This essay is a stunning recent opinion piece from the New York Times. Here's a link to the original. It draws on the authors' new book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment. The title tells the story. It's about how bias is not the only threat to making good judgments; there's also the problem of … Continue reading Kahneman et al — Bias Is a Big Problem. But So Is ‘Noise.’
Month: May 2021
How the Normans Shaped Modern Europe
This post is a tribute to the Normans and how they came to shape modern Europe. It draws primarily from the book The Normans: From Raiders to Kings by Lars Brownworth and also from a recent essay in Unherd by Ed West. The Normans were Vikings who in the ninth century conquered a piece of … Continue reading How the Normans Shaped Modern Europe
Philip Jackson — The Daily Grind
This post is a classic essay by Philip Jackson from his 1974 book, Life in Classrooms. Here's a link to the original. To me, it's the best piece that has ever been written about "the daily grind" that students experience in elementary classrooms, which I often used in my classes. It's all about the hidden … Continue reading Philip Jackson — The Daily Grind
Power of the Parochial in Shaping the American System of Higher Education
This post is a paper I presented at a conference at the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium) in 2011, which was later published in a book of papers from that conference. Here's a link to the original. It draws on material that later appeared in 2017 in my book, A Perfect Mess. Here's an overview of … Continue reading Power of the Parochial in Shaping the American System of Higher Education
Morgan Housel — A Few Rules
This post is a piece I ran into online written by Morgan Housel, manager of the investment firm Collaborative Fund. It offers a few rules, not about investment but about life. I'm not usually big on epigrams, but these I find really compelling. Here's a link to the original. See what you think. A Few … Continue reading Morgan Housel — A Few Rules
Gerald Graff — How to Write an Argument
This post is a lovely short piece by Gerald Graff about how to write an argument. It's the epilogue to his book Clueless in Academe, How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind. For years I gave it to students as a model how to do what academics continually need to do -- craft effective … Continue reading Gerald Graff — How to Write an Argument
When Is School the Answer to Social Problems?
This post is a lecture I gave at University of Luxembourg in 2011, which was published in a book, edited by Daniel Tröhler and Ragnhild Barbu, Education Systems in Historical, Cultural, and Sociological Perspectives. To save you the trouble of buying the book on Amazon for $200, I'm reproducing it here. This piece draws on … Continue reading When Is School the Answer to Social Problems?
Mitchell Aboulafia — Higher Ed’s Real Productivity Problem
This post is a piece by philosopher Mitchell Aboulafia about the destructive emphasis on productivity in American higher education. It was published in 2018 in Chronicle Review. Here's a link to the original. The essay is a fresh take on a familiar problem in academic life, the pressure to publish or perish. He focuses in … Continue reading Mitchell Aboulafia — Higher Ed’s Real Productivity Problem