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On teaching, distinguished teaching award nominees

Stephen Tollefson, former lecturer, College Writing Programs | April 20, 2011

This week, UC Berkeley holds it annual celebration of the Distinguished Teaching Award, which former Senate Chair Mary Firestone called “not the highest teaching honor on this campus, but the highest honor.”  This year, the recipients are Robin Einhorn of History, Phillip Geissler of Chemistry, and Kent Puckett of English.  They will be honored tomorrow, … Continue reading »

Buying a head start

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | April 13, 2011

The widening gaps between Americans of average wealth and well-off Americans, and especially, super-well-off Americans over the last 40 years have now been fully documented and heavily discussed. But it’s not just about money. We are seeing, as well, growing economic, social, geographical, and cultural divisions between Americans of less and more education. (See, e.g., … Continue reading »

The Republican ignorance agenda

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | March 31, 2011

Conservative Republicans have been very busy lately making inroads into teaching and learning at all levels — a curious program, especially at a time when more serious voices have been urging America to strengthen its investment in science and technology in order to remain globally competitive in the twenty-first century. One wonders what their oppositionism … Continue reading »

Education and views about climate change

Dan Farber, professor of law | March 23, 2011

A political science blog called the Monkey Cage (the name is a reference to an irreverent remark by H.L. Mencken) has an interesting post about education and views about climate change. As you would expect, education is positively correlated with a better understanding of the science — but only for liberals. Educated conservatives are no … Continue reading »

The State of the Union and the federal budget: Investing in America’s future

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 25, 2011

Word has it that the President will be emphasizing “improving American competitiveness” in his State of the Union Address Tuesday night. As I’ve noted, the term is meaningless — but it’s politically useful. CEOs and many conservatives think it means improving the profitability of American companies. Liberals and labor unions think it means increasing export … Continue reading »

A fragmenting America? – Pt. 2

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 19, 2010

In the Part 1 of this post, I asked whether Americans were increasingly dividing along the “culture wars” battlefront – an impression one would certainly get from media coverage of politics over the last decade or two. The research shows that, while the political class has become more polarized in the last generation, average Americans … Continue reading »

Great teaching can happen in many different ways…

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | April 21, 2010

but I believe it always shares a few features: great teachers are concerned with whether students are learning, and less with how well they themselves are teaching. great teachers understand that it is better to help students master a well-selected set of concepts than to let them flounder in a sea of content. great teachers … Continue reading »