Popular Press Article on Education, Teaching and Learning, and College Classroom
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Why I Teach is an article by Viet Thanh Nguyen that was published in The New York Times (September 23, 2019). Here is a quote I like about this opinion piece:"Bad teachers waste lives and time, their own and those of their students. Good teachers competently teach their subjects. Great teachers give something from deep inside of themselves."
In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Major Endure is an article by David Deming that was published in The New York Times (September 20, 2019). The last sentence of this piece is: "A four-year college degree should prepare students for the next 40 years of working life, and for a future that none of us can imagine."
Racism in the Research Lab is an article by Daniel A. Colón Ramos and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa that was published in The New York Times (August 4, 2016). “You are too smart to be Mexican” and “Congratulations! You probably got the award because you are Latino” are two of many remarks we, as scholars and professionals, heard at some of the top academic centers in the country. One of us is a professor and neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University (soon to be the Chair of Neurologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic), the other is a professor and a basic research scientist at Yale University.
Should All Research Papers Be Free? is an article by Kate Murphy, that was published in The New York Times (March 12, 2016). A graduate student from Kazakhstan named Alexandra Elbakyan is believed to be hiding out in Russia after illegally leaking millions of documents. She took a stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just about every scientific paper ever published, on topics ranging from acoustics to zymology. Her protest has earned her rock-star status among advocates for open access, and has shined a light on how accessing sometimes critical scientific findings for private and public decision-making is often prohibitively expensive.
The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals is an article by Katherine Kinzler, that was published in The New York Times (March 11, 2016). The obvious: Learning more than one language enables new conversations and new experiences. The less obvious: New studies have demonstrated that multilingual exposure improves not only children’s cognitive skills but also their social abilities.
Are College Lectures Unfair? is an article by Annie Murphy Paul, that was published in The New York Times (September 12, 2015). The author points to an increasing body of research evidence indicating that traditional lectures discriminate and is biased against undergraduates who are not white, male and affluent.
How to Measure a College's Value is an article by columnist Frank Bruni, that was published in The New York Times (September 12, 2015). Frank writes about studies that compared public and private (elite) institutions for what happens to their graduates afterward during their professional career. The message: What colleges gives you hinges almost entirely on what you give it.
Why Is Science So Straight? is an article by columnist Manil Suri, that was published in The New York Times (September 4, 2015). The author, an engineer, points to the fact that Gays and Lesbians are underrepresented in many STEM fields.
Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions is an article by Sendhil Mullainathan, that was published in The New York Times (January 3, 2015). Randomized names on the resumé for a job application led to the finding that a "white-sounding" name (like "Brendan") was roughly 50 percent more likely to result in callback for an interview than African-American names (such as “Jamal”). In a fast pacing world we make fast decision relying on many factors escape our consciousness. Dozens of researchers have documented implicit bias outside of our awareness. We should look inward — and examine how, despite best intentions, we discriminate in ways big and small.
Why Do Americans Stink at Math? is an article by Elizabeth Green, that was published in The New York Times magazine (July 23, 2014). The article is not about College classroom but rather about attempts to reform the (math) teachers are fought how to teach. I really enjoyed reading about the "I, WE, YOU" teaching method versus the "YOU, Y'ALL, WE" teaching method.
A solution to Bad Teaching is an article by Adam Grant, that was published in The New York Times (February 5, 2014). The author argue that efficacy of the faculty in higher education would be improved if they were hire with three possible tenure-track paths: Research only, teaching only, and both Research and Teaching.
Lectures Didn't Work in 1350—and They Still Don't Work Today is an article that was published in The Atlantic magazine (November 15, 2013) as an interview of David Thornburg, an award winning educational futurist who wrote a book titled: "From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21st Century Learning Environments."
Don't Give Up on the Lecture is an article that was published in The Atlantic magazine (November 21, 2013) The last line of the article reads: "There is no one method of education that fails across the board, only the occasional rigid ideology that criticizes “one-size-fits-all education” while discontinuing a few of the less popular sizes."
Daily Online Testing in Large Classes: Boosting College Performance while Reducing Achievement Gaps was featured in a New York Times article (November 21, 2013) The authors concluded that their findings suggested that frequent consequential quizzing should be used routinely in large lecture courses to improve performance in class and in other concurrent and subsequent courses.
Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? is a New York Times Magazine(October 3, 2013) by Eileen Pollack. Very interesting!
Why Do I Teach? is a New York Times opinion (May 22, 2013) by Garry Gutting. Here is one of the many "controversial" things that Garry wrote in his piece: "I’ve concluded that the goal of most college courses should not be knowledge but engaging in certain intellectual exercises."
John Dewey's Vision of Learning as Freedom is a New York Times Op-Ed contribution(September 5, 2012) by Michael S. Roth (president of Wesleyan University.) Building "human capital" is critical to the future of democracy in the U.S. (and any other nation on earth), yet, as argued more than a century ago by John Dewey, education cannot be designed to develop turn human beings into economic or military resources (a labor / military force). Rather, (higher) education's highest purpose is to give all citizens the opportunity to find "large and human significance" in their lives and work.
Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It is Just So Darn Hard) is a New York Times article (November 4, 2011) by Christopher Drew. We are losing an alarming proportion of our nation’s science talent once the students get to college, why? This article offers some insights.
NSF Effort Pushes for More Global Science is a Chronicle of Higher Education article (October 10, 2011) by Alex Campbell. The National Science Foundation has started a new effort that encourages scientists to build “virtual institutes” that will increase collaboration across borders. Called Science Across Virtual Institutes, it will give researchers and instructors more backing to do what they often do already: work with overseas partners.
Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web is a New York Times Education article (November 4, 2010) that describes how online education is finding its way into more colleges, many of them public institutions facing tight budgets.
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits is a New York Times Science Section (September 7, 2010) report on a series of recently published research articles that support the idea that alternating study environments, mixing content, spacing study sessions, self-testing or all the above are effective ways to increase retention. The article includes links to peer-reviewed articles.
Teach Your Teachers Well is a New York Times Op-Ed contribution (November 2, 2009) arguing that their is a better to train teachers. Although the article focuses on K-12, the thinking applies also to graduate students interested in a career in Academia. For example, I like this statement: students [future educators] should learn their craft the way a surgeon learns to operate: by intense supervision in a real setting with expert mentors
Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes is a New York Times article (February 18, 2009) highlighting the changing student's attitude towards their grades. Should putting serious effort into a class lead automatically to high grades? Apparently more and more students think so.
At M.I.T., Large Lectures Are Going the Way of the Blackboard is a New York Times article (January 13, 2009) dealing with replacing large lecture physics intro class with smaller, collaborative student-centered learning.
Conspiracy 101: A New York Times OpEd (June 23, 2006) dealing with the request of some officials of the state of Wisconsin to fire a UW-Madison lecturer who brought controversial views about Islam, the U.S. and 9/11 in his classroom...
Cells That Read Minds is a fascinating New York Times Science article (January 10, 2006) by Sandra Blakeslee. Recently neuroscientists have discovered Mirror Neurons", a class of cells that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions. This discovery is shaking up numerous scientific disciplines, shifting the understanding of culture, empathy, philosophy, language, imitation, autism and psychotherapy. Everyday experiences are also being viewed in a new light. Mirror neurons reveal how children learn, why people respond to certain types of sports, dance, music and art, why watching media violence may be harmful and why many men like pornography.