Teaching Today

By Fred Haas | A Miscellany of Issues and Challenges Related to Teaching in Today's World

Understanding Poetry Is More Straightforward Than You Think

Do you remember, as I do, how in the classroom poems were so often taught as if they were riddles? What is the poet <i>really</i> trying to say here? What is the theme or message of this poem? What does this word “purple” or “flower” or “grass” <i>really</i> mean? Like classical music, poetry has an unfortunate …

Poetry

Does Bad “Grammar” Instruction Make Writing Worse?

<i>By Patricia A. Dunn</i><p>Most students’ writing—in fact, most people’s writing—could use some improvement: in content, organization, coherence, style, and …

Why Revise? Because You Have an Authentic Audience

Whenever I start talking about the importance of revising our writing with my classes, I show them this photograph: an over-the-shoulder shot of …

Writing

How We Are Ruining America

Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances to join their ranks.<p>How they’ve managed …

United States

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies

<b>Listen to this post as a podcast:</b><p><b>When I worked with student teachers</b> on developing effective lesson plans, one thing I always asked them to revise …

The Guilty Secret of Distracted Parenting

Your phone can seem to call to you in an especially seductive way when you are a parent on playground duty. And one reason is, let’s face it, that playground duty can get old long before your children do.<p>At a recent pediatric meeting where we discussed the new recommendations from the American …

Parenting

For Online Class Discussions, Instructors Move From Text to Video

For many students, participating in online class discussions feels like a chore—a box to check off for participation points rather than a lively …

Education

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks.<p>What ensued in the United States Court of Appeals for the …

Grammar

Not all heroes wear capes - but some carry tubes (Pi Day 2017)

The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic]

Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our …

Education as Poetry & Explanation Versus Understanding

A recent reading prompted me to consider the possibility of thinking about educational organizations as poetry or poetic expressions. The more I …

Poetry

Ed-Tech in a Time of Trump

<i>This talk was delivered at the University of Richmond. The full slide deck can be found here.</i>Thank you very much for inviting me to speak here at the …

U.S. Census

DeVosian Threat Inventory

So now Betsy DeVos has her very first big girl job, and we live in a Trump-DeVos education era. Time to take an inventory of what education issues to …

How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students

Michelle Manes has taught math in almost every setting. She taught public high school students, deaf elementary school students, and middle school …

Teaching

The Essential Selfishness of School Choice

Say your friend Sheila invites you over to her house.<p>Sheila has just made a fresh pumpkin pie.<p>She offers you a slice.<p>You politely refuse, but she …

Mississippi Attorney General Sues Google Over Student-Data Privacy

Mississippi's state attorney general hopes to force Google to be more transparent about how it handles data generated by student users of G Suite for …

Privacy

Why paper is the real 'killer app'

With apps taking over our lives, there’s a movement afoot as people yearn for simpler, technology-free times.<p>Every January, Angela Ceberano sets goals for the 12 months ahead. And on Sunday nights, she plans and organises the coming week.<p>Sometimes, I just want to get rid of all the technology and …

Productivity

Once a fearsome murderer invaded a Zen master’s home

Once a fearsome murderer invaded a Zen master’s home.“Give me everything you own, or I’ll kill you,” he said, brandishing his sword. The Zen master …

Democracy

Community-Focused Versus Market-Driven Education - Hybrid Pedagogy

Public education is now transitioning from a system of educating citizens to a market for profit. “Venture capitalists and for-profit firms are …

Can Democrats Save Public Schools from Trump and DeVos?

Anyone who cares about public education in America should be horrified by President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos to be education …

Why we teach our students to read between the lies

As an unabashed lover of print texts and an avid lifelong reader of fiction, I have learned that storytelling can be terribly unreliable. Wise …

How Comedy Became Education's Best Critic

Late-night hosts including John Oliver and Samantha Bee devoted air time to school-related issues this year, pushing the topics into mainstream conversation.<p><i>This is the second installment in our series examining the intersections of education and entertainment in 2016. Read a previous entry on</i> …

Education

This may be the best way to train teachers – and yes, we can afford it

A recent story featured in <i>The Hechinger Report</i> said the residency model may be the best way to train new teachers – and that it may be too expensive. …

Education

No Test Left Behind:How Pearson Made a Killing on the US Testing Craze

As accountability policies grew more stringent in Texas, assessments took on a larger role in government and business alike. For the private sphere, …

How Massachusetts Built a World-Class School System

« Rust Belt Workers Don't Want to Hear About Education and Retraining | Main | Education in 2016 Through the 'Top Performers' Lens »<p>Many people know …

It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education

If you spend more on education, will students do better?<p>Educators, politicians and unions have battled in court over that crucial question for decades, most recently in a sweeping decision this fall in Connecticut, where a judge ordered the state to revamp nearly every facet of its education …

Education

This Is Not An Essay

<i>A fair amount of the writing that high school students do is framed as “preparing them for college”: reviews, essays, research papers. But college</i> …

Why Identity and Emotion are Central To Motivating the Teen Brain

<b>By Emmeline Zhao</b>For years, common experience and studies have prescribed that humans learn best in their earliest years of life – when the brain is …

Teens