Atul Gawande gave the commencement address at CalTech this month, and The New Yorker published his speech under the headline “A Mistrust Of Science.”
Here’s an excerpt:
The whole piece would be useful in IB Theory of Knowledge classes when discussing science. I especially like his discussion of pseudoscience (you might also be interested in Video: Bill Nye On Pseudo-Science.
Police Body Cameras: What Do You See? is a new very impressive interactive at The New York Times. After first soliciting the reader’s general feelings about the police, the interactive shows several staged police encounters from different cameras and angles – asking you to judge what you think you saw. Then, those judgments are compared to other what others said and their feelings about the police. It’s extraordinarily useful to just about any class, and will be a superior addition to my Theory of Knowledge lesson on perception,Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today. That post shares several other videos showing the same event from different angles.
You may, or may not, be familiar with the BBC’s “A History of Ideas.” It’s a show with 72 one-hour podcasts and 48 accompanying short video animations about philosophy. You can access all the podcasts and videos on the BBC site, which is particularly nice since a lot of the other material on the BBC won’t play in the United States. All the video animations are also on YouTube.
My 2014 post, New “Fillable” PDF Forms For IB Theory Of Knowledge Presentations & Essays, has been very popular, with TOK teachers from around the world not wanting to brave the IB website just to download some simple forms. Instead, they’ve just gone to that post, and I haven’t heard any objections from IB about my making them available. In January, though, I heard from TOK teacher Vladi Stanojevic that, in their infinite wisdom, IB decided to make some changes to the Presentations form (the Essay form appears to be the same):
It’s very similar to the old one, except it doesn’t have space for the candidates names. It does seem odd that they have entirely removed any space for student names, but I’ve given up trying to figure out IB decisions….
Mai Xi Lee has done a tremendous job working with schools in our district to implement Social Emotional Learning. In this video, you’ll hear what it looks like (and, you’ll see a few clips of me and my classroom ):
Police Body Cameras: What Do You See? is a new very impressive interactive at The New York Times. After first soliciting the reader’s general feelings about the police, the interactive shows several staged police encounters from different cameras and angles – asking you to judge what you think you saw. Then, those judgments are compared to other what others said and their feelings about the police. It’s extraordinarily useful to just about any class, and will be a superior addition to my Theory of Knowledge lesson on perception, Videos: Here’s The Simple Theory of Knowledge Lesson On Perception I Did Today. That post shares several other videos showing the same event from different angles.
Filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent 3 years collecting real-life stories from more than 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and cameramen, he captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.
I’m always trying to learn new classroom discussion strategies, particularly using the sequence of big-to-small-to-big (pose question,assignment and sequence to the entire class; have them break into small groups; then come back to the entire class to share and discuss). This kind of strategy works great for English Language Learners and, I think, for just about everybody else, too. So I was excited to see this short video on The Teaching Channel (embedded below and here’s the direct link to it at The Channel).
I hadn’t heard of the “Wingman” strategy before (call me “PC,” but I’d probably call it “Wingperson.” Basically, students go into small groups (for example, a group of three) and one person is designated as the “Wingman.” That person’s job is to listen to the discussion between the classmates in the group and use a sheet to evaluate the quality of the work (for example, if they are using certain sentence starters or if they are talking excessively) and then to write down their own thoughts and summarize what occurred. Then, that student can provide a report to the class. There are lots of variations, of course. If you register at the Teaching Channel (it’s free and easy), you then gain access to some nice materials, including a sample Wingman worksheet.
Brainwaves has issued another great video — this time a short interview of Jonathan Kozol. Actually, there are two. The first is five minutes, and the second is one minute of him talking about the great Fred Rogers. As a bonus, I’ve also included an NPR video of him from last year. Here’s an excerpt from the new video, followed by all the videos themselves:
As regular readers know, I teach an International Baccalaureate “Theory of Knowledge” class. Our school structures our IB program a bit differently from many others by having a whole lot of students take individual IB classes and we have relatively few who are taking all IB classes in order to get the IB diploma. I really like this set-up, and it opens up my TOK class to a lot more students.
