Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Google Scholar

This is such a good idea, I wonder why they didn't come up with it a long time ago.
Google has a new search engine for searching academic literature online.

Doing a search for "Well Being" on Google Scholar, returned 61,600 results. The top results returned include:

Psychological Well-Being in Adult Life.CD Ryff - Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1995 - Blackwell Synergy ... Being (Aldine, Chicago, 1969); E. Diener, Subjective well-being, Psychological Bulletin,95, 542-575 (1984); MP Lawton, The varities of wellbeing, in Emotion ... Cited by 81 - Web Search
[CITATION] Scales for the measurement of some work attitudes and aspects of psychological well-beingP Warr, J Cook, T Wall - Journal of Occupational Psychology, 1979
Cited by 235 - Web Search
[CITATION] Relation of agency and communion to well-being: Evidence and potential explanationsVS Helgeson - Psychological Bulletin, 1994
Cited by 116 - Web Search - BL Direct
[CITATION] The measurement of well-being and other aspects of mental healthP Warr - Journal of Occupational Psychology, 1990
Cited by 102 - Web Search
… patient centred care of diabetes in general practice: impact on current wellbeing and future disease … - group of 6 »AL Kinmonth, A Woodcock, S Griffin, N Spiegal, MJ … - British Medical Journal - ... General Practice. Randomised controlled trial of patient centred care of diabetesin general practice: impact on current wellbeing and future disease risk. ... Cited by 117 - Web Search - BL Direct
Factors affecting the emotional wellbeing of the caregivers of dementia sufferers - group of 3 »RG Morris - The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1988 - ... Royal College of Psychiatrists. Factors affecting the emotional wellbeing ofthe caregivers of dementia sufferers. RG Morris, LW Morris ... Cited by 67 - Web Search
Sports participation and emotional wellbeing in adolescents. - group of 2 »A Steptoe, N Butler - Lancet, 1996 - ... Sports participation and emotional wellbeing in adolescents. Steptoe A,Butler N. Department of Psychology, St George's Hospital ... Cited by 55 - Web Search - BL

Doing the same search on the normal google delivers 23,000,000 hits with the following under the top ranked items:

Well Being
WellBeing of Women is the only national charity funding vital research into all aspects of women's reproductive - 18k -
Cached - Similar pages
WellBeing Australia - natural health directory, courses and seminars, natural health articles and more. Yoga, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, - 43k -
Cached - Similar pages
A manifesto for wellbeing
We often think of wellbeing as happiness, but it is more than that. ... But for most Australians more money would add little to their wellbeing. - 20k -
Cached - Similar pages
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Information on Australian Government mental health and wellbeing and suicide prevention initiatives, including beyondblue – the National Depression - 17k -
Cached - Similar pages
Well Being Journal
Well Being Journal: a health and wellness journal covering alternative medicine, natural healing, nutrition, herbs, and spiritual - 9k -
Cached - Similar pages
Australian Centre on Quality of Life - The Australian Unity Index ...
The AustralianUnity Wellbeing Index is designed to fill this niche. ... "The Wellbeing of Australians - Impact of the Impending Iraq War" - 17k -
Cached - Similar pages

Nice, very nice!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Maths and Science Education Initiatives

  • Maths and Science education initiatives are very necessary in the South African context. But it is also important to ensure that they deliver the goods at the end of the day. Different approaches have been tried to assist with the state of South African learners’ maths and science skills. The type of initiatives that we came across in our previous evaluations included:
    *Maths and Science Saturday schools that aimed to compensate for poor classroom based teaching and learning and giving the learners another shot at achieving the maths and science outcomes at preprimary and secondary phase.
    *Maths and Science Saturday or Holiday schools that aimed to prepare learners adequately for the Senior Certificate Examination
    *Upgrading of teacher qualifications through giving maths and science teachers the opportunity to gain full tertiary qualifications in maths or science
    *Afternoon workshops where skilled maths or science teachers did demonstration lessons with other maths and science educators to convey some lesson presentation ideas.
    *Building and equipping science labs to give learners the opportunity to engage fully with the Maths and science curriculum.
    *Commercially run science and maths exhibit centres that host interactive displays to demonstrate mathematical / scientific principles.
    *Science and maths fares, expos and exhibits.
    *Intensive Post matric course / bridging courses that focus heavily on science and maths tuition in order to help learners gain access to tertiary courses such as engineering.
    *Computer based science and maths learning using age appropriate software in computer laboratories.

    The lessons learnt were multiple and ad hoc, some of which I have taken the time to summarise below:
    · Once off workshops cannot do much to solve pervasive problems. Workshops should happen regularly and make space for the beneficiary teachers or learners to input into the content of the workshops.
    · Workshops where participants are not required to do anything more than attend, are unlikely to motivate beneficiaries to really participate and learn.
    · If the learning material is made available for further use in the classroom or with other colleagues at the school, it is likely to have an impact beyond the one learning encounter
    · Providing a solution (e.g. computer lab or teacher training programme) without the necessary support and maintenance will quickly negate the initial investment and reduce the impact
    · A multidimensional approach combining different strategies are imperative for success
    · Good programme management capacity is imperative, and should also include a mechanism to control for quality of content.
    · Programmes that collect basic monitoring data (number of beneficiaries, number of activities offered, cost per beneficiary per day) were more likely to be well run, and were also more likely to be very cost efficient.
    · There is limited cooperation between different agencies approaching the same problem and over reliance on a specific methodology- Once an agency has a hammer that makes some hits, they tend to want to fix all problems with this tool.

    Some documents that I found useful include:

    * David H. Greenberg, Charles Michalopoulos, Philip K. Robins : A Meta-Analysis of Government Sponsored Training Programs.
    * HSRC. Trends in International Maths and Science Study results for South Africa *Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy : How to Solicit Rigorous Evaluations of Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) Projects - A User-Friendly Guide for MSP State Coordinators. Available online at:

* Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy : How to Conduct Rigorous Evaluations of Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) Projects - A User-Friendly Guide for MSP Project Officials and Evaluators. Available online at:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cute Web Resource on Logic Models

We often have to do training on Logic models and assist our clients in developing indicator frameworks. There are various resources on the net available to help you do this, but in the end we usually have to facilitate a workshop with the clients.

Before I can send a consultant out to do some training for us, I have to make sure that they understand the concepts exactly as we do. I have found a cute resource that might show the way on how we can start to streamline our knowledge management processes. Instead of sitting with a consultant everytime before an assignment, we could start using technology to make the job easier. Videotaping a training session is one way of doing it, but at the following link you will find a particularly cute example of how one could use flash to create a website / CD. I think this is an excellent resource!

Also, some discussion on the AEA list recently pointed to the following basic guides about evaluation.