- The Friday Mindset
- Friday Mindset #105
Friday Mindset #105
Helping students get better at studenting
Friday at last!
Time to celebrate the weekend with some interesting stuff.
Let’s dive in.
Something to try...
We’ve a clip for you today; one that really got us thinking. It’s about the physical context in which something is learnt - the actual classroom - and the ability of students to transfer that knowledge outside of that physical context.
Before the clip, though, we’ll start by sharing a brief section from a book called How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, (2000) You can download the entire book for free here, by the way. OK, here we go:
“Transfer is also affected by the context of original learning; people can learn in one context, yet fail to transfer to other contexts. For example, a group of Orange County homemakers did very well at making supermarket best-buy calculations despite doing poorly on equivalent school-like paper-and-pencil mathematics problems (Lave, 1988). Similarly, some Brazilian street children could perform mathematics when making sales in the street but were unable to answer similar problems presented in a school context (Carraher, 1986; Carraher et al., 1985).
How tightly learning is tied to contexts depends on how the knowledge is acquired (Eich, 1985). Research has indicated that transfer across contexts is especially difficult when a subject is taught only in a single context rather than in multiple contexts (Bjork and Richardson-Klavhen, 1989).”
Now for the clip, which will encourage some really good discussion amongst tutor groups, we reckon. It features the above-mentioned Robert Bjork, along with Elizabeth Bjork, professors in Psychology at UCLA. It’s a cracker…
And here’s the image from the video - useful for showing students:
So the activity becomes a discussion:
What does this tell us about where we study?
How many places on the campus do we currently study?
Could we increase the variety of environments?
You might finish the session by reading this short blog post about concentration circuits:
Something we're reading...
Programmer, essayist and writer Paul Graham has written a long online essay called Superlinear Returns. Graham’s online material is often complex stuff - at least it is for us, you’ll probably breeze through it - but this piece really got us thinking. It caught our eye because Graham starts by debunking an old piece of teacher advice; “you get out what you put in.”
No, Graham says. “If your product is only half as good as your competitors, you don’t get half as many customers. You get no customers and you go out of business.” And, looking at the idea of exponential growth and learning, Graham argues that, “the more you know, the easier it is to learn new things.”
In other words, you don’t get out what you put in. You get out way more than you put in. It’s a fascinating - and challenging - read. So much so that the website Medium have already put an explainer online.
Our latest offer...
This is another reminder of our VESPA-themed training session. On December 11th, we’re in central London, 10:00-3:00.
We want you to come along!
Over half the spaces are filled now, so stick a reminder to speak to your CPD lead and jump on the Eventbrite form below. We’re going to keep it relatively small, so we can all discuss and share. Oh - and if you want a buddy along with you - or a small team, hit us up at [email protected], and we’ll arrange a discounted price for you all.
And for newsletter subscribers only - we’re sticking around 3:00-4:00 to talk about anything you want. Questions, discussion, observations, rants, anything. You’re cordially invited.
We’d love to see you there folks.
…and that’s it for this week. Now get out of here and have a great weekend.
All the best to you and yours,
Tony, Steve and Martin
p.s. did we ever share this video by Australian graphic designer, fashion designer and animator Campbell Walker about his three-step goal-setting approach? I mean, did we? There’s been 105 issues. We’ve forgotten most of what we’ve given away, so apologies if this is one you know.
But it’s a good watch: