, strange viewpoint), amongst many other things. Perhaps you should review the lit on VLE's if you are not sure what they are...
    and the comment on operating systems was in response to the poster asking about OSS.
     
  9. Post 28 - 'deep learning' is a recognised psychological term to do with memory transfer systems and their efficiency.
    Its certainly not rubbish..
     
  10. Sorry, linux, you seem to be arguing an unarguable case here.

    "Boyd wrote 'School exams are not particularly good predictors of success at final degree level,' - I am not sure if this is just his opinion or if it is fact based, but I don't recall anyone suggesting that school exams were a good predictor of final degree level."

    Obviously, universities believe they are a good predictor of final degree performance, since they are by far the most important entry qualification used by them.

    "Obviously Universities use school exam results (to some extent) to filter out candidates who appear to have potential "

    In actual fact, they use them as the major indicator. IF you have the necessary grades, THEN they will look at other aspects of your learning - but the grades come first.

    "as has been said before a lot can happen in 3 or 4 years."

    I think Brian Boyd would agree with you wholeheartedly - exam grades are a snapshot of something that have little relevance to a learner's future performance. So, if a lot can happen in 4 years, why do universities use them as the major predictor?

    "What he says is not very insightful - more like stating the obvious in places."

    Well, if he's stating the obvious, obviously you're doing the kinds of things he talks about - so what's your beef with what he says?
     
  11. I'm not sure what to make of this article. I certainly believe the concept of teaching skills rather than knowledge (I am refusing to take on the jargon from the article).But then I whole heartedly think that BJ made a relevant point about the lack of work ethic in today's society. Why is it ok for people to live on hand outs? I worry that by removing the "measureable" attainment we are removing the goal posts for children. How do they know what they are working towards? How will they know when they have been successful in their learning? What is the motivation? Maybe I would need to see this put into practice rather than on paper.

    As much as the "journey of learning" goes, the sad fact is that further and higher education and entry into most jobs, relies on a grade on a piece of paper.
     
  12. The problem with 'measurable attainment' as I see it is that it focuses the attention onto the person as a success or a failure, rather than focusing on the usefulness of the learning experience. If a student forgets what they have learned to pass an exam, is it useful learning ? it's certainly not deep learning. What about students who have bad memories, or difficulties encoding knowledge into long-term memory systems, a function vital for passing exams ? does it make them less 'clever' just because their memory systems are less efficient than another's ?
    It's actually less to do with the teaching skills and more to do with a crazy system which forces kids through the 'mincer' of stop-start summative assessment when what we should be doing is perhaps doing much more long-term continuous assessment of a pupil's true learning and not just memory.
    Dylan Wiliam once made a comment - "students come into school to watch their teachers working"

    We focus so much on exams in ourday to day work that we forget about actual pedagogical skills. Those skills necessary to engage, motivate and inspire real learning which can translate into deep learning. Sad to say many teachers have become little more than knowledge transfer agents, rather than true educators. But it does'nt have to be this way. I'm playing devils advocate as well, but maybe some of us are too lazy to engage in the planning process necessary to motivate,engage and inspire. We settle for the easy path of 'teaching' to exam arrangement documents. A period of self-reflection is needed by many in schools I think, to discover if we actually enjoy our jobs, or are we just contributing more meat to the sausage mincer of summative assessment...

     
  13. I agree with much of what you wrote mybabe but I'd add that for some teachers there appears to be little choice in the delivery of lessons. Such pressure is brought to bear that while the desire for more meaningful pedagogy exists, the opportunities to engage in it are prohibited.

    "but maybe some of us are too lazy to engage in the planning process necessary to motivate,engage and inspire. We settle for the easy path of 'teaching' to exam... "

    Undeniablky across the teaching population there may well be a few too lazy to act as you describe.
    I'd argue though that many teachers have expressed a desire to explore new, deeper learning and teaching but their superiors blanche at the thought of anything which might be remotely 'different' and of itself, untested. We need our strategic leaders, managers and inspectors to put their own heads above the parapet.

    Until teachers are offered a geunuine, top down, amnesty from this targets based mechanism nothing will change. We encourage our pupils not to be risk averse but few adults in education practise what they preach.
     
  14. Thanks mybabe for the further explanation - I think it is clearer to me now. You are right, the planning would require more attention to detail and creativity, which can sometimes be lacking.
     
  15. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Boyd observes - and the conveyor belt that is the new probationer system will compound this situation - that remembering how you learned a subject at school or from your grandad or a friend or a group should be fed into how teachers should tackle teaching.
    Some schools are still in modal paralysis because of some "God spake" attitude among what teachers deliver and some tecajers believe silence is the only learning environment.
    As we offer teaching as a quick way to clear your credit card or loan bill from uni, we are doomed to a generation of teachers who will only treat it as a job.
     
  16. As opposed to?
     
  17. It took four years to come up with that response Mr Morrissey?
     
  18. You can't get through Higher English on one or two poems.
     
  19. Sorry if I was unclear - I meant in Scotland for the Higher course.
     
  20. It used to be a "two term dash" in which we had to cover
    a dozen poems in a study of literature that included a personal
    literature review. Now we cover two poems because “time is
    tight”.

    In fact, in the Higher of the olden days, the "two term
    dash" (in those days, exams were slightly later, but we didn't
    start the Higher at the end of S4) we had to cover for the exam:
    skills for two interpretation passages; report writing; composition
    writing (creative, personal, discursive); practical criticism; and
    enough literature to answer three literature essays.

    Can you tell me what's been added to the course that makes
    the time so limited now? What are we doing so differently that we can only fit so much less in?
     

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