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Researchers, In Plain English ! How to write a popularization article for the journal Pédagogie collégiale AQPC Symposium (Workshop 612), June 7, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Researchers, In Plain English ! How to write a popularization article for the journal Pédagogie collégiale AQPC Symposium (Workshop 612), June 7, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researchers, In Plain English ! How to write a popularization article for the journal Pédagogie collégiale AQPC Symposium (Workshop 612), June 7, 2012 Fanny Kingsbury, editor-in-chief Maria Chiras, Laura King, Maeve Muldowney and Norm Spatz, members of the English Editorial Board Pédagogie collégiale (418)

2 2 Getting Started Who we are, who you are Why did you register for this workshop? Have you ever researched or are you actually conducting research in education? On what subject? When will you complete your research or for how long has it been completed?

3 3 Workshop Goals To identify the main characteristics of a successful popularization article; To provide the necessary guidelines on how to write such an article for Pédagogie collégiale.

4 4 In your opinion… What is the difference between a scientific paper and a popularization paper?

5 5 What is the difference between a scientific paper and a popularization paper in your opinion?

6 6 Example 1 : « Human Ecological Complexity: Epistemological Implications of Social Networking and Emerging Curriculum Theories » Online courseware and social networking have dramatically changed the way students and educators learn and think about learning and scholarly communication. With a transdisciplinary ecological focus on educational research, this article incorporates research in chaos and complexity theories, sociology, and philosophy to address major research questions drawn from the American Educational Research Association [AERA] 2010 Annual Meeting in relation to social networks and human ecological complexity. Epistemologically, social networking sites challenge traditional forms of knowledge inquiry, because they are organic in nature. Rather than identifying discrete units of knowledge for acquisition in the teaching and learning process, knowledge creation is emergent in these networks, where participants appear to play the roles of selforganizing system agents. Equally, we see challenges to traditional higher education in the forms of far-from-equilibrium environments through wide scale budget cuts and competition from for-profit companies, educational software, and online certifications. In some ways, we might even ask if these far-from-equilibrium conditions contribute to the mass appeal of social networking among college students which paradoxically and simultaneously drive new developments in curriculum theories.

7 7 Example 2 : « Male Students in Early Childhood Education Techniques: can we Help them to complete their Program of Studies? » « When we know the positive impact on child development that having two parents who act in different but complementary ways can have (Besnard, 2008), we are struck by the lack of male figures in educative daycare services. Indeed, only 4% of the educators who provide services offered in childcare centres (CPE – Centres de la petite enfance) are men. (Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2008) Traditionally reserved for women, the profession of early-childhood educator is where we find the highest segregation with regard to gender (Sumsion, 2005). What is more, when analyzing college registration statistics, again we are struck by the fact that, of the small number of male students interested in studying Early Childhood Education (ECE) techniques (a mere 3.5% of registrations come from males), only one in four will complete the training. So, beyond the fact that few male students are attracted to ECE training, the majority will abandon it en route. Why is this? Are these students welcome? Has the program become too feminized for them to be comfortable? Are there other factors at play? What good research questions to try to solve! »

8 8 Example 3 : « Rethinking Literacy Education » A group of boys sit around an iPad in a grade three classroom in an elementary school in a western suburb outside of Toronto. They are crowded around the iPad playing “A Monster Ate my Homework”. We ask them why they like the game and one boy claims that it helps his spatial skills (“it is also fun”). As we move around the room, we encounter two girls playing “Whirly Word” with an iPad close to them. […] The vignette that begins our article describes a moment in time in a classroom in Oakville, Ontario. The moment encapsulates the way that children are able to respond quickly and effectively to the digital technologies that permeate their world. While education policy makers and curriculum designers struggle to find ways of incorporating new modes of communication, many researchers and teachers worldwide are finding ways of using new technologies for literacy and learning. […] In this article, we provide an explanation of the new terms that have developed to theorize changes in literacy and communication in society. We demonstrate the potential of new technologies for classroom literacy learning by discussing the differences between literacy with digital texts compared with print- based texts, and provide some examples of ways in which teachers are using multiple modes in digital texts to enhance literacy learning.

