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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Critical Thinking vs. Memorization

This is the first in a series of blog posts in which I will tell you about my experience taking an educational assessment techniques course completely dictated and dominated by a Pearson textbook curriculum.  Throughout the course, I engaged in a series of email correspondences with my professor, in a passionately desperate (or desperately passionate…whichever way you prefer to see it) attempt to escape the confines of classroom discussion 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

My Analysis of Dead Poet’s Society

Better late than never.  I blame myself for never watching it before an educational psych class senior year of college.  This was a truly inspiring movie!

There was a clear clash between the traditional and conservative values espoused by Welton Academy as an institution, and the progressive teaching methods of John Keating.  Welton Academy’s ethos of “tradition, honor, discipline, and excellence not only discourages but makes it a crime for a student to exercise a critical political consciousness. Continue reading

John Dewey: Psychology and Social Practice

This is a sort of summary and interpretation some of the first 12 pages of educational theorist and philosopher John Dewey’s work, Psychology and Social Practice.

The contemporary school practice is defined by two deeply rooted assumptions regarding the relationship between child psychology and adult psychology.  One involves the perception that, unlike the adult, the child is incapable of being the director of his or her own moral and intellectual development.  Therefore, even though our educational system would best serve the child by allowing him to be the director of his own learning, he is instead taught to be docile, submissive, and alert to teaching methods and materials which are forced upon him.  Continue reading

We Students Need A Unified And Thoughtful Voice In Our Educational Lives

Allow My Friend Calvin To Explain My Reasoning

I know that, in America, teachers are demonized mostly for the wrong reasons and mostly by politicians on the left and right of the political spectrum who have fallen hopelessly in love with the “Standardized testing/Accountability” fad that has completely run our educational system into the ground……….

But folks, there are some terrible teachers out there who don’t fall into this category.  They are called college professors, and some of them just really don’t have a clue what they’re doing and the worst part is their failure to realize that they don’t have a clue what they’re doing.  

Continue reading

Progressivism vs. Conservatism: The Millenial Generation

“Millennials hunger to be connected to something larger than themselves, a trait that has been highlighted by many generational researchers and one that serves as a connecting point for young adults seeking a spirituality that is not about just “me and God.”http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Oct2010/Feature1.asp

I agree with the premise of this article that our millennial generation definitely has a stronger desire to be part of a community than our parent’s generation.  I am not absolutely sure, but I firmly believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that a higher percentage of young people would define their political views as progressive as opposed to conservative.  Now when I use the word “progressive”, I do not mean progressive as in liberal.  For me, progressive means forward-thinking and willing to affect change in the world.  Continue reading