22 September 2015

Items to Share: 20 September 2015

Education Focus
  • Why sacrificing chickens will not help us evaluate teachers’ performance | David Didau: The Learning Spy 'Intellectually, philosophically, morally, the argument over whether teachers’ performance should be evaluated by grading their teaching by means of a lesson observation has been won. Ofsted have accepted the crushing weight of evidence that, despite what some people may choose to believe, there is no validity or reliability to such a grade. Unsurprisingly, there are many benighted souls who choose willful ignorance over enlightenment and insist on continuing a practice which has less accuracy than a coin toss.'

  • There Is No Theory of Everything - Simon Critchley in The New York Times 'Over the years, I have had the good fortune to teach a lot of graduate students, mostly in philosophy, and have noticed a recurring fact. Behind every new graduate student stands an undergraduate teacher. This is someone who opened the student’s eyes and ears to the possibility of the life of the mind that they had perhaps imagined but scarcely believed was within their reach. Someone who, through the force of their example, animated a desire to read more, study more and know more. Someone in whom the student heard something fascinating or funny or just downright strange. Someone who heard something significant in what the student said in a way that gave them confidence and self-belief. Such teachers are the often unknown and usually unacknowledged (and underpaid) heroes of the world of higher education....'
Other Business
  • Six easy ways to tell if that viral story is a hoax [theconversation.com] 'ordinary people are [...] starting to take a more sophisticated approach to the content they view online. It’s no longer enough to read the news – now, we want to understand the processes behind it. Fortunately, there are a few relatively effective verification techniques, which do not require specialist knowledge or costly software. Outlined below are six free, simple tools that any curious news reader can use to verify digital media.'
  • Rachel Laudan on the History of Food and Cuisine | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty 'Rachel Laudan, visiting scholar at the University of Texas and author of Cuisine and Empire, [...] about the history of food. Topics covered include the importance of grain, the spread of various styles of cooking, why French cooking has elite status, and the reach of McDonald's. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the appeal of local food and other recent food passions.' Podcast and (occasionally poor) transcription.

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