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Exploring educational leadership
This free course, Exploring educational leadership, provides an overview of the field of educational leadership and management. You will explore: the relationships between management and leadership; the scope of the field; different world views that underpin educational leadership research and practice; and some key concepts such as agency, power and authority and context. You will consider some differences between concepts, models and theories and be introduced to some questions that will help
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3.6.2 Making learning posters

You may find that, rather than reducing notes to small summary cards, you prefer to produce large posters detailing key points on particular topics. Use pattern, colour, diagrams and drawings in your posters, and display them in parts of your home where you might have an opportunity to gaze at them for some time and absorb the information. One student we know put them around the bathroom! If you have a strong visual memory, then lively posters really help the remembering process.


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3.6.1 Making summary sheets or cards

Andrew Northedge, in The Good Study Guide uses a diagram to illustrate this (reproduced as Figure 4). He notes that:

To boil the course down in this way, so as to extract its concentrated essences, is extremely valuable because it converts the broad themes and the detailed discussions of the course
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5.1.5 Is there an alternative school of thought?

I guessed that plenty of economists would disagree with Layard's point of view, if he is right that they have not used measures of happiness and have treated rises in real incomes as an unquestioned ‘good thing’. If I were studying this topic seriously, I would search for an article which tackled Layard's arguments from another perspective. When you encounter new ideas, it is useful to get more that one perspective on them, so that you can weigh one against the other.


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5.1.1 How much trust can I put in this text?

You would generally assume that any set texts for a are trustworthy. But when you find a text through your own research you need to run a few checks to assess the soundness of its content.

Who is the publisher?

If an article is from an academic journal, you can assume that its quality has been vetted by the journal's editors. Also if a book is published by a major academic publishing house, you would expect it to be ‘respectable’. And if it's a book from an academic ser
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6.2.3 Precise reference to ‘linear’ texts

You may find it more difficult to provide evidence from texts in which sounds, words or images follow on from one another over time (such as music and videos, plays and novels). Music is perhaps particularly hard to pin down. Sounds weave in and out of each other so that at first you may experience the music as seamless. But there are different ‘movements’ or ‘passages’ in music; moments at which a ‘melody’ is first introduced and later passages when it is repeated, for example. Y
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5.2 The value of the text

We now turn to a critical assessment of the poem as a poem; the question is, is it a ‘good’ poem? To that we should add ‘of its kind’. As we saw, we must judge it as a lyric poem – it would be inappropriate to think of it in the same terms as, say, an epic, because the conventions that govern the epic's form (its subject matter, purposes and formal elements) are very different. It is always important to understand what kind of text you are dealing with no
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Local colleges and schools

The local newspaper or your local library are your sources of reference here. Nowadays, most schools and colleges have evening or daytime courses that are open to adult learners. Many of them will have an advice point, so that you can telephone or drop in to discuss what you are looking for. Many will have an open learning centre where self-assessment tests and open learning materials are available.


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5.2.1 Discrete variables

The charts about different modes of transport and that on attendance figures at a range of cultural events all use what might be called ‘word categories’. Each category (e.g. bus, rail, cycle, and walk) is quite distinct from any other in the set of categories. Such distinct categories are known in mathematics as ‘discrete variables’.

Word categories are not the only type of variable that is discrete; numbers can also be discrete. For example, at the beginning of this section, w
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4.1 What is a line graph?

This section covers line graphs. We define the format, give some ideas about when it should be used, and draw some graphs. You can have a go at drawing a line graph in Activity 6, based on data that we supply.

A line graph, at its simplest, is a diagram that shows a line joining several points, or a line that shows the best possible relationship between the points. Sometimes the line will go through all of the points, and sometimes it will show the best possible fit. The line does not h
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3.2 Tables: Activities

Activity 3

Imagine that you have been asked to investigate population growth in the EU. You might be considering the details of population growth or you may be thinking about representing the reasons for population gro
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3.1.3 How do I design a table?

If you're a student, you are likely to present data in a table after you have carried out an investigation, particularly when you are writing up the report. Some courses include a small-scale project and this is likely to be the point at which knowledge of how to design a table will be useful. The following steps form a reliable guide.

  1. Collect the data.

    In the case of a project, you are likely to collect the data yourself, possibly from other w
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3.1.2 When is a table not a good format to use?

There are very few cases where a table will be the worst format to use. However, when you have a huge amount of data, you may wish to present some of it in a different format. Other formats for presenting data are explained in Sections 4–6.


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2 Reflection on mathematics

You will have decided to study this course for your own reasons. We imagine that a common reason will be a lack of confidence in numerical work. However, we do not want to take this for granted. We have written this section to help you to look at your reasons, so that you can make plans to improve on one or more areas of mathematics and consider how you can work on the areas that you need to.

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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • reflect on the reasons for needing to improve skills in using charts, graphs and tables

  • understand the following mathematical concepts and how to use them, through instruction, worked examples and practice activities: reflecting on mathematics; tables; line graphs; bar charts and histograms; pie charts; analysis

  • draw on a technical glossary, plus a a list of references to further reading and sources
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Acknowledgements

Course image: Pink Sherbet Photography in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowled
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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Local colleges and schools

The local newspaper is a source of reference here, or your local library. Alternatively, most schools and colleges nowadays have evening or daytime courses that are open to adult learners. Many of them will have an advice point, so that you can telephone or drop in to discuss what you are looking for. Many will have an open-learning centre where self-assessment tests and open-learning materials are available.


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Further reading

  • *The Good Study Guide, by Andrew Northedge published by The Open University, 1990, ISBN 0 7492 00448.

    Chapter 4 is entitled – ‘Working with numbers’.

    Other chapters are ‘Reading and note taking’, ‘Other ways of studying’, ‘What is good writing?’, ‘How to write essays’, ‘Preparing for examinations’

  • The Sciences Good Study Guide, by Andrew Northedge, Jeff Thomas, Andrew Lane, Alice Peasgo
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7 Further reading and sources of help

Where to get more help with using and interpreting tables, graphs, percentages, and with other aspects of numerical work.


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