177 research outputs found

    The Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society : An emergent community of practice

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    Sustainability-focused research networks and communities of practice have emerged as a key response and strategy to build capacity and knowledge to support transformation towards more sustainable, just and equitable futures. This paper synthesises insights from the development of a community of practice on social-ecological systems (SES) research in southern Africa over the past decade, linked to the international Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS). This community consists of a network of researchers who carry out place-based SES research in the southern African region. They interact through various cross-cutting working groups and also host a variety of public colloquia and student and practitioner training events. Known as the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (SAPECS), its core objectives are to: (1) derive new approaches and empirical insights on SES dynamics in the southern African context; (2) have a tangible impact by mainstreaming knowledge into policy and practice; and (3) grow the community of practice engaged in SES research and governance, including researchers, students and practitioners. This paper reflects on experiences in building the SAPECS community, with the aim of supporting the development of similar networks elsewhere in the world, particularly in the Global South

    Literacy for digital futures : Mind, body, text

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    The unprecedented rate of global, technological, and societal change calls for a radical, new understanding of literacy. This book offers a nuanced framework for making sense of literacy by addressing knowledge as contextualised, embodied, multimodal, and digitally mediated. In today’s world of technological breakthroughs, social shifts, and rapid changes to the educational landscape, literacy can no longer be understood through established curriculum and static text structures. To prepare teachers, scholars, and researchers for the digital future, the book is organised around three themes – Mind and Materiality; Body and Senses; and Texts and Digital Semiotics – to shape readers’ understanding of literacy. Opening up new interdisciplinary themes, Mills, Unsworth, and Scholes confront emerging issues for next-generation digital literacy practices. The volume helps new and established researchers rethink dynamic changes in the materiality of texts and their implications for the mind and body, and features recommendations for educational and professional practice

    Australian Workshops on Patients’ Perspectives on Hemodialysis and Incremental Start

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    IntroductionMost patients with kidney failure commence and continue hemodialysis (HD) thrice weekly. Incremental initiation (defined as HD less than thrice weekly) is increasingly considered to be safe and less burdensome, but little is known about patients' perspectives. We aimed to describe patients' priorities and concerns regarding incremental HD.MethodsPatients currently, previously, or soon to be receiving HD in Australia participated in two 90-minute online workshops to discuss views about HD focusing on incremental start and priorities for trial outcomes. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Outcomes were ranked on the basis of the sum of participants' priority scores (i.e., single allocation of 3 points for most important, 2 for second, and 1 for third most important outcome).ResultsAll 26 participants (1 caregiver and 25 patients) preferred an incremental HD approach. The top prioritized outcomes were quality of life (QOL) (56 points), residual kidney function (RKF) (27 points), and mortality (16 points). The following 4 themes underpinning outcome priorities, experience, and safety concerns were identified: (i) unpreparedness and pressure to adapt, (ii) disruption to daily living, (iii) threats to safety, and (iv) hope and future planning.ConclusionPatients with kidney failure preferred an incremental start to HD to minimize disruption to daily living and reduce the negative impacts on their education, ability to work, and family life. QOL was the most critically important outcome, followed by RKF and survival

    What do secondary teachers think about digital games for learning : Stupid fixation or the future of education?

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    Digital games can support learning across many levels and fields of education. This article shares findings from a study of Australian high school English teachers designed with a mixed response questionnaire about using digital games in the classroom. The findings identified polarised teacher perspectives on the role of gaming in formal curriculum, tension in teachers’ ideal and enacted use of digital games, and a need for in-practice professional development on digital games. Implications include the need to optimise digital games use for learning in teaching and teacher education, and to address perceptions on the validity of gaming for classroom learning

    Many truths, many knowledges, many forms of reason : Understanding middle-school student approaches to sources of information on the internet

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    Sourcing information related to socio-scientific issues requires sophisticated literacies to read and evaluate conflicting accounts often signified by disagreement among experts, multiple solutions or misinformation. Much of the previous work exploring how young people approach conflicting information has tended to focus on students in the secondary and tertiary years, often taking an epistemic approach to analysis, rather than a literacies lens. At the heart of such endeavours, however, is the need for sophisticated reading skills accelerated by shifts to digital platforms to source information. Given the limited empirical studies in the field of literacy that articulate how middle school students approach sources of information, this study investigates 45 middle school students’ (13–14 years of age) self-reported strategies for investigating health risks associated with mobile phone use. We asked the students to imagine that a close friend was worried about the health risks of using their mobile phone and had asked them for advice. Students were then prompted to describe how they would search for information about the issue and how they would know if the information was reliable. Our analysis identified three dominant themes in the interview data, namely: (i) mistrust of the internet—people can be reliable sources; (ii) reliable sourcing requires consensus across sources; and (iii) criteria help to determine a reliable source. An interesting finding was the level of scepticism of the internet expressed by students. We draw on examples from the students’ interview dialogue to illustrate the themes and engage in discourse related to their approaches including implications for teaching in English classrooms

    Children's epistemic reasoning about social inclusion of aggressive peers in a culturally diverse school

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    Moral reasoning in values education can promote a democratic way of life. It involves addressing behaviour expectations in responses to violence or bullying. There is increasing interest in how children make moral judgments about social inclusion within diverse cultural settings. Critical research highlights the relationship between epistemic cognition (views about the nature of knowledge and knowing) and reasoning. In this paper, we argue that this relationship is likely to be important in reasoning about moral values for inclusion in culturally diverse schools. However, we know little about how children in diverse educational settings reason about and enact school values for inclusion. Our study addresses this gap by examining primary school children’s epistemic reasoning about the social inclusion of peers with a focus on justifications for inclusion/exclusion of aggressive peers. Twenty-six children (10–11 years old) from one culturally diverse school community in Australia were asked to illustrate (drawings) and reflect on (15–20 minute interviews) a conflict situation involving exclusion from play. The findings showed that most children reasoned about including/excluding others based on a ‘one right answer’ pattern which reflected an explicit focus on following the school rules. Fewer children moved ‘beyond right answers’ to show transition towards perceiving multiple perspectives in their reasoning about inclusion/exclusion. Implications for values education are discussed.</p

    Scoping review of conceptions of literacy in middle school science

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    Literacy skills are essential if students are to access knowledge and achieve academic success in middle school science. A key difficulty with interpreting literacy practices in any discipline is the problem of conceptualising what constitutes literacy. Our study contributes new understandings to the discipline of science where there are ongoing debates concerning the meaning of literacy and confusion regarding what constitutes essential literacies in the field. Our scoping review first identifies how literacy in middle school science is conceptualised in empirical studies published between 2006 and 2019 and, second, addresses a significant gap in understandings by identifying how dominant discourses inform practice. Specifically, our findings show the dominance of a narrow conception of literacy in the science classroom relating to skills-based pedagogic instruction. Based on our review, we conclude that the field of science requires a broadening of what constitutes literacy, and engagement with New Literacy Studies which focuses on literacy as a social practice closely interwoven with student identities

    Aboveground biomass density models for NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar mission

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    NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (similar to 25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final model selection. The data used to fit our models are from a compilation of globally distributed spatially and temporally coincident field and airborne lidar datasets, whereby we simulated GEDI-like waveforms from airborne lidar to build a calibration database. We used this database to expand the geographic extent of past waveform lidar studies, and divided the globe into four broad strata by Plant Functional Type (PFT) and six geographic regions. GEDI's waveform-to-biomass models take the form of parametric Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models with simulated Relative Height (RH) metrics as predictor variables. From an exhaustive set of candidate models, we selected the best input predictor variables, and data transformations for each geographic stratum in the GEDI domain to produce a set of comprehensive predictive footprint-level models. We found that model selection frequently favored combinations of RH metrics at the 98th, 90th, 50th, and 10th height above ground-level percentiles (RH98, RH90, RH50, and RH10, respectively), but that inclusion of lower RH metrics (e.g. RH10) did not markedly improve model performance. Second, forced inclusion of RH98 in all models was important and did not degrade model performance, and the best performing models were parsimonious, typically having only 1-3 predictors. Third, stratification by geographic domain (PFT, geographic region) improved model performance in comparison to global models without stratification. Fourth, for the vast majority of strata, the best performing models were fit using square root transformation of field AGBD and/or height metrics. There was considerable variability in model performance across geographic strata, and areas with sparse training data and/or high AGBD values had the poorest performance. These models are used to produce global predictions of AGBD, but will be improved in the future as more and better training data become available

    Aboveground biomass density models for NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar mission

    No full text
    NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI’s footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final model selection. The data used to fit our models are from a compilation of globally distributed spatially and temporally coincident field and airborne lidar datasets, whereby we simulated GEDI-like waveforms from airborne lidar to build a calibration database. We used this database to expand the geographic extent of past waveform lidar studies and divided the globe into four broad strata by Plant Functional Type (PFT) and six geographic regions. GEDI’s waveform-to- biomass models take the form of parametric Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models with simulated Relative Height (RH) metrics as predictor variables. From an exhaustive set of candidate models, we selected the best input predictor variables, and data transformations for each geographic stratum in the GEDI domain to produce a set of comprehensive predictive footprint-level models. We found that model selection frequently favored combinations of RH metrics at the 98th, 90th, 50th, and 10th height above ground-level percentiles (RH98, RH90, RH50, and RH10, respectively), but that inclusion of lower RH metrics (e.g., RH10) did not markedly improve model performance. Second, forced inclusion of RH98 in all models was important and did not degrade model performance, and the best performing models were parsimonious, typically having only 1-3 predictors. Third, stratification by geographic domain (PFT, geographic region) improved model performance in comparison to global models without stratification. Fourth, for the vast majority of strata, the best performing models were fit using square root transformation of field AGBD and/or height metrics. There was considerable variability in model performance across geographic strata, and areas with sparse training data and/or high AGBD values had the poorest performance. These models are used to produce global predictions of AGBD, but will be improved in the future as more and better training data become available
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