Ah! So it is Friday again and I sloped off early from the STAWA Future Science Conference to come back to work and catch-up on my e-mails! You would think I could be a bit more creative than that! I had intended to stay to the end and have drinks but my bag, with all the presentation materials in it, was so heavy that I decided to take it back to the car and yes, the force had weakened with distance and I never got back to the conference.
I did enjoy the presentations that I went to though. There are some very keen and dedicated teachers in our schools and I am not saying that just because they thought my presentation was useful. Although it is nice to do things that people find useful. Even the Biology people thought they could use the teaching strategy as evidenced by a very loud, collective, “Yes” when the question was put. I still have to check the feedback sheets to find out exactly what they thought though.
This means I have to get all the teaching materials for the first two videos up onto the website before the beginning of next year so people can use them. Which should just be doable in-between; creating websites for two units, writing my mid-term Fellowship report, taking some holidays, marking some sup exams and keeping an eye on an OUA unit. Once more unto the breach dear friends! (Shakespeare, 1598)
So what else has happened this week? Well…I found myself looking my Dean squarely in the eye the other day and saying “No I do not want to be classified as a teaching-scholar, I want to be a teaching-research academic, and my real and important research is physics education”. I don’t think I had realised until then how impassioned I was about discipline specific education research, being given the same consideration as research within the discipline. It takes just as much time and thought and rigour, why should education research, done by a physicist into physics education, be seen as an also-ran to teaching? From his point of view he was just trying to point me in the right direction to help me maximise my chances of promotion, but he could see my point, so we are just going to leave things the way they are for the moment.
On another matter I gave a small presentation to one of the people who are developing our transition and breadth units early this week and there may be a spark of interest there – perhaps when the “Textbook: your personal trainer” video gets onto YouTube they may find something more useful.
Well that’s about it – I had better sort out the materials from the conference and check the feedback sheets.