Monthly Archives: November 2010

why educational researchers like holiday gatherings

hint: because they don’t have to get IRB approval.

Some people spend Thanksgiving weekend in a tryptophanic daze. Some people spend it in a Black Friday frenzy, followed by a Cyber Monday mania.

I spent Thanksgiving weekend testing out my niece’s Zone of Proximal Development.

The Zone of Proximal Development, or zpd (or zo-ped), is a concept developed by the Russian learning theorist LS Vygotsky. In brief, the zpd is the distance between what a child is developmentally capable … Read more

the best anti-veganism argument I’ve ever read

I’m not vegan, but I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 18 years, since I was 15 years old. I sometimes wonder whether the relatively minor health problems I deal with are linked to my dietary decisions, which is why this post by a former vegan hit extremely close to home. The author, advised by her physician that veganism was slowly destroying her body, decided to try eating meat again after all alternative efforts fails. She writes:

The changes that I

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wanna take online graduate courses in Learning Sciences, Media, & Technology?

Indiana University’s Learning Sciences Program has recently launched an online certificate program in Learning Sciences, Media, and Technology (LSMT). Below is a list of the spring courses that will be offered through this program, along with descriptions of each.

I’m a graduate student in the Learning Sciences Program at IU and have taken each of the courses listed below. I’ve found each one of them to be incredibly formative and useful in my own development as an educator and learning … Read more

neutral as in ‘Grandpa’s arsenal,’ not as in ‘Switzerland’

Image by Joe Salmon, taken from, sort of without permission so I hope he's ok with it.

I’m a fist-shaking, bleeding-heart, critical pedagogy, politiciany sort of guy. I believe that it’s useless and even potentially damaging to treat learning as apolitical, and I believe that learning theorists of all political bents do themselves a disservice and learners an injustice when they assert an ideologically neutral stance. Because there is no such thing as an ideologically neutral stance.

  • We may
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MCCSC referendum passes

This is a good thing, sort of. No, no, it’s a really good thing, no qualifications necessary.

It’s just that…

Well, this school board has shown a confusing enthusiasm for taking money away from programs that are used primarily by disadvantaged, struggling learners and funneling that money into programs embraced by wealthier, more privileged learners and families. I voted for the referendum, even though I don’t trust this school board to make decisions that work at their core in the … Read more

book review: Kenneth King’s Germs Gone Wild

summary: and you thought you saw journalists, scientists, and the government as dissemblers and obfuscators before….

At any given point in my life, I have a small handful of friends and acquaintances who view me as an angry, bitter human being who holds her rage inside like it’s a cold and heavy stone. My pal Rafi tells me I should let go of my anger because it’s weighing me down and wearing me out.

But although I’m angry at … Read more