As I’ve said before, I can’t think of a high school class that would be more fun to teach or more fun to take…
‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy is a terrific interview of Harvard professor Michael Sandel about his new book, “What Money Can’t Buy.” It appeared on the PBS News Hour tonight (Part Two will be online tomorrow and I’ll post it here). I’ve embedded the video below, though I don’t know if it will show up in an RSS feed. If you go to the previous link you can also read the transcript. I’ve previously written about Professor Sandel’s new book and what he has to say about schools. I also use his work when we study ethics in our IB Theory Of knowledge class.
“Teenage Philosopher Defends Missing Her Curfew” is a must-read, very funny piece from McSweeney’s Magazine. It is perfect for an IB Theory of Knowledge class! I’m going to have students read it, and then work in pairs to find the meaning of each philosophical allusion in the article. It will be a fun activity near the end of the school year, and I’ll probably even make it a contest (I’m obviously not a fan of extrinsic rewards, but, in this case, I’ll make a very silly one).
I titled the post where I published this comic “There Are Dangers To Always Doing What You’re Told To Do….”:
Here are my choices for The Best Videos For Educators In 2012 — So Far:
Here’s a short video demonstrating Bloom’s Taxonomy through scenes from the movie, “Finding Nemo.” It only has still scenes for each level with a description, but it would be easy enough to show the scenes from a DVD or via Netflix and use this video as a guide:
And here’s Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) According to Homer Simpson. I’ve embedded the video below, though if it doesn’t show up on an RSS Readers you might have to click through to see it. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom, where it joins similar videos using clips from Star Wars, Seinfield and Pirates of the Caribbean to provide a similar light-hearted, but educational, perspective.I’ve written a lot about the work of Harvard Professor Michael Sandel. Here’s short video where he’s considering the question “Should we pay children to read?” He gets to the crux of the matter in the final couple of minutes:
I titled this video “Sometimes You Just Have To Take The Risk, Jump In, & Grab An Opportunity Because It May Not Be There For Long…”:
First, congratulations to LeBron James on his first NBA Championship.
Second, thanks to LeBron for spending so much reading and making it so public.
This really is an extraordinary video, and is tailor-made to use in an ESL class — it’s extremely engaging and has lots of different activities that students can describe and discuss. In fact, it’s engaging for anyone…. Unfortunately, it’s also a commercial for Coke, but the advertising part is very small at the end:
PBS released this wonderful remix of Mister Rogers:
“Farmers and gardeners know you cannot make a plant grow….The plant grows itself. What you do is provide the conditions for growth. And great farmers know what the conditions are and bad ones don’t. Great teachers know what the conditions for growth are and bad ones don’t.”
In this video, some ducklings were able to get over the curb on their own. However, several found that it was just too high. Look at how someone provides assistance to those having trouble, and how he doesn’t tell them what to do. Instead, he offers it as an option, as a choice they can make. It’s an example of an old community organizing axiom, “If you don’t give people the opportunity to say no, you don’t give them the opportunity to say yes, either.”
Diane Ravitch calls this video clip the “greatest single commentary on flaws of data-driven school reform today.” It is pretty darn good, I have to agree:
‘What Money Can’t Buy’ and What it Shouldn’t Buy is a terrific interview of Harvard professor Michael Sandel about his new book, “What Money Can’t Buy.”
It appeared on the PBS News Hour tonight (Part Two will be online tomorrow and I’ll post it here). I’ve embedded the video below, though I don’t know if it will show up in an RSS feed. If you go to the previous link you can also read the transcript.
I’ve previously written about Professor Sandel’s new book and what he has to say about schools. I also use his work when we study ethics in our IB Theory Of knowledge class.
For years, Switzerland had been trying to find a place to store its radioactive waste…. One location designated as a potential site was the small mountain village of Wolfenschiessen (population 2,100). In 1993, shortly before a referendum on the issue, economists surveyed the residents of the village, asking whether they would vote to accept a nuclear waste repository in their community if the Swiss parliament decided to build it there. Although the facility was widely viewed as an undesirable addition to the neighborhood, a slim majority (51 percent) of residents said they would accept it. Apparently their sense of civic duty outweighed their concern about the risks. Then the economists added a sweetener: suppose parliament proposed building the nuclear waste facility in your community and offered to compensate each resident with an annual monetary payment. Then would you favor it?
The result: support dropped to 25 percent. What’s more, upping the ante didn’t help. When the economists increased the monetary offer, the result was unchanged. The residents stood firm even when offered yearly cash payments as high as $8,700 per person, well in excess of the median monthly income.