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Title: Useful%20Sharing


1
Useful Sharing
  • 1st Meeting
  • SE Disciplinary Commons
  • 29th August 2009
  • Based on the presentation by S. A. Fincher

2
Stated Goals of the Disciplinary Commons
  • To document and share knowledge about teaching
    and student learning in software engineering
    courses
  • To establish practices for the scholarship of
    teaching by making it public, peer-reviewed, and
    amenable for future use and development by other
    educators creating a teaching-appropriate
    document of practice equivalent to the
    research-appropriate journal paper

3
Why useful sharing?
  • Because most sharing isnt.
  • Transfer of best practice
  • Whats best? For who? How? With what evidence?
  • Rhetoric of dissemination
  • Publish at conferences
  • Case studies, pedagogy papers, database of good
    practice, toolkits, ...
  • Calls on a research model of social networks of
    how knowledge passes across institutional
    boundaries
  • Until recently, professional development for
    teachers has been embedded in a sacred story of
    research disconnected from practice. (Olson)

4
Research (for a moment)
  • Research is an activity that stands outside of
    any one institution.
  • Researchers gain internal value/kudos by activity
    that is validated by an external community of
    peers and indicators (papers published, grants
    awarded, prizes won) over which the institution
    has no control.
  • It happens elsewhere.
  • A corollary of this sort of external network is
    that research information is exchanged between
    institutions as a matter of course.

5
Teaching is not research
  • Teaching is specific and situated.
  • Its located in institutions, and in subject
    matter.
  • I teach (literally) in the same room you teach
    in, we are seen to be doing the same thing.
  • No external visibility no external esteem.
  • So, Im having problems teaching public static
    void main where can I get help?
  • Im the only one teaching Java and staff
    developers dont have the domain knowledge to
    help.
  • Information about teaching stays at home.

6
Secondary rhetoric
  • As well as the dissemination of best practice
    rhetoric, there is another currently pervasive
    discourse that works to blur the distinctions
    between teaching and learning
  • Research-led teaching
  • Scholarship of teaching
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
  • Linking Teaching and Research in Disciplines and
    Departments Jenkins, Healey Zetter, 2007

7
Zukas Malcolm
  • If we reject the conventional acquisition
    argument that research is about creating
    disciplinary knowledge whilst teaching is about
    disseminating it, then the distinctions between
    research and pedagogy begin to blur instead,
    both have to be understood as sites of
    disciplinary knowledge production

Zukas, M. and Malcolm, J. (2007) Teaching,
discipline, net-work in Skelton, A. (ed)
International Perspectives on Teaching Excellence
in Higher Education London Routledge
8
Representing teaching as itself
  • Educational research is not teaching
  • and I would defend disciplinary-specific
    educational research as a legitimate research
    area
  • Treating teaching as research maybe an
    interesting argumentative position, but its not
    useful
  • But what does it mean to treat teaching as
    teaching? How may we represent it appropriately?
    How can we share what we do effectively?

9
History of practice
  • If not from within my institution, and if not
    from papers, what about other published
    material?
  • Well what, exactly?
  • Architecture
  • preserves its creations in both plans and
    edifices
  • Law
  • builds a case literature of opinions and
    interpretations (and Religion, too think
    Talmudic scholarship)
  • Chess, bridge, ballet
  • all have traditions of preserving both memorable
    games and choreographed performances through
    inventive forms of notation and recording
  • Teaching is conducted without an audience of
    peers. It is devoid of a history of
    practice.(Shulman)

10
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14
Representation of Our Practice?
  • Im not sure what it is, but I have some thoughts
    on what its not
  • Its not a journal paper (reports something quite
    different)
  • Its not made up (not a case study)
  • I doubt its abstracted (no buyers context)
  • In a society that attaches particular value to
    abstract knowledge, the details of practice
    have come to be seen as nonessential,
    unimportant, and easily developed once the
    relevant abstractions have been grasped. Thus
    education, training, and technology design
    generally focus on abstract representations to
    the detriment, if not exclusion of actual
    practice. (Brown Duguid)

15
Representation of Our Practice?
  • Im not sure what it is, but I have some thoughts
    on what its not,
  • Its not a journal paper (reports something quite
    different)
  • Its not made up (not a case study)
  • I doubt its abstracted (no buyers context)
  • An appropriate representational form is important
    if we are searching for solutions to our
    problems, looking for ideas to adopt, and also if
    we are crafting material to share. From either
    side of the exchange, similar questions emerge.
  • What detail is important?
  • What features are salient?

