Culture

On Activism

My philosophy towards teaching is that it is a sort of sacrosanct profession. It is something that is too important to take lightly and a teacher should never overstep the bounds of his or her subject. This particular thinking of mine resulted from having, in public (state-funded) schools, my own …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2 Continued from Part 1.   Quentis: Sure, but science doesn’t know everything. There’s a lot of things that western science doesn’t understand. Being able to fly if you jump three times is one of those things. Scientists don’t even know how bees …

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School yard bully kicking a ball at three others
Required Readings

MOOCs, liberal indoctrination, #charlestonsyllabus, TX BOE chair, King & King controversy, y mas: Required Readings, 06.28.15

Hat tip to School of Doubt’s mother ship, Skepchick, for this article on the role MOOCs are playing in the professional development of educators. Turning Point USA, a conservative activist organization, wants to teach college students how to avoid indoctrination by “liberal professors.” You can view their offerings here. A Brandeis …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1   Quentis: Okay, if you jump three times, you can fly. Firmatio: That sounds dubious to me. Quentis: No, really. My grandmother told me about it, and her grandmother told her. It’s a family tradition that goes back thousands of years. Firmatio: …

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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking for Parrots

Not actual parrots, I’m referring to humans who repeat words over and over without actually knowing what they mean. Specifically the phrase “critical thinking.” This is a very popular buzzphrase in education. So popular that I constantly see it used by people who have no idea how to actually practice …

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Required Readings

Formulating questions, 1st grade math instruction, LSEA remains, bankrupt colleges, and more: Required Readings, 04.26.15

The Question Formulation Technique helps teachers guide students in developing and asking “the right questions” to nurture students’ curiosity and ability to think in questions. New research analysis suggests that “teacher-directed mathematics instruction in first grade is superior to other methods for students with ‘math difficulties.’” To follow up on an …

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Critical ThinkingEducationPrimary EducationScience

Tackling Science Project Turmoil

Science Fairs can sometimes get a bad rap. As a recent viral image illustrates, these school projects are often met with dread by students, families, and yes – even teachers. But I’d like to propose that science projects – done properly – are a valuable tool in teaching children how …

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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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Required Readings

Grade changes, exit interview, first-gen collegians, teacher ed, ed tech, and more: Required Readings, 2.16.15

Happy President’s Day and Lundi Gras, readers! We’ll start this week’s Required Readings with an opinion piece burning up the internet over the weekend: Dear Student: No, I Won’t Change the Grade You Deserve. Thoughts? An interview with the departing leader of a large public school system in the D.C. Metro area emphasizes …

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Pages of a book
Required Readings

Retirement, critical thinking education, school holidays, fair use, and more: Required Readings, 11.16.14

I’m going to set this Required Reading down gently and then back away quickly: Should tenured faculty retire earlier than they are now? Educators interested in teaching critical thinking, reason, philosophy, ethics, and so on (which should really be all of us) may want to check out this developing project from the creator …

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