Students taking exam
PedagogyPop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: The Horror of Exam Day

It’s exam season in my school and that means that the corridors are filled with lots of panicking faces. Every year, the last week of April and the entirety of May are given over to formal exams that provide our pupils with the qualifications that will get them into universities …

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 …

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 …

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 …

PedagogyPop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Today’s Lesson Will Begin After These Trailers

Yesterday was the last day of term here before our two-week April break. It was a dress-down day, the school was quieter than usual due to quite a few pupils opting to start their break a day early, and there was a pretty cheery atmosphere around the building. The preceding …

Critical ThinkingFeaturedHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary Education

Lesson Plans: Goodnight, Sweet Skeptic

Most of us are familiar, at least tangentially, with Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. At the very least, we probably know that the eponymous Hamlet has some problems. We may also know (or think we know) that one of those problems is a tendency toward indecisiveness; readers/viewers declare …

Critical ThinkingPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: How useful are tests, anyway?

As some of you may or may not be aware, most PhD students outside the discipline of Education are never required to take any classes in paedagogy in order to “learn” how to teach at the university level, or indeed at any other. Rather, it’s kind of magically expected that …

A shelf full of books.
Higher EducationPedagogyRequired ReadingsSecondary EducationTechnology

RR: 10 March 2013

Good morning, scholars! I know many of us will be especially grumpy today after sacrificing an hour of sleep on the altar of daylight savings. Please take all the time you need for these Required Readings; there’s no quiz: Stories about public school districts that are adopting the newfangled “flipped …

Higher EducationPedagogyReligion

Professor! I have the perfect paper topic! Harry Potter is just like Jesus!

See also: Dumbledore is just like Jesus. And Gandalf…wait for it…just like Jesus! No, hold on…FRODO is Jesus… If I had a dollar for every student who tried to write that paper, I would have retired from teaching by now. So what’s the problem? For one, labeling every heroic protagonist …

Critical ThinkingHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary Education

Lesson Plans: Using Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” To Teach Logical Fallacies

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” must stand as one of the most anthologized works in literature textbook history. Here, from the vantage point of my professorial desk, I can lay eyes on at least four volumes that feature it. What’s so great about “The Lottery?” For one, the story …