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Education > Teaching Methods

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Going North Thinking West

The Intersections of Social Class, Critical Thinking, and Politicized Writing Instruction

Irvin Peckham

Peckham argues for more clarity on the history of critical thinking, social class structures, and teacher identity, while he undertakes a skeptical look at teaching practices with which even he identifies. Critical thinking itself, Peckham suggests, is a middle-class projection, and the belief that it is linked with effective writing skills may in fact cause writing teachers to misread their students. Both the idea that argumentation is the obvious and necessary form of academic discourse and the conviction that social transformation is a purpose of the classroom need to be examined.

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Guesstimation

Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin

Lawrence Weinstein

Guesstimation is a book that unlocks the power of approximation--it's popular mathematics rounded to the nearest power of ten! The ability to estimate is an important skill in daily life. More and more leading businesses today use estimation questions in interviews to test applicants' abilities to think on their feet. Guesstimation enables anyone with basic math and science skills to estimate virtually anything--quickly--using plausible assumptions and elementary arithmetic.

Lawrence Weinstein and John Adam present an eclectic array of estimation problems that range from devilishly simple to quite sophisticated and from serious real-world concerns to downright silly ones. How long would it take a running faucet to fill the inverted dome of the Capitol? What is the total length of all the pickles consumed in the US in one year? What are the relative merits of internal-combustion and electric cars, of coal and nuclear energy? The problems are marvelously diverse, yet the skills to solve them are the same. The authors show how easy it is to derive useful ballpark estimates by breaking complex problems into simpler, more manageable ones--and how there can be many paths to the right answer. The book is written in a question-and-answer format with lots of hints along the way. It includes a handy appendix summarizing the few formulas and basic science concepts needed, and its small size and French-fold design make it conveniently portable. Illustrated with humorous pen-and-ink sketches, Guesstimation will delight popular-math enthusiasts and is ideal for the classroom.

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How Myths about Language Affect Education

What Every Teacher Should Know

David Johnson

How Myths about Language Affect Education: What Every Teacher Should Know clarifies some of the most common misconceptions about language, particularly those that affect teachers and the decisions they make when they teach English language learners. The chapters in this book address myths about language in general, about first and second language acquisition, about language and society, and about language and thinking. Each chapter concludes with activities for teachers that give examples, exercises, or simple questions that relate directly to teachers' everyday dealings with ELLs and language. How Myths about Language Affect Education is not intended to be a complete introduction to linguistics; it does not contain information on phonetics or complex syntactic explanations, and technical jargon is kept to a minimum. The aim of this book is not to settle language issues but rather to highlight popular misconceptions and the ways that they influence debates regarding language and affect language policies in and out of the classroom.

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The Humanities and the Understanding of Reality

edited by Thomas B. Stroup

In their concern with the perennial controversy between the two great areas in which men seek knowledge, three eminent literary scholars and a distinguished journalist in these essays address themselves to the question, "Do the humanities provide a form of understanding of reality that the sciences do not?"

Monroe C. Beardsley maintains that the humanities considered as contributors to knowledge must deal with the same subject matter as the sciences, but literature and the arts can enlarge our powers of understanding human nature, although not in the way the sciences do (under empirically or logically verifiable laws). Northrop Frye, while acknowledging the difference in methodology and mental attitude, asserts that the humanities, on the other hand, express man's concern for this world most clearly in the myths by which man realizes his involvement in mankind and his responsibility for his own destiny.

Frank Kermode argues that to follow the ways of sciences in searching out repetitions such as make myths is to lose sight of the unique, particular, and concrete expressions which underlie personal participation and sharpen the sensibilities. And this experience, he maintains, is the peculiar contribution of the humanities. In the final essay, Barry Bingham, editor and publisher of the Louisville Courier-Joumal, calls for a vigorous cultivation of the liberal arts in American life.

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Identity Papers

Literacy and Power in Higher Education

edited by Bronwyn T. Williams

How do definitions of literacy in the academy, and the pedagogies that reinforce such definitions, influence and shape our identities as teachers, scholars, and students? The contributors gathered here reflect on those moments when the dominant cultural and institutional definitions of our identities conflict with our other identities, shaped by class, race, gender, sexual orientation, location, or other cultural factors.

These writers explore the struggle, identify the sources of conflict, and discuss how they respond personally to such tensions in their scholarship, teaching, and administration. They also illustrate how writing helps them and their students compose alternative identities that may allow the connection of professional identities with internal desires and senses of self. They emphasize how identity comes into play in education and literacy and how institutional and cultural power is reinforced in the pedagogies and values of the writing classroom and writing profession.

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Illustrative Learning Experiences

University High School in Action

Emma Birkmaier

Illustrative Learning Experiences was first published in 1952. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This volume is number 2 in the Modern School Practices series; established in 1950 by the College of Education at the University of Minnesota, and the Bureau of Educational Research. The series is designed as a replacement to two earlier series: the Series on Individualization of Instruction and the Modern School Curriculum series.The University High School was established at the University of Minnesota in 1908 as a laboratory center for the College of Education. This volume presents the activities of the High School as an environment of observation, study, and experimentation. Topics discussed include units in social studies, chemistry, business, mathematics, foreign languages, and language arts.

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Innovations in Teacher Education

A Social Constructivist Approach

This book offers a comprehensive, “social constructivist” approach to preservice education. Written in a clear, accessible style, it presents key principles of teacher education and concrete examples from eight successful programs in Australia, Canada, and the United States. It extends constructivism beyond Piaget and Vygotsky to more recent theorists such as Barthes and Derrida, indicating how such an approach can lead to engaging, effective education. Clive Beck and Clare Kosnik advocate an approach to teacher education that is highly original, linking integration, community components, and inquiry to a degree not commonly found in preservice programs, and they show in detail how to implement these elements.

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Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience

The University of Washington's Growth in Faculty Teaching Study

Catharine Hoffman Beyer

Shows what kind of changes college faculty make to their teaching and why they make them.

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Integral Education

New Directions for Higher Learning

Leading researchers and practitioners explore the frontiers of education from an integral perspective. The educational challenges being faced today are driving us toward a new step in the evolution of educational theory and practice. Educators are called to go beyond simply presenting alternatives, to integrating the best of mainstream and alternative approaches and taking them to the next level. Integral Education accomplishes this by bringing together leading researchers and practitioners from higher education who are actively exploring the frontiers of education from an integral perspective. It presents an overview of the emerging landscape of integral education from a variety of theoretical and applied perspectives. Key characteristics of integral education include: exploring multiple perspectives, employing different pedagogical techniques (e.g., reflective, dialogical, empirical), combining conceptual rigor with embodied experience, drawing on developmental psychology, and cultivating a reflective and transformative space for students and teachers alike. Integral Education provides the most comprehensive synopsis of this exciting new approach and serves as a valuable resource for any integral effort within education.

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International Approaches to Professional Development for Mathematics Teachers

Edited by Nadine Bednarz, Dario Fiorentini and Rongjin Huang

Schools everywhere are being confronted with evolving learning and teaching paradigms that call into question a number of traditional math teaching techniques. These changes demand serious reflection on how to support frontline educators in developing their teaching skills.

Alternative approaches to professional development have been established worldwide that support teacher education and contribute to professional development that is informed by practice, created for practice and refined in practice. This volume provides a rich portrait of these emergent strategies in the professional development of math teachers, bridging the divide between theory and practice.

Written by researchers around the world, the contributions examine innovative approaches to the professional development of math teachers in different countries. Many of these approaches take into account the practitioner’s point of view and are fundamentally rooted in the context of the classroom.

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