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Archive for the ‘Educational research’ Category

Complexity and Educational Research – A critical reflection

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Judgements concerning proper or appropriate educational endeavour, methods of investigation and philosophising about education necessarily implicate perspectives, values, assumptions and beliefs. In recent years ideas from the complexity sciences have been utilised in many domains including psychology, economics, architecture, social science and education. This paper addresses questions concerning the appropriateness of utilising complexity science in educational research as well as issues relating to the ways in which complexity might be engaged. I suggest that, just like all human endeavour, approaches to research emerge out of discursive communities and can be understood as self-organising, dynamic and emergent over time. In this formulation, complexity represents one such newly emergent approach. I argue that it is important that researchers partake in critical and reflective discourse about the nature of education and conceptual frameworks, as well as about impacts and legacies of utilising complexity, so as to participate in and influence the ongoing emergence of educational endeavour. I conclude by suggesting a series of caveats for researchers considering using complexity in educational research.

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Written by learningchange

November 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Complexity Thinking and Methodology: The Potential of ‘Complex Case Study’ for Educational Research

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Complexity theories have in common perspectives that challenge linear methodologies and views of causality.  In educational research, relatively little has been written explicitly exploring their implications for educational research methodology in general and case study in particular. In this paper, I offer a rationale for case study as a research approach that embodies complexity, and I explore the implications of a ‘complexity thinking’ stance for the conduct of case study research that distinguishes it from other approaches. A complexity theoretical framework rooted in the key concepts of emergence and complexity reduction, blended using a both/and logic, is used to develop the argument that case study enables the researcher to balance the open-ended, non-linear sensitivities of complexity thinking with the reduction in complexity, inherent in making methodological choices. The potential of this approach is illustrated using examples drawn from a complexity theoretical research study into curriculum change.

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Written by learningchange

October 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Normalizing Foucault? – A Rhizomatic Approach to Plateaus in Anglophone Educational Research

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In  a  recent  analysis  of  anglophone  scholarship, Baker and Heyning considered both where and when Foucault’s name was made to live and also analyzed the kinds of work such naming has performed,  i.e., the substantive claims made  in the name of or through Foucault. In  regard  to where and when, the most marked uptake of Foucault occurred in the second half of the 1990s  in  the humanities  and  social  sciences,  with  the  field  of  philosophy indexing  the  earliest  discussions  of  his  work.

Three predominant uses of Foucault in education appeared:

  1. historicization  and  philosophizing  projects  with  relativization  emphases  (a more “problematizing” Foucault).
  2. denaturalization  projects  without  overt  historical  emphases  and  with diversity emphases (a more “sociological” Foucault).
  3. critical  reconstruction  projects  with  solution  emphases  (a  more “administrative” Foucault).

This paper  takes off  from Baker and Heyning’s survey of anglophone uses of Foucault by examining substantive examples of such recombinatorial approaches  to Foucault  and  the  plateaus they serve.  It  will suggest  that specific responses to Foucault’s work at the turn of  the  twenty‐first  century are sustained in part by historical propensities in the field to a) scientize and template  theoretical frameworks, b) normalize‐govern particular approaches as standardized methodology amid swirling and recombinatorial  tendencies, and c) carve out moralistic dualisms around their utility.

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Written by learningchange

November 17, 2011 at 9:20 am

La economía como ciencia social

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Los planes de estudio en las principales facultades de Economía están siendo revisados. La crisis en las potencias mundiales cuestiona la corriente de pensamiento neoclásica, redefinida ortodoxa o neoliberal, predominante en esa carrera universitaria.

La crisis del paradigma neoliberal abre la oportunidad de dar un debate que una década atrás parecía imposible. La ortodoxia, como visión hegemónica, no es capaz de explicar el derrumbe de las economías centrales, ni ofrece soluciones viables. El análisis de esta crisis requiere comprender el proceso histórico, social y político que lo generó. A principios de los años ’70, el incremento de los costos productivos vinculados, en gran medida, a las demandas salariales de una clase obrera organizada y a la crisis del petróleo, provocó la caída de los niveles de rentabilidad de las grandes corporaciones de las naciones más desarrolladas del mundo. Como respuesta, los grupos de poder avanzaron con una estrategia de reducción de costos a través de la fragmentación del proceso productivo y de su relocalización, lo que derivó en una nueva división internacional del trabajo. Las naciones desarrolladas conservaron y promovieron las actividades de mayor alcance científico-tecnológico y, a través de los canales comerciales y financieros, lograron controlar las cadenas de valor globales. En el resto de la periferia, en general, se profundizó la explotación de los recursos naturales y se desmantelaron las jóvenes estructuras industriales, nacidas mayoritariamente en la primera fase de la Guerra Fría.

Written by learningchange

September 26, 2011 at 5:47 am

Electronic education: Flipping the classroom

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Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit.

TheE 12-year-olds filing into Courtney Cadwell’s classroom at Egan Junior High in Los Altos, a leafy suburb of Silicon Valley, each take a white MacBook from a trolley, log on to a website called KhanAcademy.org and begin doing maths exercises. They will not get a lecture from Ms Cadwell, because they have already viewed, at home, various lectures as video clips on KhanAcademy (given by Salman Khan, its founder). And Ms Cadwell, logged in as a “coach”, can see exactly who has watched which. This means that class time is now free for something else: one-on-one instruction by Ms Cadwell, or what used to be known as tutoring.

So Ms Cadwell, in her own web browser, pulls up a dashboard where KhanAcademy’s software presents, through the internet, the data the children are producing at that instant. She can view information for the entire class or any individual pupil. Just then she sees two fields, representing modules, turning from green to red, one for Andrea, the other for Asia. Ms Cadwell sees that Andrea is struggling with exponents, Asia with fractions. “Instead of having to guess where my students have gaps, I can see it, at that moment, and I walk over to that one student,” says Ms Cadwell, as she arrives at Asia’s chair.

Written by learningchange

September 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

Reforming education: The great schools revolution

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Read also: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better

Education remains the trickiest part of attempts to reform the public sector. But as ever more countries embark on it, some vital lessons are beginning to be learned.

In many countries education is at the forefront of political debate, and reformers desperate to improve their national performance are drawing examples of good practice from all over the world.

Why now? One answer is the sheer amount of data available on performance, not just within countries but between them. In 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD, a rich-country club, began tracking academic attainment by the age of 15 in 32 countries.

Written by learningchange

September 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

Education Eye – Mapping Innovations

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View also:  Vision Mapper  and  Exploratree

Education Eye brings you a wide range of exciting, relevant and useful innovations updated daily from the best of the web.

Written by learningchange

September 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

All-round education for life – a “truly outstanding school” in one of the highest performing education systems in the world

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Hong Kong-China is one of the leading performers in the OECD PISA survey. It’s in the top 4 for reading, mathematics and science along with Shanghai-China, Korea and Finland, (while the UK’s results are in line with the OECD average – some way behind). I wanted to explore for myself what a high-performing school in Hong Kong is like. I was directed to St Paul’s Convent School in Causeway Bay which has achieved the highest value-added results in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination for the past 10 years and was described as “truly an outstanding school, excelling in all four domains of school work” in its Comprehensive Review report.

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Written by learningchange

June 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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