Tag Archives: education

the trigger warning I’m putting in my syllabus

Lots of academics and teachers think trigger warnings in college classrooms signal the decline of deep, authentic inquiry into complex social issues. They believe trigger warnings are a symbol of the Dumbing Down of the American University.

I disagree, and I further believe that critiques of trigger warnings tend toward flagrant ableism and outright dismissal of experiences of trauma and of the experiences of people who are living their lives as part of historically oppressed groups. I … Read more

robo-readers do what teachers can’t! Or, how we turned writing literacy into an algorithm

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has this weekly radio show called “Spark.” It is, in my opinion, the best technology-focused show that Americans don’t know about.

This week’s show included a story on the use of computer tools to read and score student writing on standardized tests. Spark host Nora Young interviewed Mark Shermis, the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, who had this to say about how so-called “robo readers” assess writing:… Read more

on supporting the needs of gifted learners

I’m the kind of guy who spent a lot of fifth grade secretly reading books in class instead of paying attention to the teacher. I earned good grades, took a few AP classes, and got a full-ride academic scholarship to college. I graduated something-cum laude (I can’t remember anymore whether it was summa cum laude or just plain old cum laude). As far as I know, I was never labeled “gifted,” but I was certainly a Smarty McSmarterson.… Read more

don’t ask me to withhold judgment of dharun ravi: a response to danah boyd & john palfrey

danah boyd and John Palfrey would like us to stop bullying Dharun Ravi.

Dharun Ravi, you may remember, is the young man whose Rutgers University dorm-mate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide days after Ravi apparently used his computer to record, watch, and tweet about Clementi’s sexual encounters with another man. Here are the details as boyd and Palfrey explain them:

What seems apparent is that Clementi asked Ravi to have his dormroom to himself on two occasions – September

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now begins the experiment

I started teaching college students nine years ago, when I was a graduate student in Colorado State University’s Creative Writing program. After I finished up there, I spent a few years as an adjunct instructor teaching almost any class that any university could offer me. Back then, I had little formal training in the theory and practice of teaching. I mostly went by feel, by what felt successful to my students and to me. By “successful,” I mean to … Read more

mike rose, the mind at work and how academics get working-class credibility

This post is about two recent works by Mike Rose, an educational researcher at UCLA who focuses, as he describes it, low-status places–working-class schools, blue-collar job sites, remedial classrooms–places not privileged by society or, frequently, by the institutions in which they are located” (Rose 2012, p. 2). The two works are:

Rose, M. (2004). The Mind at Work: Valuing the intelligence of the American worker. New York: Penguin.

Rose, M. (2012). Rethinking Remedial Education and the Academic-Vocational Divide.

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on snobbery and digital literacy instruction

cross-posted from HASTAC.org

I’ve been thinking lately about Roger Ebert and digital media snobbery.

I found out through my colleague John Jones that Ebert, a blogger and film critic, recently attacked the publication of “easy reader” editions of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. His main concern appears to be that these abridged versions of Gatsby omit the poetic language of the full text:

Fitzgerald’s novel is not about a story. It is about how the story is told.Read more

I guess I’ll be submitting proposals for the 2012 AERA Annual Meeting

At the end of my last trip to the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), I decided I no longer wanted to submit proposals or attend the conference. I had lots of reasons, but here are some of the biggest:

  1. The AERA Annual Meeting embraces mainstream (nonthreatening) research. As researcher and activist Jeff Duncan-Andrade pointed out in a session I attended, AERA offered up Diane Ravitch at its opening plenary session. Ravitch, after 30 years
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on a related note…

There are times when I feel very happy and comfortable with fighting for equal rights for all humans alongside all humans who care to take up the fight, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. There are times when I am awed and humbled by the work of my nonqueer friends, family, and colleagues to understand, embrace, and support the rights of people whose lives and choices and needs and interests they don’t and can’t ever fully understand. There are … Read more