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 …

Critical ThinkingEducationLesson PlansPedagogy

Teaching the nuance of “wrong”

I teach children aged 12-15.  This borderland between childhood and adulthood is filled with both physical and mental upheavals. Mentally it is a transition from thinking in a concrete manner to thinking in a more abstract and nuanced manner.  Into this quagmire I step boldly and try to teach science …

EducationHigher EducationPedagogyPop QuizScience

Pop Quiz: The Horror of Math

The bulk of the classes I teach are general science courses that are not math heavy. Even though these courses do not rely on math like a Physics class would there is still a small math component to each course. I am really not sure how to do science without …

Dorchester High School Science
Higher EducationPedagogyPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Is there a difference between teaching and having an impact?

I just finished doing a guest lecture in a class on animal behavior. It went well. The class was attentive and I got through all my planned material clearly, with enough humor tossed in to keep people from falling asleep. The format, however, was very “old school”. Indeed, looking more …

by Everaldo Coelho
EducationPedagogyPop QuizTechnology

Pop Quiz: Python in the Classroom

*Ha!  Not the snake! This whole post is about computer programming. This past weekend I went to PyOhio the Python programming language conference held in Columbus, Ohio. The conference serves the needs of both beginner and experienced programmers. So there were an array of different types of talks from introductory (“Hello …

Image of 15th-c. scribe Jean Miélot

Knowledge Dissemination: Is the Old New Again?

Anyone filling out a grant application these days will probably have to tackle the Big Question™: how will you disseminate all this wonderful new knowledge you have produced, so that it benefits the world at large (and especially the taxpayers who funded it)? Sure, we have our journals and monographs, …

cartoon girl surrounded by stacks books
EducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Time Management

Of course this topic choice has nothing to do with my nearly forgetting to write this post for the Monday pop quiz; that’s purely coincidental! We are well aware students are not always the best at managing their time, but the reasons why may not be because they lack time …

EducationHigher EducationPedagogyScienceSecondary Education

Introduction to Astronomy Survey

Warning: This post is Northern Hemisphere-centric! Also, keep in mind I did not do an exhaustive statistical analysis of this survey so take it as you wish. Every semester at the beginning of my Introduction to Astronomy course I give a variation of the survey from The Collaboration for Astronomy Education …

Flyers symbol
EducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: The Hockey – Football – Grammar connection

If you are living under a rock you may not know that the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Brazil, but for many people in the world it is something that has dominated their lives for the past few weeks.  I must admit that I was not a football …