Showing posts from October, 2016

The 40th parallel

The 40th Parallel
The 40th parallel north is the parallel line of latitude which circles the earth 40 degrees north of the Equator. It a little over 19,000 miles in circumference and it crosses the territory of sixteen countries. 
Starting at the International Date Line, it first crosses land in northern Honshu, Japan, and then makes landfall again just south of Hongwon, North Korea.
In mainland Asia it passes right through Beijing International Airport, and across China and then Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. 
It crosses the northern slopes of Mt. Ararat and across the rest of Turkey, and right through Ankara, the capital city. Also in Turkey it crosses the beaches just north of the ancient city of Troy.  In Greece it passes right across the summit of Mt. Olympus and then the southern part of Albania. 
It just barely crosses the very bottom of the boot heel and then across the “instep” of Italy
The 40th parallel crosses the Mediterranean islands o…

The Postmodern Snowflake Generation

Modernism, Postmodernism, and Snowflakes
It’s an election year and some of you may have watched the debates.  “Debate” and “batter” share the same root word, “to fight” while dialectic and dialog have the same root word: dialegesthai, “to converse.”
A dialectic is a formal dialog between two points of view where the objective is determining the truth. A political debate rarely is such.  Education ought to be dialectical but it often isn't. 
The Socratic Seminar was a popular tool in schools several years ago. The goal was for students to generate a fact-based dialog, using information which was “given”– either discovered via research or present in the plain text of a document. The process encouraged students to understand a topic, author, or concept from a much deeper point of reference, the idea being that evidence-based discovery was a more meaningful process than memorization or rote. 
This was derived from the Socratic Method, named after Socrates, the Greek philosopher. …


Rigor The word rigor can mean several things:  Rigor – cold-related shivering or stiffness.
Rigor – stiffening of joints and muscles after death.
Rigor – the quality or state of being very exact, valid, careful, strict.
Rigor - difficult and unpleasant conditions or experiences that are associated with being engaged in a specific task. 
Rigor – an academic measure of how students are challenged, expectations are high, and standards are maintained. 
 “The quality or state of being very exact, valid, careful or strict” or “difficult and unpleasant conditions or experiences that are associated with something” can mean both things in the same context in a classroom where the expectations for learning are rigorous.  The initial response to rigor is rarely glee. But both meanings are appropriate.     In many cases if the learning process is not difficult and sometimes unpleasant then it is not rigorous enough. Ask any successful businessperson, or any great coach or any great athlete, or a musician…