9 9 The Main Differences Between a Scientific Paper and a Popularization Article Target Audience Intended Goals Form Content The relevance of the methodology (-), the nature of the question (-), the results (+), the outcomes and their practical use (+) Tone

10 10 A Concept of Communication Mechanics Context (Informative function) Addresser (Expressive function) Addressee (Vocative function) Message ( Aesthetic/Poetic function ) Contact or Channel (Phatic function) Code (Metalinguisitic function)

11 11 A Popularization Basic: Motivation to Communicate Why do you want to popularize your research results? Addresser (Expressive function)

12 12 The Motivation to Communicate: Why popularize results of educational research? Ensure the dissemination of the results of the work; Fulfill the researcher's ethical and moral duty; Ensure the flow of concepts beyond one’s discipline or field of research; Encourage the careers of new researchers; Take into account research advances in practice; Add to the researcher's résumé. “Erudition is without value if not in the service of the greatest number.” (Translated from André Miquel, L’Orient d’une vie, Payot, 1990, p. 72)

13 13 Popularization Basics: Adapting to the Audience Each context has its requirements, its audience and its tone. These cannot be ignored! Context (Informative function)

14 14 What is Pédagogie collégiale? A quarterly journal published in French by the AQPC Many articles are translated into English and uploaded on the Web Distribution on the rise (3000 copies or more) Two Editorial Committees: one in English, one in French Provides Editing and Graphics Main characteristics of Pédagogie collégiale: A cross between an academic journal and a popular scientific magazine Articles must fit into defined categories Maximum article length of 4000 words (once translated into French) Includes graphs, tables, illustrations and select bibliography Characteristics of the articles the journal is looking for: Exclusive, topical, coherent, rigorous, pertinent, well written, non- defamatory, respectful of the reputation and honour of individuals and groups

15 15 What are the goals of Pédagogie collégiale? Goals of the Journal: Support professional development Strengthen professional identity Promote college-level research Encourage the application of pedagogical practices Promote links between theory and practice Ensure a place at the table in public debates over college level issues Provide the opportunity to express different points of view

16 16 Popularization Basics: Stimulate and Encourage Readership Attract readers Keep their attention and interest Contact - psychological (Phatic function)

17 17 Example 1 : « Human Ecological Complexity: Epistemological Implications of Social Networking and Emerging Curriculum Theories » Online courseware and social networking have dramatically changed the way students and educators learn and think about learning and scholarly communication. With a transdisciplinary ecological focus on educational research, this article incorporates research in chaos and complexity theories, sociology, and philosophy to address major research questions drawn from the American Educational Research Association [AERA] 2010 Annual Meeting in relation to social networks and human ecological complexity. Epistemologically, social networking sites challenge traditional forms of knowledge inquiry, because they are organic in nature. Rather than identifying discrete units of knowledge for acquisition in the teaching and learning process, knowledge creation is emergent in these networks, where participants appear to play the roles of selforganizing system agents. Equally, we see challenges to traditional higher education in the forms of far-from- equilibrium environments through wide scale budget cuts and competition from for-profit companies, educational software, and online certifications. In some ways, we might even ask if these far-from-equilibrium conditions contribute to the mass appeal of social networking among college students which paradoxically and simultaneously drive new developments in curriculum theories.

