Exclusion, Segregation, Integration, Inclusion
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationSpecial EducationUncategorized

Competing needs

Author’s note: I’m sorry this got posted in an unfinished version. I swear I’d finished it, but somehow my last additions got lost and an unfinished but saved version got posted.   I’m a big fan of inclusion as a principle in school. If you’re not familiar with the concepts, …

Refugees Welcome

Racism is easy, Integration is hard

You may have heard that the European Union is currently being overrun by Syrian refugees. Like, a full million of them. Just to give you a sense of proportion, as little as 508 million EU citizens have to cope with as many refugees as all those 4,7 million citizens of the Lebanon! Imagine …

Respect on the street
EducationPedagogyPrimary Education

#StopBashingTeachers, a charter school’s equivalent to #PoliceLivesMatter

There’s a video of a New York charter school doing its rounds at the moment in which you can see a teacher verbally and emotionally abuse a first grade student. If you love kids, if you’ve been abused as a child yourself, that video makes you want to cry, puke …

Red rose

A Rose by Any Other Name…

Names can say a lot about us. Even though our parents did not choose for us the way J.K. Rowling did for her characters (you could think that the parents of Remus Lupin were asking for their child to be bitten by a werewolf), they still had their reasons for …


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 …

Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
CultureEducationFeminismPrimary Education

Doing Diversity and Doing Diversity Right

Hello folks. I’ve been away for a while, and if you’re good kids I will one day tell you what I did while I was away. So now I’m back, and school’s back, so it’s time to talk a bit about diversity in schoolbooks. Diversity has been a big topic …


Pseudoscience in the Non-science Classroom

Skeptics tend to focus on the science classroom, especially with Intelligent Design in the United States always trying to wedge its way in. Even if we succeed in getting all the evidentially unsupported claims out of the science classes, students are still hearing many of those claims presented credulously in …

A statue of Columbus in Barcelona, pointing west towards America
Secondary Education

¿Hablas español? ¿Sí? ¿Cuál?

As you may remember, I recently went to the German “Hispanistentag”, the biannual congress of Germany’s and Austria’s researchers on Spanish language and literature. The section I was in was about the different varieties of Spanish and what to do with them in school.   Spanish is spoken by around …



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 …

Persone writing on a blackboard
Higher Education

Those who can teach, those who can’t teach in college

That’s of course an entirely unfair overgeneralisation, but I guess I have your attention now, right? I recently took part in a scientific conference on the latest research in Spanish (more about the content in a different post) and what struck me was the bad quality of some of presentations …