E-Fest: afternoon of keynotes

Keynote Three:Maret Staron

The message is that there is no one-way or no best model for working and learning in the Knowledge Era. We are challenged to think beyond the familiar and to recognise, value and celebrate ‘humanness’, while investing in the characteristics that define a learning and working ecology.

She quoted Martin Seligman’s work on optimism, life in balance, not being obsessive.

Keynote Four: Stanley Frielick, Real change: Institutional challenges and opportunities A great talk. Pity we didn’t have some time to talk over the ideas.
Troublesome Knowledge (an interesting concept I must follow up sometime)

Threshold concepts : Threshold concepts are a relatively new idea developed by Meyer and Land (2003) and applied to economics by Davies, P. (2003) and Reimann and Jackson (2003). They offer a potential way of describing levels of understanding in a subject that could be used in assessment for learning.

From Davies P and Brant J (forthcoming) Teaching School Subjects: Business and Enterprise, London: Routledge

Meyer and Land define threshold concepts as having five characteristic

  • First, they should be transformative, in that once acquired they should shift perception of the subject.
  • Second, they should be irreversible. Once an individual has begun to perceive the world in terms of a threshold concept it should be inconceivable that they would return to viewing it in a more primitive way.
  • Third, a threshold concept is integrative. Meyer and Land describe this as the capacity of a concept to expose the previously hidden interrelatedness of something.
  • Fourth a threshold concept is bounded. That is, it helps to define the boundaries of a subject area.
  • Fifth, a threshold concept may be counter-intuitive, or lead to knowledge that is inherently counter-intuitive. In grasping a threshold concept a student moves from common sense understanding to an understanding which may conflict with perceptions that have previously seemed self-evidently true.

From Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motercycle maintenance

[The real University is] a state of mind which is regenerated throughout the centuries by a body of people who traditionally carry the title of professor, but even that title is not part of the real University. The real University is nothing less than the continuing body of reason itself.

Metaphors: Bateson. Worth following up later.
Stanley’s threshold concepts.

Concept 1: Think Web.
Concept 2: Thinking Ecologically.
Concept 3: Learning systems

Audience Comment: “Power resides in the one who asks the question – ask the students how it’s appropriate for them to be assessed”

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