EducationHigher Education

Deriding ease

In yesterday’s Required Readings, librarienne pointed us to a profile of a community college professor, Dr. Eduardo Vianna, which described many challenges facing community colleges, many of which are shared by those of us teaching at “non-elite” four year institutions as well.  The article highlights various topics that we at …

EducationHigher Education

The ones we’re in it for

One of my regular courses is that notoriously difficult course that’s required by several different programs for completion and has all sorts of rumors swirling about it about how hard it is and how evil I am etc.  The course is intended to ensure students have proficient problem solving skills …

Batman and Robin meme: Excuse me Mr... / Doctor!
EducationHigher EducationSecondary Education

It Takes a Village to Make a Doctor

I defended my dissertation Wednesday, which now makes me technically-officially Dr. Dan. Please update your Rolodexes accordingly. It also got me thinking about the long, meandering, and sometimes arduous path followed by those of us who do end up receiving doctorates, and just how many mentors are required along the …

Dorchester High School Science
Critical ThinkingEducationHigher EducationPedagogy

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 …

EducationHigher EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

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 …

CultureEducationHigher EducationScience

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 …

CultureFeaturedHigher Education

What About the Beethovenz?

I love going to conferences. It’s probably my favourite part of being an academic because it’s one of those very few opportunities you get to be surrounded by people who are not only excited about your discipline, but who are truly in a position to be excited about your scholarship. …

EducationFeminismHigher Education

Academic science and sexism

A recent New York Times article declared academic science isn’t sexist.  The article has already been heavily criticized, and rightly so.  I just thought I’d add my two cents from the perspective of a female science professor at an all-women’s college.  Allow me to sum it up for everyone, based …

A kindle book on top of a paper book
Higher EducationScience

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 …

UNC Chapel Hill, Kenan Memorial Stadium
Higher Education

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 …