November 2011 The Case Against Grades By Alfie Kohn [This is a slightly expanded version of the published article.] "I remember the first time that a grading rubric was attached to a piece of my writing….Suddenly all the joy was taken away. -- Claire, a student (in Olson, 2006) By now enough has been written about academic assessment to fill a library, but when you stop to think about it, the whole enterprise really amounts to a straightforward two-step dance. You say the devil is in the details? Why tests are not a particularly useful way to assess student learning (at least the kind that matters), and what thoughtful educators do instead, are questions that must wait for another day. The Effects of Grading Most of the criticisms of grading you’ll hear today were laid out forcefully and eloquently anywhere from four to eight decades ago (Crooks, 1933; De Zouche, 1945; Kirschenbaum, Simon, & Napier, 1971; Linder, 1940; Marshall, 1968), and these early essays make for eye-opening reading.
Project Based Instruction in STEM EducationRules vs. trust in eating. | The Fat NutritionistSo, for large swaths of us in the Western hemisphere, the holidays are approaching. Which means my favourite thing in the entire world is happening (it’s true!!!) — Magazines are giving out advice on HOW NOT TO BE A TOTAL DISGUSTING PIG, YOU FUCKING SLOB. Yessss. Seriously, I wait for this all year. First up, from my lovely reader Maggie (thank you, Maggie, and wake up, please, I think Rod Stewart’s got something to say to you, and if you think that’s bad, try living with “Michelle, mah belle” for 30 years), comes Cosmo’s “How to Pig Out on Thanksgiving (But Without the Guilt.)” And they pretty much give you a basic, average, low-fat kinda smallish meal on which you can totally PIG OUT, girlfriend! Nary a mention of pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, or anything else that makes life worth living when you’re across the table from that beloved relative with the unfortunate spitting habit. Because you should totally, totally feel guilty about food. Right-o, then. Which is: Okay, story time. Nope. Ahem.
Fun Failure: How to Make Learning IrresistibleCulture Bao Tri Photography By Anne Collier Failure is a positive act of creativity,” Katie Salen said. Salen, executive director of the Institute of Play and founder of Quest to Learn, the first public school based on the principles of game design in the U.S., explained how failure can be a motivating agent for learning in her presentation at SXSW. Any practice – athletic, artistic, even social – involves repeatedly failing till one gets the experience or activity right. Game designer Jane McGonigal makes a similar point. But the opposite is true in school, Salen said. Over the past year, Salen went on a “listening tour,” interviewing game designers at Media Molecule, Valve, and Blizzard Entertainment. Don’t shoot the player while she’s learning. A version of this post appeared on NetFamilyNews. Related
Diane Ravitch's blogEat food. Stuff you like. As much as you want. | The Fat NutritionistSo… telling people what to eat seems to be the thing to do, no? And telling people to eat whatever they want is…well, it’s It’s just not done. You know why I think it’s controversial? Let me explain. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading here that our culture views food as a moral issue. Food isn’t moral. But, sadly, we live in a time and a place where it seems Twinkies = Eternal Damnation. So, when I say “Adult human beings are allowed to eat whatever, and however much they want,” what people actually hear is: “GO OUT AND CRAM YOUR FACE WITH BAD, BAD TWINKIES!!!!!!” I’m here to plead with you on this: first of all, people aren’t stupid. You know what else? We’re animals, which means we’re pretty highly motivated to stay alive. Those desires, being tied to the ultimate desire — to survive — are pretty damn strong. But you know what we want more than either of these? Ever wonder why animals are willing to gnaw their legs off to get out of a trap? We don’t like this.
Mindset (book)Carol S. Dweck (born October 17, 1946) is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She graduated from Barnard College in 1967 and earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1972. She taught at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois before joining the Stanford faculty in 2004. Contributions Professor Dweck has primary research interests in motivation, personality, and development. "In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. This is important because (1) individuals with a "growth" theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals' theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues. Selected publications Dweck, C. Sources See also Goal orientation References
This is your brain on Jane Austen, and researchers at Stanford are taking notesStanford Report, September 7, 2012 Researchers observe the brain patterns of literary PhD candidates while they're reading a Jane Austen novel. The fMRI images suggest that literary reading provides "a truly valuable exercise of people's brains." By Corrie Goldman The Humanities at Stanford L.A. Researcher Natalie Phillips positions an eye-tracking device on Matt Langione. The inside of an MRI machine might not seem like the best place to cozy up and concentrate on a good novel, but a team of researchers at Stanford are asking readers to do just that. In an innovative interdisciplinary study, neurobiological experts, radiologists and humanities scholars are working together to explore the relationship between reading, attention and distraction – by reading Jane Austen. During a series of ongoing experiments, functional magnetic resonance images track blood flow in the brains of subjects as they read excerpts of a Jane Austen novel.
Eat Whatever You Want and Work OutPeople work out for different reasons — to build strength, lose weight, and feel active are just a few. Some people, which include actress Gwyneth Paltrow, exercise so they don't have to amend their diets. Gwyneth's trainer, Tracy Anderson, says that Gwyneth loves to eat, and as long as she works out six days a week, the actress can eat anything she wants. Pigging out definitely isn't the main reason I exercise, but I sometimes am more lenient with my diet because I lead such an active lifestyle. Tell me . . .