Speaking of Faculty Development Week, over the course of it, I heard numerous references to articles and studies and what not, and tried to keep a running list, and then at some point I thought, bah, and stopped doing it.
Then Kristin Bivens (she’s back!) was kind enough to forward me a link to an article that she’d heard mentioned, and so I thought that maybe it would be useful after all. Anywhere, here are the ones I heard about and found. Please add any others in the comments:
~Is Algebra Necessary? (h/t to Kristin Bivens). Also posted on Don’s Desk. For a response (and links to others, you can go HERE.
(Sample: “Maybe we can start by reaffirming the importance of learning for the sake of knowledge, in stark contrast to the commodification that has overtaken our educational system. No employer has ever asked me to analyze a Petrarchan sonnet, or expound on the intricacies of a Bach fugue, but I’m not sorry I have that knowledge, even if the latter meant suffering through the daily grind of musical scales on the piano as a child. The drudgery meant I might one day, in my teens, attempt Chopin. Granted, I didn’t become a professional musician; I didn’t ultimately have the chops. But my life is so much richer with Chopin in it.
I spent ten years training in jujitsu, yet I have yet to use my skills to defend myself from a real-world attack. So I guess those ten years were a waste, right? Wrong! The most important lessons I gleaned from martial arts had to do with learning to fail: getting my ass kicked and getting back up, again and again and again, until I mastered a given skill. Why wasn’t I willing to do the same for math?
All we’d end up teaching kids with Hacker’s strategy is avoidance. I was a master of avoidance. But learning to buckle down and do unpleasant things that don’t come easily to us prepares us for life.”).
~CUNY’s New College (mentioned in Alvin’s talk).
~A description of Austin Peay’s Course Picking Software (Tristan Denley’s thing) and an article in the Chronicle.
~Uri Triesman was full of interesting quotes and references:
~”All of our services were built on someone else’s ideas of the students’ weaknesses.”
~”There is no shortage of opportunities for humility in institutional improvement.”
~”Start with what’s working.”
~”Institutional reforms can go awry and many times the first thing that they do is kill off what’s best about your institution.”
~”Being a college president is like running a cemetary; you have lots of people under you, but no one is listening.”
~”People like changes until they happen.”
~”If you can’t change the culture, enculturate the change; change, in the words of Adrianna Kazar, ‘requires a joyful conspiracy.'”
~”Placement is a criminal enterprise.”
He also said some stuff about research on how they’ve learned to predict, using data through the third week of classes who will be left in the class at the end. I found him after his talk and he said to look up the SENSE study by Kay McClenney (who runs the CCSSE and it’s associated research) and David Yeager from the Carnegie Foundation, but all I found was this link to a press release and this video (which I haven’t watched yet). They were also in the news this week when the Gates Foundation pulled funding for some of their splashy reform efforts, but that is a something else. He also mentioned Peabody models of decision making (which might be this?), Robbie Case’s work on mathematical learning called “Number Worlds” (here’s a description, but this is better), and an op-ed by Madeline Levin in the New York Times, which he connected to Placement (I don’t see it).
After that I went to a session on the new Learning Analytics, but I’m going to save my reading on that one for another post.
What did I miss?