‘Making’ as a catalyst for reflective practice

I am pleased to announce to publication of ‘Making’ as a catalyst for reflective practice, published in the journal Reflective Practice. The results present data from teacher candidates who participated in a several maker experiences in our Maker Pedagogy Lab (MPL). The abstract: Within the research and teaching program of maker pedagogy(TM), this study analyzes how teacher candidates construct knowledge about teaching and teaching with technology. The study applies an experiential-intuitive framework of reflective practice and takes cues from critical thinking to analyze the participants’ interactions in a maker pedagogy lab. Schön’s conception of reflection drove the data collection and analysis of participants who were asked to reflect on their experiences gained in the maker pedagogy lab. The researchers argue that the maker pedagogy lab provides participants with a way to understand their teaching practice. The results demonstrate that the maker projects enabled teacher candidates to engage in exploratory and hypothetical talk about how they are thinking about teaching and learning, particularly...
Read More

Digital technologies in teacher education: From mythologies to making

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book edited by Clare Kosnik, Simone White, Clive Beck, Bethan Marshall, A. Lin Goodwin, and Jean Murray entitled Building bridges: Rethinking literacy teacher education in a digital era. This book emerged from presentations made at a working conference in London in 2014. I was honoured to be a part of both the conference and this book. My own chapter provides a conceptual overview of some of the tensions and challenges of the concept of digital technologies in teacher education. It concludes with some ideas from my Maker Pedagogy project. Sense Publishers always provides a free preview of the first chapter of books that it publishes, and that means anyone can download my chapter for free by clicking here. My sincere thanks to the editorial team for their hard work and particularly to Clare Kosnik for inviting me to be a part of her research into digital technologies several years ago, even before this...
Read More

Announcing a new journal: Teacher Learning and Professional Development

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new journal, Teacher Learning and Professional Development: Teacher Learning and Professional Development (TLPD) is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that is broadly concerned with the challenges and complexities of learning to teach. We frame learning to teach as a lifelong process that includes formal pre-service and continuing education programs for teachers and a variety of informal experiences that contribute to teachers’ professional knowledge. We also recognize that the term teacher is typically taken to refer those who work as elementary or secondary school teachers; however, we adopt an holistic definition of teacher learning and professional development that includes the learning and development activities of anyone who teaches or self-identifies as a teacher. This expanded definition thus  includes, but is not limited to, K-12 teachers, post-secondary teachers, adult educators, museum educators, community-based educators, coaches, and performing arts teachers. The URL: http://journals.sfu.ca/tlpd/ Please consider submitting your work to this new journal. Special thanks to the authors and reviewer team for...
Read More

Maker pedagogy and science teacher education

I am pleased to announced the first article from my  research program on maker pedagogy, which was just published in a special issue of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies. The piece is conceptual and considers some of the opportunities and challenges to adopting what we have defined as maker pedagogy in science education. Special thank you to my co-author, Andrea Sator, for her hard work on this project. We are committed to publishing a portion of our work in open access format and are pleased to state that the article is freely available at: http://www.jcacs.com/#!v13-1-bullocksastor/cut The abstract: Making is a process that people engage in to design, create, and develop things that are of value and use to them personally or for their community. The recent popular (and sometimes commercial) Maker Movement is rooted in making and traces its lineage from a variety of historical precedents, including ancient traditions of arts and crafts fairs, tinkering and inventing using analog technologies,...
Read More

Introducing makerpedagogy.org!

I am pleased to introduce a new online presence for my SSHRC-funded research program: Developing a Maker Pedagogy. What do I mean by maker pedagogy? My working definition, which I developed in January 2014 as a part of the winning grant proposal, was: Maker Pedagogy is an approach that utilizes the principles of ethical hacking (i.e., deconstructing existing technology for the purpose of creating knowledge), adapting (i.e., the freedom to use a technology for new purposes), designing (i.e., selecting components and ideas to solve problems), and creating (i.e., archiving contextual knowledge obtained through engaging in the process of making, as well as the actual tangible products) as part of an overall way of working with those interesting in learning about science and technology. (Bullock, 2014) You can check out a longer blog post about the topic on the new site. Be sure to check makerpedagogy.org often, as my research team and I will be sharing information about our research as it progresses as well...
Read More

What is effective teacher professional development?

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new fact sheet by the Canadian Education Association entitled "What is effective teacher professional development?" Teachers routinely engage in a variety of formal (i.e. district-directed) and informal (i.e. self-directed) professional development experiences. My co-author Andrea Sator and I reviewed recent literature on teachers' professional development to come up with five research-informed recommendations for effective teacher professional development. The post can be accessed here. The one-page PDF can be accessed here....
Read More

Astronomy and Human Spaceflight: Three reasons to get excited

I've been interested in astronomy and human spaceflight for as long as I can remember. The end of 2014 is shaping up to be an monumental time in the history of astronomy and spaceflight for at least three reasons: 1. We landed on a comet..and we're continuing to explore that comet Like millions of people all over the world, I was blown away by the fact that Philae successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Although the landing did not occur exactly as planned, it was still a remarkable feat and we will likely learn a lot from the data that were collected. Landing on a comet is certainly an exciting event, bringing to mind scenes from a number of science fiction books, television shows, and movies, but I think it is also important to remember that the Rosetta mission is far from over. Rosetta will continue to gather important data as the comet moves closer to the Sun, giving us a first hand...
Read More

Snap, Crackle, Pop!: A Short History of Noise

My thanks to everyone who came out on a Saturday afternoon to listen to my lecture on the history of noise. The description of the lecture was: The word “noise” is often synonymous with “nuisance,” which implies something to be avoided as much as possible. We label blaring sirens, the space between stations on the radio dial and the din of a busy street as “noise.” Is noise simply a sound we don’t like?  How have scientists defined noise? Is there ever a time when a noisy system is desirable? We will consider the evolution of how scientists and engineers have thought about noise, beginning in the Victorian Era and continuing to the present day. We will explore the idea of noise as a social construction and a technological necessity. We’ll also touch on critical developments in the study of sound, the history of physics and engineering and the development of communications technology. I used ideas from the history of physics, the history of music, the discipline of sound studies,...
Read More

Philosopher’s Café: Science Literacy

Tonight (Monday October 20, 2014)  I am pleased to moderate a "Philosopher's Café" on the topic of Science Literacy. These events are sponsored by SFU Continuing Studies and are free to the public. The catalyst for tonight: There has been (another) recent upsurge of interest in science education. How should we determine what science is taught in schools? How much science education should be compulsory? What does it mean to be a scientifically literate person? Details: 19:00-20:30 The Gathering Place, Living room, 1100–2253 Leigh Square Pl., Port Coquitlam | Map Please note that this is not a lecture or a class. It is an opportunity for  people to come together and discuss a topic of interest. From the Philosopher's Café program website: Philosophers’ Café is a series of informal public discussions in libraries, cafés and restaurants throughout Metro Vancouver. The cafés, which are open to everyone, have brought dialogue and discussion to thousands of people who are interested in exploring issues from the absurd to the sublime. To...
Read More