critical reasoning
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Letter Grades Deserve an 'F'

Letter Grades Deserve an 'F' | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The adoption of the Common Core could usher in a new era of standards-based grading.

Via Mel Riddile, Cindy Riley Klages, Ivon Prefontaine
iPamba's insight:

More important than the grading system is whether or not, throughout the process of learning, communication strategies and tools are used, including meaningful feedback to learners,  to enable them to recognize their challenges as well as assess their progress and achievement.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 12, 2014 11:50 PM

The core of the argument is sound and draws on seminal thinking about student assessment. The addition that might be made is that thinking was based on considerably more teacher autonomy and local community involvement in their schools. I think the two go hand-in-hand. We need teachers to be teaching students and that includes effective assessment which can be communicated to students and their parents.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 13, 2014 9:57 AM

I think one of the keys is this paragraph: "Teaching and learning with an eye toward mastery of a defined list of competencies circumvents many of the pitfalls that points-based grading causes. If mastery of a specific concept or skill is the stated goal for everyone, students are free to be more creative in their thinking. They are encouraged to challenge themselves in pursuit of that mastery."


Let's be honest: there is a lot of subjectivity in a lot of grading. Perhaps Common Core, for all of its flaws, will challenge us to think differently about how we assess. Not just how we grade student work, but how we make decisions about how students can demonstrate what they know and can do.

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Big Brains, Small Minds

Big Brains, Small Minds | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"If the aim of education is to gain money and power, where can we turn for help in knowing what to do with that money and power?"


By John Kaag and David O’Hara MAY 13, 2016 


"We are on the verge of becoming the best trained, and least educated, society since the Romans — and reducing the humanities to a type of soft science will only hasten this trend."

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Why Students Procrastinate and What To Do About ItLearning and the Brain blog

Why Students Procrastinate and What To Do About ItLearning and the Brain blog | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
In their model of academic procrastination, Gregory Schraw and colleagues6 identified various adaptive aspects of procrastination, in addition to the maladaptive characteristics that many are familiar with. In their interviews some students reported that they needed the time pressure associated with procrastination in order to reach what researchers call a state of “flow”7,or the engaged experience commonly referred to as being “in the zone”. As opposed to more passive procrastinators, these “active” procrastinators may deliberately delay beginning an assignment because they work more efficiently under pressure.8 Some evidence suggests that active procrastination is associated with less stress and higher grades, as compared to passive procrastination.8 However, other research has failed to find replicate this type of result, muddling our understanding of this relationship.9

Should teachers let students who claim to benefit from delaying assignments continue to procrastinate?

The answer to this question isn’t completely clear and other researchers have argued against the notion that procrastination is beneficial for learning. In a 2015 meta-analysis10, researchers Kyung Ryung Kim and Eun Hee Seo found an overall negative association between procrastination and learning across 33 studies. While it’s safe to say that some students believe that there are positive benefits of procrastination, the important question is whether they would be better off not procrastinating. This research does highlight the importance of thinking about the reasons why students are procrastinating, how they cope with stress, and if they usually succeed under conditions of procrastination. As with many issues in the classroom, understanding individual students is key.
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How to Design a Great Classroom - Learning and the Brain blog

How to Design a Great Classroom - Learning and the Brain blog | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
To commemorate World Teacher’s Day last year, Reuters’ photographers shared images of students around the world in different classrooms—including those without electricity, books, chairs, or walls. These photos serve as a reminder of extreme global inequality in the distribution of educational resources. But they also suggest that few physical materials are strictly necessary for building a rich world of learning.

While learning can potentially take place anywhere, aspects of the immediate physical environment, from the arrangement of desks to the air quality of the neighborhood, may impact student learning. But how much does the physical environment relate to students’ academic growth?

Designed to address this question, the Holistic Evidence and Design (HEAD) Project published its results in 2015 and was named one of Edutopia’s Education Research Highlight studies of the year. This study deliberately incorporated geographic and socioeconomic diversity in their sample by collecting information about 3,766 students from 1st through 6th grade at 27 schools in three districts!1

The results? Taking into account reading, writing and math scores, the HEAD study estimates that moving an “average” elementary school student in the UK from the least effective learning environment to the most effective one has the impact of more than half a school year of growth.
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10 Questions on Not Invading Iraq

10 Questions on Not Invading Iraq | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"The Agenda looks back at Canada's decision not to invade Iraq."


