Journal

 

Wednesday, August 1st 2012.

Today we drove to Dallas as we'll be flying back to Australia tomorrow. I rewrote the Introduction and Abstract sections emphasising pedagogy.

 

Thursday, August 2nd 2012.

I'm considering the idea of using a CHAT diagram for each section of this thesis to locate the discussion. If I do this it would be the same diagram each time but with different colours or shading.

 

Friday, August 3rd 2012.

This is the day which didn't really exist for me as we flew West across the International Date Line. I did a lot of work on the plane though so today's thought is that my project was not about developmental psychology but developmental pedagogy.

 

Saturday, August 4th 2012.

I'm now back in Australia and working on section '4.1 Introduction to the EAF' in the Explanatory Animation Framework'. I've also been thinking about pedagogy and have concluded that the most important thing is to isolate the intended variable. I give an example of this in the Explanatory Animation Framework in section 4.2.5c as follows:

Isolating the relevant contrast is a basic pedagogical consideration for effective teaching.  To use a musical example, I used to explain the difference between the rhythmic feels of straight and swing by playing contrasting musical pieces to my students.  Now I play them the same notes and only change the rhythm so that this variable is the only point of difference.

 

Sunday, August 5th 2012.

Today I had to return some library books that I'd renewed too many times but I didn't get any new ones as I still have several which I'm working through plus plenty of digital journal articles to read.

 

Monday, August 6th 2012.

Today I started back at school (work). I read through some of our school-based literature about pedagogy but I don't think there's anything there which I'll be citing in my thesis.

 

Tuesday, August 7th 2012.

I have previously thought that another definition of a concept might be 'Anything which requires explanation'. An example of this is the statement 'Measure twice, cut once'. This doesn't require animation but it might require explanation.

 

Wednesday, August 8th 2012.

I found an interesting page from a mathematics textbook on the floor of the photocopy room at work today. The heading was 'Difficulties with fractions - The fraction concept' but I don't know the name of the book other than that it was page 138. There were two pictures used to represent the fraction 3 eighths. The first was a square divided into 8 equal rectangular fingers where 3 out of 8 were shaded. The point was made that this could easily be misinterpreted as 3 fifths because visually you see 3 pieces and then 5 pieces. The better diagram contained 8 circles in a somewhat jumbled manner and 3 random circles were shaded. This caused me to reflect on the 'Pizza Fractions' girl from the 2010 Storyboard trial. Her explanatory animation and director's commentary are listed below:

My conclusion from this reflection is that each learning area has their own pedagogy about how to teach particular concepts. I had already alluded to this in my August 4th 2012 journal entry only four days ago using a musical example. The point is that my thesis would have been easier to manage if I had chosen a particular learning area such as Mathematics, Music or Science rather than pedagogy in general.

 

Thursday, August 9th 2012.

I added the following pedagogical summary as a new section '10.9 Pedagogical summary' in the Implications section as follows:

  1. Create opportunities for learning by teaching
  2. Isolate the relevant variable(s)
  3. Create mutual ZPD
  4. Seek the ability to paraphrase as evidence of conceptual consolidation
  5. Encourage student voice (Commentary)
  6. Create to critique (use 'save as' in the digital domain)

 

Friday, August 10th 2012.

Today I read over my Journal entries from April 8th 2012 about a single, multifaceted method. I'll need to revisit this idea.

 

Saturday, August 11th 2012.

I've now added the multifaceted idea as the new section '5.11.3 One multifaceted method' in the Research methodology with the following introduction:

So what are these multiple methods of which I speak? Perhaps this approach is best conceptualised as one multifaceted method. Film making is a good analogy for such a practice. At the Academy awards there are multiple categories as film making is also a multifaceted endeavour with a common goal.

 

Sunday, August 12th 2012.

I was having a conversation with my wife about our nephews and Ten pin bowling which got me thinking about scaffolding. The rails which are provided for young children are there to boost their confidence but they don't assist with skills development. Ironically, the confidence which this might give is diminished for a more capable competitor.

 

Monday, August 13th 2012.

