Monthly Archives: December 2011

Daniel Coyle On The Yin And Yang Of Learning

Unencumbered time and enchantment … why can’t we have more of that in our schools? Oh right, it’s because we’re too busy cramming vital content into our poor students’ heads … and then crushing their spirits as we drag them … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Year At QED Insight

Today marks the first anniversary of the beginning of this blog, and I’d like to thank everyone who dropped by. It’s been fun, and I’ll continue in the new year. Of the 125 posts at this blog in the past … Continue reading

Posted in QED Insight | Tagged , | 4 Comments

How Much Mathematics Should A Student Memorize? Part 5, The Multiplication Table

There has been a war in the mathematics education world for the past few decades about whether students should master basic skills, or whether they should use calculators or software for basic skills to save time and energy for higher-level … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Words, Episode 7: Spitten Image, Spitting Image, Spit and Image; Which Is Correct??

Some years ago I went on some sort of rant to the members of my household about “spitting image” and how it’s incorrect usage. The phrase is commonly used regarding a child that looks very much like one of its … Continue reading

Posted in Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Can Hot Water Freeze Before Cold Water? The Mpemba Effect

Here is a link to a fascinating post on this subject from earlier this year at Skulls in the Stars. The effect has apparently been observed for millenia (the post contains a reference by Aristotle!), but the conditions under which … Continue reading

Posted in Physics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids,” by Marion Brady

Marion Brady wrote a wonderful piece for a Washington Post blog a couple of days ago, which I found out about thanks to Susan Ohanian’s very informative site. A very successful member of American society, with two master’s degrees, who … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stupid Textbook Questions

One of the persistent complaints about mathematics and science textbooks, especially high-school textbooks, is that the questions tend to involve formula manipulation in a way that is not very meaningful. Such questions tend to be artificial. A case in point … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Physics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments