A really rather creepy clown.

Pop Quiz: They All Float Down Here

This week I might have accidentally made a pupil have a nervous breakdown.   It was near the end of a period with one of my younger classes and they had completed all of their work. We’d been reading a novel which features characters who play various pranks on each other and we’d had a bit of a discussion about good and bad pranks during the period. I decided that we could fill th... »

Teaching the nuance of “wrong”

Teaching the nuance of “wrong”

I teach children aged 12-15.  This borderland between childhood and adulthood is filled with both physical and mental upheavals. Mentally it is a transition from thinking in a concrete manner to thinking in a more abstract and nuanced manner.  Into this quagmire I step boldly and try to teach science and a nuanced definition of the word wrong. Why do I need to teach about wrongness? because I teac... »

A kindle book on top of a paper book

Writing in the digital age

As a college professor who requires students to do at least some writing in class, I have long despaired of the writing ability of them young’uns.  There seems to be no end to the bad grammar, poor construction, out right plagiarism, and of course the desire to sound “sciency” by making up the meaning of science terms as you go. Some blame this on academia, suggesting we are teac... »

Required Readings, 10.26.14

Required Readings, 10.26.14

Welcome to a new day for Required Readings, which will henceforth be presented once a week, on Sundays. RR is a collection of news stories, opinion pieces, and education resources we hope you’ll find interesting and/or useful, particularly if you’re a skeptical educator of some sort. But we can’t do it without you, dear readers! RR needs to reflect the breadth of education: from ... »

UNC Chapel Hill, Kenan Memorial Stadium

UNC’s “Paper Classes” are Merely the Logical Endpoint of Several Current Trends

Unless you subscribe to the SoD monthly print zine–sign up now for the low, low price of $100 per crudely photocopied issue; please make all cheques payable to CASH–chances are you have an internet connection and have seen this recent Vox article on the UNC Chapel Hill “Paper Class” scandal bouncing around your social media feeds. On the off chance you haven’t, here&#... »

A Prison Cell

Be Careful What You Wish For (Especially When It Involves Prison)

It’s something many teachers will have said or though at some point, often in the aftermath of a confrontation with a particularly difficult or aggressive student. Once they leave here, they’ll be in prison within a year. There are some students who go beyond “normal” misbehaviour. The ones who radiate a real feeling of threat, the ones who honestly do seem to lack empathy ... »

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