Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching With and About Tech - NYTimes Blog

Nice resource with many ideas and suggestions: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/resources-teaching-with-and-about-technology/

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 http://hss.fullerton.edu/linguistics/cln/Sew-Kincheloe.pdf 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 http://pages.sbcglobal.net/tboas/neoliberalism.pdf

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) http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/122830

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 http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/122836

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) http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/122837

Conceptualizing critical thinking - bailin and others - http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/ctl/__shared/assets/ct-conceptualize597.pdf

Siegel on centrality of character to CT http://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/informal_logic/article/viewFile/2484/1926 - this is along the issues of bias and stuff.

Critical thinking & critical pedagogy (differences etc.) http://faculty.ed.uiuc.edu/burbules/papers/critical.html - 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 http://www.phaenex.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/informal_logic/article/viewFile/2656/2097

Bailin's response to Emery Hyslop-Margison's critiques of the failings of CT http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/EPS/PES-Yearbook/2003/bailin.pdf - and the original Hylsop-Margison is here http://ojs.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/pes/article/viewFile/1753/470 - these are important because this offers you the alternate perspective of "against CT"

Education for CT: Can it be non-indoctrinative? http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/122840

Noddings - war, critical thinking and undrestanding - not unlike the Siegel one we read for our course http://education.uncc.edu/theafner/Advanced%20SS%20methods/War%20and%20Critical%20Thinking.pdf

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 http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S28/82/93O80/index.xml?section=topstories or the published findings in the journal, Cognition.