Pedagogy

Assessment

My last post touched on assessment and as this topic has been overwhelming my life lately, I thought I should share a bit more of my perspective on this. Whenever I speak with other teachers about assessment, I’m reminded of an old joke: A drunk man is looking for his …

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Pedagogy

Gathering Evidence

The more I teach, the more I realize just how much overlap there is between teaching and scientific skepticism. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about assessment lately. There are many different forms of assessment and reasons for doing it, but when you really look at it, assessment is just gathering evidence. …

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Secondary Education

Logical Fallacies

I recently found myself in a position where I needed to directly teach logical fallacies to my students, for the first time. As I spent hours researching, preparing materials, and actually teaching classes, I learned quite a few things. First, they’re difficult. Really difficult. It is easy to present an …

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Culture

Practicing What I Teach

As a teacher, I want my students to be open minded. However, I cannot expect this of them if I am not so myself. I claim that, as a skeptic, I am willing to change my mind about even my most cherished beliefs if they do not match the best …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Conclusion

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Conclusion Continued from Part 4.   Epilogue: While the Socratic dialogues are useful in studying the Socratic method, perhaps this Skeptatic dialogue might be helpful in explaining the Skeptical method. Or perhaps not, I’m experimenting with different pedagogical techniques and this is one result. …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 4

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 4 Continued from Part 3.   Firmatio: So that’s it then? You’re wrong and we can move on? Quentis: Not yet, the reason why I’m wrong is much more important than just the fact that I am wrong. A moment ago I told …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 3

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 3 Continued from Part 2.   Firmatio: Right, so you don’t think you can fly anymore? Quentis: Of course I still think I can fly, because I believe it is true. Firmatio: That’s not a good reason. Quentis: Sure it is. I have …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2 Continued from Part 1.   Quentis: Sure, but science doesn’t know everything. There’s a lot of things that western science doesn’t understand. Being able to fly if you jump three times is one of those things. Scientists don’t even know how bees …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1   Quentis: Okay, if you jump three times, you can fly. Firmatio: That sounds dubious to me. Quentis: No, really. My grandmother told me about it, and her grandmother told her. It’s a family tradition that goes back thousands of years. Firmatio: …

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Education

Using Data to Find Grading Bias

I love data. A lot. When a close friend was in the hospital, I calculated the exact amount of my free time I dedicated to visiting him each day and put it in a fancy set of charts and graphs. Not for any guilt-tripping purposes, I did this for the …

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