Archive for February, 2010

Friday, 26th February, 2010

SSRN-Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus by Dan Kahan, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Donald Braman

This research paper was discussed on NPR recently. It discusses factors effecting peoples perception of climate change evidence, as an exemplar of processing of scientific information. As a thesis it ascribes people to groups – individualists and communalists, and suggests that these groups will recall and assimilate evidence differently depending on their worldview.

This interests me because it reminds me of internationalism research, through the use of the term ‘worldview’ and it’s influence on how we process information. We may see implications here on how students learn science, and this reinforces the idea that we learn science ‘better’ if it is coherent with our worldview. The implications for multicultural science education would be that this suggests that people process scientific information depending on their worldview. The reference to the ‘messenger effect’ may have some implications for who teaches. It would be nice to craft a short post to the OCC about this, but that will need some more thought.

When I read this article, it strikes me because it fits in with my pre-existing ideas. Does this prejudice my ability to interpret the information?

SSRN-Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus by Dan Kahan, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Donald Braman.

Wednesday, 10th February, 2010

Google docs and more

A lot of people around school have taken to using googledocs for a few things. I guess this is a prelude to the extensive use for curriculum mapping, so it seems like a good idea to get people comfortable with this. Some things it seems better suited to than others.

One use has been discussion documents where a document is put out and feedback requested. This has some advantages (revision history, printable documents, access pre-managed…) but also disadvantages (need to keep looking back for updates (is this true?), relies on authors identifying selves, doesn’t protect input from accidental editing…). It would be worth thinking if this is the best way for this- how about a wiki instead? Whatever happened to google wave?

Other things that have been happening: just completed the IGCSE mock report using office. This worked pretty smoothly, especially with access to quick double sided printing from the copier and it helped with the folioing, I think. The challenge with this is often the non-standard cases. Leaving out the ‘nominal total’ column was a mistake that should be fixed for next time so that new students can have their totals modified easily. It is a pity that it is a bit heavy and doesn’t work well on the network so that it is not easy to let others manage this.

It would be nice to have better digital managing of video resources – often looking for movies