Brainstorming (1) and Christy Moore

This week, I’m revising some research I’ve done on information literacy and looking at what year 7 students say about brainstorming. What students like about brainstorming has been consistent over a number of  studies  I’ve done over the years. Firstly, they like sharing ideas and make comments such as “It was great how we got ideas from each other” and “I got to tell them my ideas”. Secondly, students cite brainstorming as a good way of looking at their prior knowledge e.g. “We got to look at what we each knew  and about the topic” but also gaps in their knowledge e.g. “We talked about things we did not know”. Students also like the cooperative format of brainstorming e.g. “If I didn’t understand something, they would help me”. Most of the students saw brainstorming as very useful in making their assignment easier to do. For example, in some brainstorming sessions, students discussed the questions that might be posed in relation to their topic and a typical comment was “It helped with thinking about the questions we could have about the dictators”. Brainstorming can be noisy and can appear chaotic but it can also be a very effective way of getting students to think more clearly about their approach to an assignment.

I’ve been a fan of the Irish folk singer/singer songwriter Christy Moore and, having listened to him being interviewed on the excellent Mike Harding radio show, I have just bought his new album Listen. It has been very well reviewed, so I’m looking forward to playing it a few times. I’ve heard it once so far and like most new albums you buy, you pick on a cuple of tracks that you like but need to hear it a few times before you get the best out of it. Christy Moore has been singing a long time now but appears to improve with age.

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