Skip to main content

Home/ educators/ Group items tagged argument

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Ed Webb

Many Complaints of Faculty Bias Stem From Students' Poor Communicating, Study Finds - F... - 4 views

  • some perceptions of classroom bias would decline, and students would benefit more from exposure to opposing viewpoints, if colleges did more to teach argumentation and debate skills. Teaching undergraduates such skills "can help them deal with ideological questions in the classroom and elsewhere in a civil way, and in a way that can discriminate between when professors are expressing a bias and when they are expressing a perspective that they may, or may not, actually be advocating,"
  • The study's findings, however, were criticized as ideologically biased themselves by Peter W. Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group that has frequently accused colleges of liberal or leftist indoctrination. The article summarizing the study, Mr. Wood said on Friday, "seems to me to have a flavor of 'blaming the victim,'" and appears "intended to marginalize the complaints of students who have encountered bias in the classroom."
  • Students need to learn how to argue as a workplace skill. If they understood this as a key workplace strategy that will affect their ability to advance they may be more willing to pay attention. They are there-- regardless of what we may believe-- to get jobs at the end. Discussion and dealing with disputes or differences is key to professional advancement
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • It's one thing to be closed to students' arguments or to insist on conformity with a prof's views.  It is another altogether when students do not know how to argue their own points, especially points that are not political.  At some point, isn't it the case that the prof does know even a little bit more about their subjects than their students?
  • Several studies (post 1998) seem to indicate that the capacity to understand and engage in logical argumentation has diminished (at least in the 'Western' world). These studies seem to have encouraged the state education boards (committees) of several states to entertain making a "critical thinking" or "Introductory logic" course part of the required core.
  • I have found Susan Wolcott's teaching materials, which are informed by research by K.S. Kitchener and P. M. King, to be the most helpful in addressing student accusations of bias.  I had long been puzzled by why my colleagues in philosophy are so often accused of bias when, in my own observation of their teaching, they take care to keep their own views of a philosophical topic hidden from students.  Indeed, they spend a great deal of time playing devil's advocate and championing the philosophical position that is getting the least airtime in class discussion, readily switching sides if another perspective begins to be neglected.  Wolcott's developmental analysis, which explains how students arrive at college as "confused fact finders" and often get stuck in learning critical thinking skills at the "biased jumper" stage, helps me to understand how students attribute bias to professors when the students lack skills to maneuver around arguments.  The most helpful part of Wolcott's analysis is her suggestion that, if one gives students an assignment that is more than one level above their current abilities in critical thinking, they will completely ignore the assignment task.  This failing is particularly visible when students are asked to compare strengths/weaknesses in two arguments but instead write essays in which they juxtrapose two arguments and ignore the task of forging comparisons.  In Wolcott's workbooks (available by request on her website), she describes assignments that are specifically designed to help students build a scaffolding for critical thinking so that, over four years, they can actually leave the "biased jumper" stage and move on to more advanced levels of critical thinking.  One need not be a slavish adherent to the developmental theory behind Wolcott's work to find her practical suggestions extremely helpful in the classroom.   Her chart on stages of critical thinking is the first link below; her website is the second link.
  • The classroom and campus are not divorced from the polarized language in the greater society wherein people are entrenched in their own views and arguments become heated, hateful, and accusatory.  The focus of this study on political bias is not helpful under the circumstances.  The greater argument is that students need to be taught how to argue effectively, with facts, logic and reasoning not just in the classroom but beyond.
  • What happened to the 'Sage on the Stage' as the 'provacatuer-in-chief'?  Some of my best classroom experiences came from faculty that prompted critical thinking and discussion by speaking from all sides of an issue.  They were sufficiently informed to deflate weak arguments from students with probing questions.  They also defended an issue from every side with factual information.  In the best instances, I truly did not know the personal position of a faculty member.  It was more important to them to fully and fairly cover an issue than it was to espouse a personal preference.  That spoke volumes to me about the love of learning, critical examination of strongly held personal beliefs, and assertive but fair-minded discourse.  Do those faculty still exist?
  • The study suggests that those faculty do exist and in fact are numerous, but that students' ever-diminishing skills in critical thinking and argumentation lead them to misunderstand the questioning, challenging Socratic dialogue and "devil's advocate" work of the professor as simple bias. 
  • When I was teaching controversial subjects the advice from the Administration was, "Teach the debate."  Its pretty hard to "teach the debate" without actually having some of those debates.  When students "checked out" during those debates I always wondered if they were the ones who were going to report on their teaching evaluations that, "the professor was biased."  Of course when the student intellectually "checks out," i.e., remains quiet, only says what they think I want to hear, etc., they are not doing A work in the class.  This reinforces their view that "the professor is biased."
Angela Maiers

