Seminar Series 2010

All are welcome, including our HDR students and any other interested parties.


Seminar Six:  Wednesday, March 31, 4.00-5.30pm

Understanding visual and multimodal learning

Guest Presenter: Shaaron Ainsworth, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham

Abstract: When people are learning complicated new ideas, interpreting and constructing visual or multiple forms of representation can bring unique benefits. In other words, representations are powerful tools for learning but like all powerful tools they need careful handling if learners are to use them successfully. Moreover, even after many years of active research, it is not clear how representations mediate learning nor which activities on what representations help specific learners in particular contexts. In this talk I will illustrate some of the many facets of learning with representations in order to try to move closer to an answer to these questions.

Biography: Shaaron Ainsworth is Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham and Principal Investigator, Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Nottingham. She has worked on major funded research projects in Europe and the U.S., and has an extensive publication record. Her research interests are concerned with the development and evaluation of psychological theories of teaching and learning - broadly falling into the area of learning sciences. She has two major foci for her work: Learning with Visual and Multiple Representations; and Technology Enhanced Learning.
Shaaron’s research with Visual and Multiple Representations involves both technology enhanced learning and learning from pictures and text.
She writes:
I have developed the DeFT framework to consider how to design learning environments that can achieve the functions of multiple representations without overwhelming learners with complex cognitive tasks. I am interested in the strategies learners need to benefit from visual, haptic and multiple representations. Finally I am interested in how learners benefit from constructing representations (e.g. by drawing) as well as from interpreting representations created by others.
Her work with technology enhanced learning spans the use of digital technologies for personal inquiry and collaborative learning.
Website: http://www.psychology.nottingham.ac.uk/staff/Shaaron.Ainsworth/index.html

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Seminar Five:  Thursday, March 25, 3.30 -5.00pm

The food environment relationship: a socio-scientific issue in the perspective of sustainable development

Guest Presenter: Laurence Simonneaux & Jean Simonneaux, Didactics of Emerging Professional, Scientific and Social Knowledge, Toulouse EducAgro, ENFA.

Abstract:This presentation describes an experiment carried out with trainee teachers. Our objective was to develop their ability to question the way in which scientific knowledge is constructed. To do this, we used a series of educational games, based on the impact that food production has on the environment. These games were designed to expose teachers to disconcerting “evidence” that had been resourced from scientific studies.
During the course of this pedagogical strategy, we prepared a few unexpected turns of events or ‘coups de théâtre’ using :


a) the ranking of the activities linked to providing food, according to their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,
b) the presentation of ‘surprising’ data on the environmental impact of the different aspects of a kilo of bought vegetables,
c) the comparison of the regional and global supply chains for lamb (New Zealand), in terms of final energy consumption,
d) the presentation of the scientific controversy surrounding the results analysed previously.


At this stage, the teachers had experienced several socio-cognitive dissonances by being confronted with data opposed to their ‘common sense’ or to media coverage of environmental questions. The strategy allowed teachers the opportunity to explore the differences between their beliefs and scientific evidence. It enabled the trainee teachers to improve their capacity for critical analysis. They questioned the hypotheses and indicators chosen for the scientific demonstration. They understood that because reality is complex, it is necessary to remain cautious. It is impossible to reduce the complexity of reality to the “artefacts” selected for the different studies.
At the end of the training session, the teachers considered the possibility of using disconcerting data in class in order to stimulate their pupils’ critical rationality.

Biography: Laurence Simonneaux is a professor at the Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique in France which was created in 1963 with the status of a Grande Ecole. She is head of a research department in science and agronomy education: Didactique des Savoirs Professionnels Scientifiques et Sociaux Emergents. She has led several research programmes on biotechnology education and the teaching of controversial socioscientific issues and is member of the national research programme about sustainable development education. She has published several books dealing with debates, argumentation and the teaching of controversial socioscientific issues such as GMOs, nanotechnology, cloning, animal transgenesis, climate change, biodiversity, bioconservation. Jean Simonneaux is a lecturer at the Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique in France. His research aria is socially acute questions in economy education. His academic background is interdisciplinary: agronomy, geography, sociology and economy.

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Seminar Four:  Thursday, March 18, 4.00-5.30pm

Whole school mentoring support

Guest Presenter: Tammy Kwan, Ph.D. Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong

Abstract: This workshop will report on the work to date on 'Whole School Mentoring Support' (WSMS) which is an advocated mentoring approach by the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, to school change which has the potential to enhance professional learning of different parties (teacher-mentors, student-teachers, university-tutors and school pupils) and to increase school effectiveness. It is not only a process, but also a philosophy, of professional development through mentoring. The workshop will both explore the model of WSMS and report on findings to date from several key subject teacher-mentors taking major responsibility in mentoring student-teachers. The outcomes of this approach to date have involved changes towards a collaborative culture, synergistic relations with one another, and the formation of professional communities of practice.

