In an earlier post, I wrote about a classic paper from the education literature called The Dr. Fox Lecture: A Paradigm of Educational Seduction. The authors coached an actor to spout nonsense with authority and charm, introduced him as an expert, and let him regale an audience of mental health professionals on a topic he knew nothing about. The listeners gave "Dr." Fox high ratings on a post-lecture evaluation, from which the authors concluded that even sophisticated learners can be tricked into mistaking form for substance.
Most universities have separate biology classes for non-majors, which are often taken by students who need to fulfill a "science" requirement to complete their degree. Are non-majors really different from biology majors? Several previous studies seem to say no
I'm reading two different documents now which are both, in a way, about testing, but at opposite levels of thinking. The first is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology Literacy Framework, aimed at higher order thinking skills. The second, a brilliant new book called Teach Like a Champion, focuses on teaching literacy and math skills to underprivileged students. Though both worth discussing in their own right, at the moment some contrasts between them have got me thinking.
I wrote a few weeks ago about a math teacher and professor that was profiled in the NY Times magazine for showing that teachers who know and are comfortable with math are better able to teach it (as measured by how well their students do). The magazine article highlighted an example of a discussion in that teachers' class of 3rd graders