Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I don't have a new essay ready, but I want to post this link. It's a New York Times blog post on a Canadian empathy training program for elementary- and middle-schoolers. The article speaks for itself, but just so you don't think I'm being lazy, here are three reasons why I think Roots of Empathy is a great program. (but please read the article first! The following discussions are more ruminations than well-researched essays. Many of the claims I make are supported by nothing but my own experience; their validity as arguments must rest ultimately on the extent to which the reader's experience and intuition coincides with my own. Cave Skeptic!)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Well, I finally saw Waiting for "Superman." There's a lot to dislike about the movie, but the ultimate impact is difficult to parse out. I try to avoid writing about things I don't like, so I'll make the critical part of this post short and to the point.
A number of journalists have already taken the film to task for the many ways in which it misrepresents and overlooks data. The best of these, though I don't agree with everything in it, is probably Diane Ravitch's article for The New York Review of Books. The quickness with which the film has been attacked reflects not only its journalistic shortcomings, but its combative, simplistic approach to the discussion, its vilification of the teacher's union, its disparagement of the public school system. All these individual flaws, however, have distracted critics from the fundamental vagueness of the movie.