Author Archives: Bob Shepherd

About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation

The Coring of the Six Hundred (with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Row on row, row on row, Row on row stationed Sick at their monitors Sat the six hundred. “You may now type your Username” Said the test proctor. Set up for failure Sat the six hundred.   “Enter your password … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Poetry, Teaching Literature and Writing | 2 Comments

For David Coleman, on the Occasion of Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday

Wrote this piece some time ago. Just getting around to posting it. I once read, in “The American Scholar,” I think, or perhaps it was in “Verbatim,” a tragic report on the paucity of dedicated swear words in classical Latin. … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing | Leave a comment

Will Wonders Never Cease?

For Princesa Krystalina de Columbia y Japón Dreams of flying are part of the universal, archetypal, collective consciousness of our species. They harken back to some common ancestor that we share with monkeys and with the great apes. A million … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Religion | 2 Comments

Our Boadicea, Our Jeanne d’Arc, Is a 79-year-old Grandmother, an Existence Proof of the Stupidity of Ageism

On this Labor Day, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the Herculean labors of Diane Ravitch. Dr. Ravitch has for many years now been the most significant force for sanity in all of U.S. K-12 education. Day in … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On the Pseudoscience of Strategies-Based Reading Comprehension Instruction, or What Current Comprehension Instruction Has in Common with Astrology

Why the Standards-and Testing Approach, as Currently Designed, Doesn’t Work in ELA Permit me to start with an analogy. As a hobby, I make and repair guitars. This is exacting work, requiring precise measurement. If the top (or soundboard) of … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing | 7 Comments

Teaching Metaphor (with Comments on Developing Curricula in the Age of the Thought Police)

“The drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive, which one cannot for a single instant dispense with in thought, for one would thereby dispense with man himself.” –Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Who Said Life Ain’t No Crystal Stair?

The CCSSO explains: Education is Stairmastery The CCSSO has a new design for its website on the Common [sic] Core [sic] State [sic] Standards [sic]. The previous design was cleaner and more attractive, but who cares? Let’s get to what … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Uncategorized | 11 Comments