Story 3:

“I still remember the day I learned that history is not progress. It was a history class about the Middle East, covering the decline of the Ottoman Empire. We read a social history book about that era that went into a lot of detail about the human suffering at the time. At one point in the discussion, I said very earnestly, “Well, at least in the long run, things always get better.” I must have been, maybe, 20 years old? And luckily the professor took mercy on my ignorance, and took me through a series of questions that made me realize, well, no, things are not inevitably and always getting better, that progress is not linear. And this basic insight, which is so fundamental to the type of history that I do, is something that I always try to help my students realize too.”

Story 4:

“During grad school, I took my first film course. I was so excited about this class, that one day after we were talking about French poststructuralism, I got home and just started writing a short essay about it. So it send it to the prof, and I go to his office to talk about it. And I was expecting to come in and talk about my ideas. But he only wanted to talk about punctuation–the stylistic choices I had made with commas, semicolons, and so on. His belief was that commas animate your thought, that these choices are vital. And as he was talking so passionately about punctuation, I realized, he’s such a good writer because he paid attention to that, those little things that no one else cared about, but were just so important. And after that discussion we did get into my ideas about poststructuralism, but the fact that we spent so much time on punctuation first, that profoundly shifted how I thought about writing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

DigPed 2017

Join the “Hacking Assessment” book club

Are you interested in thinking about how to spend more time on student feedback and less on assigning and justifying grades? Please consider joining the Thinq.Studio book club for Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Read more…

DigPed 2017

It’s hard to learn while hungry

As Luis Poza mentioned in his earlier post, the Digital Pedagogy Lab in Fredericksburg, Virginia featured a keynote by Sara Goldrick-Rab, who researches college affordability and the very real needs of our students. Dr. Goldrick-Rab encourages Read more…

DigPed 2017

What happens when you replace grades with a set of requirements?

This weekend the NYT had a story about an alternative assessment model called mastery-based learning: “A New Kind of Classroom: No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry.” Here’s how the article describes it: At M.S. 442, Read more…