16
Problems of knowing
  • If were going to usefully share practice, how do
    we identify what educators think is important, is
    salient?
  • One way would be to look at the way teachers
    classify the kinds of knowledge they draw on the
    way they think about things.
  • There have been several attempts to describe this.

17
Attempts to describe a practitioners
epistemology of practice Lee Shulman
  • content knowledge
  • general pedagogical knowledge, with special
    reference to those broad principles and
    strategies of classroom management and
    organisation that appear to transcend subject
    matter
  • curriculum knowledge, with particular grasp of
    the materials and programs that serve as tools
    of the trade for teachers
  • pedagogical content knowledge, that special
    amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely
    the province of teachers, their own special form
    of professional understanding
  • knowledge of learners and their characteristics
  • knowledge of educational contexts, ranging from
    the workings of the group or classroom, the
    governance and financing of school districts, to
    the character of communities and cultures
  • knowledge of educational ends, purposes and
    values, and their philosophical and historical
    grounds

18
Attempts to describe a practitioners
epistemology of practice Max Van Manen
  • Noncognitive knowing
  • Knowledge resides in action as lived
  • in our confident doing, style, and practical tact
  • in habituated acting and routine practices
  • Knowledge resides in the body
  • in an immediate corporeal sense of things
  • in our gestures, demeanor
  • Knowledge resides in the world
  • in being with the things of our world
  • in situations of at-homeness, dwelling
  • Knowledge resides in relations
  • in the encounter with others
  • in relations of trust, recognition, intimacy

19
Attempts to describe a practitioners
epistemology of practice Anderson Page
  • Technical knowledge
  • (academic knowledge is technical knowledge)
  • Local knowledge
  • (includes the narratives that are idiosyncratic
    to a local school or community setting included
    within this domain is knowledge of local
    politics, and local cultures and sub-cultures)
  • Craft knowledge
  • (consists of the repertoire of examples, images,
    understandings and actions that practitioners
    build up over time)
  • Personal knowledge

20
Personal, but not idiosyncratic
  • We can all recognize something in all these
    classifications
  • We can read our experience against them
  • narratives are key components in the authentic
    study of teaching, for until we understand the
    context and appreciate the perspectives of those
    involved, any understanding of what it means to
    teach and learn will remain fragmented and
    disconnected from the real world of teaching
    (Olson)

21
Its not simple
  • Sharing complex knowledge requires time devoted
    to either personal interaction or thoughtful
    documentation of ones expertise, or
    both. (Hinds Pfeffer)

22
Disciplinary Commons
  • models of call the Commons situations where
    individuals take collective responsibility for
    common resources
  • Definitely a model of useful sharing
  • For teaching, might it be away of producing (and
    curating) appropriate, long-lasting
    representations of practice?

23
Disciplinary Commons Aims
  • To document and share knowledge about teaching
    and student learning.
  • To establish practices for the scholarship of
    teaching by making it public, peer-reviewed, and
    amenable for future use and development by other
    educators creating a teaching-appropriate
    document of practice equivalent to the
    research-appropriate journal paper.

24
Disciplinary Commons Structure
  • A Commons is constituted from 8-20 practitioners
    sharing the same disciplinary background,
    teaching the same subject sometimes the same
    module in different institutions
  • Meet monthly throughout an academic year
  • During meetings practice is shared, peer-reviewed
    and ultimately documented in course portfolios

25
Disciplinary Commons Participation
  • Part of the sharing is cross-institutional peer
    observation of teaching.
  • We learn an unusual amount about the practices in
    other institutions (otherwise only obtainable by
    charismatic embedding)
  • This, it turns out, has high internal value

26
Disciplinary Commons Reification
  • Documentation of teaching practice is
  • Rare
  • In non-standard ( therefore non-comparable)
    forms
  • Commons portfolios have
  • Common form
  • Persistent, peer-reviewed deliverable
  • Power of portfolios is multiplied when there are
    several examples available for a disciplinary
    area
  • Commons archives provide a rich set of
    contextualised data, charting and calibrating
    development over time

27
Disciplinary Commons Portfolio form
  • Have six sections
  • Context
  • Content
  • Instructional Design
  • Delivery
  • Assessment
  • Evaluation
  • Each section consists of an artefact and a
    commentary.
  • Detail and discussion.
  • Evidence and narrative.
  • What and why.
  • Personal, but not idiosyncratic

28
OK, I lied
  • Those neat representations from other areas?
  • They are not as self-contained as I might have
    led you to believe