After school today all staff had a professional development session with a neuropsychologist who also happens to be a parent at the school. She explained her work in terms of the mind being an information processing system which manages the following four basic processes:

  1. Input
  2. Integration
  3. Memory
  4. Output

 

Tuesday, August 14th 2012.

Today I updated the Literature review with Vygotsky's insights about general to specific as follows:

Another import insight from Vygotsky relates to the very nature of thought and language. Does word meaning develop from the general to the specific or the specific to the general? 'The external and the semantic aspects of speech develop in opposite directions - one from the particular to the whole, from word to sentence, and the other from the whole to the particular, from sentence to word' (Vygotsky 1962, p. 126).

 

Wednesday, August 15th 2012.

Can Vygotsky's insight about these opposite directions which I discussed yesterday be represented graphically? Should they?

 

Thursday, August 16th 2012.

I ended up making two diagrams to represent Vygotsky's idea about the two different directions. The first diagram uses Vygotsky's terminology:

Whole to particular

The second diagram expresses the same basic idea but uses the language which is more relevant to the Storyboard project:

General to specific

 

Friday, August 17th 2012.

I'm still not sure whether these ideas (and therefore these diagrams) are important. Maybe I can relate it all to the concrete/abstract continuum in some way?

 

Saturday, August 18th 2012.

Maybe the significance of Vygotsky's ideas (and my diagrams) listed above involves the dynamics of the components which suggests that these components should be understood according to their role in the system. A musical analogy for this is a melody. A melody can only be expressed through individual notes and yet an individual note only has melodic value in relation to other notes. The inherent unity of the two factors might also be a helpful way of looking at Vygotsky and Sakharov's dual stimulation method.

 

Sunday, August 19th 2012.

I'm still reading Vygotsky looking for clarification about the two directions; 'Thought undergoes many changes as it turns into speech. It does not merely find expression in speech; it finds its reality and form. The semantic and the phonetic developmental processes are essentially one, precisely because of their reverse directions' (Vygotsky 1962, 126).

 

Monday, August 20th 2012.

I had considered sending an email to my supervisors saying that my time is consumed with the Short Film Festival and that my Storyboard progress is slow. Instead, I opted to patiently keep chipping away at the thesis and with the intention of sending them something more insightful at a later date.

 

Tuesday, August 21st 2012.

I did email my supervisors but it was just to say that I was back from Texas and hoping to catch up during the next school holidays.

 

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012.

I have a meeting with my supervisors set for Monday 24th September.

 

Thursday, August 23rd 2012.

Today I am wondering whether the purpose of my research with the Storyboard project is to present findings or is it appropriate to present a theory?

 

Friday, August 24th 2012.

Now I really have a 'problem' to investigate in the Literature review. The problem would appear to be about how conceptual consolidation occurs. The real problem is in fact that there is no agreement within the literature about what a concept actually is.

 

Saturday, August 25th 2012.

I've been revising the Literature review again in view of the 'problem'.

 

Sunday, August 26th 2012.

I've been revisiting Piaget's theory of assimilation / accommodation in view of reading; Özdemir, G. & Clark, D.B. (2007). An Overview of Conceptual Change Theories. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 3(4), 351-361.

 

Monday, August 27th 2012.

Maybe I need to re-examine knowledge and understanding. Knowledge and information could be seen as a commodity whereas understanding would appear to be functional and dynamic.

 

Tuesday, August 28th 2012.

Does my previous thinking about paraphrase (and the vector based learning analogy) help define the difference between knowledge and understanding?

 

Wednesday, August 29th 2012.

The 8 books which I have on loan from the library are all due back on Saturday but I've managed to renew them all. This is great because I haven't finished with any of them.

 

Thursday, August 30th 2012.

I've made a quick search of the phrase 'Teaching for understanding' and found plenty of information, which I will return to later.

 

Friday, August 31st 2012.

Today I received the following new readings from the CHAT discussion group.

Mercer, N. & Howe, C. (2012). Explaining the Dialogic Processes of Teaching and Learning: The Value and Potential of Sociocultural Theory. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 1(1), 12-21.

Nonaka, I., Toyama, R. & Konno, N. (2000). SECI, Ba and Leadership: a Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation. Long Range Planning, 33, 5-34.

 

 

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