Category Archives: education

Molly Worthen defends the traditional college lecture

We all hear that traditional college lectures are on the way out. I don’t know the facts, but I’m told that they’re not nearly as “educational” as “active learning” experiences, in which students use computers or teach each other, or as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), in which a professor lectures online and the students take […]

Your essential evolution library

by Greg Mayer I frequently teach evolutionary biology in the spring semester, but for various reasons I will not be teaching it this coming spring. A few days ago, a student who wanted to take the course, but now couldn’t, asked what he could read in lieu of taking it. We discussed some suggestions, and […]

Conservative Christian legal organization argues that public university football chaplains are equivalent to atheist professors

The Christian Post, whose format eerily resembles that of the Huffington Post (see below), reports that the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is pushing back On the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) claim that football team chaplains at public universities are an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause. (See a precis of the FFRF’s complaint here.) […]

The “trigger warning” debate continues in The New Republic

Five days ago I published a piece in The New Republic criticizing the proliferation of “trigger warnings” in college courses and assignments, something done largely at the behest of students.  My view is that there could be no end to such warnings, for nearly anything can “trigger” students, in ways running the gamut from mere offense […]

Making a virtue of necessity: Australian Anglicans tell schoolkids how great sex is

Reader Scott from Australia sent me this short video of two of his religious countrymen (countrypeople?) discussing whether God wants them to have sex. The answer was a resounding “yes,” and when I was told this was a video designed by Anglicans to be part of the religious curriculum in public schools,  I thought it was […]

The University of Wisconsin: now with less truth seeking, more “workforce needs”

by Greg Mayer The University of Wisconsin—including the great “public ivy” research campus in Madison, the second doctoral campus in Milwaukee, and eleven comprehensive baccalaureate-masters campuses around the state—has long been inspired by the “Wisconsin Idea“, the notion that higher education exists to serve the public, improve the human condition, and seek the truth. This […]

The problem with faith schools

It baffles me why the good citizens of the UK permit children to be educated in government supported “faith schools.” Why do they even exist? What good do they do, except to inculcate fairly tales in children and prevent them from intermingling with those of other backgrounds—something that is desirable in a democracy.  Even the U.S. […]

Texas Tech students parade their knowledge

Here a group of Texas Tech students (a decent school in Lubbock, Texas, birthplace of Buddy Holly) are asked five sets of questions: 1. Who won the Civil War? 2. Who is the Vice-President of the United States? 3. Who did we (the U.S.) gain our independence from? And in what year? 4. What (television) show […]

How not to email a professor

From PuffHo we have a demonstration video (apparently posted and narrated by a University teacher) on how not to email a professor. As you’ll see below, the email is an mashup of several student emails sent to a math professor in Michigan, and the name of the student is made up. But it’s pretty much the kind […]

The End Times for the humanities?

NOTE:  A post by David Silbey on his website gives data showing that the decline in humanities enrollment (as percentage of all majors) really declined precipitiously in the from 1970-1985 (when I was in school) and hasn’t dropped much since then. He also claims that the 1970s were a peak, and modern enrollment, while lower […]