Red rose
CultureEducationPedagogy

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 …

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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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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 …

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CultureFeatured

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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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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Photo of a balding man pointing angrily at the camera.
EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Student Privacy In Public Schools

A high school finds a teens diary.  The principal reads it.  In it she discusses marijuana and possible use.  No drug is found on the student or in her locker yet they suspend her.  This is not a joke this happened in a Missouri school toward the end of the …

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