Series of Books
Required Readings

School vaccinations, Common Core, pedagogy, and laboratory safety: Required Readings, 6.24.14

Score one for science and public health! A federal judge has upheld “a New York City policy that bars unimmunized children from public school when another student has a vaccine-preventable disease.” Not strictly related to education matters but educational nonetheless: researchers traced a measles outbreak in Minnesota to one unvaccinated child, while one …

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An open book and its reflection
EducationPedagogy

The Great Didactic: Introduction

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 this philosophy and I never read the original texts.  Now I won’t say that I hold my head …

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Required Readings

Dress codes, academic journal pricing, family and academia, Hobby Lobby, and more: Required Readings, 6.17.14

Dress codes, their use, and their abuse have been in the news quite frequently in the U.S. lately. This NPR article rounds up the required readings on news reports related to the topic, while one writer with a preteen daughter offers her opinion on the hoopla. From the Institute for the Research of …

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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 …

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Time!
Higher EducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Tapas Lectures! Little Bites But Many Portions

This semester I am teaching the worlds most frustrating astronomy college class. It is not the topic that bothers me, nor is it the students. It is not the inadequate book that we use (close second), or the people I work with. Nope. It is none of these things. So …

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Primary EducationRequired ReadingsSecondary Education

Charter school admissions, parents and homework, zero tolerance and using videos in the classroom: Required Reading 3/20

Okey dokey-here’s what we’ve got: Some of the ins and outs of how Charter schools  can select their students. The issue of Backfill. Are parents  helping kids with their homework really helping? Really? So called “zero tolerance” has a lot of ridiculous aspects, like this kid who got suspended for …

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EducationHigher EducationPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Videos in the Classroom. How much is too much?

For the courses that I teach sometimes a demo is needed to show the principle that is being discussed. Sometimes that demo can be physical objects that are set into motion, sometimes they are animations, and sometimes they are video clips. There is always some type of lecture before and …

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EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Exam Formats. What Works Best?

This week has been filled with exams for several of the classes I teach. Due to this I got to thinking about test formats. I know a few of my colleagues who teach general education classes who give straight Scan-tron multiple choice exams. According to them it is easier for …

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A shelf full of books.
EducationRequired Readings

More on creationism, all about DonorsChoose, Louisiana lawsuit, student-centered teaching, and atheist Hokies: Required Readings

In the wake of last week’s Nye-Ham debate, creationism has been a popular topic of discussion in the media. Looking at the new HBO documentary Questioning Darwin, one author points out just how dangerous creationist beliefs can be, particularly in regard to attitudes toward critical thinking. Required Readings has previously …

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Empty stage with a stool and a mic stand; sign behind reads "Comedy"
EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Comedy

Let’s face it: lectures are really not an ideal way to transmit large amounts of information to a crowd of disinterested (or sleepy) students, but thanks to the way academia is currently structured, we frequently find ourselves tasked with doing precisely that. Assuming that keeping students more interested in the …

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