Image of 15th-c. scribe Jean Miélot

Knowledge Dissemination: Is the Old New Again?

Anyone filling out a grant application these days will probably have to tackle the Big Question™: how will you disseminate all this wonderful new knowledge you have produced, so that it benefits the world at large (and especially the taxpayers who funded it)? Sure, we have our journals and monographs, …

EducationHigher EducationPedagogyScienceSecondary Education

Introduction to Astronomy Survey

Warning: This post is Northern Hemisphere-centric! Also, keep in mind I did not do an exhaustive statistical analysis of this survey so take it as you wish. Every semester at the beginning of my Introduction to Astronomy course I give a variation of the survey from The Collaboration for Astronomy Education …

Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: About Pop Quizzes

Assessments. The final frontier (of a grade.) They come in many flavors but the most popular among them are homework, inclass activities, exams, and the quiz. Teachers and students know all these well but the most hated of these is the variant of quiz known as the pop quiz. I do …

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 …

An open book and its reflection

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …