Saturday, January 28, 2012

Excerpt from “The Year of My Fourth Dimension” by Kathy Yocum

Teaching physics was no longer my only job. I had to become a voracious reader of science material. I couldn’t read deeply; I had to read broadly and quickly. Before school began, I, thankfully, finished Joy Hakim’s The Story of Science: Newton at the Center. Her work is a great read with short science vignettes carrying us through science discoveries over time and loaded with lots of interesting asides. Once I began working with Sam and Charlie, I immediately ordered the other two books in her series. My home was my homework center. In the evenings, I’d scan several science websites. Stephen Hawking sometimes joined Hakim’s work and Bill Bryson’s, A Short History of Nearly Everything. Theirs were words that took me to dreamland. I didn’t have to know everything, but these boys wanted to talk about a variety of science topics. They were amazing.


Kathy Yocum teaches at Natchitoches Central High School in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Excerpt of “Reflections of an ‘Easy Grader’” by Joel Shatzky

Although in the past, at least when I was growing up in the 1950s, there was a rough balance between the objectives of education being “learning for its own sake” and “getting a job,” the former is rarely mentioned nearly as much today as the latter. When President Obama talks about education, he urges that our country step up to the challenges of “global competition” even though a lot of the “globe” is dominated by multi-national corporations based in the U.S. and the “competition” that these corporations are engaged in is to find ways of employing high-skilled workers at lower wages. This is certainly to the detriment of students who believe a college degree will give them a good-paying job. Thus, one of the initial objectives of such educators as John Dewey, to improve the education system in order to have an “informed electorate” is being downplayed in the interest of “skilling” rather than educating young learners.


Joel Shatzky is a retired college professor who still teaches English by working as an adjunct at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY). Shatzky contributes a regular column, “Educating for Democracy,” to the Huffington Post.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Manuscript Delivered

The manuscript of What Teaching Means: Stories from America's Classrooms has been delivered to Rogue Faculty Press. We are on schedule for our April publication date. The book ended up being about 235 pages. It will ultimately be available as a traditional trade paperback and an e-book. RFP is doing a great job. Stay tuned for more updates and excerpts.