#910DA Health Class

My Year 9/10 health class are continuing to use Twitter to share and discuss their term 4 topic drugs and alcohol. We have been focusing on the legalisation of medical marijuana over the last few weeks.

For those interested in reading what my students have been tweeting I have embedded the #910DA Twitter feed into the blog (scroll down its on the left hand side).

Students are on a steep learning curve about how to tweet effectively and not all tweets have been accurate! One student account misread an article and their tweet reflected this. They had also not supplied the link to the study they were quoting. When asked they did provide the link and I was able to help them understand what the article actually said. I’ve inserted the conversation below.

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It is this type of conversation that has led to face to face conversations in the classroom about being accurate with what we post. For example some of the statements in the image below are flat out lies that falsely promoted a positive view of marijuana i.e. marijuana cures cancer. As a class we were able to view the graphic and talk about what we thought was accurate and what we thought was inaccurate and why. We also discussed how posting something in this way says we agree with the content and if the content is inaccurate it reflects on us.

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A benefit to using this method of communication was realised when I was absent from school and missed my weekly 9/10 health class. The lesson I set for the relief teacher involved students responding to links I had sent them via Twitter. I was able to sit at home and see who was engaging in the activity and respond to student tweets, all in real time. I was there without physically being there. Below are some examples of my interactions during this lesson.

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Student Free Day Week 6 Term 4 2014

On Monday 17th November part of our student free day (9:30 – 11:00) will be allocated to the Australian Curriculum and specifically the Phase 2 subjects HPE, The Arts, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Design Technologies and Digital Technologies.

Those staff not directly involved in the implementation of Phase two subjects will be using this time to work on mapping and resourcing their curriculum areas. Tanya and Justin will be working with the English curriculum on work they began earlier in the year while Joelene and Allan will be working together on the science curriculum. All other teaching staff will be able to focus on the Phase 2 subject of their choice. All AC materials will be provided but it would be useful for teachers to bring current programs in the area they wish to investigate.

Teachers will be investigating and answering the following questions in relation to their chosen subject area:

  1. What do I currently do or have done that is required by the Australian Curriculum at this year level?
  2. What do I currently teach or have taught that is not required by the Australian Curriculum at this year level?
  3. What is new to me that I have never taught at this year level?
  4. Do the assessment tasks I currently do allow my students to achieve the Performance Standard and content descriptors to a high level?

While no doubt staff have begun to look at their Phase 2 subject(s) this session will provide some time to go deeper into the content. For primary staff it will allow time to engage with an area they may not have had time to consider or look at in any depth. Work will need to continue beyond this day in staff meetings and into next year with regards to Phase two subjects.

John Hattie’s Visible Learning Errors

I am not a statistician and so have very little understanding of the statistical maths used by Professor John Hattie to produce his book Visible Learning. I do however understand that some of Hattie’s work has been called into question regarding his use of statistical concepts.

It has been pointed out that Hattie’s use of the Common Language Effect Size (CLE) is incorrectly used. Some of the sources below also question Hattie’s use of effect sizes.

I have included a comment found in one of the links below which I think sums up the issues found with Hattie’s work. It resinated with me as a non maths /science person.

“Sometimes scientific critique is like a cannonball shooting a hole in a sail. The ship can continue sailing but has some repairs to do. At other times the critique hits below the waterline and the ship sinks (like Titanic). How does Topphols critique hit Visible learning? Do the main conclusions sail on or do they sink?” Jan Pålsgård

Based on the evidence that I have read so far I believe “Hattie’s ship can continue sailing but has some repairs to do”. This criticism of Hattie’s work is not recent (2012/2013) so if his work didn’t hold up due to statistical errors we would probably have heard more about it. Just because their are some errors in a particular aspect of Hattie’s work does not mean the work is to be dismissed.

My motivation for posting this information is to make people aware that if we are going to use educational research, particularly to the level that Hattie’s work has been, we should know as much as possible about how that research came to be.

I have provided a variety of sources to read in relation to the issues found with Hattie’s work. Be warned most of this is not light reading and involves, predictably, a lot of mathematical language around statistics.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

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Source 6


Passionate Woodville High students try to help friends

This documentary, Disappeared, goes for 40 minutes but is worth the time if you can spare it.

Two young refugee boys who are on community detention and attend Woodville High School were taken from their home without notice by Immigration authorities. The school community was deeply upset by what happened and some passionate students supported by their Principal have forced the topic into the public eye.

“Disappeared, The Official Documentary for TwoTooMany. Released on the 26th of October, it marks 4 months since the 2 Woodville High School boys where taken.”