Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Third Teacher

This is a really interesting site recommended by Liz in my class -
It's a collaborative project between Bruce Mao Design, VS America and OWP/P Cannon Design. The project is base on the Reggio Emilia Approach - an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to learning. It puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy, and has the following guiding principles:
Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Third Teacher Project is focused on the role of the environment, and deals with design (though I haven't read it in its entirety, though Liz showed her book to me and I'm intrigued).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A professor gives an email lecture...

This is from Gilded Limits; not sure if it's an urban legend, but I find it quite it rational, rude, or discriminating against the informal register?

FYI Scott Galloway is the founder of He was on the New York Times board of directors before resigning last week. He has a reputation for being a “self-important jackass” ( according to A.J. Daulerio via

Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:15:11 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Brand Strategy Feedback

Prof. Galloway,

I would like to discuss a matter with you that bothered me. Yesterday evening I entered your 6pm Brand Strategy class approximately 1 hour late. As I entered the room, you quickly dismissed me, saying that I would need to leave and come back to the next class. After speaking with several students who are taking your class, they explained that you have a policy stating that students who arrive more than 15 minutes late will not be admitted to class.

As of yesterday evening, I was interested in three different Monday night classes that all occurred simultaneously. In order to decide which class to select, my plan for the evening was to sample all three and see which one I like most. Since I had never taken your class, I was unaware of your class policy. I was disappointed that you dismissed me from class considering (1) there is no way I could have been aware of your policy and (2) considering that it was the first day of evening classes and I arrived 1 hour late (not a few minutes), it was more probable that my tardiness was due to my desire to sample different classes rather than sheer complacency.

I have already registered for another class but I just wanted to be open and provide my opinion on the matter.


MBA 2010 Candidate
NYU Stern School of Business

The Reply:

—— Forwarded Message ——-
To: “xxxx”
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 9:34:02 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Brand Strategy Feedback


Thanks for the feedback. I, too, would like to offer some feedback.

Just so I’ve got this straight…you started in one class, left 15-20 minutes into it (stood up, walked out mid-lecture), went to another class (walked in 20 minutes late), left that class (again, presumably, in the middle of the lecture), and then came to my class. At that point (walking in an hour late) I asked you to come to the next class which “bothered” you.


You state that, having not taken my class, it would be impossible to know our policy of not allowing people to walk in an hour late. Most risk analysis offers that in the face of substantial uncertainty, you opt for the more conservative path or hedge your bet (e.g., do not show up an hour late until you know the professor has an explicit policy for tolerating disrespectful behavior, check with the TA before class, etc.). I hope the lottery winner that is your recently crowned Monday evening Professor is teaching Judgement and Decision Making or Critical Thinking.

In addition, your logic effectively means you cannot be held accountable for any code of conduct before taking a class. For the record, we also have no stated policy against bursting into show tunes in the middle of class, urinating on desks or taking that revolutionary hair removal system for a spin. However, xxxx, there is a baseline level of decorum (i.e., manners) that we expect of grown men and women who the admissions department have deemed tomorrow’s business leaders.

xxxx, let me be more serious for a moment. I do not know you, will not know you and have no real affinity or animosity for you. You are an anonymous student who is now regretting the send button on his laptop. It’s with this context I hope you register pause…REAL pause xxxx and take to heart what I am about to tell you:

xxxx, get your shit together.

Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential which, by virtue of you being admitted to Stern, you must have in spades. It’s not too late xxxx…

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Professor Galloway

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CEA - material for educators

The Canadian Education Association has some great research, blogs and other materials

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Trouble With Billionaires

Here's an interesting new book by Linda McQuaig - has class warfare hit the popular media? At any rate, I like that she calls society out for pretending to be a meritocracy, when really it's not.

