A Call For Submissions From Closeted Religion-Critics In Academia (Or in Goverment, Or In Business, etc.)

I just read Jen’s dispiriting blog post about how she needed to take down a blog post (one I very much liked) because she had to be wary about potential impacts on her relationships in her graduate school department and her potential to work in academia long term. And this reminded me of a plan I [Read More...]

Fighting The Dictionary

Ophelia wrote an insightful, controversial paragraph: Churches don’t do education. Religion doesn’t do education. Churches and religion do religion, which is different from education. Education is what schools do. It is fundamentally secular – it is about the world, and exploring and learning about the world. Like newspapers, like forensics, like medicine, like so many human institutions, [Read More...]

A Long Walk To Water

Ms. White is a middle school teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, Illinois, with a great idea for an interdisciplinary project that she needs our help to fund since she works in an impoverished school district: My Students: One morning this summer I woke up and began reading “A Long Walk to Water”. An hour [Read More...]

It's Hard To Remember All Your Students

I won’t feel so bad in the future when I can’t remember one of my eighteen hundred or so former students comes up to me and I can’t remember his or her name (though I always remember the face): Dr. Thomas Freeman remembers that moment more than four decades ago in Atlanta when he pointed [Read More...]

What Would Stephen Colbert Do?

The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive   If you’re anything like me, you routinely find yourself in difficult situations in life which require superhuman levels of ironic coolness, intellectual brilliance, quickness of wits, and deep personal goodness and you have to ask yourself, “What Would Stephen Colbert [Read More...]

A Tax on Education, A Stifling of the Public Mind

George Monbiot has a must read, should be outraged by, article about the costs of accessing peer-reviewed literature: The average cost of an annual subscription to a chemistry journal is $3,792. Some journals cost $10,000 a year or more to stock. The most expensive I’ve seen,Elsevier’s Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, is $20,930. Though academic libraries [Read More...]


Sierra writes about the impact of an English professor’s encouragement in opening her mind to her possibilities outside of the narrowly circumscribed life she was expecting from being raised in Christian patriarchy: One evening, as Bill handed me a paper I’d written with his comments, he asked, “Did you ever think of being a professional [Read More...]

The Philosopher King As The Jester Mayor?

Antanas Mockus, a mathematician and philosopher, decided to put his creatively shameless teacher’s sensibilities to the task of governing a violent city of 6.5 million, filled with corruption and thieving gangs of street children: When many hated the disordered and disorderly city of Bogotá, he wore a Superman costume and acted as a superhero called [Read More...]

Can Good Teaching Be Measured?

In recent posts I have been arguing that if only we interpret the word “good” to mean “effective” we can ground our discussions of values (moral and otherwise) in facts about effectivness. I argue that in that context we can have greater and lesser degrees of goodness, measurable in terms of greater or lesser degrees [Read More...]