Tag Archives: education

Teachers College & social justice

Recently, Adam Kissel of FIRE (who I recently started following on Twitter) asked me: “What do you think about Teachers College’s idea that one isn’t qualified to be a teacher without believing in social justice?” I had previously seen FIRE’s roundup on free speech issues with TC, I think before I had even accepted my […]

education, the state, and protecting children from ignorance

The other day, I started Education and the State by E.G. West.¬†It is sometimes argued that state funded, state regulated, and state provided education is justified by the necessity of ¬†protecting children from ignorance. So, West begins with two chapters exploring this argument philosophically and assessing how well this “protection” works in practice. These chapters […]

book review: Diane Ravitch’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System”

I recently finished Diane Ravitch‘s book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.” This book has been getting quite a bit of attention even outside of educational circles so I figured I should read it. Ravitch is an historian of education and, viewed as a […]

learning styles, individual differences, and responsibility

Recently, I came across this video: “Learning Styles Don’t Exist,” by psychologist Daniel T. Willingham of the University of Virginia. Willingham argues that learning style theories fail to predict the differences in learning that we would expect to see if they were correct (you should go watch, he explains it better than I could). Learning […]

what’s in a name? – labels and tracking

Yesterday, I discussed the issue of whether work-related language is appropriate for describing learning. Here’s another language in education controversy that has made it into the news lately: ‘At hope’ kids better than ‘at risk’?: Washington state lawmaker wants to banish negative labels The bill is motivated by the good-hearted desire for disadvantaged children to […]

the work of learning

Recently, Alfie Kohn tweeted an older article of his, “Students Don’t ‘Work’ — They Learn.” Sounded interesting, so I went and read it. Kohn’s main point is that work-related language ¬†encourages thinking about education in ways that are detrimental to student learning. This work-related language pervades education discourse – “homework,” “seat work,” “get to work,” […]

changing gears

As you might know, I’m beginning a new PhD program this fall. This one is in philosophy and education, instead of just philosophy. I’ve been very interested in education for a few years now, and I know some things about it, but basically just enough to be dangerous and to write a decent admissions application. […]

grad school ch-ch-changes

You, as my friend and/or reader, may have seen me post stuff on Twitter and Facebook suggesting that I am currently applying to graduate schools. Indeed, I am. I figured I’d explain the situation here, once and for all. Very shortly after I began a PhD program in philosophy in the fall of 2007, my […]

complications in commercializing curriculum

This NYT article piqued my curiosity: Selling Lesson Plans Online Raises Cash and Questions Basically, some teachers have made quite a bit of money by selling their lesson plans online to other teachers. Some teachers’ employers are wondering whether they should be receiving a cut of the profits, and one educational expert warns that the […]

competition is as american as apple pie, except in education

Recently, I saw the above video on Facebook. Basically, it illustrates the argument that a public option in health care would compete against private insurers to the benefit of those covered under both kinds of plans. This argument seems like it is supposed to appeal to the market-minded among us, who are into competition amongst […]