Cathedral Building

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Posts tagged research

33 notes

gjmueller:

Fit Kids Are Usually Smart Kids

Researchers from Michigan State University found that students in the best physical shape outscored their classmates on standardized tests and take home better report cards. The data could also support the conclusion that the smartest kids are often the ones also in best physical shape.

photo via flickr:CC | Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG

The institution through which I have journal access gets this one on a delay — can anyone with access to the full article tell me if they adjusted or looked at other factors (income, parental involvement, etc.)?  Are they settling on correlation or trying to look at causation as well? 

Always keep in mind, folks: data is never simple.

gjmueller:

Fit Kids Are Usually Smart Kids

Researchers from Michigan State University found that students in the best physical shape outscored their classmates on standardized tests and take home better report cards. The data could also support the conclusion that the smartest kids are often the ones also in best physical shape.

photo via flickr:CC | Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG

The institution through which I have journal access gets this one on a delay — can anyone with access to the full article tell me if they adjusted or looked at other factors (income, parental involvement, etc.)?  Are they settling on correlation or trying to look at causation as well? 

Always keep in mind, folks: data is never simple.

Filed under education research fitness

27 notes

Delusions of Gender

kicksandgiggles:

grayer:

I know this book has been featured in the #education tab, but I wanted to make a post since I finally got around to reading it. 

This book is a must read for any educator. Neuroscience has launched itself into widespread media attention. As teachers, you’ve probably seen different brain maps that show how boys and girls learn. I know I’ve been bombarded with pseudoscience proclaiming how boys and girls learn differently. However, that’s all it is, pseudoscience. Brain maps aren’t particularly good indicators.

In this book, Cordelia Fine, looks at each “scientific” claim or study that argues boys and girls are different. Fine goes through each claim and shows that these studies are either built on shaky premises or just plain wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard how students should be split by gender for certain subjects. Fine discovers that this is a dangerous practice. Boys and girls score no differently on math, vocab, empathy, spatial-skills, etc. The only time they do score differently is when their gender is brought into play. For example, after checking a female box on a test, female students score lowering on math problems. However, when given the same test and stating everyone has a chance to do equally well, the scores between male/female were equal. This proves true on empathy tests (which are usually biased or poor indicators anyway). 

This book will be a powerful resource for any teacher looking to defend the learning rights of boys and girls. Start dispelling gender myths in your school today!

Awesome. Looking into it. Thanks, Grayer!

(Trying commentary again.)

I want to read these studies. Want.  Absolutely want these immediately.

See, this is what happens when you casually chat with me about research methodology while eating ice cream — this is what my spare time has been made of because I happen to know some very cool people.  Then for a week and half all I want to do is devour research, dissect methodology, scrutinize studies, and soak up data. If it just so happens to be education-related, I’m on cloud nine.

Always be ruthless when looking at a study.  Never accept the numbers someone hands you until you see how they got there.  It also happens to make the results of whatever you’re reading that much more incredible when you can trace where they came from.

Now I need to go satisfy this craving for science…adding this to my library list immediately.

Filed under education gender research pscyhology

1,668 notes

misterjmasters:

thedailywhat:

Wiki Dependency of the Day: Katie Notopoulos is using her Twitter account to catalog the complaints emanating from Millennials worried about how the Great Wikipedia Blackout of 2012 is going to affect their school projects.
[@katienotopoulos.]

asdfghjkl I have no pity for you, guys.

Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information for a paper.  It’s a great stepping stone to reliable information and a great way to learn about a topic before you go searching for other more specific sources, but it shouldn’t be the only resource you’re using.

How do we teach that to our students along with everything else we have to teach, and make it stick?  I’m supposed to show students the difference between a reliable and an unreliable source, but it’s a moot point when they don’t search for them in lieu of going straight to Wikipedia.

misterjmasters:

thedailywhat:

Wiki Dependency of the Day: Katie Notopoulos is using her Twitter account to catalog the complaints emanating from Millennials worried about how the Great Wikipedia Blackout of 2012 is going to affect their school projects.

[@katienotopoulos.]

asdfghjkl I have no pity for you, guys.

Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information for a paper.  It’s a great stepping stone to reliable information and a great way to learn about a topic before you go searching for other more specific sources, but it shouldn’t be the only resource you’re using.

How do we teach that to our students along with everything else we have to teach, and make it stick?  I’m supposed to show students the difference between a reliable and an unreliable source, but it’s a moot point when they don’t search for them in lieu of going straight to Wikipedia.

(Source: thedailywhat, via anightvaleintern)

Filed under education internet wikipedia technology research

55 notes

Something to consider when writing papers or doing research projects:

When saving a large amount of research and reference articles to your computer or thumb drive, there are a number of things you can do to make life much easier for yourself in the long run.

Do:

  • Save all your research to an easily-identifiable location, whether this is a folder specific to your class, your project, or to research in general.
  • Use as much of the full title as possible, or the author’s names and partial titles, when you name your file.  It may seem like a pain (journal article titles can be abominably long), but will save you grief later — articles on the same subject can be very similarly titled.
  • Tag your files if you’re working on an article, project, thesis or dissertation that has you hoarding fifty files or more.  Tags and keywords could be invaluable in finding your sources for specific points (when you need it for the paragraph on vocabulary-building exercises, for example, as opposed to the paragraph on general vocabulary acquisition).  Just google “tags” and your operating system to find walk-throughs on how to tag as well as downloadable programs that can assist you.

Don’t:

  • save files with the default name.  You’ll waste more time than you expect switching back and forth between seven different files named “untitled” or “document” to find the one you want.
  • use abbreviations for titles if you have a large collection of resources; research repeats itself.  ”Word problems, 3rd graders” may seem like a perfect name at the time, until you look back later and can’t remember if that one is about the use of word problems to connect curricula for third graders, or an article on tactics improving word problem scores in third grade students, or a study on word problem outcomes for a set of third grade students who are non-native speakers of English.
  • assume you’ll recognize a nondescript, incomplete, or unhelpful file name later.  I promise you that after your collection reaches a certain size, you won’t.
  • spread your research across every folder in your computer.  Unless you have tags (see above), finding what you need will seem impossible if you aren’t sure whether you saved it in the downloads or my documents folder and the title doesn’t have the keywords you’re searching.

Another helpful tip:

Consider where your attention lies in references or citations both when you save your sources and when you organize them.  Long titles will be far easier to scan in the “List” view of a folder, as opposed to the “Tile” or “Thumbnail” settings many people use as a default.  If your files have other pertinent information in its properties — publication, tags or keywords, authors, etc. — the “Details” view can allow you to sort files by those pieces of information as well as by the typical file name, date modified, or other basics.

For example: I write using APA style, where the researchers take front and center; after a few years of it, I’m far more likely to remember the names of the authors of an article than I am the title.  Certain properties of the PDFs I work with are unalterable and don’t always include the correct authors, but if they did I could arrange them alphabetically by author in the “Details” view.   Instead, my file names include the author’s name before the title.  Beginning each file name with the last name of the first researcher that would be listed in the references page and in-document citations means I can find the work I’m referencing almost immediately from there.  

I worked with a professor and researcher who couldn’t necessarily remember either, but could tell you the year it was published because the research was all very current and every new finding was substantial.  She and I would have greatly benefited from including publication years in the titles, if we’d thought of it at the time.  This is especially helpful when working with news articles, historical texts, or court documents.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to taking my own advice a little too late.  Over sixty articles and only a handful of the names tell me what they actually are…maybe I need to find myself a research assistant.

Filed under education research tips writing higher education college

5 notes

Pew Research Center releases new report, "Teens, kindness, and cruelty on social network sites: How American teens navigate the new world of digital citizenship."

This is a massive study, but even if you don’t have the time to read through the nearly ninety-page report you should take a look at the first nine pages, where it summarizes much of the resulting data.

Filed under education technology edtech internet pew research center psychology research science family online safety institute cable in the classroom edutech internet safety bullying pew

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Looking at immigration? Check out the linguistic impact.

Did you know “robot” is actually borne from the Czech word for “compulsory labor”? 

Words are very cool things.  Not only do they teach with their meanings and their sounds, they teach with their origins. 

If you’ve ever looked at multiculturalism or immigration in your classroom, try an exercise that can incorporate geography, literacy, and technology in one easy swoop.  Aside from the definition, pronunciation, and spelling, Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary also supplies word origins and direct links to corresponding articles on the topic at Britannica Online.  Try this: choose a word that students hear often, and look it up with them on m-w.com.  Show them all the great information they can get about the word — including its origins. 

See if they can find the country of origin on a map.  Better yet, if you have a good old-fashioned wall-map, write the word on a an index card, a post-it note, a scrap of paper, what-have-you, and pin it there.

Have students brainstorm a list of English words they encounter every day.  Maybe you can split them into teams and color-code the cards or papers they write the words on.  Maybe you can have them compete to see who can find the most words from the most varied places.  It depends on your students’ dynamics and map skills.  However you do it, it’s going to give them a little worldly perspective and make them look twice at their vocabulary.  Hey, maybe you’ll get them hooked on online dictionaries.

This is something you can do at just about any age.  If they know what a map is, and they know what a country is, and they can think up a word, then they can have fun with this activity — and no matter how old, they’re bound to find something they didn’t know before.

Filed under education language literacy reference research word origins social studies geography teaching idea