"Bill Graham on Not Invading Iraq: In 2003, Canada declined the U.S. invitation to invade Iraq. This decision had positive and negative repercussions for Canadian and American relations, domestic and foreign policy for years to come. The Agenda welcomes former federal Liberal leader Bill Graham to discuss how and why the Canadian government declined to participate."

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What you need to teach at LSE? A role in Maleficent | Catherine Bennett

What you need to teach at LSE? A role in Maleficent | Catherine Bennett | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The university’s appointment of Angelina Jolie reveals much about the marketisation of higher education
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15 Smart Study Tactics Based on the Latest Brain Research - InformED

15 Smart Study Tactics Based on the Latest Brain Research - InformED | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Think you know everything there is to know about smart studying? You may be surprised by some of the past year’s research. Below are 15 new insights on how to prep for exams and boost your academic achievements in general. 1. Learn slightly differently each time. When acquiring a new skill, make slight changes during each... Read More
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The Slippery Business of Plagiarism | The World View

The Slippery Business of Plagiarism | The World View | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Students, especially those who come from corrupt environments where plagiarism is prevalent, but ignored, or seen as a trivial offense, need better guidance.
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The Syllabus: Indicator of Instructional Intentions

The Syllabus: Indicator of Instructional Intentions | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Much can be learned about the culture of teaching in our courses, departments, and institutions through descriptive analysis of course syllabi.
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Transfer Pathways in Postsecondary
Education: York University and Seneca
College as a Case Study

Transfer Pathways in Postsecondary<br/>Education: York University and Seneca<br/>College as a Case Study | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Transfer Pathways in Postsecondary Education: York University and Seneca College as a Case Study

Report authored by Richard Smith, Sylvia Lin and Robindra Sidhu from York University and Henry Decock and Ursula McCloy from Seneca College

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Grades, gender, age predict success for college-university transfers Strong grades are a primary predictor of success for students transferring between college and university, according to a new study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. The study examined more than 14,000 students who transferred between Seneca College and York University from 2000 to 2012, and also found that students who were younger and/or female were more likely to graduate after moving from a college into a university. Younger students were also more likely to complete their education more quickly in a university-to-college pathway, although gender was not as significant a factor in this case. "
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Emma Thompson: I do not want to die before closing the pay gap | Letters

Emma Thompson: I do not want to die before closing the pay gap | Letters | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Letters:I have met and talked with the Women’s Equality party and a more committed, bright, inspiring bunch of women with fantastic ideas I have never found
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Programs to Help Students Afford College Favor the Rich

Programs to Help Students Afford College Favor the Rich | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Determined that he and his younger brother would go to college, Eduardo Medina’s parents put money away in a savings account to pay for the tuition.

It never added up to more than $5,000, and before he finished high school on his way to the Ivy League, they were compelled to use it for a different purpose: to help his grandmother avoid losing her home to foreclosure.

Much of the rest of the family’s income went to pay for the cramped two-bedroom apartment in a San Diego suburb where they moved because the schools were slightly better than in the city.

What has happened to Medina since is a case study in the way some government, university, and private programs to help Americans pay for college have become more likely to benefit wealthier students than even the most academically talented lower-income ones.
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The social costs of expecting cuisines to be ‘cheap’

The social costs of expecting cuisines to be ‘cheap’ | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Food writer Corey Mintz explains why some kinds of international cuisine costs more than others and how this may relate to treatment of employees.
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Unsung heroes of the Caribbean who fought for Britain against Hitler

Unsung heroes of the Caribbean who fought for Britain against Hitler | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
BBC documentary rescues history by telling of volunteers who risked their lives
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Tackling the gender bias in mathematics education

Tackling the gender bias in mathematics education | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
We’ve come a long way, but maths is still a boys’ club. Where does this
problem start, and how can we solve it?
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What does it Mean to be Information-Literate Today? - Learning and the Brain blog

What does it Mean to be Information-Literate Today? - Learning and the Brain blog | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Nowadays, not only is information everywhere, it is also literally at our fingertips. I can ask my phone how many calories are in my food, self-diagnose my headache on a medical website, look up a research article on a database, or search for a tutorial about my favorite hobby on social media. Thanks to technology, I can retrieve a massive amount of information that I otherwise would never have had easy access to. It’s like living in a candy store…of information.

Not a bad thing, right?

But what happens if the information I look at is not credible? What happens if I am misled by false information or misrepresented facts?

