Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 4

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 4. Classroom management shouldn’t be a part of grading. This view is quite common among teachers who follow certain schools of thought in teaching. It has three assumptions built …

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Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 3

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 3. It is misused to justify bias. As I’ve mentioned before, some teachers use participation grades to justify using their like or dislike of students as a part of …

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Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 2

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 2. It is nebulous. What exactly does participation mean? A strong criticism of participation-based grades is that participation itself is a nebulous concept. There are a wide …

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Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 1

There are better and worse ways to assess students and participation is no exception. Some teachers use a “participation grade” as a justification to assign grades based on how much they like students. Obviously, that is not a good grading practice. However, there are others who use participation to assess …

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Pedagogy

Don’t Teach “Evaluating Sources”

Okay, so that title was a bit of an attention getter. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t teach students how to evaluate sources at all, just not necessarily when you think you should. Teachers are faced with the task of figuring out exactly what aspects of their subjects …

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Higher EducationPedagogy

“Syllabus Day” Happens for a Reason

It’s Back-to-School season again, also known to educators as time for classroom-management think pieces, syllabus guides, curricular critiques, and ritual lamentations for summer to make their yearly rounds on social media. Popular among my colleagues this year has been this critique of the phenomenon of “Syllabus Day” by Kevin Gannon, in …

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Pedagogy

Grading Traditions

  For my first eleven years as a teacher, I used rubrics to assign grades, and would give a student a 0 for not turning in work. But this past year, I realized a 0 disproportionately punishes students compared to earning a 100. In my school, we give students numerical …

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Pedagogy

Defending Bloom

Some of the most cited criticisms against Bloom’s taxonomy were written by Brenda Sugrue, PhD. She presents three main criticisms and two alternatives to Bloom. However, her criticisms are problematic. Sugrue’s first criticism is that Bloom’s taxonomy is invalid, citing that it is almost 50 years old (at the time …

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Pedagogy

To Bloom or Not to Bloom

It’s something that almost all teachers learn at some point in their training. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Bloom’s taxonomy is a system of organizing educational objectives into a hierarchical model based on their complexity. The basic premise is that some kinds of learning are different …

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FeminismPedagogySecondary Education

Sex Ed: Teaching consent

Trigger warnings: Sexual abuse of children   As unexpectedly as a virgin giving birth I found myself in charge of teaching sex ed to 6th graders. It’s been an interesting (and sometimes depressing) experience. We don’t have any of that “Abstinence Only” crap over here and while the parents were …

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