Class, Just Call Me Ephraim: A Word On Authority

I have made the decision that once I become a teacher I will introduce myself to my students by my full name, Ephraim Hussain.  Consequently, they will have the option of either calling me Ephraim or Mr. Hussain.  My feeling is that they will opt for the former, and that is indeed my intent by opting not to impose the conventional “Mr.” title.  Now this may seem like a relatively minor aspect of my future teaching practice, and indeed one might view my concern with the matter of how students are to address the teacher as completely inconsequential and silly.  Here is why I would strongly disagree with that sentiment. Continue reading

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Politics and Dialogue in Education, Students As Researchers, And Do Any of Us Have A Right To Our Opinions?

Absolutely Not!!  And in one sentence here’s why,

Whenever people use this phrase, it is usually to say that they have a right to have their opinion considered as truth, even if their argument is logically demonstrated to have serious holes in it.  You see the problem here???

Now I understand the assertion I have made here may irk most people because most tend to get very defensive when it comes to arguing for the sanctity of their opinions.  Nonetheless the forthcoming explanation of my answer to this question is not meant to satisfy raw emotions.  It is an appeal to logic…nothing more, nothing less.   Continue reading

Postformal Psychology Continued

This blog post is a continuation of my last post entitled “Sick and Tired of Your College Professor Lecturing At You Everyday?  Postformal Psychology May Just Be The Answer To Your Woes.”

We begin with the psychological theory that, if implemented, promises to take all levels of our educational system far beyond their current boundaries.  Postformal educational psychology begins with the fundamental premise that the definition of intelligence needs to be democratized.  What does this mean?  It means that we have to stop thinking of intelligence as something that is fixed and innate, immovable and inborn-in other words one size fits all and if you don’t fit than too bad for you.  We have to remove ourselves from this fatalistic mode of thinking which dictates that some kids just can’t learn and are doomed to fail in school no matter what.  As prospective teachers, we have to avoid saying “I did all I can, and now I just can’t do anymore.”  We must not only willing be but able to critically interrogate our own teaching practice, to constantly be rethinking and altering our own pedagogies with respect to the needs of our students, and resist falling into the trap of labeling some of our students as less than intelligent.  To say that intelligence needs to be democratized is to say that no one is less than intelligent and that intelligence is indeed learnable. Continue reading

Stop Curving! Stop Lecturing! Stop Grading! Start Teaching So We Can Start Learning!

Two weeks ago my genetics class received the results of our second test.  The class average was a 48, and to my amazement, our professor, whom I will refer to as Dr. James decided to curve the test by 29 points, consequently raising the class average to a low C.  In response to what I consider to be “the easy way out” and a great dereliction of duty by a professional educator, I sent him the following e-mail, Continue reading