Fairness

Fairness

It started last year during a study period. The upcoming tests were serious business and my job was just to be a teacher in the room. Technically, it is the students’ time to use as they see fit. Disruptive behavior isn’t allowed, but if a student wants to quietly play a game on her phone instead of studying, it is discouraged but isn’t grounds for the usual punishments. When I spot a student not ... »

Sophisticated Educators, Please Stand Up

Sophisticated Educators, Please Stand Up

People have been talking about false dichotomies in math education forever, it seems. And so have I (as long as you think of seven years ago as “forever”). And so has Professor David Clarke! His paper, titled Using International Research to Contest Prevalent Oppositional Dichotomies, was published in 2006, and I wrote it up on my old blog in 2008. In that old post, though, I only highl... »

Persone writing on a blackboard

Those who can teach, those who can’t teach in college

That’s of course an entirely unfair overgeneralisation, but I guess I have your attention now, right? I recently took part in a scientific conference on the latest research in Spanish (more about the content in a different post) and what struck me was the bad quality of some of presentations done by people who are top notch research professors in their colleges. It is something I’ve se... »

Jihadist students, porn in sex ed, black life at UVA, the Bar, and more: Required Readings, 03.22.15

Jihadist students, porn in sex ed, black life at UVA, the Bar, and more: Required Readings, 03.22.15

Welcome to the first Required Readings of spring (or autumn, for our colleagues in the Southern Hemisphere)! A German instructor discusses her new book about why Western students join jihadist groups. A Danish professor recommends that porn be shown and discussed in sex education courses, a Brit thinks schoolboys should tell girls what attracts them to stem female anxiety over weight, and U.S. med... »

Tackling Science Project Turmoil

Tackling Science Project Turmoil

Science Fairs can sometimes get a bad rap. As a recent viral image illustrates, these school projects are often met with dread by students, families, and yes – even teachers. But I’d like to propose that science projects – done properly – are a valuable tool in teaching children how to think more clearly and critically. And I’ve got a few tips to help you solve some of the tricki... »

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my last two semesters of teaching (my first classroom experience after grad school.) I avoid grading. I look upon it with dread and procrastinate as much as possible. But isn’t that normal? Don’t most instructors hate to grade? I realized it most strongly at the very end of last semester. I was finishing the final projects and the final exams an... »

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