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 …

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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 …

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CultureHigher EducationMoney

On the Market VII: Job Candidates Are People Too

Another year, another job season. Sigh. I’ve been on the market for several years now, and regular readers may remember that in that time I have applied to many, many, many jobs. The positions I’ve applied for since finishing my PhD have represented a generous sampling of nearly all that our …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Education

Curse of Knowledge

Regarding my previous post on the lack of accessibility of critical thinking information, even Carl Sagan’s Cosmos has this problem. Despite being hailed as supremely understandable for general audiences (both the book and the series), I found that it also posed too many challenges in its basic linguistic accessibility to …

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Education

An Aspect of Accessibility

Since “accessibility” has so many different meanings in education, let me start by clarifying that I am referring to students (and general audiences) being able to access the meaning of information they encounter. This seems to be a weak point in the skeptic, atheist, and critical thinking movements, and something …

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The Atheist Academic

The Introspection Illusion

We’re great at spotting biases in others, but absolutely incompetent at finding them in ourselves. Even if we know exactly what to look for and we’ve got a ton of intellectual humility, noticing the effects of our own biases on our own thoughts is like looking for colored glasses while …

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