Tuesday, April 28

Yom HaAtzma'ut - Al HaNissim

Avi Schmidman suggests a thought-provoking text for an "Al HaNissim" inclusion for Yom HaAtzmaut.

Don't Bother Setting Goals

Whenever anybody asks me about revamping an educational program, creating a new curriculum, or modifying a class in some way, my first question is always, "What are your goals?" Once you figure out what you want to accomplish, its much easier to figure out what you should change and add, and what you should not change or leave out.

Well, the Boston Globe quotes experts in the economic sphere who suggest that, at least under some circumstances, goal-setting can backfire. I wonder if and how this should change our educational thinking.

Sunday, April 26

Laughing With the Rabbis

Really, the Gemara can be a pretty funny book, at least if you are open to its somewhat dry and understated sense of humor. (Isn't all Jewish humor dry and understated, or is that just my personal bias?) Well, at least one academic agrees with me on that, categorizing the uses of humor in the Talmud, particularly regarding outlandish cases and examples.

Thursday, April 23

Its Not Cheap (or Ethical), But it Sure Beats Flunking

The easiest way to write your college or grad school essay is to pay someone in India to do it. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. (We have actually discussed this in previous posts here and here).

Tuesday, April 21

Happiest Time of the Day

The happiest time of the day for any parent is, of course, bed time. (How guilty should I feel about writing that?) Well, it seems that the practice of bedtime may be drifting away as parents' lives get more and more hectic.

Sunday, April 19

Humanism, Atheism, and The Human Condition

A thoughtful and sensitive response to the agressive New Atheism, not from the perspective of religion, but from the perspective of the "Old Atheism." (Also see my less polite screed against the Jewish New Atheism.)

Tuesday, April 14

JESNA Resources

JESNA's rich website includes a Soslind Online Resource Center, with links to hundreds of articles, research studies, useful tools, and information that educators might want to know. Worth the look.

Sunday, April 12

Smartest Idiot Revisited

Another aritcle on smart people (this time, school administrators) who make really bad decisions, and why. And see our previous post here.

Tuesday, April 7

Jewish Portal of Teacher Education

This looks like a good site with updated information on Jewish teacher training and links to programs and research. You can sign up for their newsletter, too.

Sunday, April 5

Are Standards the Answer?

A few weeks back I had a conversation on Lookjed about the value of "Standards" as a sollution to the so-called "illiteracy problem" in Jewish Schools. Seems like the two sides of that debate are really two sides of a much wider debate in education (and I admit that I am a bigger fan of decentralization). Two big hitters in general education take up the two opposite sides of the question here.

Thursday, April 2

Teaching in the Panopticon

I usually turn off whenever anybody mentions Foucault, and this article is certainly overstated, but there is something to the idea that creative education and thinking cannot easily occur in institutions like schools in which everything is monitored, evaluated, and observed.