Dictionaries and guides to modern and Old English
Critical ThinkingCultureEducation

English Has Never Been Better

I got trolled by the The Economist the other day on Facebook: It wasn’t the fake spelling joke that got me. Based on the Facebook preview of the article, it sounded like the linked article (which is actually from February 2015) was yet another tired condemnation of The Youth of …

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Three-way head-on collision of a red, yellow, and green car at a demolition derby.
Critical ThinkingEducationPolitics

Surprise! Grades are nothing like dollars.

Everyone likes a good ideological parable, especially when it confirms what they already believe to be true about the world. I recently caught the following gem on Facebook, which seems perfectly crafted to tickle the fancy of your garden-variety “daggum socialist Obama” conservative type: An economics professor at a local …

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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 ThinkingPolitics

Why I like Donald Trump. Or, how can something so wrong feel so right?

I am a bit of a political junkie. Thus, I watched the first Republican debate even though it is about 99.99% likely that I’ll vote Democrat for president. However, since there is more than a 0.01 chance that the next president will be a Republican, it made me wonder which …

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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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tap with label fear
Critical ThinkingLesson PlansPedagogy

Rape is a sex act – can I say that?

This is not an article about rape, or even sex.  It is about what we as teachers can or should say about controversial issues when we present them in class.  Or if we should even try to present them in class. As someone who has spent the majority of his …

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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking for Parrots

Not actual parrots, I’m referring to humans who repeat words over and over without actually knowing what they mean. Specifically the phrase “critical thinking.” This is a very popular buzzphrase in education. So popular that I constantly see it used by people who have no idea how to actually practice …

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