11 August 2014

Items to share: 10 August 2014

Education Focus
  • Knowledge is what you think with | Webs of Substance 'Instead of spending serious consideration on improving the teaching of content knowledge, we have been sold a classic bait-and-switch. Yes, there is a problem with students forgetting things or forming misconceptions or failing to link ideas or finding things a bit boring. This is all true. But the solution is not to stop bothering to teach content in favour of some ill-defined, vague and frankly soulless load of old nonsense.'
  • Closing the feedback loop | You're the Teacher [ubc.ca] 'Remembering [a] situation [when I denied some feedback] helped put me into the mindset of students receiving critical feedback [...] and not believ[ing] it, getting angry, indignant, even lashing out. When that happens you are not even allowing yourself to think that the feedback might be true; since it doesn’t fit with who you think you are, your own evaluation of the quality of your work, the truth must be that whoever said that is simply wrong.'
  • The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher [chronicle.com] 'Teaching and parenting share this in common: In both relationships, the goal is to produce independent and self-sufficient human beings. The risk that helicopter parents run is that they will raise children so coddled that they have a hard time functioning on their own in the larger world. So too with the way we have infantilized our students. Afraid or unwilling to challenge them, we pass them through with perfectly good grades but without much of a sense of how to work on their own or think for themselves.'
  • Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking [theconversation.com] '“Critical theories” are “uncritical theories”. When some theory has the prefix “critical” it requires the uncritical acceptance of a certain political perspective. Critical theory, critical race theory, critical race philosophy, critical realism, critical reflective practice all explicitly have political aims.' [Discuss!]
  • Humanizing Academic Citation – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education 'For years now I have been talking with graduate students about what it means to be entering the academic conversation in their field or subfield. “All your work has to do,” I tell them, “is further the conversation one useful step.” This goal, I think, feels more manageable than, say, “solving the problem,” and it has helped more than one student I know get over writer’s block with an essay or dissertation chapter. The goal of most academic scholarship is not, after all, to end the conversation.'
  • Teacher competence [teachinginhighered.com] 'Every single time I get on a plane I’m really glad that the plane is not being flown by someone who just always loved planes.' Teacher quoted in review of Elizabeth Green's new book about preparing teachers better (W. W. Norton and Co.)
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