Today, knowing how to distinguish between reliable and unreliable information has become a necessary skill.
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Grit is a tool in the toolbox, not the silver bullet - book reviw

Grit is a tool in the toolbox, not the silver bullet - book reviw | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
  West Point cadets endure a grueling level of physical exertion, emotional challenge, and social abuse. The standards for completing the training are
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A slave in Scotland: ‘I fell into a trap – and I couldn't get out’

A slave in Scotland: ‘I fell into a trap – and I couldn't get out’ | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Abul Azad left Bangladesh to take up a chef’s job in London – but found himself enslaved in a remote Scottish hotel.
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   The Speech Obama Should Have Given in Hiroshima:  Information Clearing House - ICH

   The Speech Obama Should Have Given in Hiroshima:  Information Clearing House - ICH | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
By Matt Peppe

Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit Hiroshima on Friday, more than seven decades after the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a 10,000-pound atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city whose military value was far less than that of Tampa to the United States. More than 70,000 people were instantly killed, and virtually the entire city was flattened. Many survivors would suffer prolonged and unimaginably painful aftereffects of radiation, which would cost at least 100,000 more people their lives. The effects of radiation would harm people for years and decades after the initial explosion.   

Obama stood at a podium with the epicenter of the blast, the Genbaku Domu, in the background and said that he had "come to mourn the dead." While Obama mourned, there was one thing he did not do: apologize. 

He said that "death came from the sky." No mention of why. Or who was responsible, as if it were a natural disaster rather than a crime perpetrated by actual people. Obama was either unwilling or unable to confront the truth and make amends. 

Here's what he could have said to try to do so:
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Why IQ matters more than grit

Why IQ matters more than grit | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
An intelligence researcher explains some uncomfortable truths about IQ.

Via Lynnette Van Dyke
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Anti-Zionism does not equate to antisemitism | Letters

Anti-Zionism does not equate to antisemitism | Letters | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Letters: Chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis attacks the Labour party by launching a defence of Zionism which turns it from a political ideology (that can be supported or opposed) into a religion that is beyond question. We British Jews reject this categorically
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Scholars consider how to save the liberal arts

Scholars consider how to save the liberal arts | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"Scholars at conference on whether liberal arts need saving focus on evolving threats, including diminishing attention spans, mounting consumerism and a desire by administrators to quantify everything."


Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday, May 25, 2016


"The liberal arts need saving, but from what? The question of “saving” the liberal arts is well-known to many, writes Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed, but the question of what exactly it needs saving from is often more vague. Flaherty recounts some of the major insights that were shared at a recent conference on this subject at the University of Chicago. Among the perceived threats against the liberal arts were declining attention spans in a world of instant gratification, a growing dislike for media or content that is difficult to understand at first glance, and the growing institutional desire to reduce the effectiveness or outcomes of programs to simple metrics."


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Michael Coren: How to say sorry like you mean it

Michael Coren: How to say sorry like you mean it | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Justin Trudeau apologies for elbow incident with NDP and Michael Coren questions the prime minister’s authenticity.
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Atheists don’t need faith, any more than we need religion | Julian Baggini

Atheists don’t need faith, any more than we need religion | Julian Baggini | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Religion is on the decline in the UK, but any attempt to suggest that non-believers simply have a different kind of faith is misplaced. Our values are rooted in everyday joys
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Why New Humanities Ph.D.s Should Leave the Country

Why New Humanities Ph.D.s Should Leave the Country | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

For too long, the U.S. academic job market has compelled us to see our careers in black and white.


Summary from Academica Top Ten - Tuesday, May 24, 2016


"“Leave the country”: one prof’s advice to new humanities PhDs “I am writing from Ecuador to offer this advice to new PhDs in the humanities,” writes Professor Scott Gibson: “pack your bags.” Gibson recounts the story of how his frustration with the process of applying to US-based colleges led him to look at other parts of the world for tenure-stream work. While a move might not be desirable for everyone, Gibson highlights the benefits of a clean and simple interview process, especially in contrast to the process of applying to countless jobs in your own country. Gibson discusses how a position outside of his home country yielded better compensation than in the US, had a minimal negative impact on his research agenda, and helped him to regain a sense of purpose in his work."

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'No Muslims allowed': how nationalism is rising in Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar

'No Muslims allowed': how nationalism is rising in Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Concerns grow that Buddhist extremism may flourish unless country’s new democratic leaders counter discrimination against minorities
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