So You Want to Teach about Comets?

So You Want to Teach about Comets?

Last week, humanity took a huge leap forward in solar system exploration. If you’re a science teacher wanting to talk about comet science in your class, there are some great resources out there for doing that. First of all, if you can get your (gloved) hands on some dry ice, do it. I’ve posted the “make a comet” activity here before, so I recommend you wow your students wit... »

Dorchester High School Science

Active learning as get-out-of-teaching?

A recent article in the Chronicle highlighted the growing shift toward student- or learner-centered teaching in higher education.  The idea is that rather than a professor lecture to a passive audience who soak up the wisdom of the sage on the stage, the class is structured around activities and discussion where the students learn through doing some sort of exercise to discover the information as ... »

Pages of a book

Retirement, critical thinking education, school holidays, fair use, and more: Required Readings, 11.16.14

I’m going to set this Required Reading down gently and then back away quickly: Should tenured faculty retire earlier than they are now? Educators interested in teaching critical thinking, reason, philosophy, ethics, and so on (which should really be all of us) may want to check out this developing project from the creator of the yourlogicalfallacyis.com web site: the School of Thought Intern... »

MOOCs, A High School Teacher’s Perspective

MOOCs, A High School Teacher’s Perspective

If you haven’t heard of MOOCs yet, welcome to the education blogosphere, it’s nice to have you here!  The New Yorker recently wrote an article challenging the mission and execution of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) offered at places like Coursera, Udacity, EdX, and Khan Academy.  It so happens that I am currently enrolled in several MOOCs, and spent my summer off relearning calcul... »

Picture of Army Congressional Medal of Honor

Lessons for Veteran’s Day and Beyond

November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the United States; it is a day where we honor all veterans living or dead.  To observe this day I thought I’d share a nice resource that has made its way across my desk.  It is the Medal of Honor: Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice created for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. I first became aware of this resource through a social studies te... »

Dashing hopes and dreams

Dashing hopes and dreams

It’s that time of year again, when the grades are shaping up to the point students are panicking if they are going to pass.  The drop deadline is looming.  What to do… Many of the incoming students to our classes have aspirations of being doctors.  These students have attached some mythical value to the profession and dream of being that person, the one calling the shots, saving lives,... »

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