Do You Have Too Many Classroom Rules?

The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s recent advice column takes issue with a previous column on the subject¬†of classroom rules. Ultimately, the pro-rules columnist concludes: When I started my academic career I thought it was possible to be a patient, professional teacher while still being rigid enough to maintain a nondistracting …

EducationHigher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Academic (Dis)honesty

Summer is winding down, and for many of us this means a return to teaching, complete with its associated joys and horrors.* By far the worst of these horrors, at least in my opinion, is dealing with exam cheating and plagiarism. There is absolutely nothing about the whole process that …

Pop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: When To Admit That You’re Wrong

Being wrong is a vital part of science and scepticism. Part of the whole point of science is to try to disprove whatever theory you’ve come up with; to try to prove yourself wrong in any way you can. Atheists and sceptics are often accused of being as dogmatic and …

Critical ThinkingEducationFeaturedHigher EducationPedagogySecondary Education

Quirrell Points as a Pedagogical Tool?

As I mentioned in Monday’s Pop Quiz, I’ve lately been reading Eliezer Yudkowsky‘s epic fanfic “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality,” in which the author depicts a very interesting pedagogical tool. Very, very minor plot spoilers follow. Stop now if you want to be a total blank slate. So, …