Biography: Associate Professor Tammy Kwan is the Director of Professional Experience in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. Dr Kwan’s research areas include Teacher Education (includes School-University Partnership, Mentoring, Staff and Professional Development); Good Practice in Teaching and Learning (includes learning study, problem-based, self-directed, portfolio development, issue-based, inquiry-based, action research, and related resources production); and Curriculum Development (includes Geographical, Social, Humanities and Environmental Education); Mapping and Children (primary level); Wayfinding (primary and secondary levels).Dr Kwan was recently awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award (2009).

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Seminar Three:  Thursday, February 25, 4.00-5.30pm

Learning and Teaching Science with the use of Technology: Fostering Communication Among People in the “LOS” Project

Guest Presenter: Mariko Suzuki, Ph.D. Professor, Media, Science and Mathematics Education, Shiga University

Abstract: In this seminar, Mariko Suzuki focuses on “Lunar Observation Support (LOS)” project that is one of her on-going research projects.
She and her colleagues developed the "Lunar Observation Support (LOS)" system to facilitate learners' ability to continue observations of the moon and to share observations. The LOS system consists of a mobile device to submit records of lunar observations to a server and a storage device for sharing lists of observational records on a web site. She has implemented the LOS system in a course for pre-service education. She found that, in terms of practices, most students evaluated on-going observation and communication inside and outside of a classroom positively. Participants evaluated the utilization of the LOS system positively. Many chose the LOS system rather than paper sheets as an observation tool and a data sharing tool. The LOS system encouraged students to continue observation of the moon. The system, moreover, facilitated students’ deliberation of the phases of the moon while choosing and adjusting the phase through mobile phones. The more they observed the moon, the more they could demonstrate understanding of the moon's phases. Detailed analysis of students' responses to a lunar inventory sheet shows the possibility which on-going observations, sharing observational data, and communicating about the moon with the use of the LOS system enhances prospective teachers' knowledge of the moon. This was helpful especially for students who would hardly answer questions on the lunar inventory sheet. She and her colleagues are revising the LOS system for users outside of Japan.

Biography: Mariko Suzuki is a professor at Shiga University in Japan. She earned degrees in Natural Science (B.S.) at Nara Women's University, Japan and in Human Sciences (M.S. and Ph.D.) at Osaka University, Japan. She also visited and worked at University of California at Berkeley while she was a graduate student (1994-1995). She has researched ways people think and converse about scientific topics in classroom settings. She also has examined how to use technology to foster communication among people in science education.

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Seminar Two:  Thursday, February 18, 1.30-3.30pm

A Research Discussion with
Professor Richard Bates (Deakin, School of Education) and Invited Guest:

Guest Presenter: Terry Haywood: Director of the International School of Milan

Abstract: Terry Haywood will talk about what is happening in the world of international schooling and international education and will be available to discuss projects that are underway with Deakin Faculty in the area of International Education.

Biography:Terry Haywood has been involved in international education for over 30 years, many of them as Head of the International School of Milan. He served for six years on the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Board of Directors (including two years as Chair) and he has been closely associated with the Association for International Education (AIE). He is currently Chair of the AIE Board of Trustees. Terry is particularly interested in promoting international learning as widely as possible, not only in the international sector but through national school systems as well. For the past fifteen years he has also been active in the accreditation service with ECIS, CIS, NEASC and MSA.

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Seminar One:   Tuesday, February 9, 1-3pm

Improving Learning by Widening Participation in HE

Presenter: Miriam David, Professor of Sociology of Education, Institute of Education, University of London

Abstract: Miriam David asks ‘has higher education been transformative over the last three decades?’ This question is double-edged, based upon a reprise of her education and social research. What influences have second wave feminists, drawing on feminism as the key social movement of the twentieth century had on the pedagogies and practices in global higher education? Aspiring academics, aimed for gender and social justice through inclusive pedagogies in higher education or lifelong learning. Ideas about inclusive pedagogies have begun to percolate into forms of mass higher education in the 21st century, linked to widening access and participation in higher education. Yet the expansion of higher education and the knowledge economy has been more about transforming global labour markets than it has been about social or gender justice. Higher education has indeed expanded and afforded diverse opportunities for participation as students and as researchers or academics yet these transformations maintain systemic inequalities.

Biography: Miriam David asks ‘has higher education been transformative over the last three decades?’ This question is double-edged, based upon a reprise of her education and social research. What influences have second wave feminists, drawing on feminism as the key social movement of the twentieth century had on the pedagogies and practices in global higher education? Aspiring academics, aimed for gender and social justice through inclusive pedagogies in higher education or lifelong learning. Ideas about inclusive pedagogies have begun to percolate into forms of mass higher education in the 21st century, linked to widening access and participation in higher education. Yet the expansion of higher education and the knowledge economy has been more about transforming global labour markets than it has been about social or gender justice. Higher education has indeed expanded and afforded diverse opportunities for participation as students and as researchers or academics yet these transformations maintain systemic inequalities.

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