18 18 Example 2 : « Male Students in Early Childhood Education Techniques: can we Help them to complete their Program of Studies? » « When we know the positive impact on child development that having two parents who act in different but complementary ways can have (Besnard, 2008), we are struck by the lack of male figures in educative daycare services. Indeed, only 4% of the educators who provide services offered in childcare centres (CPE – Centres de la petite enfance) are men. (Institut de la statistique du Québec, 2008) Traditionally reserved for women, the profession of early-childhood educator is where we find the highest segregation with regard to gender (Sumsion, 2005). What is more, when analyzing college registration statistics, again we are struck by the fact that, of the small number of male students interested in studying Early Childhood Education (ECE) techniques (a mere 3.5% of registrations come from males), only one in four will complete the training. So, beyond the fact that few male students are attracted to ECE training, the majority will abandon it en route. Why is this? Are these students welcome? Has the program become too feminized for them to be comfortable? Are there other factors at play? What good research questions to try to solve! »

19 19 Popularization Basics: Focus on the Format of a Popular Article The Title : Short Engaging Stimulates Curiosity Evocative (Suggestive) Provocative (Stimulating) Accessible - Humour and spirit are welcome Can include a more instructive or explanatory sub-title (or the other way around) Can introduce an extended metaphor Message (Poetic or Aesthetic)

20 20 The Introduction Must present the subject of the article and attract readers. It should pique the reader’s curiosity. Three Introductory Strategies: Cultural Reference (CR); Significant Detail (SD); Overview (O).

21 21 Cultural Reference (CR) Rather conventional; Presents historical or cultural facts in order to introduce the subject of the article.

22 22 CR Example «Building a Better Math Teacher » For years, it has been assumed that teachers -- specifically math teachers -- need to master the content they intend to teach. And the best way to do this is to take courses beyond that content. Yet […], Dr. Brent Davis of the University of Calgary says research does not support this common belief. There is little evidence that advanced courses in mathematics contribute to more effective teaching.

23 23 Significant Detail (SD) Starts with a hook proverb, famous quote, popular saying fact, example, etc. Gradually leads the reader to the subject of the essay In general, keeps the reader guessing

24 24 SD Example «This Is Your Brain On Sugar: Study in Rats Shows High- Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory» Attention, college students cramming between midterms and finals: Binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid. […] "Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."

25 25 Overview (O) Situates the subject in a wider context Describes the imagery or an atmosphere related to the subject of the article Puts the reader « in » the subject

26 26 Overview Example « Rethinking Literacy Education » A group of boys sit around an iPad in a grade three classroom in an elementary school in a western suburb outside of Toronto. They are crowded around the iPad playing “A Monster Ate my Homework”. We ask them why they like the game and one boy claims that it helps his spatial skills (“it is also fun”). As we move around the room, we encounter two girls playing “Whirly Word” with an iPad close to them. […] The vignette that begins our article describes a moment in time in a classroom in Oakville, Ontario.

27 27 Popularization Basics: Target Your Audience Know the target audience Stimulate the reader’s interest Target reader reaction Convey information to the reader Addressee (Vocative function) Contact - Psychological (Phatic function) Message (Aesthetic or poetic function ) Code (Metalinguistic function) Context (Informative function)

28 28 Know Your Audience To Best Respond To Their Needs The readers of Pédagogie collégiale… Are working in the field of higher education; Are mainly recently hired or experienced college-level teachers; Are NOT researchers or specialists in your field of research Adapt content to your audience What can they do with your results? How can they use them? Which of your results will they find the most interesting? What questions will they probably ask in relation to your field of your research? What are generally held concepts about your research topic? What is common knowledge about your research topic? Will readers understand a given word or passage? Addressee (Vocative function)

29 29 How to convey your knowledge to readers The readers of Pédagogie collégiale : Are not all researchers Are not specialists in your field of research Want to understand your ideas Context ( Informative function ) Code ( Metalinguistic function ) Addressee (Vocative function)

30 30 How to make your knowledge accessible to readers (1 of 2) Do not be pedantic! Give examples which will allow readers to tranlsate abstract concepts into concrete terms. Example: 40 billion dollars = about 3 times the annual budget of the ministère de l’Éducation or a bit more than $5, per man, woman and child in Québec Explain or define specialized terms or define them using examples or analogies. Example: Property owners along several Quebec river systems are affected by drift ice – small ice crystals formed from river ice which flood properties.

