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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. …

Critical ThinkingHigher EducationPedagogyPop QuizPrimary EducationSecondary EducationTechnology

Pop Quiz: Cable in the classroom?

When I was in high school, my foreign language teacher had a live cable hookup in her classroom. The official rationale for this was that it would allow her advanced classes to watch foreign language programming and improve their skills, though in reality it often meant we would watch whatever …

Critical ThinkingPedagogyPop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: The Day I Made Someone’s Mom Activate Their Rage-Crystal

I got myself into a little bit of trouble in school recently. It wasn’t my fault though, it was because of the magic crystals. I was taking a class full of lovely, enthusiastic children aged twelve and thirteen. They’re one of my favourite classes and I genuinely look forward to …

Critical ThinkingHigher EducationPedagogy

Let’s think about Teaching Statements

I had a meeting with my advisor today, and after we finished filling out my annual progress report and discussed a plan of action for completing my dissertation, discussion turned to the academic job application process that I will be facing for the first time this fall. An important part …

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.) …

Critical ThinkingReligionScience

Pop Quiz: What led you into Skepticism?

Looking back, I can remember the exact moment I discovered the Skeptical Movement™. Mentally and emotionally exhausted from reading and discussing a lot of very fashionable but sloppily-thought-out scholarship in my discipline for a graduate seminar, I had settled into a nice afternoon of reading the internet when I stumbled …

Critical ThinkingPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Students these days…

We’ve all heard it. Most of us have said it. Barely a day goes by when I don’t at least think it: that timeless complaint of pedagogues everywhere, “Students these days just aren’t as prepared/hard-working/bright/polite/serious/talented/literate as they used to be.” It’s usually followed by a curmudgeonly, “In my day, things …

Critical ThinkingPop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Fear, shame, and loathing

Hi all! I’m travelling back from a conference so this will be short and sweet. Since I’ve been in the US for a professional conference, I’ve noticed the trailers for Scary Movie V on the television several times, particularly line “no, ma’am, an STD is the worst thing you could …

Critical ThinkingPrimary EducationRequired ReadingsSecondary Education

RR: 31 March 2013

On this Easter Sunday, let us open our internets to the Required Reading page and look together at some vaguely religious-themed news items: Here is an op-ed arguing the positive impact of marriage equality on education. A Pakistani teacher was murdered this week for the crime of educating girls. ZOMG …

Critical Thinking

Deconstructing “Happy Meat”

“Happy meat” is the notion that the flesh of Nonhuman Animals can be “raised” and killed humanely.  This prevailing myth has understandably complicated teaching animal rights.  Most students now equate “rights” with well-intentioned torture and death. On one hand, teaching animal rights is made easy at the college level because …