Welcome to Debatepedia! - Debatepedia - 0 views

    HT to Collette Cassinelli ! Thanks for this great find! Debatepedia is a wiki encyclopedia of pro and con arguments and quotations in important public debates from around the world. It is considered "the Wikipedia of debate", helping the world centralize arguments and quotations found in millions of different.
Martin Burrett

The Value of Argument by @History__Girls - 0 views

    "Debating societies may seem to be the preserve of Oxbridge and private schools, but there is a place for debating in classrooms everywhere, argues Gemma Jones Debating societies may seem to be the preserve of Oxbridge and private schools, but there is a place for debating in classrooms everywhere. From 'Why William Won the Battle of Hastings' to 'causes of the First World War', history is a natural subject to use debates to deepen knowledge in lessons. However, across the curriculum there is scope to engage the pupils in a structured debate to challenge misconceptions, structure arguments and encourage independent study. Additionally, participating in debates can develop confidence and public speaking skills."
Ben W

Gristmill: How to talk to a climate change skeptic - 0 views

    A complete listing of ways to counter climate skeptics for a wide variety of arguments. Very detailed. Organized by topic.
    A point by point list of topics climate skeptics often bring up w/ information to counter their arguments. Very thorough.
Deb Henkes

Museum Box Homepage - 28 views

    Great multimedia tool for constructing information / presentations. Possibly a terrific alternative to PowerPoint.
    Museum Box provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box.
    Museum Box is a free site that provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box.
Ed Webb

Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right - Judith E. Glaser - Harvard Business Review - 9 views

  • situations of high stress, fear or distrust, the hormone and neurotransmitter cortisol floods the brain. Executive functions that help us with advanced thought processes like strategy, trust building, and compassion shut down. And the amygdala, our instinctive brain, takes over. The body makes a chemical choice about how best to protect itself — in this case from the shame and loss of power associated with being wrong — and as a result is unable to regulate its emotions or handle the gaps between expectations and reality. So we default to one of four responses: fight (keep arguing the point), flight (revert to, and hide behind, group consensus), freeze (disengage from the argument by shutting up) or appease (make nice with your adversary by simply agreeing with him
    Useful insights for educational situations, also.
zane dickey

Ep 187: I'd Like to Have an Argument Please (critical thinking part 3) | The Psych File... - 2 views

    The Psych Files Podcast - Interesting site that includes a variety of variety of knowledge issues and questions.
Holly Pope

If You Teach or Write 5-Paragraph Essays--Stop It! | The White Rhino: A Chicago Latino ... - 15 views

    Ray Salazar's argument for changing our approach to writing essays in light of the Common Core State Standards...very interesting.
Vicki Davis

Content Filtration: A little dirt for your health? - 1 views

    I was rereading this old post for some writing I'm doing about filtering and it struck me that although this post was written in 2008 it reads like it was written this morning. I think there are some very valid arguments to share as you discuss content filtering in your school. When asked about how to help kids with allergies, researchers have made the bold statement , "Let them eat dirt! " As I read these articles, I was struck with the parallel to the content filtration debate that rages in education today.
Tess Alfonsin

