Student confidence and cycling to Abbey St Bathans

I’ve been analysing some year 7 student diaries as part of my research and looking at student responses when they were asked to comment on how confident they felt about doing an assignment. Most of the students – in 3 rural Australian secondary schools – stated that they were fairly or quite confident and a minority said that they were very confident and a smaller minority said that they were not confident. Student statements of confidence, of course, may not reflect how these students actually feel. Writing that you are confident in a diary to be seen by a researcher is a lot easier that writing that you are not confident. Also, it was clear in this study, that some students may have professed to being confident – and indeed, they may well have felt confident, but that they should not have been feeling as confident as they stated. The reason is that, for some of these students, understanding what the assignment demanded of them was problematic. So how do we get students – all students – to take a realistic view of their confidence and what’s expected of them? There’s no simple answer to this but recognising that some – and possibly many – students could be over-confident may be the place to start.

On Sunday, the hardest cycle yet. It was only 50k but we went up every hill known to man and woman – or so it seemed at the time. It was one of these cycles when you feel that it was up hill all they way there and all the way back. We set off from Dunbar and went to a wee place called Abbey St Bathans. Very picturesque route and place, set next to a good sized river. There was never an abbey there but in the 13th century a group of nuns were housed there. There’s now a tea room next to the trout farm and some great walks along the river and you can cross a bridge built buy Ghurka soldiers. When I searched for pictures of Abbey St Bathans, not much luck but, to my surprise, the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies  has a number of records featuring the place – mainly on microfiche. There are pictures of the wee church  which contains some interesting historic artefacts.

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