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 …

READ 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 …

READ MORE →
Required Readings

Diploma mills, information overload, college contraception, Scientology in the schools, and more: Required Readings, 7.8.14

According to some researchers, 40-45,000 legitimate PhDs are awarded annually in the United States, while another 50,000 spurious PhDs are purchased here. Further study is needed, however, to collect data on the extent of the problem. In the meantime, check out this list of animals who bear fraudulent degrees.  Recent graduates …

READ MORE →
A puppy in cap and gown
Education

The Great Didactic: Teachable Animal

Chapter 6: If a man is to be produced, it is necessary that he be formed by education Recently I was thinking about the foundation of our education system and its philosophical underpinnings.  As I was doing this it dawned on me that I have only ever really read about …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Learner Centered In Large Classes

Normally, I teach a smaller sized class of anywhere from 27 -35 students. This summer I managed to get a larger lecture class on the order of 80 -100 students. No biggie right? I just have more papers to grade and more copies of homework and exams to get. Well …

READ MORE →
Classroom of student from the late 1800's
Critical ThinkingEducationScience

Part 4: Creationism – when you teach science there is no controversy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by animal behavior.  At the age of six I embarked on a career path from which I never wavered.  Except once. Almost. As a sophomore in college I took two semesters of Astronomy to round out my non-biology science electives.  …

READ MORE →
Captain Picard covering face
Critical ThinkingScience

Part 3: Debating creationism – why it is good idea (but not always)

For Bill Nye or anyone else to debate a creationist like Ken Ham makes no more sense than for Neil deGrasse Tyson to debate a flat-earther.  The science of both issues is settled – debates just give credibility to crackpots. Oh, do I disagree.  Dr. Tyson should debate a flat-earther, …

READ MORE →
Stereotype threat study graph
Critical ThinkingEducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Givens

It’s a given that all college professors are liberal, that all students are lazy, that all politicians are corrupt… Stereotypes are thought to provide rapid information about a situation to reduce processing time.  They develop from generalizations and therefore remove any individual differences.  The issues with it are well known …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingScience

Part 2: Creationism is science (and so history)

Creationism can be a scientific pursuit.  Although I don’t know them, I bet the researchers at Answers in Genesis are pretty darn smart about evolutionary biology.  Similarly, those who once had the universe circling the earth did brilliant mathematics to make the system plausible.  Jean Bastiste Lamarck (of evolution by …

READ MORE →
Education

Why Teaching Makes Me Smile

Right now I am having a particularly nasty bump in my life. Things are very chaotic and I am not sure what will be around the next corner. So suffice it to say I am a feeling a bit overwhelmed and emotionally drained.  Teaching these last few weeks has been …

READ MORE →