Professors are Just Like Students

A McSweeney’s piece offered an alleged WikiLeaks reveal of faculty e-mails. What it depicts sounds like it could have been an exchange among some professors at my own institution. What about yours? It may or may not be an actual e-mail exchange from the author’s former institution of employment, but either way it deserves discussion. On the one [Read More…]

Minds on Fire: Reacting to the Past Through Role Play

I’ve mentioned before the role-playing game that others had drawn to my attention, to replicate the Council of Nicaea (the book will be out in December). Not having explored the site sufficiently, I hadn’t realized the extent to which that project was just a small part of a much bigger one, “Reacting to the Past.” [Read More…]

Where You Sit In Class

From PHD Comics. I think this is almost certainly true in large classrooms like that depicted. In smaller classrooms it still has the tendency to be this way, but not always. Perhaps students have figured out that, in a smaller non-tiered classroom, the professor’s eye is often above the front row students? This semester I [Read More…]

Flipping the Church

I found myself reflecting recently on the ways we count “attendance” in relation to church congregations. Why do we focus on Sunday morning worship services, and not how many come to the community breakfast, or other things. And indeed, what is the meaning of the Sunday morning service, which was designed to convey information in [Read More…]

Word Clouds to Assess Learning

I really like the suggestion that Shayna Sheinfeld shared in a recent article, for using word clouds in a pre-test and then post-test in classes. If you ask students what they think, or think they know, about a topic, on the first day of class or the start of a new unity, and create a word [Read More…]

Invent a Religion for Money

Jerry Coyne drew attention to a competition with a cash prize, asking people to invent a religion. The Huffington Post has an article about the competition, and the full rules are online. It is actually an interesting competition, precisely because it is a lot harder than some might imagine to come up with something genuinely [Read More…]

Clone Wars in the Classroom

I recently came across some Star Wars lego images about classroom education, and wanted to share them. Click through were more like the above came from. There was also an interesting article in the Chronicle that could be filed under “treating students like clones,” in which students complained about faculty who offer one-size-fits-all lectures to students. Here [Read More…]

We Don’t Know the Whole Story

Maybe instead of or to supplement “What Would Jesus Do?” an updated way of making decisions would be, “If my words were inserted in speech bubbles into the story of Jesus, who would be speaking them?” Of vaguely related interest, see Jim Davila’s blog post on the question of whether Jesus was black. [Read more…]

How To Get The Least Possible Out Of University Religion Classes

Michael Kruger has made a video which describes his own experience of having taken classes with Bart Ehrman, who he depicts as attacking Christianity. He complains that youth groups do not prepare student intellectually for their experience at university. That is true – but what Kruger seems to want is not intellectual and academic preparation, but inoculation that [Read More…]

Not Terrorism, Not Appropriate Either

Eddie Kouya drew attention to an article in the Daily Telegraph, about plans to use anti-terrorism legislation against teachers who use the classroom to tell students that same-sex marriage is wrong. I think we need to be careful about over-using the terminology of terrorism, cheapening it in precisely the way some conservative Christians have cheapened the term [Read More…]


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