Refining Technique in Academic Writing

Dr Allan Kilner-Johnson


I wrote briefly last week about the importance of technique in academic writing.   Academic writing is, above all else, a specialised form of communication, which remains true whether we are teaching essay writing to first year students or working on a journal article addressing our research. Articles, essays, theses, and dissertations are all modes of communication that serve to share with readers how we have approached our topic and the conclusions to which we have come. And the success of this communication is dependent each writer’s display of technical mastery. This does not, of course, mean mindlessly following the model, although many writing teachers would agree that is preferable to write with good technique and be a bit monotonous than to write with no technique and lose the reader from the outset.

The aim of good technique is to create a fluid and organic microcosmic structure. What this means…

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What does ‘good’ look like?

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Addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Technology

User Generated Education

A major criticism I have of most educational institutions is that their primary focus is on students’ intellectual and cognitive development.  Too often individual learner’s needs do not enter into the equation of their educations.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a useful model for educators to use to help insure that they are addressing more of the whole child.

Applying Abraham Maslow’s theory of a pyramid-shaped hierarchy — physiological needs, personal safety, social affiliation, self-esteem and self-actualization — to education is an ideal way to assess lesson plans, courses and educational programs. By asking themselves whether these needs are being met in their school or classroom, educators can assess how well they are applying Maslow’s hierarchy to their teaching practice (How to Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Education).

Some general strategies for addressing these needs in the classroom can be found at Addressing Our Needs: Maslow Comes…

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Adventures with middle school students

How many cameras and tripods can 7th graders break? Three and two respectively. In less than a week!

I was under the impression that I could give them directions and have them take pictures. Wow was that a failure. They are like infants in bigger bodies. I have to make sure they are not hitting each other with the equipment, not prying open the battery door on the camera, and not unscrewing everything on the tripod. I’m exhausted and defeated. I hate to switch to a book based class but I cannot in good concience let them break any more of the schools equipment.


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On reflective practice as a learning technique | Learning Journal

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