The Big Bang (Learning) Theory: “You’re not sanding Penny”

To the uninitiated theories of learning can seem at best opaque and at worst pointless– but getting to grips with behaviourism can uncover some taken-for-granted assumptions which underpin many traditional educational practices. Moving things along from a salivating dog, or a radar pecking pigeon this clip sees Sheldon training Penny to be a more acceptable human being. Leonard’s plea ‘you’re not sanding Penny’ could be the call to action (learning) that you are looking for.

This post was one of our advent learning and teaching treats. To explore all the other treats click here.

A love that dare not speak its name?

Lecture at LTH LundThe long-maligned lectures holds sway (if not student attention) in most higher education institutions, and gives many HE professionals their job title.

In her article ‘Lecture me, really’ Molly Worthen bravely pledges her troth to this time-tested practice, so unjustly spurned by modish educators.

In her article ‘Lecture me, really’ Molly Worthen misguidedly chains herself to this archaic practice, so wisely rejected by enlightened educators.

Pieces in defence of the lecture appear regularly – and are met by a celebratory “hooray” from its avid and loyal admirers, and by dismay and bewilderment from its detractors.

Whichever tribe you belong to every vindication or condemnation offers valuable opportunity to revisit dearly held assumptions about the way we teach and the way in which students learn. Engaging in debate about divisive practices like the lecture can reinvigorate our engagement with the big questions: what can a University education do, how should it do it, and how do we as educators and students as learners best achieve our goals?

So, maybe not lecture me, really, but disagree with me, absolutely.

This post was one of our advent learning and teaching treats. To explore all the other treats click here.

The F word

PATRIARCHAL EDUCATION 2014“Feminist pedagogy is not a toolbox, a collection of strategies, a list of practices, or a specific classroom arrangement. It is an overarching philosophy—a theory of teaching and learning that integrates feminist values with related theories and research on teaching and learning.”

And so begins one of the most valuable teaching resources I have seen this year, a Guide to Feminist Pedagogy from Vanderbilt University. Beautifully designed around Shulman’s concept of signature pedagogy, this exquisite exposition of the ‘habits of hand, heart and head’ offers a liberating and exhilarating approach to teaching and learning.

This post was one of our advent learning and teaching treats. To explore all the other treats click here.

This

Creativity is a hard concept to define. Steve Wheeler pretty much nails it with this slide, part of his keynote at the Digital Pedagogies conference held in Doncaster on 3 July. By the power of Twitter (and @christinehough): “This”.

This post was one of our advent learning and teaching treats. To explore all the other treats click here.

Textbook Cinderellas

CinderellaI love fairy stories.

I love English Literature.

I love teaching.

 

 

Once upon a time, now sadly a long time ago, when the ink on my doctoral dissertation was only just dry, I taught my first seminar group. Almost overcome with terror, I found solace in one magical text, Doing English by Robert Eaglestone.

Doing English enabled me to reconcile my experience of English Literature at school with the uncanny experiences of studying English Literature at University – and particularly, it showed me how I could make sense of the English Literature which was unfolding to my undergraduate seminar group as they grappled with the compulsory Critical Theory module under my inexpert tutelage.

Many years later, in a different life as a consultant at Academic Practice at the Higher Education Academy I was lucky enough to work with over 60 National Teaching Fellows on texts which captured their practice. Amongst their number was Robert Eaglestone, who wrote about writing the very text book that had saved me so many years ago.

The resulting piece, Textbook Cinderellas: how metacognition takes a worn format to the ball, argues that textbooks can and should be pedagogically innovative. But what I love most of all, is that it remixes the theories and sensibilities of English Studies with the scholarship of teaching and learning – to create something I find utterly enchanting.

This post was one of our advent learning and teaching treats. To explore all the other treats click here.