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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Pedagogy

Fairness

It started last year during a study period. The upcoming tests were serious business and my job was just to be a teacher in the room. Technically, it is the students’ time to use as they see fit. Disruptive behavior isn’t allowed, but if a student wants to quietly play …

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Woman in front of mirror with towel on her head.
Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogy

Teaching Topless

I’d like to share a really nice presentation below by Valerie Otero, professor of science education, and Edd Taylor, assistant professor of math education, both with the University of Colorado at Boulder. And then I’ll bother you with some thoughts about it.   The unifying theme here is the pyramid …

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A display of several colourful hats
Pedagogy

The Wearing of the Hats

Hello there! Nice to meet you. Is your life as busy as mine? During a normal day I can take on all the roles we encounter in our lives as teachers. I may be the student who struggles with what she perceives as unfair demands of a teacher. Or who …

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Pedagogy

A Quick Guide to Due Diligence

I want to be a good skeptic and a good teacher, but I have a thousand tasks to do both in and out of the classroom and things like “fact-checking” get relegated to the procrastination pile. In a perfect world, I would make sure I’m not unintentionally passing on any …

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A row of cups that look like faces.
Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogy

You Cannot Not Have Conceptual Understanding

In education, we seem to take some delight in shoveling a confused mix of folksy connotations into sciencey-shelled words and phrases. Some of my colleagues would call the result edujargon, though I think that word allows us to feel too smug about our own obtuseness—as though the problem is that …

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EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnology

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part II)

This is Part 2 of a piece about visualizing assessment data, designed to help teachers see more information about an assessment than just the class average.  If you missed Part 1, stop now and go read it first.  I will assume that you have assessment data in a tidy format …

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