Category Archives: Teaching Literature and Writing

Two Late-night Thoughts about Poetry

Two thoughts, tonight, about poetry First, a theory of poetry and how it means: Perhaps the most important lesson that I received, in college, about reading poetry occurred on a day when, in a class on nineteenth-century American poets, I … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Teaching Literature and Writing | 1 Comment

Learning Theories, Models, and Techniques

NB: The following are all either instructional design models or can be adapted to create or at least to inform instructional design models. The list is far from complete, and the definitions are necessarily brief and so, in many cases … Continue reading

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Forget Me Not

for Diane Ravitch If a fairy tale begins with a prohibition, you know it’s going to be broken . The Word was charged anew with the grandeur of Gerald Hopkins’s bold bald conjugal rhythms that sprang so springingly sprung across … Continue reading

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The Promise of Ed Tech

Ed tech companies are, of course, trying to take advantage of the pandemic to sell politicians and administrators on replacing teachers with educational technology. So, thought I would try my hand at writing some ad copy for these companies: Help … Continue reading

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Combating Standardized Testing Derangement Syndrome (STDs) in the English Language Arts

The dirty secret of the standardized testing industry is the breathtakingly low quality of the tests themselves. I worked in the educational publishing industry at very high levels for more than twenty years. I have produced materials for all the … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Criticism and the Common [sic] Core [sic]

The Common [sic] Core [sic] State [sic] Standards [sic] in ELA certainly are “common,” but in the pejorative sense of the word. They are received, vulgar, uninformed, base, mediocre, pedestrian. One would expect that people putting together a single set … Continue reading

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How the Common Core Distorted and Dumbed Down Instruction in English

For many decades now, as in any occupied country, the Deformer/Disrupter occupiers of U.S. education–the invasion force that went forward, financed by Gates and Walton dollars, to take over our federal and state governments, has dominated discourse about education in … Continue reading

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Bob’s Tips for Wrighting Good

Writing Tip 1: In diction, strive for the vernacular and endemic; in other words, refrain from using lexemes, locutions, et hoc genus omne not of high frequency in standard English corpora, and avoid terminology of excessive length or technicality or … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Teaching Literature and Writing | 1 Comment

Reviewing a Review: Annie Murphy Paul on Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?), Juvenal, Satire VI On January 21, 2020, Annie Murphy Paul’s “review” of Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath appeared in The New York Times. Being reviewed in the Times is a big deal.  Such … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Technology, Trump (Don the Con) | 6 Comments

Why Science Fiction Is Impossible: A Science Fiction Writer’s Confession

When I was still a child, I fell in love with Sci Fi. I stayed up nights devouring stories and then novels by Asimov and Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Frederick … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Short Stories, Teaching Literature and Writing | 2 Comments