Category: Teaching Practice Page 1 of 2

Citizen or Subject? My Letter to the Governor

written by Todd Beach   Late last week, Governor Mark Dayton contacted the president of the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies, asking her to solicit members for their…

An Irresistible Narrative

written by H. Michael Hartoonian Today’s global conflicts are fundamentally struggles over ideas.  The ideas are religious, philosophical, and political, and they form the belief systems of a people….

Let’s Fix the Schools—Really!

written by H. Michael Hartoonian The media appears fond of parading out pundits and “experts,” exclaiming that our public schools are a mess and need fixing. A high…

Education: Obligations of the Profession

written by H. Michael Hartoonian   Athens, itself, is a school where we understand that, Any society that does not educate its warriors to be philosophers, And its…

The Words They Choose: Scenes from My Classroom

  “Anarchy Dr. Beach…Anarchy.” One of the first questions I pose to the freshmen in my American Government & Citizenship class each fall is, ‘what is the purpose/role…

Surround Yourself With the Dreamers: Scenes from My Classroom

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when…

Scenes from My Classroom: The Pantheon

What does teaching look like?  I’m sure right now you have images of classrooms, desks, whiteboards, or perhaps even chalkboards scrolling through your head.  Teaching is all of…

2013: A Year to Remember

The University of Minnesota produced this video to make us proud of our public, land-grant university…and, I am. “The University of Minnesota: Founded in the Faith that Men…

Change is Good

written by Todd Beach Followers of my previous site, Relentless Teaching, may be wondering why the change?  Well, long story short, I never ‘felt’ the previous title captured the…

The Problem With Boys

written by Todd Beach What are little boys made of? Slugs and snails And puppy-dogs’ tails, That’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made…

Animal Farm, Technology & Formative Assessment

written by Todd Beach “Obviously he would not have become a famous philosopher had he confined himself purely to listening to others… He just asked questions, especially to…

The Sweet Spot

written by Michael Hartoonian What Every Teacher Must Teach What Every Kid Must Learn   The power of the sweet spot is pure art.  It doesn’t matter in…

In Defense of ‘Teaching Students How to Write’

written by Todd Beach
special thanks to statistician Randy Bailey
“I could barely understand what the professor was talking about but I was very impressed… I thought teaching was a simple matter of telling the class what you knew and then testing them and giving them grades. Now I was learning how complicated the life of a teacher could be….” (McCourt, 2005:41)[1]

In my recent post, ‘Teaching Students How to Write’, some colleagues articulated skepticism regarding the process used in teaching students writing skills, while others had questions about the validity and reliability of student’s grades since they were provided additional opportunities to correct the deficiencies in their writing. I’d like to address both of these concerns and provide evidence, which defends the practice.

Teaching Students How to Write

How often do you have your students write?  This is one of the many paradoxes teachers struggle with when designing curriculum and instruction.  Since writing is a skill,…

What’s Your Teaching Philosophy?

“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse: however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I will help…

Your Professional Practice – Feed the Good Wolf

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority,…

Continuous Improvement

Written by Todd Beach Throughout my career I have appreciated the time during the summer to reflect on my teaching practice from the past year and examine areas…

Courage or Timidity?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote an article for Social Studies educators titled: The Social Studies are Essential to a Well-Rounded Education This response was written by Michael Hartoonian:…

Fault Lines in American Culture: The Case for the Common School

Written by Michael Hartoonian The social landscape of the United States of America can be mapped by using a series of cultural fault lines that lie just beneath…

Testing for Grades or Learning?

“If teaching was as simple as telling, we’d all be a lot smarter than we are.” -Mark Twain Teachers, how confident are you about the validity and reliability…

Recognizing the Value of Good Teachers

This article was originally published for Education Week (April 5, 2011).  It is posted here with the permission of the author. Written by Eric A. Hanushek The teachers’…

Maintain Your Balance

I sent an email to a friend the other day asking why in higher education is the Department of Curriculum and Instruction titled as such.  Given the current…

Be Careful What You Vote For

Written by H. Michael Hartoonian What greater joke can God play on a man, than to give him what he wants. -Martin Luther Within the last quarter century,…

The Purpose of Schooling

Why are you here?  I often ask the freshmen in my American Government & Citizenship class this on their first day.  What is the purpose of schooling?  Is…

Collaboration, Leonardo, and Jazz; Lessons for Teachers

All too often teaching is an isolating profession.  It is ironic that new teachers enter the profession because they like to work with people.  Instead of collaborating with…

Students – How do You Get ’em Thinking?

“I could barely understand what the professor was talking about but I was very impressed… I thought teaching was a simple matter of telling the class what you…

Education Reform – Explain it to Me Like I’m a Fifth Grader

This whole approach to education reform for the 21st century…yeah, I need someone to explain it to me like I’m a fifth-grader. I’ve been reading the recently published…

How’s Your Teaching Practice?

If you would have asked me how my teaching was going during any of the first three years of my career I would have sheepishly replied that “everything…

You Can’t Have it Easy and Expect to be Educated

Sir Ken Robinson and his videos/talks surrounding education reform are incredibly popular.  His persuasive TED Talk from 2006 is one of the most viewed to date.  Recently, Robinson teamed up with…

A Better ‘Gates’ Solution

Well known entrepreneur, philanthropist, and billionaire Bill Gates has stated through his foundation website that, “The evidence is clear that teachers matter more to student achievement than any…