EducationHigher Education

Deriding ease

In yesterday’s Required Readings, librarienne pointed us to a profile of a community college professor, Dr. Eduardo Vianna, which described many challenges facing community colleges, many of which are shared by those of us teaching at “non-elite” four year institutions as well.  The article highlights various topics that we at …

Critical ThinkingCultureEducationScience

Communicating science

This morning, the main site’s quickies had a link to how science stories are often illustrated with some attention grabbers that misrepresent the actual content of the study being described.  This reminded me of an incident when a new faculty member in our Communication department was introducing herself to the …

EducationHigher Education

The ones we’re in it for

One of my regular courses is that notoriously difficult course that’s required by several different programs for completion and has all sorts of rumors swirling about it about how hard it is and how evil I am etc.  The course is intended to ensure students have proficient problem solving skills …

Classroom of student from the late 1800's

The academic “year”

Schooling in many places occurs during the colder winter months due to the need for the children of farmers to work during the summers. K-12 schools provide 180 days of teaching with the summer off as a result.  Colleges and universities follow a roughly similar schedule, but offer classes over …


Technology blues

So I have spent the last several weeks convincing myself my hard drive wasn’t really failing, and then of course it did.  My computer’s in the shop and this blogging platform doesn’t like tablets too much.  I haven’t even been able to congratulate Dan on his recent achievement, so yay …

Dorchester High School Science
Critical ThinkingEducationHigher EducationPedagogy

Active learning as get-out-of-teaching?

A recent article in the Chronicle highlighted the growing shift toward student- or learner-centered teaching in higher education.  The idea is that rather than a professor lecture to a passive audience who soak up the wisdom of the sage on the stage, the class is structured around activities and discussion …

CultureEducationHigher EducationScience

Dashing hopes and dreams

It’s that time of year again, when the grades are shaping up to the point students are panicking if they are going to pass.  The drop deadline is looming.  What to do… Many of the incoming students to our classes have aspirations of being doctors.  These students have attached some …

EducationFeminismHigher Education

Academic science and sexism

A recent New York Times article declared academic science isn’t sexist.  The article has already been heavily criticized, and rightly so.  I just thought I’d add my two cents from the perspective of a female science professor at an all-women’s college.  Allow me to sum it up for everyone, based …

A kindle book on top of a paper book
Higher EducationScience

Writing in the digital age

As a college professor who requires students to do at least some writing in class, I have long despaired of the writing ability of them young’uns.  There seems to be no end to the bad grammar, poor construction, out right plagiarism, and of course the desire to sound “sciency” by …

A person in a tyvek suit and mask
CultureEducationFeminismGovernmentHigher Education

Campus security

So the news has been full of Ebola and guns on campus.  I was asked last week in a meeting of some top level administrators if students has been talking about the Ebola outbreak.  (The gun article refers to the Anita Sarkeesian threats in Utah, and may not have crossed …