And an excerpt at

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Teaching against idiocy"

This is a really interesting article! Teaching Against Idiocy, Phi Delta Kappa, 2005, by Walter C. Parker
Link to MS Word version

He writes, among other things..
Idiocy shares with idiom and idiosyncratic the root idios, which means private, separate, self-centered -- selfish... When a person's behavior became idiotic -- concerned myopically with private things and unmindful of common things -- then the person was believed to be like a rudderless ship, without consequence save for the danger it posed to others. This meaning of idiocy achieves its force when contrasted with polites (citizen) or public. Here we have a powerful opposition: the private individual versus the public citizen...An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching With and About Tech - NYTimes Blog

Nice resource with many ideas and suggestions:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Economics of Seinfeld

Courtesy of Wes - the Economics of Seinfeld - a great way to use pop culture to teach financial literacy (though obviously not from a critical perspective)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Critique of Multiple Intelligences

I'm constantly surprised at the amount of attention given to Multiple Intelligences (MI) in teacher education programs. I find that teacher candidates leave their courses convinced that MI is the way to go when structuring one's teaching philosophy. However, it's largely unexamined empirically, and as Joe Kincheloe points out, draws attention away from important systemic issues.

This is a review of a book which critiques Multiple Intelligences and summarizes the arguments which critique the universal applicability of it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This is a really interesting article about the origins of the term neoliberal

I would argue, though, since its writing, the term has been clarified substantially.

The reference is:
Boas & Gans-Morse, "Neoliberalism: From New Liberal Philosophy to Anti-Liberal Slogan" St Comp Int Dev, DOI 10.1007/s12116-009-9040-5

Friday, November 19, 2010

Critical Thinking Readings

I'm always concerned about narrow and superficial conceptions about critical thinking (CT). Here is a selection of readings on CT which offer a bit of clarification on its meaning, the debates, and so on.

SOME ISSUES IN THE CRITICAL THINKING DEBATE: DEAD HORSES AND RED HERRINGS, ANYONE? this is (while a bit older 1998) a really interesting piece on the "controversies" of definidng CT from the journal "Educational Theory" (which is a very prestigious one)

Critical Thinking, Autonomy & practical reason (2004) - really good one which I think will relate to your work - specifically critiques Siegel, and; also in Ed Theory

Is Critical Thinking Biased? (this is actually a series of articles in an issue of Ed Theory and it really gets into whether the "dispositions" are problematic or not)

Conceptualizing critical thinking - bailin and others -

Siegel on centrality of character to CT - this is along the issues of bias and stuff.

Critical thinking & critical pedagogy (differences etc.) - kind of interesting and this fellow Burbules is a critical pedagogue - you might find the contrast enlightening, esp what he thinks CT is not. This of course, is controversial.

Bailin's Critical and Creative thinking - this is important, since there are differences. This journals is a pretty prestigious philosophy journal that has a lot on CT

Bailin's response to Emery Hyslop-Margison's critiques of the failings of CT - and the original Hylsop-Margison is here - these are important because this offers you the alternate perspective of "against CT"

Education for CT: Can it be non-indoctrinative?

Noddings - war, critical thinking and undrestanding - not unlike the Siegel one we read for our course

Edugains - Canadian resources for teachers

Amazing resources with an Ontario focus - for example, there's a fantastic "classroom dynamics" self reflection; materials to support Ontario assessments, etc.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ontario Education Act, Duties of Teachers

This is kind of intersting in that the language of the Education Act is a bit anachronistic. Have a look:

Duties of teacher
264. (1) It is the duty of a teacher and a temporary teacher,
teach (a) to teach diligently and faithfully the classes or subjects assigned to the teacher by the principal;
learning (b) to encourage the pupils in the pursuit of learning;
religion and morals (c) to inculcate by precept and example respect for religion and the principles of Judaeo-Christian morality and the highest regard for truth, justice, loyalty, love of country, humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, purity, temperance and all other virtues;
co-operation (d) to assist in developing co-operation and co-ordination of effort among the members of the staff of the school;
discipline (e) to maintain, under the direction of the principal, proper order and discipline in the teacher’s classroom and while on duty in the school and on the school ground

How fonts affect retention

Daniel Oppenheimer and Erikka Vaughan at Princeton did a study to figure out whether changing the font of written material could improve the long-term learning and retention of information presented to students - they did this with both university and high school students.

Students reviewing material in hard-to-read fonts did better on regular classroom assessment tests than did their randomly selected counterparts reading the same material in easier fonts.

The hard-to-read fonts were Haettenschweiler, Monotype Corsiva or Comic Sans Italicized. The control was whatever the teacher had been using previously -- usually Times New Roman or Arial.

You can read more about the study at or the published findings in the journal, Cognition.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Business Studies Best Practices, Volume 1

The OISE SP4 Class of 2010 compiled a series of articles detailing the best practices of business teachers in the GTA.
A PDF is available from the link at
Or a bound softcover is available at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pedagogies Toolkit

This book provides over seventy teaching/learning strategies for students of all ages categorized according to their use to present, apply and/or review curricular material. Each strategy can be adapted to just about any subject area and grade. At-a-glance strategy descriptions include: materials, description, ideal for, and cautions. Teachers and facilitators can pick up this volume, and simply flip through to select strategies which will make their classrooms more engaging and enhance the learning process.
Order at:

The Salty Chip Multiliteracies Collective

The Salty Chip is a space for teachers and students to share and build upon their work as they develop their use of multiliteracies.

It seeks to capture cultural and linguistic diversity and to make use of new and emerging communication technologies that consider pedagogy in a participatory culture.

Great site which allows teachers and students to vote on materials and strategies!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Price is Right Interactive Online Game

Thanks Stephanie L. for this idea - students can play The Price is Right online!

Bingo Card Generator

Here is a great tool for bingo cards - put in the list of clues separated by comments

Jeopardy Labs

Here is a great site, from a Business General student, which allows no-fee jeopardy building...

Super Teacher Tools

Thanks Felicia J. for this site - -
Includes things like seating chart makers and a group maker. Some items are for sale :-(

Monday, March 22, 2010

Homer Simpson teaches personal finance

Thanks Wes and Abi for this great reference:
Homer Economicus: Using The Simpsons to Teach Economics” Joshua Hall, WVU, Journal of Private Enterprise. 165-177. April 2005

Key points are summarized here:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Software to create comics

Comic Life is software which allows the user to create comics using their own or downloaded images. The free trial is only 30 days, but most likely some freeware exists somewhere.

(thank you Patricia M. for this resource!)

Brain Teasers

Using a brain teaser or logic puzzle is a great way to open a class while giving the teacher time to set up as students work on them. A number of great books are generally available on remaindered tables, but many are available online as well. For instance:

(1) - not too
difficult for the most part - but not enough for a school year. A great
place to start though.

(2) - many of these are
too difficult - stick to those rated one or two stars for high school

(3) - these seem to be a fairly
good level for high school students.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Social location, social identity

This article offers an approach to having students map their social location, and can be applied across many curricular areas!

UWO Business Teaching Resources

Compiled by Western, here is another set of business resources...

BBC Business Leson Plans

Here is a great resource for basic business concept lessons:

The Times 100 Business Studies resource

Information in this Teachers' Resources section can help with lesson planning and preparation. The lesson plans and answer sheets for each case study are designed to be used in class, as homework or even to provide a framework to cover lessons.

Have a look at the case studies (adapt them for Ontario use), and also teacher resources.

Lesson Ideas

The NY Times has an archive of fantastic lesson plans - while the content may not be relevant (it focuses on US issues and perspective), the teaching/learning ideas are remarkable. I encourage everyone to browse outside their subject areas to look for pedagogical ideas, and adapt them to your own subjects.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Financial Literacy Diversity

Here is an interesting news item:

Centennial College brings Islamic finance course to Canada

The London-based Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has accredited Centennial College’s School of Business as its first training provider in Canada. The college will offer a course in the CISI’s groundbreaking Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ). This is the first international benchmark in the area of Islamic finance.

The online course will be offered this fall to the general public. A major Canadian bank is already exploring the opportunity to enrol some of its staff in the course this spring. Canadian financial institutions are keen to learn how to comply with Islamic principles to attract an increasing share of this specialized market, especially in Toronto, Canada’s banking centre.

Among other stipulations, Islamic banking does not recognize the charging of interest, and instead requires transactions to be based on strict collateral. Loan products such as home mortgages can comply with Islamic principles by being structured like lease-to-own arrangements or other means that require a repayment structure in lieu of interest.