The Slow Reading Movement - 3 views

    Solid argument about the joys of relishing reading, not rushing reading.
Vicki Davis

- 5 reasons schools need computing teachers with expertise in the subject - 2 views

    Terry Freedman from the UK makes some great points about expertise in Computing. This is particularly relevant in the UK where every student age 5 and up is expected to be taught programming in school. (Wake up world.) Terry says: "Some Principals and Headteachers think that a good way around the problem of teaching computing is to not worry about whether teachers have subject knowledge at all. "All we need are facilitators", they say, "while the kids can teach themselves and each other." This is, as any teacher knows (or should know), easy to say, less easy to do, and not altogether the most desirable thing to do even if you can do it. However, just in case your school happens to be "led" by one of the aforementioned Headteachers, here are some arguments you may want to use. I think that any one of them should suffice, and all of them together make for a cast-iron case." Read more... this is a topic that will be increasingly discussed in other countries.
Vicki Davis

Lies, damn lies, and visualizations - Strata - 5 views

    As you study data visualizations, make sure you look at past examples of how it made a difference (the Chicago crime visualization, for example). Students should be able to read and create visualizations to make arguments, share data, tell stories, and more. It is an important part of journalism and also something that is useful to include in school newspapers and annuals.
nate stearns

The Stupidity of Dignity - 0 views

    Good, if long, example of a definition essay/argument essay hybrid
Angela Maiers

Opposing Views: Issues, Experts, Answers - 0 views

    • Eloise Pasteur
      Hard to find text to highlight. This site has a strong US bias, although some global issues. They take strong, important issues and have two experts present arguments and counter-arguments. The quality rather depends on the speaker - even on some where I'm undecided there are objections by one side that are just facile, ignorant grandstanding, but overall there is some good content and there is often links to evidence rather than rhetoric too.
    Like it suggests, a place where public debate is encouraged and supported - although some of the debate is low quality.
    Great resource for teaching critical reading and opposing viewpoints.
Lisa Johnson, Ph.D.

Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark's "Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, ... - 0 views

    Grabbed from the Half an Hour blog ... it's an argument to consider.
Jeff Johnson


    Blooms Taxonomy Pyramid Bloom's Taxonomy defines six different levels of thinking. The levels build in increasing order of difficulty from basic, rote memorization to higher (more difficult and sophisticated) levels of critical thinking skills. For example, a test question that requires simple factual recall shows that you have knowledge of the subject. Answering an essay question often requires that you comprehend the facts and perhaps apply the information to a problem. I wish to promote the analysis the subject matter, perhaps by having students break a complex historical process or event into constituent parts. I particularly want students to organize and present pieces of historical evidence it in a new way, to create or synthesize an argument. In order to do so, students must evaluate evidence, making judgments about the validity and accuracy of primary sources.
Ed Webb

