A Punch to the Gut

$100 Million for two boxers to pummel each other for our amusement.  Somehow the same system cannot find the money to provide fresh fruit to needy kids before school, or funds to hire more teachers to teach them, or a living wage for the janitors who clean up after them at the end of the […]

Scientist Sees Need for Critical Thinkers

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” ― Edward O. Wilson

Drinking the Kool-Aid

On a recent trip to the grocery store my daughter spotted a colorful Kool-Aid display, strategically placed at the eye level of a five-year old.  I generally resist her demands to buy  everything she sees at the store but the product placement professionals are much better at this game than I am. In any case, […]

The Secret to Happiness…and Good Grades

  A while back I was listening to the Ted Radio Hour.  The guest was Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert, an expert on happiness.  He wrote a widely-read book, Stumbling On Happiness, and was describing a common experience he has after people find out about his research: they want to know the secret to happiness.  Listen […]

What is the Purpose of a College Education?

Here is a statement lifted from the Harvard University website which beautifully captures the larger goal of a college education — and not just for those lucky enough to go to Harvard. It has since been removed from the site but it remains a forceful and articulate defense of the liberal arts and a vision […]

The Overprotected Kid

I’ve recommended this article repeatedly over the last six months — most recently today to my Introductory Sociology class.  So, I’m taking that as a sign that I should spread the word more widely. The piece is from The Atlantic and covers a range of issues related to contemporary norms of hovering over our children […]

The Wilds Of Education

The Wilds of Education by Frank Bruni  – New York Times.  September 28, 2014 “There’s too much caution in too many schools” Here is a thought-provoking essay that asks questions about the true purpose of education.

Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

Labor Dazed

On Labor Day I took my daughter to the parade.  It’s an event full of meaning but for her it was mainly about the candy. She was not disappointed.  In a scene resembling feeding time at the barnyard candy was thrown like chicken feed from passing floats.  Children scurried, pecked at the ground, pushed and […]