Required Readings

Bloom’s taxonomy, presidential politics and education, evolving science ed, and more: Required Readings, 10.13.16

After a lengthy hiatus thanks to a cross-country move, a new job, and the resulting temporary dearth of spare brain cells, Required Readings has returned! Let’s start out nice and gentle with some pretty (yet educational) pictures: Visually striking depictions of Bloom’s taxonomy of classifying levels of expertise for instruction purposes. …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Don’t Teach “Evaluating Sources”

Okay, so that title was a bit of an attention getter. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t teach students how to evaluate sources at all, just not necessarily when you think you should. Teachers are faced with the task of figuring out exactly what aspects of their subjects …

READ MORE →
The cover of issue 127 of the journal Social Text
Critical ThinkingHigher EducationPublishingScience

Evaluating the Sokal Hoax Twenty Years Later

Twenty years ago, in May 1996 (okay, twenty years and four months—sue me), Alan Sokal, a physicist at with appointments at the University College London and New York University, published a ground-breaking paper in the respected critical theory journal Social Text. The paper has been highly influential. I learned about …

READ MORE →
GovernmentPolitics

Students Do Not Need Campus Political Parties to Be Politically Active

This fall, as thousands of new students pile into colleges and universities, they will explore the many clubs and student societies on offer. Many of them will join the youth or student wings of mainstream political parties, which will be especially prominent given the upcoming election in the United States. …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingCultureInformal EducationPoliticsReligionScience

What Pramaoedya Ananta Toer Tried to Teach His Kids About Medicine and Critical Thinking

Pramaoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) was an award-winning Indonesian writer who was famous for the novels that he wrote during two long stints as a political prisoner. He was first jailed by the Dutch in 1947 for his anti-colonial activities, and then again by President Suharto for being a leftist from …

READ MORE →
Lesson Plans

A Lesson in Critical Lunching (Overview)

At first, I was horrified when I read the articles. Another teacher had assigned my students some readings that were full of logical fallacies, misleading information, and inappropriately cited scientific studies. The horrifying prospect was that I now had to use those articles in my own classes, and I would …

READ MORE →
Required Readings

Climate change ed, discriminating vouchers, Wikipedagogy, consent in the classroom, and more: Required Readings, 06.29.16

Two bills in Congress (one each in the Senate and the House) would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a climate change education program. Meanwhile, one senator has inserted language into an appropriations bill that would prohibit the Justice Department from enforcing key provisions of the Americans with Disabilities …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Defending Bloom

Some of the most cited criticisms against Bloom’s taxonomy were written by Brenda Sugrue, PhD. She presents three main criticisms and two alternatives to Bloom. However, her criticisms are problematic. Sugrue’s first criticism is that Bloom’s taxonomy is invalid, citing that it is almost 50 years old (at the time …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

To Bloom or Not to Bloom

It’s something that almost all teachers learn at some point in their training. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Bloom’s taxonomy is a system of organizing educational objectives into a hierarchical model based on their complexity. The basic premise is that some kinds of learning are different …

READ MORE →
Required Readings

College cost calculator, “treasonous” activism in India, low ACT essay scores, evaluating Super Bowl ads, Texas BoE candidate, and scholarly publishing: Required Readings, 02.16.16

For parents, teachers, and anyone who knows a high school student considering a four-year institution: A college cost calculator that personalizes U.S. Department of Education data based on state and family income. Campus activism in India is drawing a great deal of debate and activity, including charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy against …

READ MORE →