If you join a committee and do not assume responsibility for any of the work to be done, please resign from the committee.

That idea of teaching math (or any other basic skill) so that students can apply it elsewhere is not supported by empirical evidence.

Another observation from ca. 2008:

For educators, the penetration of computer networks into the classroom has been simultaneously a great advantage and a great distraction. Using media in previous generations, teachers could be sure an editor working within some system of accountability had approved the information, and one could be reasonably sure that media selected for the classroom accurately represented the prevailing view of professionals in the field. This system arose in part because of the expense of creating media and in part because of the expertise needed to create the media. Only those who were assured of a paying audience or those who could support expensive productions could publish for the masses. When using modern media, however, one cannot assume any editorial oversight of the media appearing in public. Hucksters, radicals, rascals, and idiots can all create content for the web and the content created by those groups appears in the same search engine results as those of professionals, experts, and authorities.

I recently discovered this prargraph that I wrote about 15 years ago. I was prescient:

The milieu of information sources is further complicated by the fact that the hardware and software necessary to publish to the Internet is available on even the most modest computer systems in use today, and that connections to the Internet are ubiquitous and cheap. In a matter of minutes, anyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection can publish anything he or she wants on the Internet. Such capacity allows citizens to from political networks, business to publish information for employees and customers, educators to publish for colleagues and students, and charlatans to do what they do.

It’s 2023, but turning it off, then back on is still the way to fix almost all IT problems.

No evidence or reason can overcome the “I survived it, they can too” when it comes to educational practices.

John Seeley Brown (2000) concluded that in the 21st century, the amount of information that humans access is overwhelming. Information is no longer the essential aspect of knowing. The sense we make of information is the essential aspect of knowing. Brown observed, “The forces that shape the background [of human knowledge] are the social forces, always at work, within which and against which individuals configure their identity. These create not only grounds for reception, but grounds for interpretation, judgment, and understanding” (p. 139).

Reference

Brown, J. S. (2000). The social life of information. Harvard Business School Press.

Historian and philosopher Theodore Roszak (1994) minimizes the role of information in human cognition, and he even observes “humans think with ideas, not with information” [emphasis in the original] and affords ideas a central place in the human cognition by continuing, “Information may helpfully illustrate or decorate an idea; it may, where it works under the guidance of a contrasting idea, help to call other ideas into question” (p. 88). For Roszak, the concepts that will organize the curriculum are more important than the examples that may illustrate them. He even suggests “a culture survives by the power, plasticity, and fertility of its ideas. Ideas come first because ideas define, contain, and eventually produce information” (p. 88).

Reference

Roszak, T. (1994). The cult of information: A neo-Luddite treatise on high tech, artificial intelligence, and the true art of thinking (2nd ed). University of California Press.

John Dewey wrote “education is not preparation for life, it is life itself.” While this may be true, many students enroll in higher education to be better prepared for the profession they will enter after they graduate. It seems reasonable, then, that educators should take steps to ensure their students can use what they learn in the classroom in other settings as well.

I have several assignments in my course this term in which students must only tell me they completed it... colleagues are astounded that I am trusting my students.

I have several assignments in my course this term in which students must only tell me they completed it... colleagues are astounded that I am trusting my students.

I used to include “Always state the opinions upon which you state your facts” in my email signature. I deleted it because so many people were pointing out I had it wrong.

I hadn't really kept up with the literature on childhood development since high school; after catching up to what's now known, I feel like I was lucky to have access to video games (and later, board games) since I was in an otherwise impoverished intellectual environment growing up, e.g., before I had video games, I would literally wake up and turn on the TV and watch static, and then the test pattern, and then (IIRC) something called U.S. Farm Report because there was nothing else to do.

In science, each discovery unlocks doors leading to new mysteries. And the greatest progress comes from the unexpected—the discovery that overthrows previous notions.

-Isaac Asimov

Man’s greatest weapons in his conquest of knowledge are his understanding mind and the inexorable curiosity that drives it on.

-Isaac Asimov

Education is a field characterized by gaps: Teachers and school administrators view scholars with suspicion as they believe scholars are disconnected from the realities of the classroom. Scholars are suspicious of teachers and school administrators as they believe educators are unsystematic in their work. Educational theorists advocate for reform of schooling so that students are prepared for the complex problems of the modern world, but the policy makers insist on using tests to measure learning.

Education is a field characterized by gaps: Teachers and school administrators view scholars with suspicion as they believe scholars are disconnected from the realities of the classroom. Scholars are suspicious of teachers and school administrators as they believe educators are unsystematic in their work. Educational theorists advocate for reform of schooling so that students are prepared for the complex problems of the modern world, but the policy makers insist on using tests to measure learning.

Answers are boring. How you got them… that’s interesting.

It is so difficult for data-driven leaders when it is made clear their narrative is clearly not supported by the data.

Show more
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.