Saturday quote – Evidence-based practice

Family in silhouette with quote re evidence-based practice

(Photo of family: Eric Ward)

I’m about to start work on a project supporting Child and Parent Support services in regional New South Wales with evidence-based practice. One of our guiding principles will be that it is important we don’t take too narrow a view of what constitutes “evidence”. This useful reminder is from a policy brief on evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence by the Centre for Community Child Health.

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Past Saturday Quotes
  2. What are social models of health?
  3. What are complex problems?
  4. A resilience practice framework by the Benevolent Society
  5. Childhood trauma and brain development
  6. Playgroups as a foundation for working with hard to reach families
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Some weekend reading

This weeks’ weekend reading including articles on evidence-based practice, racism, social-status, gender bias and blogging.

Evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence: What does it all mean? From the Centre for Community Child Health – the value of incorporating practice based evidence into our understanding of evidence-based practice.

Let’s talk race: a teacher tells students not to be ‘color-blind’ by Meghan Mills via The Conversation – a sociology lecturer reflects on trying to engage students in discussion about racism. Continue reading

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3 types of community engagement (with related concepts and literature)

In the last post I discussed the first of two challenges faced by students in critiquing an example of community engagement: selecting a good example of community engagement. In this post I’ll discuss the second challenge: deciding what literature and theoretical material to use in critiquing the example.

In the community engagement subjects I teach at the University of Newcastle, we look at three broad types of community engagement. Community engagement that focuses on:

  1. Consultation and decision-making
  2. Community development or community building
  3. Engaging people in service delivery or achieving the organisation’s goals.

Continue reading

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Selecting an example of community engagement to critique

World cafe 5I ask students doing an online subject on community engagement at the University of Newcastle to critique an example of community engagement as one of their major assessments and, because the students come from a wide range of disciplines, it allows them to select an example relevant to them. I encourage them to use an example they have been involved in through a placement, work or volunteering, but they don’t have to.

Community engagement is a wide field, with no commonly agreed definition and its boundaries (what makes something “community engagement” rather than something else) can thus be quite blurry. There are two key challenges students often face in this assessment task (beside normal academic issues like using literature and referencing appropriately, addressing all the marking criteria, and writing clearly):

  • Selecting an good example of community engagement
  • Deciding on what literature and theoretical material to use in critiquing the example.

Continue reading

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Marriage equality (and a song for Sunday – Same love)

It’s wonderful to hear that the USA Supreme Court has ruled in favour of gay marriage – hopefully Australia won’t be far behind. In some countries (and some states of the USA) Cathy and I wouldn’t have been allowed to marry. Despite some people (a minority)  being shocked or even disgusted by our relationship; our love has stood the test of time. Next year we will have been married 30 years and we’re still going strong. I don’t want to deny other people the same opportunity we’ve had.

I’ve loved seeing the proliferation of rainbow imagery (and I’ve changed my background colour until Australia introduces marriage equality). I love the adoption of the rainbow with it’s Biblical symbolism of a covenant between God and humanity. If you believe people were created in the image of God – then so were gays and lesbians. Jesus sided with the marginalised and outcast – which side of the debate do you think he would have been on?

In honour of the Court’s decision, my song for Sunday is “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lews (featuring Mary Lambert).

When kids are walking ’round the hallway
plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love

And for those of you who need to know; Cathy and I are first cousins which means it is illegal for us to marry in some places.

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to watch some previous songs for Sunday:

  1. I will survive by Gloria Gaynor (Priscilla Queen of the Desert version)
  2. Take me to church by Hozier
  3. Miserere mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri (performed by the Tallis Scholars
  4. Don’t pay the ferryman by Chris De Burgh
  5. Satellite by Lena
  6. Dust in the Wind by Kansas
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Saturday quote: The Transition movement is

I’m proud to be the global Transition movement. I despair when I look at how little the Australian government (and many others) are doing to address climate change, but when I hear about Transition initiatives (and other grassroots initiatives), I feel a little bit more hopeful. The question is: will it be enough?

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Past Saturday Quotes
  2. How (and why) I joined the Transition movement
  3. What is the Transition Streets Challenge?
  4. My 2015 Transition Newcastle convenor report
  5. In Transition 2.0
  6. The Transition Streets Challenge: Potential and challenges
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Some weekend reading

Cheonggyecheon River

Cheonggyecheon River, Seoul (Photo: Ben Habib)

This weeks’ weekend reading doesn’t have any theme (besides being posts that have caught my eye over the week). There are some reflections on asset-based thinking, high school ethics, nonviolence, anxiety and playing with food. Make sure you look at the photos of the river that has replaced a drain under freeway in Seoul; it’s amazing what we can do when we put our mind to it. Continue reading

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How (and why) I joined the Transition movement

Transition Newcastle group (2013)

Transition Newcastle

When my daughter Jasmine was born in 2000, I decided to make fathering a priority and something had to go. Not only did I spend less time on my PhD, but I also stopped being actively involved in social change groups. Being an active father and trying to raise children who were socially aware would have to be my contribution to social change for a while. Once Alexa (who was born three years later) started school, I was ready to get involved again, but wasn’t sure where to put my effort.

Before Jasmine, I had been a volunteer with the Alternatives to Violence Project facilitating workshops on nonviolent relationships. I would have liked to return, but it required large blocks of time (mainly weekend long workshops) and I didn’t want to be away from the family that much. Continue reading

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Teaching community engagement to students from 29 disciplines

Online studying

(Photo: Eungyo Seo)

Completing this course has made me become more active within my own community. I have taken up netball coaching as well as volunteering at the local primary school. (Student from Engaging Communities: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives)

As a lecturer I hope that I make a difference to my students and it’s always encouraging when I hear that students have gained something from their study. Continue reading

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A song for Sunday – Miserere mei, Deus

In keeping with the theme of the Pope’s encyclical on climate change and the environment (which has been the subject of this week’s Some weekend reading and Saturday Quote, my Song for Sunday is Gregorio Allegri’s glorious “Miserere mei, Deus”.

Composed around the 1630s, for many years it was only allowed to be performed in the Sistine Chapel (where Pope Francis was elected, hence the loose connection with the Pope’s encyclical!) According to popular legend (and there is evidence to support the story) when Mozart was 14 he went to the Chapel and heard the Miserere. That evening he transcribed it from memory, and made corrections after hearing it again the following day. While it wasn’t the first time an illicit copy had been made, it is certainly the most famous.

This recording, by the Tallis Scholars from 1980, is the first version of the Miserere I owned. I also went to see the Scholars perform the piece in the Sydney Opera House in the 1990’s. It was enchanting.

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to watch some previous songs for Sunday (even though none of them are like this one!):

  1. Don’t pay the ferryman by Chris De Burgh
  2. Take me to church by Hozier
  3. Satellite by Lena
  4. I will survive by Gloria Gaynor (Priscilla Queen of the Desert version)
  5. Child in Time by Deep Purple (and a version by Blackmore’s Night)
  6. Dust in the Wind by Kansas
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