Category Archives: teaching

New book on teaching evolution or creationism in US classrooms

This post is simply to call attention to Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms, an important new book by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer. As described at Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution-creation wars that have become a regular feature […]

Wickham: Texas history as opportunity

In USA Today (and by syndication in other Garnette papers), Dwayne Wickham has a May 25 column to show how the Texas State Board of Education’s (SBOE) newly-adopted standards for history education, despite intentions by the SBOE leading bloc of right-wing ideologues, actually can provide an opportunity for teaching real history. Wickham notes that Among […]

Ravitch: “Just Say No to the Race to the Top”

On a blog at Education Week, Diane Ravitch advises that states should “Just Say No to the Race to the Top.” Ravitch notes: It might better be called the Race to Nowhere, or as some have dubbed it, the Race to the Trough or the Dash to the Cash. She notes the demoralization of teachers […]

NY Times: “Flexbooks” displacing textbooks

Lewin reports that “Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.”

This is interesting in many ways. For one thing, it underscores the necessity of having teachers who understand their subjects well. “Flexbooks” could greatly increase the importance of the teachers relative to state boards and legislatures.

Bill Ayers to be on BookTV Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bill Ayers will be on BookTV (CSPAN-2) from 8:30-9:40 am Eastern DAYLIGHT Time. The BookTV page for this program says: William (Bill) Ayers talks about two books he co-edited on the problems facing city schools, students, and teachers.  “City Kids, City Teachers” is an updated edition of a book first published ten years ago.  “City Kids, […]

Teaching evolutionary life science in Florida (NYTimes)

Amy Harom has a great piece in the August 23, 2008 New York Times on a Florida teacher engaged in teaching evolutionary life science to a high school class that includes religiously committed skeptical students. The article is unusual in looking at the issues as matters of curriculum, requiring knowledgeable responses by educators, and not […]

responsive, differentiated instruction

Something from Mara Sapon-Shevin that I think is worth sharing (posted here with her permission): Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 From: Mara Sapon-Shevin To: Tony Whitson Hi Tony, Yes, I know this story and tell it as about responsive, differentiated instruction, although “tactful teaching” is a nice reframing! I talk about the swim instructor knowing […]

“lesson study” & teachers’ unions

Mike is asking about the role of teachers’ unions in education reforms … Another relevant source of examples, it seems to me, would be the role of unions in districts where “lesson study” has been implemented. Any real “lesson study” effort requires real time and other resources. In union-organized school districts, it seems to me commitment and support from both the District and the Union would be absolutely necessary.