Tag: pedagogy

  • The Trick of Teaching: Magic and the Classroom

    The Trick of Teaching: Magic and the Classroom

    Since the title of my recent book is The Last Vanishing Man (and the title story includes historically-accurate descriptions of stage illusions), it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love everything having to do with magic — the lore, the history, the illusions, the beliefs in some sort of “real” magic (what does “real” mean?),…

  • He Gave Us Each Other: In Memory of Jeffrey Pratt Beedy

    He Gave Us Each Other: In Memory of Jeffrey Pratt Beedy

    Today, I gathered with friends, colleagues, acquaintances, former students, former teachers, and former staff members at the New Hampton School, the high school I graduated from in 1994 and then returned to for my first job after college, a job I planned to stay at for a year or two and ended up staying for…

  • When It’s Fun to Grade

    When It’s Fun to Grade

    This morning I was grading work for a 2-credit, half-semester course I teach called Cluster Learning Springboard. While going from one assignment to the next, I suddenly realized I was having an emotion I don’t usually associate with grading: joy. It was legitimately fun to see what the students had created. If you are a…

  • Generous Thinking Now

    Generous Thinking Now

    “We’re in a bad time for everybody. There are very few models as to our way to be drawn upon in any community. There certainly are no states that one could look to and say, ‘A revolution has occurred here; they’re acting better toward people.’ And the religious are going the way of the state;…

  • Poor. Queer. Studies.

    Poor. Queer. Studies.

    Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies is the most exciting book about academia that I have read since Cathy Davidson’s The New Education, and for me personally it is even more exciting than Davidson’s wonderful volume because Poor Queer Studies is about the world I have spent much of my life in, both socially and disciplinarily.…

  • When Students Have Power by Ira Shor

    When Students Have Power by Ira Shor

    Published almost 25 years ago, Ira Shor’s When Students Have Power: Negotiating Authority in a Critical Pedagogy is a book full of practical ideas that will still be of interest to teachers today. Indeed, it’s depressing how relevant is remains. But this is also no surprise. On the second page of the book (in the…

  • MLA 2020: “(Against) The Syllabus as an Instrument of Cruelty”

    MLA 2020: “(Against) The Syllabus as an Instrument of Cruelty”

    At this year’s MLA Convention, I was a member of a great panel discussing “The State of the Syllabus”. It was tremendously well attended, especially for a session on the very first day of the Convention. My contribution was a brief discussion of the syllabus as an instrument of cruelty. (Originally, I proposed it as…

  • Openings

    Openings

    Recently, I’ve been working with some faculty in thinking about Open Pedagogy, Open Education, and syllabi. There have been great, productive conversations, and lots of good questions. But as people have begun to head back to classes, there has also been a noticeable concern about realities versus ideals. As I discuss syllabi with people, one…

  • Assignment: Low-Tech Research

    Assignment: Low-Tech Research

    Here’s an assignment I recently developed and tested out on a group of students and faculty that asked them to do research without using any electronic devices. It worked quite well, and I plan to incorporate it into my classes in the future, though I will probably expand it a bit so it becomes a…

  • Cruelty-Free Syllabi

    Cruelty-Free Syllabi

    This Inside Higher Edarticle about a particularly punishing course syllabus is extreme, but many college professors have policies that are only slightly less extreme, though they may not think of them that way, may not think of them as particularly punishing, certainly don’t think of them as cruel. (I used to have similar, slightly less extreme policies…