An Attempt at Measuring “Class Participation”

I have long been unhappy with the subjective nature of my assessment of students' class participation. Earlier in my career, I simply equated asking and answering questions with successful participation. I also included trips to office hours. But it was clear I was privileging one kind of student: the kind that is assertive, confident, and... Continue Reading →


Global Economic and Environmental History in 2 Slides

In the New York Times last Sunday, David Wallace-Wells offered an essay on climate change entitled, "Time to Panic." We have been downplaying the risks of our situation, Wallace-Wells argued, for psychological and political reasons. Now, as he quotes David Attenborough, "If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of... Continue Reading →

Has Good Teaching Changed?

I wonder: when is my teaching helping to shape ethical, thoughtful, happy human beings? When am I (doing a good job, maybe) teaching to fulfill the demands of the market, of corporate future employers, of educational fashion, of the latest branding initiatives of influential schools? I have written here before about the dangers of so-called... Continue Reading →