We were in what looked like an elementary or high school biology classroom. I looked up; the ceiling tiles were painted accordingly. My lips twitched into a smile, an eyebrow arched tile-ward: directly above me was a detailed painting of sperm en route to an egg at the tile’s centre.
The Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education’s (STLHE) annual conference was housed this year in Duncan McArthur Hall at Queen’s University, which happens to be the home of the university’s Faculty of Education. Each of the sessions I attended over the course of my two-day stay in Kingston, Ontario, were in classrooms like the one described above. To some of my colleagues, the setting was familiar. They had attended teacher’s college in similar settings. For me, the colorful posters covering the walls, the diorama and terraria littering window sills and shelves, and the abundance of tools needed for making such visual displays all sat in quiet conversation with the thinking, learning, and reflection prompted in me by the excellent sessions I attended, and the thoughtful people I met.
Hey, so I take my cat for walks. Not on a leash. I just leave the yard and head out into the long grass that surrounds it, and he takes off. He sticks pretty close, except for when we get too close to a tree, and then he promptly scampers up it, ears back, a hint of the maniacal to his head whipping left and right, eyes round, tail twitching.
Today I’d like to meander in a slightly different direction. A post I came across by blogger and associate professor of psychology, Erica Kleinknecht, suggests otherwise. It seems that students can multitask, in a way, if, as Kleinknecht phrases it, the task they are engaged in is “rich with detail that can serve as cues for later memory retrieval.”
From, “Your crotch can kill, claim Alberta ads.” Feb. 21, 2013, cbc.ca/news
I found myself completely confused, mouth agape, as I stood in line at McMaster’s Wellness Centre this week. I was looking at one ad of what I now know is a series produced by the Alberta government. The ad reads: “Crotches Kill.” I stood there at the Wellness Centre, eyes darting from the bold letters (can we call it a slogan?), to the image of the lady looking really happy about (with?) her crotch; then my eyes dropped a bit, taking in the assortment of free condoms placed just below and to the left of the ad, and then they darted right back to “CROTCHES KILL.” WTF, right? W. T. F.
Okay, so eventually I figured it out. Texting can be a fatal distraction when you’re DRIVING! (I was worried for a minute there, that it might be catching, or something. But no (phew!), texting is not an STI!).
A great post from blogger Maryellen Weimer compels us to ask, however: Can texting be a fatal distraction from LEARNING?
On the limits of empathy in pedagogy, this post starts with a query from Deborah Britzman before moving into a consideration of a 1993 article by Anne DiPardo, Professor of Education at the University of Colorado. DiPardo’s account of a semester-long relationship between a student writing assistant at a college writing centre and a student learner is thought-provoking.
“What Mom always said doesn’t go far in grad school…” (from EnglishGradStudentShaming.tumblr.com)
This post attempts to puzzle through the impulse to critique and criticize in literary studies; in particular, it considers a grad-student culture of shame via the newly-created tumblr “englishgradstudentshaming.” What happens when grad students and instructors feel like they “can’t say anything nice about books anymore”?