Three Strategies Guaranteed for More Successful Group Presentations

I like to have students occasionally work on tasks in small groups. In-class group work generally consists of my having students analyze primary or secondary sources or responding to one of my famously broad questions and then having each group present their collective thoughts to the class. While students are sometimes resistant to work in groupsContinue reading “Three Strategies Guaranteed for More Successful Group Presentations”

Is there value in assigning a “bad book”?, Teaching African American History, Update #3

Alisha’s blog post and general conversations with every one in class regarding The Wind Done Gone brought up an interesting question: Is there value in assigning a “bad book”? More specifically, can a “bad book” or a book that isn’t enjoyable or isn’t readily understood provide meaningful learning opportunities? When I assigned the book, I did notContinue reading “Is there value in assigning a “bad book”?, Teaching African American History, Update #3″

“You Guys” and the Rhetoric of Implied Inclusion? – Hidden Power of Words Series, #16

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with a Facebook friend and colleague, Professor Eric Anthony Grollman (check out his webpage and his collaborative blog, Conditionally Accepted). He had a post suggesting that we all needed to stop using “you guys” when speaking to a group of Men and Women because “you guys” was exclusionary.Continue reading ““You Guys” and the Rhetoric of Implied Inclusion? – Hidden Power of Words Series, #16″

The Raw Numbers: Texas and Enslavement

Year Enslaved Black Population According to Tax Records # of Enslavers Total Population (mostly excludes Native Americans) 1825 443   1,800 1834 ≈2,000   24,700 1838 5,786 1,049   1840 11,827 2,163   1844 22,852 3,399   1846 30,505     1848 40,308     1850 48,145 (58,161 according to census) 7,747 212,592 (includes 397 non enslavedContinue reading “The Raw Numbers: Texas and Enslavement”

Teaching African American History, Update #2

My experience working with the students in African American History continues to be a blast and a dream come true. This past Thursday I got to the room about 9:22. Class starts at 9:30. And 5 of the 6 students were already there, had already moved the desk in a circle, and were ready to go.Continue reading “Teaching African American History, Update #2”

Plastic Bags: Pettiness, Responsibility, Democracy

Earlier today The Facts, the major newspaper of southern Brazoria County posed this question: So far it has almost 200 comments. The comment I left: A prohibition on plastic bags at grocery stories would be a positive step in the direction of protecting the environment and should gather waves of unanimous support. Plastic is among the worstContinue reading “Plastic Bags: Pettiness, Responsibility, Democracy”

“Women” and “Men,” Part I – Hidden Power of Words Series, #15

Have you ever stopped to consider how much information is embodied and compacted into the words “Women” and “Men” and their synonyms? Not just information per se but powerful stereotypes and assumptions that embody a whole dictionary of meaning, even though it is probably inaccurate to a large degree. Upon hearing “male” or “female orContinue reading ““Women” and “Men,” Part I – Hidden Power of Words Series, #15″

The Unspoken Problem with Low-Stakes Assignments

Having at least some low-stakes (or no-stakes) assignments in college courses is touted by advocates of student success and practitioners of andragogy as essential for creating safe and productive learning environments for students. The theory goes that students are more likely to learn if it is safe to do so, safe to make mistakes and safeContinue reading “The Unspoken Problem with Low-Stakes Assignments”