Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brought to you by Dr. Mad Scientist's Wife

I love reading about how people panic the moment they have to... gasp... work in the city and park a little ways from their car. It kills me.

This post is brought to you by the wife of our own Dr. Mad Scientist. There is soooo much going on in this post that I don't know where to start. That said, I haven't met her, but I like her.

Take a look at it, and think about some of the issues the post is facing head on. It's not just about sexism folks... it's about the intersection of race and gender, and how messed up things can really get when people let irrational fears run their lives. This is a great rant about all things... well, dumb.

That's all. I'm done.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I really need to remember to start including labels (aka tags) to my blog posts. Maybe that way I'd get some more traffic than my oh-so-dedicated students.

And on a completely unrelated note, my bike is dead. Won't start. A buddy says it's the battery. That's all it had better be. It's too young to start having to spend time in the shop.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Thinking about the Pedagogy of Poverty

One of my favorite articles is by Martin Haberman, an expert in urban education. The piece, The Pedagogy of Poverty versus Good Teaching, truly changed how I think about the teaching and learning process. It didn't do it right away, but as I began to gain a deeper understanding of teaching, learning, and urban education, I realized that the pedagogy of poverty was not simply about those living in poverty or schools operating in poverty. It was more about viewing teaching and learning from an impoverished perspective.

Ok, that's great. But what does that mean? Think about this: If pedagogy concerns the teaching and learning relationships that exist in formal and informal educational settings, then that relationship must be a rich and vital one if students are to truly find learning meaningful and powerful.

Meaning and power, however, do not necessarily come from doing the same thing day after day, month after month, without change. Nor do meaningful and powerful learning experiences generally evolve from thoughtlessness. True, some of the most amazing teachable moments are more serendipity than anything else. But, how can a teacher and students create a space for this when all they do is read, take notes, take quizzes, grade quizzes, fill out worksheets, etc., etc., etc. Where's the life?

Of course when I use this reading now, many students point out that students outside of urban centers experience the same learning experiences and that's true. But think about how much more destructive a pedagogy of poverty that exists in schools is when the environment outside of school mirrors the same dull, hopeless, and meaningless daily activities. I think that's the difference.

More thinking on this later.