Monthly Archives: March 2008

Maybe Size Does Matter

I came upon another article about class size and student success. According to the article’s author,

“Small classes are more engaging places for students because they’re able to have a more personal connection with teachers, simply by virtue of the fact that there are fewer kids in the classroom competing for that teacher’s attention,” says Adam Gamoran of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who analyzed the findings. Continue reading

Pragmatism

While reading The Grapes of Wrath with my class this month, I introduced the idea of pragmatism to the students. I used the two primary facets of this philosophy to help analyze the novel. These two characteristics of pragmatism are: 1) truth is mutable, and 2) things become true by verification (experience).

If truth is relative and ever-changing, then there are no absolutes.

With this in mind, I just saw a film which epitomizes this philosophical position: Gone Baby Gone. I can’t say much or else the surprises are given away, but watch the film and decide what you would have done at the film’s conclusion. Please let me know in a reply. I’d love to hear read your thoughts.

If you do post anything about the ending, please begin your post with the word “Spolier,” so others know whether or not to read any further.

Where is the Joy of Reading?

According to a new study in a Washington Post article:

At a time when more authors are writing more books for young people, fewer children are reading for pleasure. A recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts showed that the percentage of 13- to 17-year-olds who read daily for fun dropped from 31 percent to 22 percent between 1984 and 2004. The amount they read for school has not changed.

Oddly enough, this is what a group of middle and high school teachers discussed at a recent alignment meeting. My position, however, was quite unpopular with the district office leaders. Continue reading