29
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30
In the diagramed deal, five diamonds doubled was
the contract at both tables. In the other room,
North opened two diamonds! After Rengstorff
(East) passed, South responded two spades, and
Krekorian (West) overcalled three hearts. North
was still there with four clubs East raised to
four hearts South bid five diamonds West
doubled and all passed. East led the heart king.
The best play was to ruff that in hand, play a
spade to the ace, ruff a spade, ruff a club and
basically continue with a crossruff. That would
have led to down one. But North won with dummys
heart ace and discarded his spade queen. Then he
ruffed a heart ruffed a club, bringing down
Wests ace and cashed the diamond ace, getting
the bad news. Now came the spade ace, a heart
ruff and a club ruff. At this point, if West had
overruffed and cashed his two trump winners, it
would have resulted in down three, because East
had the club queen. But West, defending
carefully, discarded. Declarer could take only
one more trick by trumping a card. West then
ruffed the club king, drew trumps and claimed
down three. In the given auction, Woods (North)
bid four no-trump to ask his partner to choose a
minor. West led the heart jack. Lev (South)
started correctly, ruffing in the dummy, playing
a spade to his ace, ruffing a spade, ruffing a
club, ruffing a spade and ruffing a club with the
diamond nine. West overruffed and returned a
heart, South winning with his ace, ruffing the
spade six and discarding a heart on the club
king. West ruffed to give this position West
correctly led the diamond king, which should have
resulted in down two, but when declarer won with
his ace and played the spade five, West erred by
discarding. Now South could lead another spade
and score dummys diamond ten with a coup en
passant for down one.
31
In the diagramed deal, five diamonds doubled was
the contract at both tables. In the other room,
North opened two diamonds! After Rengstorff
(East) passed, South responded two spades, and
Krekorian (West) overcalled three hearts. North
was still there with four clubs East raised to
four hearts South bid five diamonds West
doubled and all passed. East led the heart king.
The best play was to ruff that in hand, play a
spade to the ace, ruff a spade, ruff a club and
basically continue with a crossruff. That would
have led to down one. But North won with dummys
heart ace and discarded his spade queen. Then he
ruffed a heart ruffed a club, bringing down
Wests ace and cashed the diamond ace, getting
the bad news. Now came the spade ace, a heart
ruff and a club ruff. At this point, if West had
overruffed and cashed his two trump winners, it
would have resulted in down three, because East
had the club queen. But West, defending
carefully, discarded. Declarer could take only
one more trick by trumping a card. West then
ruffed the club king, drew trumps and claimed
down three. In the given auction, Woods (North)
bid four no-trump to ask his partner to choose a
minor. West led the heart jack. Lev (South)
started correctly, ruffing in the dummy, playing
a spade to his ace, ruffing a spade, ruffing a
club, ruffing a spade and ruffing a club with the
diamond nine. West overruffed and returned a
heart, South winning with his ace, ruffing the
spade six and discarding a heart on the club
king. West ruffed to give this position West
correctly led the diamond king, which should have
resulted in down two, but when declarer won with
his ace and played the spade five, West erred by
discarding. Now South could lead another spade
and score dummys diamond ten with a coup en
passant for down one.
commentary
exposition
interpretation
32
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33
http//www.hastingschess.org.uk/2009/commentary.ht
m
Community context
  • One of the biggest dilemmas facing any
    chessplayer, especially those below master level,
    is whether to employ main line openings, or rely
    on less theoretical sidelines. The extent of
    modern opening theory is now so great that to
    play main lines requires an enormous of work, and
    many hours of home preparation and study. For
    most amateur players, burdened, as they are
    likely to be, with job, family, dog and mortgage,
    the requisite time is simply not available. Even
    if the flesh is willing, the spirit is frequently
    weak. Regardless of results, a lot of players
    simply find it boring to trot out 15-20 moves of
    established theory at the start of each game, and
    prefer to use their own heads, from the very
    beginning of the game.
  • At GM level, inevitably, one finds far fewer
    players who eschew main line openings, but there
    are some brave souls still willing to do so. The
    Brits, ever since the "English Chess Explosion"
    of the 1970s, have always had a reputation for
    preferring offbeat lines. Quite apart from Mike
    Basman, the high priest of recondite opening
    schemes, players such as Tony Miles made a
    healthy living with openings that the average
    Russian GM would not been seen dead employing.
    Tony's apogee was his successful 1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5
    against Karpov, but other English players have
    done a huge amount to make openings such as the
    Trompovsky and f4-Sicilian respectable.

