EducationPedagogy

Crime and Punishment

Two things cropped up simultaneously in my Twitter timeline this week. One was the outrage over the brutal assault of a black teenage girl by a white police officer in class that you sure all heard of. The other one was less prominent and I would have missed it if …

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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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The famous Archaeopterix fossil in Berlin
CultureEducationPedagogy

Education vs Intelligence

It’s no secret that kids from low income household and or a migration background are underrepresented amongst those deemed “gifted and talented”. So how come? Are they just not as intelligent as their middle-class peers? If you ask me, the difference isn’t “intelligence”, it’s education and people are notoriously bad …

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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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EducationPedagogy

Learning with Spaced Repetition

Hey there, Doubters! It’s been a while, I know. Where have I been, you ask? Just languishing in post-doctoral unemployment and general malaise, enjoying my time off, doing some travelling, and doing unpaid labour to prove my dedication to a perverse system happily working on some research and post-doc applications. But enough …

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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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Cross-postEducationPedagogyPrimary Education

A Meditation on Ratio

What do you think a ratio is? I emphasize “think” because I’d like you to be interested only in the fragmentary pictures conjured by the question—you want to be aware of what you think a ratio is, not what you think you know about ratios, which are two different thinks. …

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Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogySecondary Education

Is Bill Nye teaching creationism? Should debates on origins be forbidden in science classrooms?

Brandon Pettenger is (was?) an Arroyo Grande High School science teacher in the Lucia Mar Unified School District of California.  Apparently he had students watch a recording of the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate as to whether or not creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative theory to evolution by Natural …

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Pedagogy

Opting Out of Homework

One of the required readings in early March involved an article on “Opting Out of Homework.” While writing a comment to respond to it, I realized I had enough to say for a proper blog post. When I was a child, I opted out of homework. Of course, opting out …

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Critical ThinkingCross-postEducationPedagogy

Telling Vs. No Telling

So, with that in mind, let’s move on to just one of the dichotomies in education, that of “telling” vs. “no telling,” and I hope the reader will forgive my leaving Clarke’s paper behind. I recommend it to you for its international perspective on what we discuss below. “Reports of …

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