First, Do No Harm

The major thrust and most utilized aspect of the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors is “primum non nocere” or “first, do no harm.” Really, it seems this should apply to everyone. At this moment I’m looking at you Virginia (the state, not the little girl asking about Santa Claus). Under governor Glenn Youngkin, new rulesContinue reading “First, Do No Harm”

Hey You! Back Off!

I teach a general methods and science methods course to prospective elementary. I’d like to share an anecdote from a recent class. During this session I was leading students through an activity in which we compare how many drops of water vs. rubbing alcohol we can fit on a penny. It’s a surprisingly large numberContinue reading “Hey You! Back Off!”

One(ness)

This is the week of the term when my science education students listen to a Radiolab podcast titled “From Tree to Shining Tree.” I tell them it’s utterly fascinating and they always unanimously agree after giving it the hour it takes to listen to it. It’s about how the trees in a forest are interconnected,Continue reading “One(ness)”

The Truths We Hold

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Do we? I get why the framers had to include a Creator in the first sentence. “Many philosophers and theologiansContinue reading “The Truths We Hold”

Interconnectednessness

I added the extra “ness” because understanding the interconnected nature of, well, nature is becoming increasingly crucial. Sort of like our lives depend on it. Because they do. But it isn’t just the interconnected nature of nature that matters. I’ll get to that in a minute. Try this. Close your eyes. Well, not quite yet.Continue reading “Interconnectednessness”

Now is Not the Time for Safe Mode

Is it a stretch to say that the pandemic is pushing education to a crisis? There were struggles prior to the pandemic and the pandemic has both put a spotlight on the cracks and weaknesses in the system and exacerbated them. I think it is absolutely crucial we don’t lose sight of those cracks andContinue reading “Now is Not the Time for Safe Mode”

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

I’d like to share a bit about the concept of a growth mindset developed by Carol Dweck. A person with a fixed mindset believes intelligence is simply an inborn trait. A person with a growth mindset might value challenge as an opportunity for growth. But this isn’t simply a case of how having a positiveContinue reading “Growth vs. Fixed Mindset”

They Teach Anyway

When the budget is cut another ten percentAnd a new set of standards and tests are passedAnd after another lock down drillThey teach anyway When told to find just five more seatsFor thirty five in a room for twenty fiveFor kids coming to school hungryThey teach anyway When everyone is sent homeThen back againThen homeContinue reading “They Teach Anyway”

Why Learning Theory Matters

At Bemidji State we have teacher-candidates write a comprehensive “Central Focus & Context/Rationale” with every lesson plan. This is a statement requiring students to explicitly describe the big idea or central focus of the lesson, detail the lesson’s fit in the curriculum, and then lastly, use research and learning theory to support teaching methods chosen.Continue reading “Why Learning Theory Matters”