31 31 How to make your knowledge accessible to readers (2 of 2) Use analogies (such as comparisons and metaphors) to make the subject matter more accessible to readers Examples: ‘The heart is like a pump’ or ‘River water takes on the appearance of slush’ or ‘These areas are defined as drift ice factories’ Use easy-to-understand diagrams and tables. Use short active phrases.

32 32 The Structure of the Article Build in indicators for your reader - Where is the text going? First of all: the results! Subtitles: the backbone of the text One main idea per paragraph or group of paragraphs (Group everything on related subjects together to ensure unity and coherence) Ensure logical links (one idea after another) in order to build bridges (transitions) between ideas. Choose the best style of text organization for your subject Code (Metalinguistic function) Message (Aesthetic or poetic function)

33 33 Modes of Text Organization (1 of 2) Various Writing Techniques The Chronological Mode Present information sequentially The Logical or Analytical Mode Ask a question or present a problem which your results respond to Present different aspects of a question or conflicting points of view as well as additional detail about a subject before concluding with possible solutions as indicated by the research

34 34 Modes of Text Organization (2 of 2) Spatial Mode Create a network of words related to a space or place and then use them to structure the article (language used to convey the format and structure of the article to the audience) Narrative Mode Tell a story (why one did the research, problems encountered, what one discovered, the next step, etc.) Affective Mode Create a network of words related to emotions (of the researcher or the reader) and then use them to structure the article (use of feelings and emotions to reinforce the format and structure of the article) Metaphoric Mode Create a network of words related to a metaphor which represents your subject and use them to structure your article

35 35 The Conclusion – Bowing Out Gracefully The conclusion is not a summary of the article. Stress concrete consequences of the results presented and their implementation (transferability) Close the circle Restate an element of the title or introduction adding a nuance, a confirmation or a refutation.

36 36 What follows? (1 of 2) Required reading and editing after several days of rest Enlisting an uninvolved critical reader who is a member of the targeted audience Adjusting bibliographic references (selective bibliography) Editing (read the text in reverse – sentence by sentence - starting from the end) Highlight the text by theme to ensure logical structure Cut? If required!

37 37 What follows? (2 of 2) Send your article to the editor-in-chief of Pédagogie collégiale After the text, write a short professional biography for each of the authors (about 80 words per person), followed by the address of each Provide the authors’ names, professional title, institutional affiliations and their contact information Enclose a digital photo of each author (in high resolution or large format) Wait for changes! (Editing, Space Available, Editorial Committee Suggestions, etc.)

38 38 Synthesis: Principal Characteristics of Scientific Popularization Article Can take a number of forms Is not a mini research paper Gives methodology little if any consideration Highlights specific research results Focuses on reader interest

39 39 A Final Checklist for Authors BEFORE SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE Select results that are essential to readers Identify your communication goals Plan the structure and format of your article Adapt to publishing context and target audience Writing Modification Editing

40 40 A Final Checklist for Authors AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR ARTICLE Be open to comments and suggestions from the Editorial Board Don’t get discouraged! Take into consideration the comments and suggestions from the Editorial Board (if you have any questions, contact the editor-in-chief) Edit and revise your article Return the revised version of your article to the editor-in-chief

41 41 Further Reading Pédagogie collégiale published writing guidelines for researchers who want to submit a popularization article The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) published a document giving tips for effective communication of research results to the public : Etudiants/Guides-Guides/index_eng.asp Etudiants/Guides-Guides/index_eng.asp The Association pour la recherche au collégial (ARC) offers its members a coaching program :

42 42 Everything you need to know about publishing an article in Pédagogie collégiale Consult the website of the AQPC: Contact the editor-in-chief of Pédagogie collégiale

43 43 Question period Do you have any questions? Do you have any comments? Thank you and good luck writing your article!


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