• GEDI

    Making the Grade

    The reflections on assessment and grading presented by Kohn and Lui/Noppe-Brandon provide for a different evaluation of potential teaching/learning atmospheres, but I feel like some of the solutions miss the point. I agree with the primary assertions that grading is often about controlling students and can be detrimental to student development and creativity, but some of the proposed solutions create new problems. How, for instance, is one supposed to discuss student evaluation in “conferences” if a class is 100-300 students large? Additionally, doesn’t the creation of a “negotiation” of asking students to offer up an evaluation on their own grade and decide it in conjuction with a professor open to…

  • GEDI

    Mind Your Own Basics

    This week, the topic of mindfulness/mindless behavior in teaching provides an interesting, if somewhat obscured, understanding of how teaching can be developed. I say obscured, in this context, because in the critique of things like “basics” and knowledge transference, the text seems to be devoid of a mindful approach to understanding different disciplines. While I appreciate the critique that we shouldn’t be presenting everything as the right way or wrong way of looking a problem, most fields do recognize the openness for alternative ways of thinking. In my own subfield of international relations, professors often have a particular worldview or conception of how the world operates, but every class at…

  • GEDI

    Gaming the System

    Laptops in the classroom are clearly a divisive issue as demonstrated by the NPR article on the different approaches to technology in the classroom. The conversation does seem to be very polarizing, but often times the different sides seem to be talking past each other. Of course laptops, much like other tools available in the classroom, have helpful applications in the classroom under the right circumstances, but I think when people discuss banning laptops they aren’t teaching a class that uses laptops as a tool or teaching aid. It seems strange then to take extremists positions when the use of technology in the classroom is self-evidently situational. This gets at…

  • GEDI

    Thoughts on Blogging and Academia: One Political Science Student’s Perspective

    I’ve found that the proliferation of academic blogging and tweeting has been beneficial for my own development as both a student and lecturer in the past few years. I’ve been curating a few lists of academics from fields related to my research over the past few years and it has provided a wealth of information that had not been easily accessible through things like journal articles. For an aspiring political scientist, the information generated on twitter or in personal or professional blogs is almost always more relevant and more timely than waiting for journal articles to be published. In particular, I am a huge fan of the site “War on…

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