If I could run these language courses in a way that would work for me and the students, I would:
1/ Walk in with review and warm-up questions (5 minutes)
2/ Go over homework (5 minutes)
3/ Have a short quiz (5 minutes)
4/ Introduce a new reading / vocabulary theme / grammatical structure (depending on the day) (15 minutes, including showing audio, video, images)
5/ Explain #4 after having immersed students in it and engaged them with it (5 minutes)
6/ Do some easy exercises with this new material (10 minutes)
7/ Assign some more complex exercises as homework, make announcements, wrap up (5 minutes)
What do you think? And — why is it that I cannot do anything this rational? Can I find a way to do it, in the current situation?
La colocación en la Rectoría de la UNAM de una persona fiel al actual proyecto de autoritarismo neoliberal es de suma importancia para el régimen. Una Universidad Nacional verdaderamente democrática, participativa y plural rápidamente se convertiría en una enorme piedra en el zapato para la clase política dominante. Desde la perspectiva de Peña Nieto, urge clausurar cualquier posibilidad de surgimiento de nuevos liderazgos juveniles o de proyectos intelectuales que podrían poner en riesgo sus planes transexenales.
Read the whole thing.
When I teach the modern Latin Amercan survey again, I will include even more than usual on nations, nationalism, and revolutions — including politics in Spain and the Philippines.
For many Americans, education is about feeding students certain factual information, then testing them to make sure they retain it. The higher they climb on the educational ladder, the more specialized that information becomes as we train them for their eventual professions. That makes sense. When you’ve got surgeons hovering over you, ready to mess with your internal organs, you want them to remember where everything goes when they’re done, not thumb through Wikipedia on an iPhone.
The attack on education isn’t on training our youth for whatever careers they choose, it’s on teaching them to think logically in order to form opinions based on facts rather than on familial and social influences. This part of one’s education is about finding out who you are. It’s about becoming a happier person. It’s about being a responsible citizen. If you end up with all the same opinions you had before, then at least you can be confident that they are good ones because you’ve fairly examined all the options, not because you were too lazy or scared to question them. But you—all of us—need the process. Otherwise, you’re basically a zombie who wants to eat brains because you don’t want anyone else to think either.
That means this is a war on reason.
Read the whole thing.
You cannot say we have a language program because we have a common textbook and departmental tests, and then say that you will teach how and what you teach in a multi-section course regardless of book, and at the same time refuse to articulating departmental goals and benchmarks for student progress except to say the goal is “to cover the book.”