The extent of modern opening theory is now so
great that to play main lines requires an
enormous of work, and many hours of home
preparation and study. For most amateur players,
burdened, as they are likely to be, with job,
family, dog and mortgage, the requisite time is
simply not available
Historical context
The Brits, ever since the "English Chess
Explosion" of the 1970s, have always had a
reputation for preferring offbeat lines English
players have done a huge amount to make openings
such as the Trompovsky and f4-Sicilian respectable
34
http//www.hastingschess.org.uk/2009/commentary.ht
m
  • The top boards of round six in this year's
    Hastings Masters showed opposite sides of the
    offbeat openings coin. The biggest story of the
    day came on board two, where top seed Emanuel
    Berg faced what liked a tricky pairing as Black
    against Stephen Gordon. In the event, though, the
    genial Swedish GM brought off a sensationally
    easy victory, thanks to a highly unusual opening
    choice
  • 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5
  • The Albin is an extremely rare guest at GM level,
    although the mercurial Alexander Morozevich has
    used it successfully on a few occasions. I cannot
    trace any examples of Berg playing it before, so
    it must have come as a complete surprise to
    Stephen Gordon.

Game context
The Albin is an extremely rare guest at GM level,
although the mercurial Alexander Morozevich has
used it successfully on a few occasions. I cannot
trace any examples of Berg playing it before, so
it must have come as a complete surprise to
Stephen Gordon.
35
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36
Synthesis of forms
  • So each of these representational forms is, one
    way or another, in text or in person, accompanied
    by a narrative exposition.
  • I still dont know what a good (strong/appropriate
    ) representation of teaching is, but to be useful
    - as in all these other areas - I think it must
    be situated and specific and guaranteed by
    personality.
  • These are not characteristics of research
    representations.

37
Why might Commons portfolios be candidate
representations?
  • All Commoners are expert
  • Commoners work together to discover, interpret
    and re-interpret new material
  • Resultant public documentation is contextual,
    comparative and collegial
  • A Commons portfolio is the product of a unique
    voice. Each chosen artefact is paired with an
    accompanying narrative.

38
Its not simple
  • Sharing complex knowledge requires time devoted
    to either personal interaction or thoughtful
    documentation of ones expertise, or
    both. (Hinds Pfeffer)
  • Useful sharing requires interacting with people
    who are most interested in what I do. The highest
    value input is from colleagues who do the same
    thing teach the same subject as me.
  • I suggest that it means leveraging discipline
    over institution in a way that is analogous to,
    although at the same time quite orthogonal to,
    research activity.

39
References
  • Margaret Olson, Narrative Epistemology in
    Practice. Curriculum Inquiry 274, 1997
  • John Seely Brown Paul Duguid, Organizational
    Learning and Communities of Practice Toward a
    Unified View of Working, Learning, And
    Innovation. Organizational Science 21, Feb 1991
  • Lee S Shulman Knowledge and Teaching Foundations
    of the New Reform. Harvard Educational Review
    571 March 1987
  • Gary Anderson Bonnie Page Narrative Knowledge
    and Educational Administration The Stories that
    Guide Our Practice in The Knowledge Base in
    Educational Administration Multiple Perspectives
    Edited by Robert Donmoyer, Michael Imber, James
    Joseph Scheurich SUNY Press, 1995

40
References
  • Max Van Manen The Practice of Practice in
    Manfred Lang, John Olson, Henning Hansen
    Wolfgang Bünder (eds.) Changing Schools/Changing
    Practices Perspectives on Educational Reform and
    Teacher Professionalism, Garant,1999
  • Pamela Hinds Jeffrey Pfeffer Why Organizations
    Don't Know What They Know Cognitive and
    Motivational Factors Affecting the Transfer of
    Expertise, in Mark Ackerman, Volkmar Pipek and
    Volker Wulf (eds.) Sharing Expertise, MIT Press,
    2003
  • Bridge narrative http//www.nytimes.com/2009/05/3
    0/crosswords/bridge/30card.html
  • Disciplinary Commons see http//www.disciplinaryc
    ommons.org There are links to individual
    Disciplinary Commons from that page (for example,
    introductory teaching of programming)

41
Acknowledgements
Josh Tenenberg and Sally Fincher jointly devised
the Disciplinary Commons model The first US
Disciplinary Commons was made possible by funding
from the Washington State Board of Community and
Technical Colleges, the University of Washington,
Tacoma. The first two UK Disciplinary Commons
were made possible through the award of a
National Teaching Fellowship 2005 to Sally
Fincher, via a workpackage of CETL ALiC and a
TQEF small grant from Leeds Metropolitan
University
42
Original slides by Sally Fincher, University of
Kent This work is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5
License. Sallys current project
http//www.sharingpractice.ac.uk
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