Required Readings

Required Readings, 24 October 2013

Are spiders infesting your school? Why not close for the day? (I thought about including this in next week’s Halloween edition of Required Readings, but it was too good to pass up today).

Faculty Couples, for Better or Worse – The Chronicle’s take on couples who take jobs at the same school. (behind the Chronicle’s paywall, unfortunately)

In ‘Flipped’ Classrooms, a Method for Mastery – NY Times blog on flipped classes – features an especially ignorant comments section (in other words: Thursday)

Harvard Student: ‘Don’t Teach for America’ – Let the Yale students do that instead.

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Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning.

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P.E. Robinson

P.E. Robinson

Professor P.E. Robinson teaches astronomy to non-science majors at a 2-year college in the United States. He has a decade of experience teaching science in higher education, and providing professional development experiences to astronomers and other educators. Skepticism and critical thinking are key components of everything he teaches.


  1. October 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm —

    I love the flipped classroom model, but I hope it doesn’t progress to the point that it’s essentially required. I teach English and so there’s very little ‘lecture’ and what the students have to master is primarily writing. My version of the flipped classroom is that they do the “lecture” (reading) at home and then come to class ready to discuss it and get to the point of mastery through group discourse. It is sometimes frustrating for the students who are at a higher level, but in order to allow for individual pacing, I would have to entirely sacrifice the concept of the whole-class discussion, something I’m not willing to do. There are a few things, like grammar, where you can do a flipped lesson, but most of the time it’s just not practical.

    • October 25, 2013 at 9:59 am —

      I don’t think the flipped classroom model sacrifices whole-class discussion. At its core, there’s nothing new going on with it. Recent articles emphasize instructors who are recording lecture videos, but I think any curriculum that places the basic reading and preparation outside of class is “flipped”. So what you’re doing is no different, there.

      As for individual pacing, I don’t think that’s generally a part of the modern flipped-movement, though it was emphasized here in the linked article. I have a flipped college class, and there’s no way I could do individual pacing.

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