The first round of our Spring 2018 writing contest series had only three submissions, but they were strong posts which provided critical reviews to two texts about Evidence-Based Policy Making (EBPM). The upside of the low number of posts is that all three contestants won a prize.
Podcasts are to radio what blogs are to newspapers. The democratization of modern media has meant that the barriers to becoming a writer or radio host have been drastically lowered. As the members of this blog know, this medium allows participants to reach a wider audience than one classroom or even one institution.
This month, I would like to try an experiment to integrate these two not-so-new-anymore formats. Below you will find a collection of podcasts on science, language, and education. Choose one, or find your own, and write a response to it as your next post. Be sure to include a link to the episode you listened to, and perhaps a related picture to make the post relevant for a wider audience.
Some potential questions you could address in your post:
What is the episode about? What was the gist? Can you highlight the main ideas?
Are the creators trying to inform, entertain, or persuade you? How do you know?
How does the episode incorporate arguments, reasons, and evidence to achieve its purpose(s)?
Did you learn anything new? Would you recommend this episode to a friend?
How do the ideas presented in the episode correspond with your own thoughts, experiences, or prior knowledge about the topic?
Each show name is followed by episode links and a couple words about the episode.
Social constructivism tells us that knowledge is created through social discourse–communication, sharing ideas, and discussion–in a community. I want to take a minute to show you what I think that means at NUGSE.
Students at NUGSE are creating knowledge together.
From the theses that are currently being added to the NU Repository, to the student run journal NUGSE Research in Education currently working on its fourth issue, to this blog, with 738 original posts–it is clear that we have something worth saying and that we have the means to say it well. NUWG’s most read posts:
Students at NUGSE are collaborating in and out of the classroom.
Students work together in many ways. In the classroom, they complete group projects, solve problems in class discussions, and debate important ideas in education today. Outside the classroom, the interaction continues in course discussions on moodle and here. Just to give you some statistics:
@yasawi859 is the most prolific commentator, replying 26 times to his peers’ posts;
Students at NUGSE are connected to a vast network of international scholars, educators, and students.
It is important to realize that you are not only connected to your peers, but also to many international readers who want to learn about what is going on in Central Asian education. We have readers from all over the world; our students have been noticed in other blogs; and researchers in the US have written in asking for the contact information of our journal article authors.
An academic community requires active participants who are willing to speak up, step out of their comfort bubble, and share their work with the world. This community is clearly alive and well, and ready to continue growing.
With that in mind, welcome to the Nazarbayev University Writers Guild!
I am often asked about the impression Kazakhstani citizens have of US politics these days. Here, from an academic English vocabulary quiz, come two answers to that question. In this task, the students needed to write a paragraph on a topic of their choice, using at least 5 of 9 provided vocab words (in bold).
In the egregious aftermath of the elections, the media are trying to nitpick the obscure ideas espoused by President Trump, who seems to adhere to all of the suggestions made by his advisor Steve Bannon, indicating that the president is malleable to the control of certain people.
In the aftermath of the last presidential elections, the media found itself in a peculiar situation, with previously obscure publications such as Breitbart, adhering to the most extreme-right stance in politics, gaining popularity. In addition, the newly elected president, who espouses this conservative position, turned out to be malleable, often repeating what is said on the conservative channels, not nitpicking the information reported there.
And a third, just a bonus to remind me that my students are learning the big ideas I hope they’ll take with them into the workplace:
Espousing somebody’s obscure point of view without adhering to pertinent evidence may lead to egregiousaftermath. This means that we have to meticulously nitpick every sentence and evidence provided by authors before supporting them.
The NU Writers Guild is ready to start another semester. We are welcoming two new cohorts, the MA 1st year group, and the MSc Inclusive Ed and School Leadership groups. With all the changes going on in the Kazakhstani education system, both in policy and practice, this is an exciting time to be working in research.
Authors should add a category label to each post, based on their cohort or topic of their writing. This allows the reader to find posts based on that category, as you can see in the site’s main menu. All participants are welcome to post in any category, and comment across the cohort groups. The new categories are Multilingual Education, Inclusive Education, School Leadership, and Thesis Writing.
NUGSE Research in Education
This semester we will be launching the first student-run academic journal at Nazarbayev University, NUGSE Research in Education. You can find the blog for the journal here, but you will also see news and updates on NUWG. This journal is a great opportunity for students to become authors, peer reviewers and editors in the publication process. More details will be announced soon.
Alumni and Current Students
This is also the first year we have enrolled users that include alumni and current students. Hopefully, some of our alumni can keep in touch and stay involved by joining the discussions that our current students are having. Their experience in completing the NUGSE program, and then moving to the professional world (or on to a PhD or some other academic program), will be invaluable for our community. Don’t be a stranger!
Happy New Year, and here’s to the beginning of a bright and exciting new semester!
This is a story that the 2014-2015 MSc IE group wrote. It resurfaced today and I just had to share it somewhere. The underlined words are academic English vocabulary words. Enjoy!
You won’t believe what happened to me yesterday. I was coming back
to Astana from a trip, thinking that I would go through security unimpeded, when the border patrol asked for my documents.
It all started when I furnished my passport. The officer made an assertion
that my passport was fake, pointing out a subtledisparity in the photo and
my face. I thought he had noticed the glaring mistake in my visa, but
he was more focused on the picture. I cringed when he said, “step into
The tenured officer and I were having a lurid time when we noticed the
computer stopped working. I called my best local friend, the unofficial
leader of my entourage, to come help me. My friend nonchalantly
agreed to come help.
My friend pushed his way through the congregation of people watching us. The officer looked at us and said in an amplified voice, “I don’t care
who your friend is! You’re not leaving here!”
We were excoriated by the officer and his colleagues, but that wasn’t
the strangest thing of the evening. My friend had an elaborate plan
to get me out of the mess I was in. The plan entailed distracting the
officers and running! My hands were trembling, but I wasn’t going to let
that hinder our escape.
Before we endeavored to run away, my friend placed a bar of Lindt
chocolate on the table. The officer changed his mood and began to eat it.
Finally, we succeeded to build rapport with the officials. I took my cherished passport and ran!