Seen Not Heard- Boing Boing - 3 views

  • Cameras don't make you feel more secure; they make you feel twitchy and paranoid. Some people say that the only people who don't like school cameras are the people that have something to hide. But having the cameras is a constant reminder that the school does not trust you and that the school is worried your fellow classmates might go on some sort of killing rampage.
  • Some people say youngsters are more disrespectful than ever before. But if you were in an environment where you were constantly being treated as a criminal, would you still be respectful? In high school, one of my favorite English teachers never had trouble with her students. The students in her class were the most well behaved in the school--even if they were horrible in other teachers' classes. We were well-mannered, addressed her as "Ma'am," and stood when she entered the room. Other teachers were astonished that she could manage her students so well, especially since many of them were troublemakers. She accomplished this not though harsh discipline, but by treating us with respect and being genuinely hurt if we did not return it.
  • The Library and a few good teachers are what kept me from dropping out.
  • ...6 more annotations...
  • Schools today are not training students to be good citizens: they are training students to be obedient.
    • Ed Webb
      Schools have always attempted to teach this. And they have always ended up teaching how not to get caught.
  • I even read about a girl who ran a library of banned books out of her locker.
  • the football team got a bigger budget than the Library
  • @SchoolSecurityBlog, the issue is that in schools your constitutional rights are completely ignored. Random bag searches are not conducted with probable cause or a search warrant. If students spend the first part of their life in an environment where their rights are ignored, then they will not insist on them later in life. Someone might make the argument that since students are minors that they don't have rights. It is a weak argument. For one thing, I reached the age of majority while still in public school, and they still ignored my rights.
  • most of these so called "reasonable risk reduction measures" are not reasonable nor do they reduce risk. Cameras are entirely ineffective in preventing crime or violence. My school had a camera watching the vending machines, but a student still robbed them and was not even caught (he took the simple measure of obscuring his face). I acknowledge that there have been many court ruling that make what schools do legal. However, even with the "in loco parentis" policy in place, even my parents would not have a legal right to search my stuff without my permission when I turned 18 (which is how old I was my senior year). Yet the school could search my bag if they wanted to. Or my friends car (I am pretty sure he was also 18 when that happened, he was only a few months younger than I). That means that once a kid turns 18, the school system technically had more control over the kid than his parents do. Another problem that I have with in loco parentis is that the school really is not a students parent. A parent presumably has the child's best interests at heart, if they didn't it could be grounds for the state to take the child away from the parent. Unfortunately, school faculty members do not always have the student's best interests at heart. They should and often do, but many times some faculty members just like messing with people. It is an unfortunate fact, and one that I am sure many people would like to ignore, but the fact of the matter is that bullies are not confined to the student body. Also parents go to extraordinary measures for their children. They pay to keep them clothed and fed and cared for. They devote endless hours taking care of them. Therefore it makes sense that they should be granted extraordinary legal measures to take care of their children. To grant these same legal measures to an arbitrary school faculty member is really in insult to the hard and loving work of parents everywhere.
  • The schools of decades past seemed to get by without universal surveillance. Why is it all of the sudden essential today? Could many of these security measures be over reactions stemming from mass publicized incidents of school violence?
Vicki Davis

Wikipedia Ponders Its Gender-Skewed Contributions - - 5 views

    Less than 15% of wikipedia editors are women. This isn't surprising to many of us. I used to be a pretty active editor on several topics myself but the constant arguments were not something I had time for. I have two teenagers for that.
David Hilton

Constructivism - 0 views

    Links, research and readings on constructivism
  • ...1 more comment...
    Constructivist theories grew out of the work of a couple of Russians around the time of the Russian Revolution. It is radical subjectivism dressed up as science, and has no scientific credibility whatsoever. It is used by radical educators to push their barrow that nothing the teacher knows is worth the student learning and that all knowledge is innate. It's bullsh*t. Theories like this rot are part of the reason that the bottom has dropped out of Western education and we have a generation who can't write. This should be resisted by any educator with an interest in educational excellence.
    David, back up your argument. If you think this is junk science, then be a real scientist and substantiate your claim. I'm a very objective thinker and will listen and gladly debate this with you, but having studied this and used it, I'm skeptical of your dissent. It is the only thing that has gotten me through our failed education system, not the reason the system has failed (unless your argument is that our system is failing due to lack of use of constructivist approaches).
    Constructivism is a prime example of the dangers of deductive reasoning. Instead of starting with evidence from observed reality which the scientific method dictates (inductive reasoning) constructivism starts with theories and then makes the evidence fit the theory or else dismisses it and rationalises it away. It's the same type of thinking that has gotten all ideologues into trouble throughout history, whether it's the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis, the hippies or the recent Wall Street bankers who drove our economy off a cliff. Any true system of thought must start with the real world as its beginning, or else it's just a bunch of people making stuff up and then defending it despite all evidence to the contrary until the weight of truth destroys them and usually the institutions they've taken over.
1 - 20 of 45 Next › Last »
Showing 20 items per page