Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Question Time

Plymouth Institute of Education staff conducted their own version of Question Time last night for students on the Visions and Values module. Over 100 third year education students attended to hear several colleagues debate the future of the primary curriculum.

Education lecturers Kelly Davis, Phil Selbie, Miles Opie, James Bettany and Kath Vineer all featured, taking the stage to field questions about education, testing, curriculum, philosophy and politics.

The entire 2 hours debate was live streamed on the web, and the result can be seen below on the Visions and Values YouTube channel. Watch out for Kath's wonderfully comedic role playing of the current Education Secretary as she responds to questions from chair Steve Wheeler and rebuttals from the other panelists.

Photo from the video by Benji Rogers

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Question Time by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Learning from each other

There has been extensive work around the concept of students teaching each other - otherwise known as peer learning. This approach to pedagogy has its roots in Vygotskiian Zone of Proximal Development theory, where a more knowledgeable other, whether teacher, adult or simply a better informed peer, can extend someone's learning experience beyond what they might achieve alone (Vygotsky, 1978).  But peer education can also be reciprocal. In terms of Corneli and Danoff's (2011) and Corneli's (2012) approach - paragogy - anyone can teach anyone else, because everyone knows something, but no-one knows everything. Students can even teach their teachers, in an extreme form of flipped learning I mentioned in a previous post.

It all sounds very democratic, but exactly how might it work?

In paragogy, students can exchange knowledge and can be learning from each other simultaneously. This is not something ZPD theory explicitly takes into account. Whenever I have seen this kind of reciprocal learning occur, it has emerged during intense discussions or more commonly, during collaborative learning, where a small group solve a problem or address a complex issue. Some of the best reciprocal peer learning I have witnessed has been around group production of artefacts such as video production.

The original ZPD concept was intended to be asymmetric - that a novice would be extended in their ability, knowledge or competency by the more knowledgeable other, but only in one direction. It was a formal pedagogical principle. However, the more one teaches, the more it becomes apparent that such lines of demarcation are notional at best, and that peer learning can readily occur informally across small groups, or even entire networks of individuals.

Peer learning is rarely asymmetric, and is not restricted to dyads.  But what about peer assessment? I'll develop that question further in my next post...

Corneli, J. and Danoff, C. J. (2011) Paragogy. In: Proceedings of the 6th Open Knowledge Conference, Berlin, Germany.
Corneli, J. (2012) Paragogical Praxis, E-Learning and Digital Media, 9(3), 267-272.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Photo by Primary Source on Flickr

This post first appeared on Learning with 'e's

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Learning from each other by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Health shouldn't be an exclusive club

'Health is for all, wherever interests lie' says Dr Tim Lynch, a lecturer in physical education at the Plymouth Institute of Education. This interesting opinion piece focuses on the need to improve health education in schools, and presents the argument that coupled with good physical education, health can be seen as something in which everyone can take an active interest and something all of us can contribute towards. Too often, argues Dr Lynch, health is viewed as an exclusive club that only the select few can join. But in fact, we all need our health, and everyone can learn how to improve their health and fitness.

Here is Tim's complete article, which was originally published in the National Education Review for Australia.

Photo by Derek Jensen on Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons License
Health shouldn't be an exclusive club by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.