"If you can learn when it's so hard, you're going to soar when it's easier. When this big, hard thing is over, you're going to be so strong at doing these things well."
This post is a lightly edited comment from a previous blog post in which I recommended that faculty find ways of engaging students that don't require the use of cameras. This is especially important for online classes that aren't advertised as synchronous and requiring cameras and for any class that is scheduled as in-person but... Continue Reading →
"In a culture on a quest for more that often overvalues productivity, we may have a greater obligation to teach students to rest than to work hard."
We are increasingly aware of the role of K-12 education in “killing curiosity”, and we should be aware of how college can do that, too. Curiosity matters for its own sake--and it is also a strong predictor of learning, even more than focus! Here are some low-effort ways you can encourage more curiosity in your... Continue Reading →
Reviewing books is the best--free books in exchange for a little writing? Yes please! Here's my latest, a review of Confronting Religious Violence: A Counternarrative, an edited collection that arose out of a symposium about Not in God's Name by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, one of the co-editors of the newer volume. It appears at Reading... Continue Reading →
Black pastors are leaving or considering leaving the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant group in the US and one founded in defense of slavery. At its 2017 annual meeting, white resistance to a resolution condemning the alt-right was initially denied consideration--until support for the move began to stream in from overt white nationalists. Caught... Continue Reading →
Instead of "time management," I want students to work at the things that are important to them: prioritization. I want them to enjoy their efforts and the fruits of those efforts (a pleasure-driven pedagogy). And I want learning to be hard when necessary (because some work is hard and sometimes you can't grow unless you are doing a hard thing) but easy and light when possible (because not everything has to require a challenge).
Mark Twain said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." How can we help students do that?
Since when students study more, they perform better, and better performances are more fun to grade, a little effort in helping them find people to study with will make your teaching life a lot more pleasant, too.