Student Teaching Seminar

I’m still thinking about how to frame this seminar; I had finished planning the course as a recapitulation of the coursework students had already completed.

But then I encountered R. Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire. I wondered if the texts for our class couldn’t all be first hand accounts of what it means to be a teacher. My only concern is that most (not all) of these books are written after someone has quit teaching, usually after four or five years. Then I got to thinking — what if I used the money chapters from some of the thousands of education dissertations folks have written about good teachers?

Will make a list and post later.

Foundations class

I’m always at a loss trying to balance structural elements from American educational history with the actual experiences of students. I was thinking yesterday about how rewarding it would be to read a series of books like this:

William Corsaro, We’re Friends Right: Inside Kids’ Culture
Linda Perlstein, Linda, not much, just chillin’: the hidden lives of middle schoolers
Annette Lareau, Unequal Childhoods
Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary

It’d be great to move through childhood in this way — from pre-k to high school — and I’m sure the students would enjoy reading these sorts of ethnographies much more than the primary source documents I usually assign. With the exception of Lareau, though, these books are more about children/students than the external factors that shape education in the United States. But I can justify dropping three of these texts by claiming that my students’ lab experiences will give them the time with kids that they need and they ought to contextualize the labs in terms of the other historical readings we’re doing.

addin encite

Occasionally Microsoft Word converts everything to stuff that looks like this:

{addin encite} {page}

I don’t know why. To fix it, do this:

1. Within Microsoft Word 2007 go to the Office icon in the upper left, and click “Word Options” at the bottom of this window.
2. Click on the Advanced option on the left hand side and scroll down to the section titled “Show Document Content.”
3. Uncheck the item titled “Show field codes instead of their values” and click OK.
4. The document should now appear normal.

Advanced Placement “Brand”

Yesterday’s Times featured an article addressing the AP brand and detailed the ways in which teachers who are offering these courses must submit a syllabus for approval.

One of Paul Vallas’ supposed accomplishments was the vast increase in the number of AP courses offered. I would like to see a story exploring both the eventual test scores as well as the College Board’s response to the syllabi.

I’m sure that the folks at the magnet schools are not experiencing difficulties and I would imagine there are some pretty impressive scores. But what of the comprehensive high schools where these courses have been offered for the first time ? What has their experience been like? Have students done well? Poorly?

One way to select various features in Arcmap

I wanted to figure out if it was new residents or old residents living in a particular part of the city in 1960.
1. Click on selection in tools

2. Highlight all the census tracts you want. Be careful because some tracts will appear to be highlighted when they are not.
3. In TOC, right click on layer.

4. Click on selection, then create layer from selected features.

5. You can export this layer from there as a separate .dbf. I’m not sure how the shapefile works, i.e., does it stay attached ?  (No, it doesn’t).

Quote from Marc Bloch

“I can conceive of no higher praise for a writer than to be able to speak in the same tone to savants and schoolboys alike, but so noble a simplicity is the privilege of the select few.”

Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1954), 3.