Tag Archives: teaching

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

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

my ‘I come from’ poem

I’m helping to teach a course this semester for pre-service secondary writing teachers. On the first day of class, we all wrote “I come from” poems. This is an activity that comes from Linda Christensen’s fantastic book Teaching for Joy and Justice. Here’s the poem I wrote.

Where I Come From

I come from the thumb of the mitten
knuckled under by desperation, the ‘out of a job yet?
keep buying foreign’ sticker slapped to the slanted back of … Read more

on cheating, standardized testing, and the coming decade

A few iterations of myself ago, I was a college composition and literature instructor. Anyone who’s taught this particular category of courses knows that cheating is an enormous issue: take the ramped-up pressure on young people to set themselves apart from their peers in an era that has seen the highest rate of college enrollment in the history of America; add to that the increasingly fuzzy borders around what counts as ‘plagiarism’ in this mixed up, multimodal, shareable world; … Read more

how Jim Gee and I soothe our guilty consciences

In the video below of a presentation to the Education Writers Association 2010 Annual Conference, Jim Gee says this about how to introduce innovative ideas into education:

There’s a choice of strategies here…. One strategy is: Let’s take our innovations to the center of the school system and spread them as fast and quickly as we can. People believe that this current school system as it is will just co-opt those innovations and make them … just better ways to
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principles for ethical educational research

I’ve been thinking lately about the burden of speaking for others.

Because I’m an educational researcher, and speaking for others is the heart of what we do. We walk into a classroom, watch some things happen for a little while, then make decisions about which stories are worth telling, and how, and why, and to whom. And this is precisely what we’re supposed to do. This is precisely why we head into the classroom in the first place: to tell … Read more

short-sighted and socially destructive: Ning to cut free services

Lord knows I’m not a huge fan of Ning, the social networking tool that allows users to create and manage online networks. I find the design bulky and fairly counterintuitive, and modifying a network to meet your group’s needs is extremely challenging, and Ning has made it extremely difficult or impossible for users to control, modify, or move network content. Despite the popularity of Ning’s free, ad-supported social networks among K-16 educators, the ads that go along with the free … Read more

why I am not a constructionist

and why you should expect more from my model for integrating technologies into the classroom

I recently showed some colleagues my developing model for integrating computational technologies into the classroom. “This is,” one person said, “a really nice constructionist model for classroom instruction.”

Which is great, except that I’m not a constructionist.

Now, don’t be offended. I’ll tell you what I told my colleague when she asked, appalled, “What’s wrong with constructionists?”

Nothing’s wrong with constructionists. I just don’t happen … Read more

notes from the {computational} revolution

As part of an ongoing effort to design a model for integrating computational technologies into the formal classroom, I have turned my focus to computational literacy. My current model already has a space for considering computational literacy, so in this post I want to spend some time exploring my definition of computational literacy. This includes a discussion of the key features of computational literacy and how these features might be taught. The models I’ve created are included at the end Read more