Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

This comic from Cyanide and Happiness relates to both religious ideas of punishments in an afterlife, and education, and so I had to share it. There is a long history of people imagining punishments in an afterlife that are suited to the evils they did in this life. And, however problematic that is, it is probably [Read More...]

What is a Degree?

The discussions about my recent post on the topic of university education (which has since become a letter to the editor and posted online by The Collegian) reminded me about this topic that I had saved as a draft blog post to come back to later. NBC and Hemant Mehta covered the attempt of a Bible [Read More...]

Pat Robertson Advises Pharaoh

A news report recently quoted Pat Robertson saying that people in other countries see more miracles than Americans do because they have less education and less skepticism. Does this mean that if, in the Exodus story, Pharoah and the Egyptians had had more education and skepticism, they could have prevented Moses’ miracles and ultimately the [Read More...]

Ten Professorial Commandments

Elliott Ratzman offered the following Ten Commandments in Inside Higher Ed: 1. Thou shalt have no other object of attention in the classroom. No devices — phones, gadgets, computers, guns — or distractions; I am a jealous and wrathful instructor. 2. Thou shalt honor thy fellow students. They are also struggling, growing, with opinions always changing, and [Read More...]

Richard Carrier and Illiterate Country Hicks

As readers of this blog probably know, I wrote a short and focused review of one aspect of Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus for The Bible and Interpretation. I am planning to follow up with another such focused review, probably focused on the use of the Rank-Raglan scale in assessing historicity. But there are lots [Read More...]

Too Old

A student sent me this e-mail recently: Dr. McGrath, Sorry about the multiple emails. I’m not sure if we went over this or not but I was wondering what your thoughts were on about how far back we should go when deciding which articles to use? I have all mine set, but one is from the [Read More...]

You May Take Notes

Times have changed. Technologies change. It isn't clear that just listening intently, and then photographing the board, helps you process the information as well as writing with your own hand. But it also isn't clear how much of our weaker processing when we don't take notes by hand is due to adapting to a new [Read More...]

LEGO Social Mobility

Inequality and social mobility (or lack thereof) in the United States, illustrated with LEGO. HT IO9. [Read more...]

10 Amazing Reasons to Buzzfeedify Your Syllabus

Beloit has released its annual mindset list, about the things that this year’s incoming freshmen take for granted (HT Inside Higher Ed). #2 (that’s “hashtag two” for you old-timers) is particularly interesting for educators: “Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.” I’m giving [Read More...]

First Day of School

Classes start at Butler tomorrow. If you are an educator, have classes started for you? Was this/will this be you? [Read more...]

(Learning) From a Distance

This is the follow-up to my song parody about online learning, “Message Sent on Moodle,” although I actually had the idea for doing a parody of “From a Distance” on this topic first. Hope you enjoy it. Here are the lyrics: From A Distance From a distance An online course can seem Like something that [Read More...]


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