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EER500 Reflections

April 15, 2012

A very difficult subject to complete by distance.  With demanding concepts such as those found within the deep recesses of EER500, I’m definitely an aural learner and need someone to deflect ideas off.  Perhaps that’s why during this subject I often found that I was talking to myself … and often at some considerable length.

Anyway, job done.  This subject has proven that Educational Research is unlikely to figure in my immediate career plans.  However, I have learnt a considerable amount about academic research in the social sciences and have become a more discerning consumer of research generally. 

More than ever, I appreciate the importance of evidence-based practice in education.  The teaching profession is not immune from an apparent pressure to produce quantitative evidence of improvement.  Indeed, the education sector seems to be bearing much of the brunt of this societal mindset at present. 

Teachers and TLs (whose status as essential educators has recently taken a genteel battering from several quarters) in particular, must not be afraid to support nuanced research, whether quantitative or qualitative, for educational efficacy is surely not only measured in facts and figures.  In fact, it could be argued that the attributes of our students not easily measured are those that are the most important: confidence, resilience, optimism, discernment, thoughtfulness, self-worth, adaptability … the list goes on and on …

Assignment 2

April 15, 2012

What can I say?  A monumental struggle and lonely experience out here in distance ed. land.  It’s done – and quite successfully too considering the trying circumstances.

Next …

National Year of Reading – 2012

December 30, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I’m looking forward to getting my school library involved in some of the fabulous National Year of Reading 2012 activities. 

See http://www.love2read.org.au/ for inspiration and information.

Assignment 1b

December 29, 2011

I’m enormously appreciative of Bev M. heroically marking our assignments in half the usual time so that we’d have our marks on Christmas Eve.  With trembling hand, I scrolled down to the ‘business end’ of the assignment.  A comfortable pass, which meant I had a relaxed and enjoyable break.  Bev’s comments are very detailed and most helpful, firmly pointing me towards success in Assignment 2.  I was sometimes well-placed to delve deeper, but either didn’t or merely skated across the surface.  More than anything, in the future, I need to confidently follow thoughts through to more meaningful conclusions.  Point taken, but not always so easy to achieve, especially when not completely certain I’m on the right track …  So, only one way around that one.  Keep learning.  Time to re-immerse myself in educational research and get cracking with Assignment 2!

Assignment 1a

December 29, 2011

Assignment 1a was a little disconcerting.  The early Week 3 deadline was demanding, but that wasn’t the hardest part.  Even though Ass. 1a doesn’t count towards the final mark, it defines the subsequent direction of our assessments.  Bev M. assured us that we didn’t need to submit a perfectly polished piece of work, as refinements would be continually made to our original ideas and research question/s.  However, it was crucial to be as exact as humanly possible and to carefully select the pieces used as a starting point and more importantly, the research articles relied upon.  So, when the going got a little tough and I found myself going around in mental circles, I vacillated between:                                                                                                

  • assuring myself that it didn’t really matter, as this was merely the exploratory stage of the assignment

to

  • worrying that if I’m not at least close to getting this as ‘right’ as possible, it’s going to be difficult to salvage some clarity from the mire, so that the remainder of the assignment develops and flows logically

In the end, I did the best that I could under the time constraints and was happy with what I submitted.  I believed that my research concept and question, although somewhat inexact and unrefined, outlined a potentially valid piece of useful research.

EER500

December 8, 2011

Time to pause the whirlwind that is EER500 for a moment and record some first impressions.

The early deadline on the first day of Week 3 certainly forced me to hit the ground running.  Currently taking a quick break from the copious amounts of reading for the second part of this assignment to ‘break the blog ice’ for this subject.

This is completely different from any of the ETL subjects.  Not surprising, as it’s a general, not specialised educational research subject.  It’s great to meet (at least in a virtual sense) other educators from all sorts of backgrounds and locations – including Tonga, Bulgaria and a rather large cohort of intimidatingly well-credentialled education leaders from Canada.

At the moment I feel that the wonderful Bev M. is gently guiding us by the hand across the treacherous and fathomless depths of academic research.  Whenever I feel like I’m about to go under – Bev’s there with encouragement, logic and wise words. 

I hope that my head’s still above water when I get to the other side …

The best-laid plans …

December 8, 2011

Session 2 ended up being an enforced lay-off!  A rapid slide into pneumonia just before commencement (not long after my previous post), resulted in a hospital stay, long recovery and an unscheduled semester off.  So much for time to smell the daphne!  Often I’m glad that I don’t know what’s just around the corner.

In the spirit of honest reflection, and if I can be at all positive about the experience – at least my timing was good.  I got sick just in time to be granted approved leave … This leaves me needing to double -up on subjects in my final session, if I hope to finish my studies at the end of 2012 as originally planned.  That thought alone is sobering enough, but any subject studied concurrently with the dreaded ETL505 sounds mildly terrifying to me. 

You know what they say about fear being a great motivator?  Well, next year, I’ll be relying on it!