Archive by Author

The Communication of Big Science II

NASA and JPL, and by relationship, the federal government, are missing the boat.  Rockets are cool.  All you had to do was watch the moms and dads and especially the kids at the launch site at four o’clock in the morning and feel the electricity in the air.  Who doesn’t get a rush when you […]

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The Wonder of Big Science I

A few months ago Barry and I went up to Vandenberg Air Force Base to watch his rocket ship take off.  About 2,000 individuals who had been working on the project assembled in Buellton the night before the launch.  If you’re looking for a good time, then meeting 1,000 engineers and their families in Buellton […]

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Movie Review: Whiplash – The Art and Terror of Mentoring

A friend suggested that I write a review of Whiplash since I’m supposed to know something about mentoring.  She had seen it with her son and mentioned “it sparked a great discussion about whether intimidation and belittling are good teaching methods.”  She also gave me a link to a movie review.  See here.  The movie is […]

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How to Write a Book of the Year

Joyce King, President of AERA, asked me to fill a vacant position on one of the association’s many committees.  I can’t say no to Joyce, so I found myself on AERA’s “Book of the Year” committee.  I had never sat on the committee before so I didn’t know what I was in for until 56 […]

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Book Review: The Tyranny of Meritocracy

I read this and you don’t need to. I approached this book with a great deal of anticipation.  The idea of “merit” is an important notion in American higher education, and Lani Guinier is one of our country’s most thoughtful legal scholars.  The concise 160 page book is also published by Beacon Press so I […]

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Will the Circle be Unbroken?

One of the better novels I have read in the last several months is Dave Eggers’ The Circle. Eggers came onto the stage with a great book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was a memoir. This guy is a dynamo – novels, non-profits, community activist, and thinker. The Circle is a superb good […]

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People in Glass Houses: Rick Hess, AERA, and Rankings

Every year around this time Rick Hess writes a little screed in his outlet of choice – Ed Week – where he calls to task those individuals who come up with funny titles for presentations at AERA.  You can read his previous blogs here and here.  I’ve never been partial to ridicule, although its close […]

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Top 11 Things to Think About Approaching AERA’s Annual Meeting

There are two kinds of travelers – people who throw things into their suitcase at the last minute and rush to make the airplane, and others who start to lay out their clothes a few weeks before departure.  The former will have done little to no planning about what to see and do, and the […]

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When Good People Say Bad Things

Alexander Graham Bell called for deaf people to be forbidden from marrying each other and for deaf children to be sterilized.  The inventor of the telephone had a deaf mother and a deaf wife but thought of sign language as “pantomime.” Francis Galton was a eugenicist who claimed, among other things, “There is nothing either […]

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Book Review: The Teacher Wars – Dana Goldstein (I read this and you should, too.)

As a first-year PhD student at Stanford we all had to take a course whose title I forget but was taught by David Tyack.  It was a superb seminar largely because David had us read primary texts and Tyack was a phenomenal teacher.  In a quiet, conversational, engaging and funny manner David had us read […]

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