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Imagine There’s No Grades

About a month ago, Asao Inoue visited my campus to talk about pedagogy and race; the room was packed, standing room only. Among his recommendations that day for addressing systemic racial injustice in education: Don’t grade. For most people who have been raised in most late 20th/early 21st century formal education systems, this seems impossible.Continue reading “Imagine There’s No Grades”

More About Plagiarism

Last week, I wrote about how the metaphors and imagery we use to impress the eeeeevils of plagiarism on our students results in scared, confused students. But that’s not the end of the story. Maybe our focus on plagiarism is the root problem because of its attendant focus on originality. What I mean is thatContinue reading “More About Plagiarism”

Stop Scaring Your Students About Plagiarism

It’s October, so it’s the season for spooooky things. So, let’s talk about plagiarism! No, but, really, stop scaring your students about plagiarism. Seriously. Stop. They’re terrified. They’re paralyzed with fear at the horrible p-word. STOP IT. “But,” I hear you say, “students need to know that plagiarism is bad! They need to know thatContinue reading “Stop Scaring Your Students About Plagiarism”

Writing Rules and Genre

This semester I’m having my students write in a number of genres. That’s not a bad thing (actual results may vary…). But, as happens every semester, we’re struggling. We’re struggling because my class isn’t my students’ first exposure to writing (my students are adults–they’ve actually been writing for a LONG time, whether they realize itContinue reading “Writing Rules and Genre”

They and We: Ways We Talk About Students

One of the most important principles in my pedagogy is respect for students. Students are not a problem to be solved; they are complex human beings whom we are serving through pedagogy. It is not our job to impress upon them our own ways, but rather our job is to support them in becoming whoContinue reading “They and We: Ways We Talk About Students”

One Weird Trick To Become A Better Teacher

Study improvisational theater. Seriously. That’s the trick. I mean it. If I could add one required course to all pedagogy curricula, it would be one that teaches improvisational games, like the sort you see on Who’s Line Is It Anyway. I never had to take such a course. I was never a drama kid (IContinue reading “One Weird Trick To Become A Better Teacher”