Pedagogy

Pros of Participation Grades 1

I’ve written a series of posts addressing some common criticisms of giving grades for participation in class. For each of those criticisms, there was a strong rebuttal. Basically, they can be summed up as “this isn’t a problem if you do it right.” Now I’m going to go over some …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 5

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 5. It is not fair. This is the last of the “cons” of participation grades I often hear about. The unfairness aspect of participation is typically linked to student …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 4

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 4. Classroom management shouldn’t be a part of grading. This view is quite common among teachers who follow certain schools of thought in teaching. It has three assumptions built …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 3

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 3. It is misused to justify bias. As I’ve mentioned before, some teachers use participation grades to justify using their like or dislike of students as a part of …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 2

Continuing my previous post (which I unfortunately must do in installments due to my schedule) here is another common criticism of grading participation. 2. It is nebulous. What exactly does participation mean? A strong criticism of participation-based grades is that participation itself is a nebulous concept. There are a wide …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Cons of Participation Grades 1

There are better and worse ways to assess students and participation is no exception. Some teachers use a “participation grade” as a justification to assign grades based on how much they like students. Obviously, that is not a good grading practice. However, there are others who use participation to assess …

READ MORE →
Higher EducationPedagogy

“Syllabus Day” Happens for a Reason

It’s Back-to-School season again, also known to educators as time for classroom-management think pieces, syllabus guides, curricular critiques, and ritual lamentations for summer to make their yearly rounds on social media. Popular among my colleagues this year has been this critique of the phenomenon of “Syllabus Day” by Kevin Gannon, in …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Grading Traditions

  For my first eleven years as a teacher, I used rubrics to assign grades, and would give a student a 0 for not turning in work. But this past year, I realized a 0 disproportionately punishes students compared to earning a 100. In my school, we give students numerical …

READ MORE →
Required Readings

Transgender students, serious academics, USMLE Step 2, integrative learning, and more: Required Readings, 08.08.16

The “good Pope” believes that schools are teaching children that they can choose their gender. ‘The pope blamed what he called “ideological colonising” backed by “very influential countries,” which he did not identify.’ Seriously, a Pope is complaining about ideological colonization via schools? Has the man ever picked up a …

READ MORE →
Required Readings

Lecture-free college courses, social media publishing, climate brainwashing, bad timing in Texas, and more: Required Readings, 07.29.16

Losing the lecture in higher education: Innovation or problematic pedagogy? The role of social media in scholarly publishing Oklahoma’s Sen. Jim Inhofe is spitting mad that his granddaughter was “brainwashed” at public school to believe that climate change is real. For those not aware, Sen. Inhofe happens to be the chair …

READ MORE →