Primary Education

The horror, the horror: School Fundraisers

I have never taught at the primary/elementary level, but I have a child who went through the public schools, so I know plenty about fundraising. I know that it is terrible: 1. If you stop for two seconds during the fundraising frenzy and think about what you’re doing, you realize …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary EducationUncategorized

Lesson Plan: The Skeptical Narrator of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”

“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew …

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A shelf full of books.
Higher EducationReligionRequired ReadingsScienceSecondary Education

RR: 19 May 2013

Hello, selfless bringers of knowledge! Happy Sunday to you. The Freedom from Religion Foundation claims that the instructor of a Ball State University course called “The Boundaries of Science” is using the class to “proselytize students and advance Christianity.” Neat! Here’s some more “whoopsie, everyone is cheating on those standardized tests” …

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Critical ThinkingPedagogyReligionScienceSecondary Education

“Let the Students Decide for Themselves”: Or, Don McLeroy Is Full of What Makes the Grass Grow Green in Texas

I recommend that everyone listen to the interview with Don McLeroy in last week’s episode of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. I also recommend that you keep breakables safely out of reach and have your favorite antacid tabs at hand. (Not the homeopathic ones.) Maybe also booze if that helps. …

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Critical ThinkingFeaturedHigher EducationPedagogyPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Are Teachers Moral Mentors, or Should We Stick To the Facts?

Hello, readers! I have been MIA for a couple of weeks, but please know that I missed you bunches. Among the many distractions that kept me from your virtual sides was my first half marathon, which allowed me some quality contemplative time. (See photo, in which I am thinking HARD.) …

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A shelf full of books.
Higher EducationPrimary EducationRequired Readings

Required Reading: 21 April 2013

Good morning, scholars and pedagogues! Here are some news items you might wish to read and share: According to this article, some teachers are making fat stacks selling lesson plans online. I find this difficult to wrap my brain around with so many free lesson plans available so…skepticism! See what …

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Higher EducationPedagogyPrimary EducationRequired ReadingsSecondary Education

RR: 14 April 2013

Good morning, scholars! Here are some readable tidbits for today: A New York Times Op-Ed piece claims that the teaching profession contributes to America’s continued education deficiencies: “Teaching requires a professional model, like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields. In these professions, consistency of …

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A shelf full of books.
Higher EducationRequired Readings

RR: 7 April 2013, Special Topic: Should I Get a Ph.D.?

Should you get a Ph.D.? Should you encourage your undergraduate students to apply to graduate school? An article in Slate is currently drawing a lot of attention for its embittered treatment of humanities doctoral programs. As is so often the case with online articles, the comments following the piece are more …

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Higher EducationPedagogyScienceTechnology

Where Do I Get One of These Fancy Essay Grading Bots?

According to The New York Times, I might be able to reclaim my weekends soon: New Test for Computers: Grading Essays at College Level. My initial gut reaction? Bring. It. On. I hate grading essays. I hate just almost every single thing about it. The liberal arts college where I …

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Captain Picard covering face
FeaturedPedagogySecondary Education

Cheating Scandal in Atlanta; or, The Ones Who Got Caught

By now you’ve probably heard about the two-year investigation that resulted in 35 Atlanta educators’ being indicted Friday in a massive cheating scandal. (If not, you can read about it here.) What these people did was wrong, not just legally but ethically, as changing student scores on standardized tests obfuscated …

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